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Newcastle Sold!!!


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Newcastle United emerged last night as the latest Premiership club to be sold to foreign owners following top secret talks that have been taking place on Tyneside for the last month.

 

American financiers Polygon and the United Bank of Switzerland, with billions of pounds at their disposal, have had their joint bid of £227million unanimously accepted by the Newcastle board.

 

The heavyweight partnership are currently going through a period of 'due diligence' with the takeover expected to be completed early in the New Year.

 

The Hall family and chairman Freddy Shepherd will collect £68m in the deal while manager Glenn Roeder will be bankrolled to the tune of £20m to recruit new players.

 

The surprise takeover scuppers the rival interest shown by Jersey-based investors The Belgravia Group, who had been assessing Newcastle's financial position for months without making a concrete offer but gaining plenty of publicity in the process.

 

Polygon and UBS, with a group of money men rather than one high-profile individual behind the takeover, began talking to Newcastle last summer before placing their accepted offer of 93p per share on the table.

 

This values the club at £140 million with the deal also including picking up the monster debts of £87m.

 

Newcastle shares closed yesterday at a year's high of 75.5p, up 1.5p on the day.

 

The imminent takeover will lead to wholesale changes on the Newcastle board, although it is yet to be decided which of the financiers will run the club or the make-up of the new board.

 

But certainly it will signal the end of the Hall era at Tyneside as well as the departure of current chairman Shepherd.

 

The Halls, through the 28.5 per cent controlled by former chairman and current president Sir John's Wynyard company, and the 13 per cent connected to his son Douglas, will walk away with around £48m from the sale.

 

Shepherd, who owns 26.7 per cent will receive around £20m.

 

The prospective new owners have already made it clear that they do not intend to meddle immediately with the playing side - unlike Icelander Eggert Magnusson at West Ham, who sacked the manager Alan Pardew after just two games in the chairman's seat.

 

The UBS-Polygon view is that Newcastle, 14th in the table, need no more upheaval if they are to retain their Premiership status. And manager Roeder is likely to be given around £20m to spend in the January transfer window to help secure the club's position in the top flight.

 

The Belgravia interest in Newcastle was understood to have been sparked by the potential of a super-casino on Tyneside with the city still in the running to be awarded a licence.

 

Polygon and UBS's interest in St James' Park is more football related. But they are aware that a Newcastle casino would propel the club into the financial tier of Manchester United and Chelsea. Newcastle already have a potential tie-up in place with American entertainment giants MGM.

 

The American-Swiss team presented their offer to the Newcastle board on November 20. So it has infuriated the board that Belgravia, who hired Bell Pottinger as their PR advisors, have continued to promote themselves as the potential next owners of Newcastle.

 

Only a week ago a spokesman for Belgravia, who had support from the Middle-East, said: "We have confirmed we are still in talks. It will happen when it happens."

 

Even without the casino, the takeover will bring financial stability to a club that has always lived on the edge.UBS are one of the most profitable banks in the world. Their main interest in sport is looking after the riches of some of the world's wealthiest sportsmen while their sponsorship money is centred around golf.

 

They have, however, branched into football by backing Euro 2008 in Switzerland and Austria.

 

Polygon have their London base near Chelsea's Stamford Bridge but their secretive American owner Reade Griffith will not take a hands-on role at Newcastle in the manner of Roman Abramovich at Chelsea.

 

They are best known in the UK for the aggressive stance they took during the corporate restructuring at British Energy and fashion retailer Monsoon.

 

Their imminent takeover of Newcastle reflects the growing interest in the football industry from American hedge-funds, which were also key investors in Malcolm Glazer's takeover of Manchester United.

 

Newcastle has cost a lot more than the £65m American Randy Lerner spent on acquiring Aston Villa or the Magnusson consortium's £107m for West Ham but the fanatical support of the Geordies, whose team last won major silverware in 1969 with the Fairs Cup, makes it something of a bargain even at £227m.

 

Sir John Hall took control of Newcastle for just £3m in 1991 after a bitter battle with Gordon McKeag. Within six years he had stepped down as chairman and has been looking to dispose of his Newcastle shareholding for more than a year.

 

The UBS-Polygon blueprint for running the club will be different from the other Premiership foreign takeovers in that the new owners will take a back seat themselves, but employ proven football and financial operators to take charge on a day-to-day basis at St James' Park.

 

There will be a lot of surprise that Shepherd, in particular, who bleeds black and white, has voted for a takeover that will remove him from the chairman's seat.

 

But he knows that the deal will secure the future of Newcastle.

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Oh this could be a great great day.

 

However, I'm not going to get carried away. We need to see a more professional approach off the pitch, hopefully men and women who aren't so blinded by their love for the club will bring a modicum of "planning" to the backrooms.

 

Thanks for the cash Freddy, now fuck off to Marbella with the rest of the fat degenerate egotistical wankers

 

p.s. can't find anything about this on any online papers...

Edited by The Fish
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I am not going to go overboard on the celebrations as chnage is always a time of trepidation. However I think the financial backing together with clear headed planning and no more of this geordie family crap (As an aside I would love a team of geordies with a geordie manager but only if they're the best at what they do not at all costs). Roeder will still be manager for the time being and should be backed but i think a restructure at the end of the season would be a good start.

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Has there been any announcement to the stock exchange or anything like that? Until there is this sounds like paper talk tbh.

 

My thoughts entirely.

 

Portly Freddie said himself, just recently, that any bid would have to be announced to the Stock Exchange. Until he opens his gob and says something, then I will hold off on my thoughts.

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Aye that's nowt to do with this though. Disclosure is required if there's a transaction involving one individual (or business) that exceeds 1% of the shares on the market.

 

It does sound like something's going on with this lot, but there's still plenty time for it all to fall through.

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Has there been any announcement to the stock exchange or anything like that? Until there is this sounds like paper talk tbh.

latest news on the london stock exchange was 3 days ago,

 

Right here.. but all fucking Greek to me

 

what the gemmillator said

 

by the way this AXA ROSENBERG INVESTMENT MGT LTD bought over 7 percent of shares in newcastle in only 3 weeks, very interesting

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