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Ashley ready to splash out on Newcastle


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Billionaire Mike Ashley intends to give Newcastle the financial muscle necessary to bridge the gap between Tyneside's serial under-achievers and the Premiership's big guns but only after undertaking a comprehensive "strategic review" of the St James' Park club.

 

The sports retail tycoon, who acknowledged the club's "unfulfilled potential ", outlined his plans to the club's minority shareholders as he closes in on a £133.8 million takeover after taking his stake in Newcastle to almost 70 per cent this week by purchasing chairman Freddy Shepherd's shares for £37.6 million.

 

In a formal offer sent out to shareholders, Ashley, who set up St James' Holdings Ltd to obtain the club, said: "Newcastle is one of the leading football clubs in the UK with an international brand and a fan base.

 

"Many of the top teams have changed ownership and some of the new owners have been willing to invest significant amounts in maintaining and developing the strength and depth of their teams.

 

"SJHL recognises the unfulfilled potential of Newcastle, as shown by its investment in shares of £55.3 million and its commitment to invest a further £78.5 million to acquire the shares it does not own.

 

"Mike Ashley has funds to make available, through SJHL, for investment in Newcastle United. However, before finalising the amount he is willing to invest, Ashley will want to undertake a thorough strategic review, including its existing infrastructure, contractual arrangements, playing staff and financial position.

 

"SJHL anticipates that this strategic review will commence after the offer becomes unconditional." Ashley has set a deadline of June 28 for his offer of 101p-per-share to be accepted and should he secure a 90 per cent stake, all shares must be sold to him.

 

"It is important Newcastle United shareholders make the right decision now, not just for the benefit of shareholders but also for the benefit of the club and its supporters."

 

Newcastle last landed a major domestic trophy, the FA Cup, in 1955 and in recent years have slipped down the pecking order, finishing 13th last season.

 

The reclusive Twickenham-born Ashley, 43, regarded as a hands-off but impulsive businessman, is set to return the club to private ownership, a move that has been applauded by Shepherd.

 

"The company's publicly listed status has placed certain constraints on its ability to invest in players, notwithstanding the fact that over the last five years the company has spent a total of approximately £104 million on player acquisitions," Shepherd said.

 

"This situation has become more acute in recent years as certain clubs have significantly increased the amount they are able and prepared to invest in their squads."

 

Ashley is planning to develop the club's academy and press ahead with stadium expansion plans. "He wants to develop the Alan Shearers of the future by investing in the academy to produce home-grown talent," said a source close to the billionaire. "One of the things that has impressed him most has been St James' Park and he really wants to drive forward the plans to extend the capacity and make it one of Europe's top grounds."

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It is taken from the offer document for the shares. I got one this morning along with copies of the last 2 years annual reports and various other stuff.

 

101 pence is still 50p short of the original share price which season ticket holders who "wanted to own a part of their club" paid.

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This is quite probably just an attempt to keep transfer prices down.

 

By making a very public statement that a review will be done first before alloting cash for transfers, Ashley, I say Ashley, is not alerting selling clubs to how much NUFC is going to spend and, therefore, how much they can fleece us for their players. After all, we don't want to become a club who get conned by clubs selling crap players to us for ludicrous amounts of money, do we ;)

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It is taken from the offer document for the shares. I got one this morning along with copies of the last 2 years annual reports and various other stuff.

 

101 pence is still 50p short of the original share price which season ticket holders who "wanted to own a part of their club" paid.

 

original share price was 135 iirc?

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"Mike Ashley has funds to make available, through SJHL, for investment in Newcastle United. However, before finalising the amount he is willing to invest, Ashley will want to undertake a thorough strategic review, including its existing infrastructure, contractual arrangements, playing staff and financial position.

 

Hopefully this will mean a review and overhaul of the entire club rather than simply throwing money at the problem. Positive words so far.

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It is taken from the offer document for the shares. I got one this morning along with copies of the last 2 years annual reports and various other stuff.

 

101 pence is still 50p short of the original share price which season ticket holders who "wanted to own a part of their club" paid.

 

original share price was 135 iirc?

 

It was indeed ;)

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what if u (madly) bought one share in a frame for £30....will you get a letter with a cheque for £1.01 and have to send the certificate back? ;):razz:

 

I had one of those bought me for Christmas a few years back and I recently had all of the paperwork sent through about Ashley's offer. (23rd May)

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what if u (madly) bought one share in a frame for £30....will you get a letter with a cheque for £1.01 and have to send the certificate back? ;):razz:

 

My brother got one just this Christmas and he's completely gutted about having to give it up so soon ;)

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