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So who's going to buy the club?


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http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/sport/3673582.Magpies_supremo_sets_date_with_Dubai_group/

WITH Mike Ashley having broken his public silence to confirm his desire to sell Newcastle United, vice-president Tony Jimenez was last night in Dubai setting up a meeting with representatives of billionaire group Dubai International Capital (DIC).

 

DIC, the investment arm of the Dubai Government, has been in discussions over a possible takeover of Liverpool for much of the last 18 months.

 

But with Anfield co-owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks no nearer to resolving the impasse that is preventing the sale of their club, Newcastle officials are confident of brokering a deal that will see one of the richest companies in the Middle East assume ownership of the Magpies.

 

DIC’s determination to complete the purchase of a Premier League football club has intensified since the Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG) completed their takeover of Manchester City at the end of last month.

 

Dubai and Abu Dhabi are locked in an increasingly heated battle for global prominence, and having seen their rivals make worldwide headlines through their deadlineday purchase of Robinho, Dubai’s rulers are desperate to join the burgeoning ranks of overseas Premier League owners.

 

They remain keen to purchase Liverpool, and there is a danger that last night’s discussions may have been arranged in order to pile pressure on Gillett and Hicks as they continue to clash over the future direction of their club.

 

But Jimenez’s weekend dash to the Middle East confirms Newcastle’s confidence that DIC are viable suitors, and with Ashley willing to sell for less than £300m, it is hoped that a formal offer may be lodged within the next week.

 

Ironically, last night’s talks came less than a month after Ashley rebuffed ADUG’s interest via an intermediary, forcing the Abu Dhabi group to turn their attentions towards Manchester City.

 

While DIC’s interest in Newcastle is strong enough to have persuaded Ashley to dispatch Jimenez to Dubai, the consortium is far from the only group to have contacted the sportswear magnate in recent days.

 

Reliance Communications have also made a number of discreet inquiries, despite a spokesman for the Indian mobile communications group releasing a statement on Friday that seemed to suggest their interest in the club was at an end.

 

Reliance, which is owned by Anil Ambani, the sixth-richest man in the world, have been linked with a possible takeover of Everton after weekend claims that the ongoing turbulence at Newcastle had forced the Mumbaibased group to look elsewhere.

 

However, senior city sources have claimed that the conflicting messages coming out of India are part of a bargaining ploy to force Ashley to reduce his asking price, and it is understood that Reliance are still extremely keen to purchase Newcastle United.

 

Ambani has been looking to gain a foothold in the European market for a number of years, and a takeover of Newcastle would provide him with a considerable boost to both his status and profile Chinese businessman Xu Rongmao is also spearheading another consortium currently eyeing the club.

 

Rongmao, who is one of only ten confirmed Chinese billionaires, is the founder and chairman of Shimao Property, one of the largest property development groups in Shanghai.

 

He has amassed a considerable fortune from purchasing a range of building groups in China, but is known to be keen to broaden his geographical horizons by buying up business interests that boast a significant real estate value in the west.

 

Former Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd unveiled plans to develop the land around St James’ Park into a hotel and casino complex before he was ousted by Ashley, and Rongmao would have similarly ambitious plans if he was complete his own takeover on Tyneside.

 

Over the weekend, there were also suggestions that a North-Eastern consortium was looking to buy out Ashley with the help of supporters.

 

However, while a number of wealthy North-Easterners have been sounded out about a potential takeover, any formal grouping remains at an embryonic stage.

 

As the number of Premier League clubs willing to countenance a takeover has diminished rapidly, Newcastle have become more and more appealing to investors.

 

But by admitting that the club is still not debt-free despite an investment of more than £110m, Ashley last night sounded a warning note to anyone interested in securing a takeover.

 

“I paid £134m out of my own pocket for the club,” he said. “I then poured another £110m into the club, not to pay off the debt but just to reduce it. The club is still in debt.

 

“Even worse than that, the club still owes millions of pounds in transfer fees. I shall be paying out many more millions over the coming year to pay for players bought before I arrived.

 

“But there was a double whammy. Commercial deals such as sponsorships and advertising had been frontloaded.

 

The money had been paid up front and spent. I was left with a club that owed millions and part of whose future had been mortgaged.

 

“Unless I had come into the club then it might not have survived.”

 

The chances now of a new manager being appointed ahead of Saturday’s away game with West Ham appear remote.

 

Friday night’s meeting with Kevin Keegan was an attempt to initiate a rapprochement that might ultimately have ended with the two-time Newcastle boss embarking on a third managerial reign at St James’.

 

However, talks broke down when Ashley refused to acquiesce to Keegan’s demands that both Jimenez and Dennis Wise be stripped of their power to hire and fire players.

 

In an unrelated development, Alan Shearer is understood to have been stripped of his ambassadorial role at the club.

 

:shifty:

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British tabloid the Sun believe Microsoft are looking at taking over the troubled north-east club. Bill Gates, worth a reported $90billion/ £45million, was rumoured to be interested in placing a bid for the club during the transfer window in August.

 

Wow the dollar really has fallen a long way :lol:

 

Well if this did happen at least we could be confident of money being spent! :)  Not that it will happen, its obviously a ludicrous story.

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British tabloid the Sun believe Microsoft are looking at taking over the troubled north-east club. Bill Gates, worth a reported $90billion/ £45million, was rumoured to be interested in placing a bid for the club during the transfer window in August.

 

Wow the dollar really has fallen a long way :lol:

 

:lol: :lol:

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I would much prefer an American owner like Lerner rather than these mid east people.

 

Bill Gates would be awesome. At least he's someone who we all know.

 

These random names out of Dubai etc all fill me with uncertainty.

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I would much prefer an American owner like Lerner rather than these mid east people.

 

Bill Gates would be awesome. At least he's someone who we all know.

 

These random names out of Dubai etc all fill me with uncertainty.

 

How much did you know about Lerner before he bought Villa?

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I would much prefer an American owner like Lerner rather than these mid east people.

 

Bill Gates would be awesome. At least he's someone who we all know.

 

These random names out of Dubai etc all fill me with uncertainty.

 

So you'd prefer a non-sports-involved billionaire from a country where they know fuck all about football and care less, to the investment arm of the Middle East's most successful and imaginatively run economy where they are all football mad?

 

Just because you've heard his name before?

 

:lol:

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/newcastle/2962624/Mike-Ashleys-potential-buyers-for-Newcastle-United---Premier-League-Football.html

 

 

Mike Ashley is prepared to sell Newcastle United to the highest bidder and reamins hoepful that the recent turmoil at the club will not dissuade a number of potential buyers from making him an offer he can't refuse.

 

By Steve Wilson

Last Updated: 12:35PM BST 15 Sep 2008

 

In the running: Anil Ambani of Reliance Communications has expressed interest in Newcastle previously Photo: Getty

The current Newcastle owner has admitted that he does not have deep enough pockets to manage Newcastle's debts at the same time as providing the investment needed to turn a failing first-team squad in to Champions League contenders.

 

There are, however, a host of names out there who do.

 

Dubai Investment Capital

 

The early favourites despite their 18-month pursuit of Liverpool, the investment arm of the Dubai royal family has the resources to buy out Ashley and a long held desire to become involved with English football which has been exacerbated by their neighbours in Abu Dhabi, in the form of the Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG), buying up Manchester City.

 

With Liverpool co-owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks unable to come to an agreement with each other, let alone an outside bidder, DIC may well turn instead to Newcastle, a cheaper option.

 

Newcastle Vice President Tony Jimenez is in Dubai at the moment to open discussions with DIC. With Ashley willing to entertain bids below the £300 million mark a deal in principle could even be rushed through inside a week.

 

Anil Ambani

 

The world's sixth richest man has an estimated fortune of £250 billion and owns the telecommunications giants Reliance Communications.

 

The Indian businessman expressed an interest in buying the club last month with a figure of £260 million floated but late last week withdrew from direct contact due to the turbulent nature of the North East club.

 

Instead Ambani has shifted his focus to Everton, with his son, Jai Anmol having attended Everton's pre-season match against PSV Eindhoven, with chairman Bill Kenwright eager to draw investment to Goodison Park.

 

Profitable Group

 

The Singapore-based investment company was reportedly in competition with Ambani before the Indian pulled back from the chase.

 

The group has already set up a number of commercial ties and sponsorship concerns with Newcastle and so is well placed to know the value and potential of the club, from a business perspective.

 

Their interest in English football, which is one of the biggest television draws in Singapore, is strengthened by former Liverpool and England midfielder Steve McMhahon holding the post of Group Commercial Director.

 

Sage Group

 

North East-based business concerned with the development, distribution and support of business management software that has a global market and is in rude economic health.

 

With their head offices in Newcastle itself, the local credentials of the organisation would be sure to play well with fans who railed against the preceived 'Cockney Mafia' of Ashley and Dennis Wise.

 

No formal discussions have yet taken place but Sage would be in a position to make a strong bid.

 

Ant and Dec

 

Having successfully presented ITV's recent Soccer Aid programme the pair have football credentials and as local boys made good would find favour with the Newcastle fans desperate to restore some civic pride.

 

A successful career in broadcasting from a tender age has earned the duo a bob or two and their celebrity could prove decisive in adding glamour and entertainment to the club again.

 

May want to recoup some of their investment through taking control of the ticket booking telephone lines and have experience of making something similar pay.

 

 

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