Takeover watchers noted Mike Ashley’s QC Nick de Marco won two notable wins this week – on behalf of the PFA in the EFL salary cap and in the Harvey Elliot compensation case.
The notebook learns that the consortium has “utmost confidence” in the strength of Ashley’s argument against the Premier League and in the belief that a deal to buy Newcastle can still be brokered.
That is the word from above from those trying to revive a deal that has been dormant since the summer – despite attempts to bring it to life with political pressure and further discussions with the Premier League this fall. Ashley is now pursuing legal action with De Marco, whose two victories this week show how impressive he is on sports proceedings, one of those hired to aid the arbitration.
It is believed that competing interest in the club remains, but Ashley is focused on the PIF-driven deal that is on the backbone. RedBall Acquisition Corp, which recently tried to buy a stake in Liverpool before a deal was hit, is looking into several options for the Premier League – including United.
Joe DaGrosa, whose GACP Capital group was recently in advanced negotiations for United, was attributed an interest this week when his deal for Southampton stalled.
(Image: Sky Sports)
Bellagraph Nova Group’s bold offer to buy Newcastle United hit the headlines last year, but concerns of two of the men behind it continue.
Nelson Loh, one of two cousins believed to be driving the offer when it was released this fall, has been declared bankrupt in a Singapore court.
He left the country in late 2020, which resulted in Cousin Terence – also facing bankruptcy proceedings – claiming he felt “cheated”. He had come under heavy criticism of a ridiculous “offer” to buy Newcastle that included photos rigging, outrageous allegations that he might have bought Cristiano Ronaldo and incredible attempts to convince journalists that they had the money to run the club to buy.
Loh has now been declared bankrupt. The Straits Times reported that he had “paid no outstanding debt of over $ 14 million to DBS Bank” and was declared bankrupt in December – the case only surfaced recently.
Of all the offers to buy the club in recent years, it can be said with certainty that this offer has dissolved the most spectacularly.
Newcastle will lose up to £ 25million in matchday earnings this season, raising questions about how much manager Steve Bruce’s transfer budget will be cracked this summer.
United’s annual financial statements are due this spring – the last year was released in May – and include detailed revenue of £ 51 million for game days and commercial revenues. This is hugely influenced by playing behind closed doors – with ticket sales down to zero – and other corporate events.
With the return of Magic Weekend this season, if Covid restrictions allow, there is an opportunity to win some money back, but there is an element of financial realism about how much Newcastle can spend this summer.
Expiring contracts and the TV money allow them to invest, but most clubs in the Premier League have to tighten their belts. Last summer’s spending was funded in part by funds saved by not spending anything in January 2020.
A move for US U23 international Chris Gloster from PSV Eindhoven in January was nullified due to Brexit regulations, according to sources.
Gloster is a promising left-back who has caught the attention of United Scouts. In the past few years, he may have been able to sign a contract based on residence. However, due to the new Premier League rules, he has not played enough games for PSV’s first team to qualify for automatic approval.
Newcastle will continue to oversee Gloster, who was available in January as he seeks more games for the first team.
Newcastle are looking for center-backs to refresh their squad for next summer.
Fede Fernandez and Fabian Schar both no longer have a contract and could both go on – while Steve Bruce has told the Boy Scouts to identify possible targets in both England and Europe.
United’s center-backs group has been stellar for three seasons but there have been more injuries lately and there is confirmation that the club may need to shuffle their pack in the closing season.
Ciaran Clark was handed a new deal earlier this year.