Do you guys remember Peter Kenyon?
Kenyon is of course the former Chelsea CEO who was apparently trying to get together an American consortium to purchase Newcastle. The initial Kenyon rumors were brushed off by fans, and rightfully so because it seemed like another Mike Ashley publicity stunt conveniently announced when fans were growing frustrated with the status of the club after yet another disappointing transfer window, an awful start to the season and multiple protests by the Magpie Group were starting to take place.
Evidently, Kenyon’s interest is real according to Luke Edwards of the Telegraph, and his proposed bid has apparently made quite an impact on Mike Ashley. Enough of an impact in fact to make him the “front runner” to purchase the club, despite not actually submitting a formal bid.
Kenyon has reportedly spent the last few weeks gathering funds from his American backers in order to make a bid to purchase Newcastle. Kenyon has impressed Ashley despite not having any proof of funds, something that Mike Ashley has insisted “serious” candidates have. Nonetheless, a price has reportedly been agreed upon and a bid is expected in the next few days.
Meetings between all parties involved are expected to happen over the next few days, and if all goes to plan a formal bid will be submitted. If the terms are agreeable to Ashley Kenyon will be named Chief Executive of the club, and maybe we can begin to spend some cash.
This Kenyon led effort seems to be the candidate(s) Mike Ashley was so excited about during his Sky Sports press tour where he of course proclaimed he wanted the club sold by January, and that it was possible to do so. The Kenyon group has apparently already been given “access to the data room” which contains a detailed breakdown of the club’s finances and projected incomes ahead of a proposed takeover according to Edwards. This is something no other group has had access to, which could mean that Kenyon is “the real deal”.
The progress of a potential sale is wonderful news, but fans should still be skeptical of not only the news surrounding the takeover but the potential buyers as well. The last thing anyone wants is another owner(s) who want invest in the club to return it to glory. The big worries for fans in this situation should be the fact that Mike Ashley lies ( a lot) and that we don’t now much about Kenyon’s consortium.
The consortium not already having gathered their funds is a bit of a worrying sign, and the unknown identities of the members of the consortium is another. It is entirely possible the club gets sold to a group that may not have the means to invest in the clubs like the fans, or Rafa, want them to. You would hope that Mike Ashley’s vetting process would eliminate unfit owners, like he claims; but his advanced talks with Kenyon, who has not shown proof of funds, makes you worry that Ashley is more concerned with selling the club as soon as possible rather than selling the club to the right person.
There is the hope that Kenyon’s consortium is ready to invest, and that hope is completely warranted given he was the CEO of a club who frequently invests in all aspects of their club. Kenyon knows the footballing business better than Mike Ashley, and having him running the ship would be better than our current situation. Kenyon’s knowledge of the business has likely helped him build a consortium that will have the funds to compete in the Premier League, and also understands the amount of investment needed to make the club what it once was.
The convenience of this news, and Mike Ashley’s media tour does make it possible that this is yet another PR stunt by Ashley to set himself up well for the backlash that will come in January. Like many of the takeover stories, this one seems too good to be true. A wealthy consortium led by a man with proper footballing experience seems too good to be true for Newcastle fans, and that may be the case.
The encouraging thing is that Kenyon’s camp has not denied rumors of his interest in purchasing the club, like other rumored party Arthur Blank has. It is also unknown who has been leaking information about this sale to Luke Edwards. It is entirely possible, and honestly pretty likely, that Kenyon’s camp is leaking this information to Edwards. This could be a negotiating tactic to urge Mike Ashley to speed things along, as the article details that Kenyon is on the verge of gathering the funds to make a bid. Or this could be a tactic to get the media and public on the side of Kenyon in case anything bad comes of the situation.
Staveley’sgroup did the same, agreeing to a sit down interview with Luke Edwards, and detailing their entire bid process to Edwards after previously leaking him information during their pursuit of the club.
Edwards also revealed more information about this “mystery billionaire” that both The Telegraph and The Chronicle reported was interested in the club. Edwards revealed that the billionaire has enough capital to pay the £300m fee up front, and has expressed this to Ashley.
Edwards however, did mention that the interested billionaire was not in as advanced talks as the Kenyon group and was upset when Ashley mentioned that there was a group in advanced talks during his interview with Sky Sports.
Edwards reports that there has been little progress with the billionaire’s takeover talks since the previous week, when a price was thought to be agreed upon, which made the billionaire suspicious that there was another party in talks with Mike Ashley who had made further progress. Ultimately, as Ashley proved in his interview, the billionaire was right, but that has not stopped their pursuit of the club.
Neither Edwards or the staff of The Chronicle had anything new to report about the Turkish consortium that is supposedly interested in the club as well. Lee Ryder did provide us with an update this morning about the status of the sale of the club. Lee is claiming that there are two more parties, one from the US and one from the Middle East, that have submitted bids, bringing the number of seriously interested parties to 4.