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Icelandic duo to buy Newcastle?


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This story just appeared on the Icelandic news site Visir.is:

 

Vísir hefur heimildir fyrir því að athafnamennirnir Pálmi Haraldsson og Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson íhugi nú alvarlega að gera kauptilboð í enska knattspyrnuliðið Newcastle. Viðræður munu vera langt komnar án þess að skrifað hafi verið undir samning.

 

Pálmi Haraldsson vildi í samtali við Vísi hvorki játa því né neita að hann ætti í viðræðum við núverandi eiganda um kaup á félaginu. „Newcastle er flottur klúbbur, með flottan stjóra og ég hef haldið lengi með liðinu," sagði Pálmi og hló.

 

Mike Ashley, er eigandi íþróttavöruverslana í Bretlandi og hann keypti Newcastle í júní síðastliðinn. Ekki er ólíklegt að Ashley þekki til þeirra Pálma og Jóns Ásgeirs, enda hafa þeir verið áberandi í smávöruverlsun á Bretlandi síðustu misserin. Ashley keypti meirihluta í Newcastle á 134 milljónir punda í lok maí. Þess má geta að Eggert Magnússon og Björgólfur Guðmundsson keyptu knattspyrnuliðið West Ham í nóvember á síðasta ári fyrir 85 milljónir punda.

 

Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson.

Í síðustu viku greiddi Ashley niður 30 milljónir punda af 80 milljón punda láni sem hvíldi á félaginu. Þetta er talið gefa því undir fótinn að hann sé að reyna að gera félagið söluvænlegra í augum fjárfesta.

 

Newcastle er gríðarlega sterkt knattspyrnufélag, það 13. stærsta í heiminum í dag. Stuðningsmenn félagsins eru mjög hollir sínum mönnum og yfirleitt er yfirfullt á velli félagsins, St. James' Park.

 

Roughly translated:

 

According to sources, Icelandic businessmen Pálmi Haraldsson and Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson are seriously considering launching a bid to the English football club Newcastle United. Negotiations have been going on for some time without any contracts having been signed.

 

Pálmi Haraldsson did not want to deny or confirm this story when Visir contacted him. "Newcastle is a great club, with a great manager and I have been a fan for a long time" said Pálmi and laughed.

 

Mike Ashley is a sports retailer in Brittain and he bought the club in June. It isn't unlikely that Ashley knows of Pálmi and Jón, for they have been very public in retailing in Brittain recently. Ashley bought his majoraty in Newcastle for 134 pounds in the end of May while Eggert Magnusson and Björólfur Guðmundsson bought West Ham United for 85 million pounds.

 

Last week Ashley paid off 30 million pounds of the 80 million pound debt that Newcastle had. This is considered to be a part in making the club easier to sell in the eyes of investers.

 

Newcastle is an immensly big club, the 13th biggest in the world today. It's fans are very loyal to the club, and the club's stadium, St. James' Park, is sold out most matches.

 

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BREAKING NEWS IN ICELAND:

 

Alan Shearer is with Haraldsson and Jóhannesson in talks of buying the club. Talks are very far ahead and a bid is expected very soon.

 

I'm pretty sure this is true, Iceland is a very small country and when something like this is reported it is almost always true. It's worth a mention that this news station was the first to report that Magnusson and co. were buying West Ham.

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Mike Ashley is a sports retailer in Brittain and he bought the club in June. It isn't unlikely that Ashley knows of Pálmi and Jón, for they have been very public in retailing in Brittain recently. Ashley bought his majoraty in Newcastle for 134 pounds in the end of May while Eggert Magnusson and Björólfur Guðmundsson bought West Ham United for 85 million pounds.

 

£134 ?

 

If Ashley sold up he'd make a huuuuugggggggeeeeee profit.

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If Wikipedia is correct then these guys seem a bit dodgy :)

 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%B3n_%C3%...%C3%B3hannesson

On 17 August 2005, he was charged by a court in Reykjavík with 40 counts of breaking the Icelandic penal code, Accounting Act, Annual Accounts Act and Companies Act. Most of them are related to transactions between him and Baugur. The Supreme court sent most of the charges back to the Reykjavik district court in the fall of 2005 on the base of technicalities. In February 2007, the case was still underway.
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BREAKING NEWS IN ICELAND:

 

Alan Shearer is with Haraldsson and Jóhannesson in talks of buying the club. Talks are very far ahead and a bid is expected very soon.

 

I'm pretty sure this is true, Iceland is a very small country and when something like this is reported it is almost always true. It's worth a mention that this news station was the first to report that Magnusson and co. were buying West Ham.

 

why talk shite :) ?

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BREAKING NEWS IN ICELAND:

 

Alan Shearer is with Haraldsson and Jóhannesson in talks of buying the club. Talks are very far ahead and a bid is expected very soon.

 

I'm pretty sure this is true, Iceland is a very small country and when something like this is reported it is almost always true. It's worth a mention that this news station was the first to report that Magnusson and co. were buying West Ham.

 

why talk shite :) ?

 

Hes not talking shite, hes just telling us what has been reported in Iceland. It made the news over there as can be seen here..

 

http://vefmidlar.visir.is/VefTV/?channelID...53-ff64e2eb2cc4

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Sky Sports running the story now:

 

Shearer linked with Toon bid

Legend linked with takeover talk

By Haflidi Breidfjord & Graeme Bailey Last updated: 20th August 2007

 

 

Alan Shearer is being strongly linked with a possible Icelandic led takeover of Newcastle United.

 

 

 

English businessman Mike Ashley only completed his takeover at St James' Park in June - but already the club is being linked with a new boardroom battle.

 

 

An Asian-based bid was rumoured to be interested earlier this month - but now an Icelandic consortium is reportedly readying a bid for the Magpies.

 

 

Jon Asgeir Johannesson, chief of Baugur - who in recent years have bought iconic British companies such as House of Fraser, Hamleys and Goldsmiths, is reported to be behind the bid.

 

 

Johannesson along with Palmi Haraldsson, who runs another Icelandic investment group Thera, are reported to have approached Shearer with a view to becoming involved with the bid.

 

 

Icelandic sources are claiming that a potential deal is very much in the offing, but it remains to be seen whether Ashley would be tempted into selling just months after purchasing the club.

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More bollocks if you ask me. On top of that, with the investment already made MA would be daft to up sticks now. Football clubs are not like stocks and shares. You can't simply trade them every few months to make money. This is a long term investment and I believe (with no proof other than my own feelings) that MA is here for a while yet.

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More bollocks if you ask me. On top of that, with the investment already made MA would be daft to up sticks now. Football clubs are not like stocks and shares. You can't simply trade them every few months to make money. This is a long term investment and I believe (with no proof other than my own feelings) that MA is here for a while yet.

 

Why would it be daft to sell if he were to sell for a big profit ?

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From The Times

August 21, 2007

New sell-off fears at Newcastle

 

Sarah Butler, Gary Jacob and George Caulkin

 

It has been a summer of change at St James’ Park, but hopes that the onset of a new season might see on-field matters take centre stage were undermined last night when it emerged that Mike Ashley, the club’s billionaire owner, has discussed the sale of Newcastle United to an Icelandic entrepreneur. It is two months since Ashley assumed control on Tyneside.

 

The Times understands that Palmi Haraldsson, a low-profile businessman who has stakes in a string of British retailers including Hamleys, Goldsmiths and the Iceland grocery chain, has held talks about paying more than £135 million to take Newcastle off Ashley’s hands. It is a development that will unsettle the same supporters who so recently hailed the departure of Freddy Shepherd as chairman.

 

Since the end of last season, Sam Allardyce has been appointed manager in succession to Glenn Roeder, the Shepherd and Hall families have cut all significant ties with Newcastle and there has been a turnaround of players, yet further upheaval appears possible. Allardyce has already expressed concern about the effect Ashley’s takeover has had on his transfer plans.

 

Sources claimed that Ashley, one of Britain’s wealthiest and most secretive men, wished to sell the business because he realised he could make a profit and secure a deal that would be beneficial to Sports Direct, his retail chain. Ashley finalised a £133 million deal to buy the club in June without gaining access to Newcastle’s books and only last week had to plough a further £30 million in cash into the club to help to refinance some of the £80 million debt he inherited.

 

 

Haraldsson was not contactable, but he was quoted in the Icelandic media yesterday saying “Newcastle is a great club, with a great manager and I have been a fan for a long time,” suggesting that Allardyce’s position would not be threatened by any takeover. There are also reports linking Alan Shearer, Newcastle’s record goalscorer and still an ambassador for the club, with a role in Haraldsson’s venture.

 

The source confirmed that Haraldsson’s advisers had been in touch with Ashley’s bankers, Kaupthing, who are advising him on options for the club, but that nothing had been agreed and the deal could still collapse. Another source insisted that talks had been at a preliminary stage and were now terminated, but the continuing interest of other parties will remain a source of anxiety to fans.

 

Chris Mort, named as Shepherd’s replacement by Ashley, played down the likelihood of any sale, with a Newcastle spokesman insisting: “It’s news to us.” Since taking his position, Mort, a lawyer, has built bridges with the local community, holding lengthy discussions with fans’ representatives and local MPs.

 

Earlier this month, Mort denied reports that Newcastle would soon be sold again. “He [Ashley] has bought an entire asset here and the plan is to develop it over a lengthy period of time, not turn things around quickly and sell it on again,” he said. “We are here for the long term, this is a long-term project.” Last week, sources said that Ashley had also discussed a sale with a potential Chinese buyer, but had decided to refinance the club instead.

 

If a deal with Haraldsson goes ahead, Newcastle would become the second Premier League club to fall under Icelandic ownership. West Ham United are owned by Bjorgolfur good-mundsson, the chairman of one of Iceland’s biggest banks, Landsbanki, and its Icelandic chairman, the biscuit millionaire, Eggert Magnússon.

 

Haraldsson has made millions from investing in property, airlines and retail firms. He is chairman of Northern Travel Holdings, which owns a number of budget airlines including Finnair and Iceland Express.

 

Ashley launched a surprise £133.1 million takeover bid for Newcastle on May 23, after announcing that he had already bought a 41.6 per cent stake in the club from Sir John Hall. The 42-year-old entrepreneur is ranked at No 25 in the 2007 Sunday Times Rich List, with an estimated fortune of £1.9 billion.

 

While Mort, who has been conducting a review of all club matters, has sanctioned the updating of Newcastle’s training ground and allowed Allardyce to bolster his coaching staff, expenditure on transfers is yet to reflect Ashley’s worth. Although nearly £21 million has been spent on players this summer and more should follow, more than £14 million has been clawed back through sales.

 

During the close season, Allardyce complained that off-field delays were hindering his attempts to remould a Newcastle team that struggled last season in the Barclays Premiership.

 

To date, they have fared better this time, beating Bolton Wanderers 3-1 and drawing with Aston Villa last weekend, but stability, it seems, remains a distant prospect.

 

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/foo...icle2296084.ece

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United dismiss buy-out talk

 

Aug 21 2007

 

by Luke Edwards, The Journal

 

 

NEWCASTLE United last night distanced themselves from speculation that owner Mike Ashley is on the verge of selling the club to an Icelandic consortium less than three months after he launched his own takeover bid.

 

Speculation in Iceland has been mounting for several weeks that an investment group run by businessmen Palmi Haraldsson and Jon Asgeir Johannesson is interested in buying United and that Ashley, contrary to public assurances from chairman Chris Mort that they are “in it for the long haul”, wants to sell.

 

The pair already have large stakes in a number of high street chains in the UK, including frozen food company Iceland, as well as several Scandinavian airlines. Despite the reports in Iceland, which suggest a bid is imminent, a club spokesman said: “These stories are news to us,” while Mort has privately intimated that he is also in the dark about any potential takeover bid.

 

Newcastle have also been linked with a possible takeover by an unnamed Chinese consortium in the last few weeks, although the interest from the Icelandic group appears to have more substance. Neither Haraldsson nor Johannesson have confirmed or denied their interest, although Haraldsson has admitted that he is a fan of the club. He said: “Newcastle is a great club, with a great manager and I have been a fan for a long time.”

 

Despite only gaining complete control of Newcastle from former chairman Freddie Shepherd last month, there have been persistent rumours in financial circles that Ashley will sell if he can make a sizeable profit on the £134m he paid to buy the club’s shares.

 

 

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Whether that is the case remains unclear, although the uncertainty will not be helpful to manager Sam Allardyce as he continues to look for new players to bolster his squad before the close of the transfer window next week.

 

Meanwhile, Stuart Pearce will reward Newcastle defender Steven Taylor with the England Under-21 captain’s armband – if he ever sees the centre-back in another of his squads.

 

Taylor will miss the Under-21 friendly against Romania at Bristol City’s Ashton Gate tonight as he is in Steve McClaren’s senior squad for the full international against Germany at Wembley the following evening. And while Pearce will miss the defender’s battling qualities, he admitted he was delighted to see him progress into the senior squad for the first time, even if it is just for one game at this stage.

 

“Part of my job is to get results and part of it

 

is to get players upgraded,” said Pearce. “I spoke to him on Sunday to congratulate him and tell him he’ll be captaining this side when he’s available to play.

 

“How quickly he gets into the seniors and stays there is a situation on form and injuries and other things. He may be back in my squad for the qualifiers next month, but he has that mentality, like every player should, that you play your football where you are selected and it’s all part of your learning curve.”

 

After Taylor’s heroics at the European Championships in Holland this summer – he could barely walk from an ankle injury but carried on playing against the hosts in the semi-final – Pearce hopes the centre-back is rewarded with a full cap.

 

He added: “Steve will make the final call. If you ask for my personal opinion: would he learn more from playing for me or sitting in the stands watching a game with one or two players ahead of him? For me, playing football is where you learn your trade, without a doubt. The more games he can play the better and that will educate him. If Steve wants to pick him on the bench to bring him on to get him capped that’s ideal. If that’s not the case, he’s a big influence on this squad and we’d love to have him back.”

 

United’s James Milner and Middlesbrough trio Andrew Taylor, David Wheater and Adam Johnson are in Pearce’s squad for tonight’s game.

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