Last night fresh claims of a potential Newcastle United takeover surfaced. This is the fourth “substansial” takeover rumor in the past 3 years. Like the Staveley rumor, original Kenyon rumor, and the BZG rumor this fresh takeover claim comes at a time where fan tensions with the club are at an all-time high.
Craig Hope and Matt Hughes of the Daily Mail were the first to report the transfer rumor, a rebuffed takeover bid from Peter Kenyon in conjunction with Florida based investment group GACP Sports. The full story can be found here.
The bid is a £300m bid for the club, a number that is in the £300-£350m range Mike Ashley has reportedly toyed with over the past 3 years. The bid involves a £125m immediate down payment from the group with a further £175m to be paid over the next 3 years to Ashley with 3% interest.
Additionally, the bid outlines plans for investment, with the most notable piece of information being that the group plans to immediately put forth £50m towards transfers in the upcoming transfer window. This number is of course lower than what Newcastle spent this summer, but is still a fair bit of cash to invest in the winter window.
Unfortunately for the fans, Sports Direct would be granted signage and advertising rights at St James’ Park until the full fee for the club has been paid.
The Daily Mail got the majority of the information regarding this bid from a packet they received that was sent out to potential investors. The Chronicle have posted the document here, if you want to comb through the 46 page document.
The investment group paired with Kenyon for this bid is no stranger to football, as they are owners of Ligue 1 side Bordeaux. Initially it was thought that GACP were the sole owners of Bordeaux, but it has been uncovered that they actually own less than 20% of the club.
#nufc GACP front Bordeaux but they own only 14% with their partners King Street owning 86%. Bordeaux fans weren’t happy with summer transfer spending but recent results under Paulo Sousa have been good (6 unbeaten and counting)— David Crossan (@davidmcrossan) September 27, 2019
This could be a good thing as it’s possible GACP have sold some of their Bordeaux shares in order to finance this move for Newcastle, meaning that there could be a fair bit of investment put into the club immediately. The more likely conclusion is that the group is likely going to need some outside investment in order to take the club to the next level.
The largest cause for concern is the fact that for some reason Kenyon and GACP are planning on keeping Steve Bruce in charge, which leads me to believe they are either lying or haven’t watched the club this season.
If this sale happens, Kenyon would step in as CEO of the club while GACP monitors the club from the U.S. It is entirely possible we would see them at matches at less often than we saw Ashley, just due to the distance between Newcastle and Florida.
Peter Kenyon, who is a personal friend of Mike Ashley, has always been a frontrunner to buy the club as long as he had funds. I am sure you all can relate to wanting to sell something to your friends, rather than total strangers.
That being said, I would still remain skeptical of this deal happening. GACP have not done enough in my eyes to prove they have the funds to take the club forward. Additionally, this another bid with documents leaked prior to a deal being agreed upon, which is never a good sign. Most takeovers are private, and are not announced until the League office has signed off on it. Finally, you must consider the timing. Newcastle are failing to fill up St. James Park for the first time in years, boasting the lowest capacity percentage in all of the Premier League. Mike Ashley again is being criticized by fans in public, Steve Bruce is an embarrassment of a manager and of course Newcastle are hovering around the relegation zone as we draw closer to the winter window.