Thursday, 4 June 2009

Time running out for Newcastle United takeover!

TIME is starting to run out on the Toon takeover talks, experts have warned.

The summer months are a time when clubs do the key transfer deals that will boost their chances for the following season.

But with no firm buyer yet on the horizon, Newcastle United face spending this vital time in limbo, and starting next season under-prepared.

Professor of accounting at Newcastle Business School Richard Slack said a summer of uncertainty could have far-reaching implications.

He said: “There are two key things for a club in this period.

“The first is season ticket sales. The club do have people on three-year deals, but that is a limited number.

“In terms of their relegation it becomes very problematic.

The massive uncertainty that surrounds the ownership, and particularly the manager, is going to affect the sales, and this is even more important because of the reduction in television money the club is facing.

“The other thing is the management of the playing squad. Normally a manager would be using the summer months to shape his squad for the following season.

“With the club having no-one in place it is very difficult to make decisions on players they want to leave and those that the club may want to sign.”

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Ashley: Get me out of here now!

MIKE ASHLEY has revealed he wants to sell crisis club Newcastle ASAP.

Retail tycoon Ashley apologised for mistakes he made this season as the Magpies were relegated from the Premier League.

And he is ready to offload the club for around £100million and recoup some of his massive investment.

He said: "It has been catastrophic for everybody.

"I've lost my money and I've made terrible decisions.

"Now I want to sell it as soon as I can. Advisers will be appointed shortly."

Ashley tried to sell Newcastle last year after fans' angry reaction to boss Kevin Keegan's departure.

Keith Harris, chairman of investment bank Seymour Pierce, scoured the world looking for buyers after being asked to do so by Ashley.

Seven different consortia were provided with prospectuses outlining details of the club's financial standing.

Groups from Nigeria and South Africa were linked with buy-out bids.

But none of the interested parties came up with an acceptable deal and Ashley opted to put a hold on his plans to sell.

Ashley, who bought the club in 2007, said: "Of course I regret it.
"I never said I was an expert in football clubs.

"I was just a fan - although a very wealthy fan.

But I'm not so wealthy now.

"I put my money into it and I tried my best.

But I accept my best was woefully short.

"I am genuinely sorry for everybody about what has happened."

Damien Duff has urged on Shearer to stay on!

With the club now up for sale, the Irishman feels that Shearer should become the permanent manager...

Toon Army midfielder Damien Duff has stated that he feels Alan Shearer is the only man who should the club's manager.

The Newcastle legend was brought in by owner Mike Ashley for the remaining eight games of the season, in a bid to retain the Magpies Premier League status.

However, Shearer could not save the club from the drop and the they found themselves relegated on the last day of the season, after a defeat to Aston Villa.

The manager's post is still far from permanently occupied at St. James' Park, with manager Joe Kinnear suffering from illness halfway through the season, and Shearer's future with the club still very much undecided.

Duff has made it clear who he feels should be at the helm of the club, stating that Shearer is the one who must be given the role.

Speaking to The Sunday Mirror, Duff said, "Alan Shearer is the only man for the job. I am sure it will be him."

The Magpies have just been put on the market by Ashley, who has set an asking price of £100 million, and could even accept a £90 million bid for the club.

The team's current position means that a massive change, in terms of playing staff, is expected, with many of the club's top players set to leave St. James' Park.

Duff has said that he would like to remain with the club, but admits he is unsure of where his future lies.

"Newcastle is a club that belongs in the Premier League, so hopefully they will endure only one season in the Championship," he said.

"There are budgets in the Championship. I am sure the gaffer knows who cares about the club and who wants to stay.

"There is going to be a massive clear-out, but I haven't thought about my future that much."
The Republic of Island international has been at the club since 2006, moving from Premier League rivals Chelsea, and has made 68 Premier League appearances for the club, scoring four times.


Alan Shearer must rein in his contractual demands or, it is understood, Newcastle United will look elsewhere to appoint their manager.

It is believed that Shearer was close to agreeing a four-year deal to take over at St James' Park last week but unless he lowers his wage demands the club will look to an experienced manager to guide them out of the Championship next season.

Mike Ashley, the owner, values Shearer's popularity with the supporters but does not want to give a lucrative contract to an inexperienced manager, lacking in coaching qualifications, who failed to keep the club in the Premier League. According to insiders Shearer also wants to gain control of transfer decisions and has apparently demanded that chairman Derek Llambias take a less high profile role in the running of the club.

In his eight games in charge as interim manager, Shearer's side won one game, drew two and only scored four goals. But Shearer enjoyed being in charge and can count on the loyalty of the supporters who revered him as a player. That could confer a commercial benefit at the turnstiles, but balanced against that are Ashley's concerns that he might find it difficult to sell the club should Shearer and his management team sign lucrative contracts with control over transfer policy.

Newcastle need over the summer to cut dramatically their wage bill, which, according to the most recent figures, stands at £74 million. The squad is riddled with 'toxic assets', players on long contracts at wages in excess of £50,000 a week. Finding buyers willing to take on the wages of Damien Duff, Geremi and Alan Smith will prove exceedingly difficult in the financial climate.

With Michael Owen and Mark Viduka having finished their contracts and Obafemi Martins certain to leave, Shearer is already planning to recruit goalscorers for next season, with Leeds United's Jermaine Beckford a priority. Beckford is available for £2 million after contract talks with Leeds broke down. However, Shearer must negotiate his own terms before he can even begin overhauling the squad.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

NUFC ready to listen to offers for Oba Martins!

NEWCASTLE United are ready to listen to offers for their £8m hitman Obafemi Martins.
And with Michael Owen and Mark Viduka looking certainties to leave Tyneside unless they are prepared to take massive pay cuts, it will leave United with an all-new strike-force.

Young guns Andy Carroll and Nile Ranger will be keen to make their mark, but Alan Shearer will also be looking to add an experienced frontman who can cope with the rigours of battling it out with Championship defences.

Martins has been linked with a move to Serie A outfit Fiorentina, but it’s understood that a clutch of Serie A sides are also interested in taking him back to Italy. United signed Martins from Inter Milan under Glenn Roeder, but while the Nigeria international has proved to be a popular figure on the terraces, he has endured a season of frustration due to injury.

Martins left Shearer far from happy just hours before the Stoke City away game last month when complaining of a recurrence of his groin injury meaning that the Newcastle manager had to re-jig his tactics and system shortly before the game, after a week of preparing a side including the number 9.

Yet the Chronicle understands that Martins would consider quitting the Magpies to return to Italy following last Sunday’s relegation to the Championship. Martins has been a frequent visitor to Milan since joining the black and whites and still has a lot of love for the country in which he made his name.

And after eight goals during an injury hit campaign, he could be ready for pastures new.
Martins was hurt while scoring a goal in the 3-0 win away to Portsmouth in December and surgery in Germany with renowned groin specialist Dr. Ulrike Muschaweck followed early in January.

But he never seemed to be the same player after the operation and it quickly emerged that Martins required more treatment.

Martins struggled on in the latter part of the campaign after Shearer asked him to play through the pain barrier in order to help retain top-flight status, and his most positive response was his strike against Middlesbrough in the 3-1 win after coming off the bench. This week he notified the Nigerian FA that he was unable to play in last night’s friendly for the Super Eagles, nor the World Cup qualifier with Kenya on June 7.

However, Martins will travel with the Nigerian side to offer support to his team-mates.
Martins has scored 34 goals since signing for Newcastle in his three seasons on Tyneside and his departure would also free up another large chunk of the Toon’s £74m wage bill.

Meanwhile, United are understood to be making around 150 staff redundant in the wake of their relegation to the Championship.

The club has yet to confirm the scale of the job losses as it restructures for life outside the Premier League.

"JOEL: i dont want him to go, because when hes on the pitch it shows that he wants it and also shows a different character than most others because of his pace."