Success not only leads to more success, it also creates opportunities which can give those involved, the possibility for pursuing other ventures. This is exactly the case with Newcastle United football club, who, thanks to Rafael Benitez joining them as manager 17 months ago, are now back in the Premier League, looking to consolidate their position and challenge for honours.
The current owner of the club, Mike Ashley, has put the Magpies up for sale, and after a tortuous ten years of ups and downs, promotion and relegations; the fans will be pleased to see the back of him. The only thing worrying many of the supporters is whether he is asking too much for the club.
It is rumoured that Ashley began by asking £450 million and that he later reduced his asking price down to £380 million, probably because there was little or no interest at the original price. You only have to look around at recent sales to gauge that even the reduced asking price is still somewhat high.
Southampton football club, a well establishes Premier League side only recently secured a substantial investment from Jisheng Gao, the wealthy Chinese businessman. It cost him only £210 million for 80% of the club.
When West Bromwich Albion were sold to Yunyi Guokai Sports back in 2016, the price was reported as being somewhere between £150 to £200 million. So why is Ashley expecting so much?
When Mike Ashley brought the Magpies, he paid £134 million. In addition, over the past ten years or so, he has lent the club a further £129 million in terms of interest-free loans. But that still doesn’t explain his price; especially when you consider the poor results that the club has returned during that period.
A big turning point however, has to be the arrival of Rafael Benitez, who has gained promotion to the Premiership and put Newcastle United in the right half of the league so far. It has to be appreciated though that Newcastle Utd is club of great tradition and that it has enormous potential. It is on these two factors that Ashley is trading, thanks to the recent success Benitez has brought to the side.
Whatever price is agreed, the success and potential of the Magpies has attracted a number of potential new buyers, one of which is probably the most successful business women in football today, Amanda Staveley.
Staveley was nicknamed the “Queen of British football” when she was dating the Duke of York, Prince Andrew for a time. The romance was however, short-lived, and she is now married to Mehrdad Ghodoussi with one child, but the name stuck. Although she doesn’t own any other football clubs, her name is associated with both Liverpool and Manchester City because of the part she took in individual deals involving both clubs.
In addition to Amanda Staveley, the Turkish businessman Murat Ulker (nicknamed the Biscuit King) is also being linked in negotiations. Whoever ends-up taking over, fans are hoping they will have pockets deep enough to finance more great transfer deals like that of the under-21 Spanish midfield star, Mikel Marino. If Newcastle are to succeed in the premiership, they will certainly need to strengthen their squad, so a new owner with new cash will be very welcome.