We’re moving into the third full day of speculation at a Newcastle United takeover and really, we’re no further forward in understanding exactly what’s going on, other than the clicks on various news-sites must be going through the roof. So, all good eh?
Some things to consider and that is how some news reporters cannibalise each other’s pieces, regurgitate and present it as their own. We’d suggest sticking to two or three reliable news-lines otherwise you are probably going to go crazy attempting to get a step ahead of what’s happening. We hope this stuff each day helps bring some order to what’s going on. We know it doesn’t, its a puny attempt.
What we can say with certainty is the original piece within The S*n was shot through with holes and the key takeaway from all of the week is papers have not been passed to the Premier League. At best, we can deduct the PL may have been told, informally a change is coming. But that is the absolute best case scenario this morning (29/May/19). We can also deduct that Sheikh Khaled is not a direct relation to Man City’s Sheikh Mansour – though I’m not sure why that has become so important to be honest. This quote from SKY SPORTS NEWS, Keith Downie via his Twitter feed: We understand Sheikh Khaled is in fact no relation to Man City owner Sheikh Mansour. There was a suggestion yesterday that Khaled was the half-brother of Mansour. Important to point out this doesn’t mean Khaled doesn’t have the money to buy NUFC, but as yet no proof of funds.
We also know that Sheikh Khaled’s people have completed Due Diligence. The Sheikh’s side are also emphatic in their statement that a price has been agreed – The Mail – click here is one of many newslines to quote the line terms have been agreed which came from the Sheikh’s side. What is less certain is whether proof of funds have been provided to demonstrate the Sheikh has the money to complete the deal and to finance a major rebuilding job at United on and off the park. That said, if the Sheikh has not provided proof of funds before getting access to the Data Room then that will be in direct contradiction to what the club has previously set out in its statements in order to avoid bother with tyre-kickers. Didn’t Llambias say prospective buyers would have to buy a box to demonstrate their intent? That admittedly was probably more shite from Llambias but as two reported takeover attempts have stalled in successive years because neither have been reported to be able to raise the money, you’d have hoped lessons would have been learned before opening the books to any Tom, Dick or Khaled. Mark Douglas of The Chronicle reckons he has spoken to the Sheikh’s people and the whole tone of this is it’s happening – click here In the same paper there is a suggestion from Lee Ryder that he has been told of Ashley’s view and that is he is awaiting a bid from the Bin Zayed Group. Click here
On the subject of comments from United, they have done what they always do in these situations and that is to hide. The club will be keeping Keith Bishop on a significant retainer I have no doubt and there is a Media and Communications Team employed at St James’ Park. It has to be the easiest gig in football – simply say nowt.
The difficulty for them of course is I very much doubt whether they know much at all. At the very best, I wouldn’t imagine Charnley knows much beyond who has been in and out of the Data Room but obviously that isn’t a physical building at SJP and I’d guess Ashley’s confidante, Justin Barnes and the MASH legal team will be involved in this and Charnley will be told what he needs to know and little more. Naturally, as has been the case from Keegan onwards, the managers of his club are treated with near contempt – this is true of Benitez who as well as being out of contract at the end of June with discussions on a new contract now apparently all over the place. This will suit Ashley, because it is scarcely believable he would really bend to Rafa’s will in investing in players like normal football clubs – click here for apiece from Simon Bird, The Mirror who makes this point.
But what of Ashley? We’re told he has gone on holiday but this looks very much like he has gone to ground. Whether his disappearance is linked to any part in further negotiation we can only speculate but for him to allow this fevered speculation to continue amongst supporters of a club he owns says a lot about him. As if it needed to be said.
There has also been speculation regarding Sheijk Khaled’s wealth. We’ve come down from the speculation he had Sheikh Mansour type money to learning it is probably on a par with the mush at Sheffield United, newly returned to the Premier League. If the amounts he is said to have are correct, that places him well above Roman Abramovich but whilst this is important, we all know having the right intentions, plan and personnel probably count equally as much. A good piece in The Mirror from Simon Bird makes this point – click here
It would also seem Luke Edwards, The Telegraph has become exasperated with some of the responses he gets on social media when he posts properly researched reportage – I know nothing. I’ve not spoken to anyone. I’m making it up. I have no sources. I’m jealous. I enjoy pissing on Geordie chips. I don’t want a takeover to happen. I have an agenda against a Sheikh nobody had heard of 72 hours ago. Welcome to Twitter responses 2019 #NUFCtakeover The joys of social media and the extremes of expression.
Anyway, another day beckons of doing little more than refreshing devices, wild speculation and waiting for some good news whilst mindful this could all unravel and become the most catastrophic in the gut-wrenching shambles of the Ashley 12-year catastrophic tenure with the manager gone and no attention whatsoever paid to building the squad. These are big stakes for Ashley the gambler.