It’s that time of year again, as the disappointment of the transfer window seems to ease with the realization that nothing can be down now. The obligatory Takeover talk has started. It’s almost as if Newcastle United are running to their own calendar.
Almost a year to the day, a relatively unknown quantity in Amanda Stavely (representing the PCP Group) was present as the Toon managed a draw at home against a very good Liverpool side, and the talk of investors coming in to end the tyrannical reign of Mike Ashley seemed like it could be ending. However as we all know that never happened, with both sides eventually taking digs at each other as to why the takeover never happened. All of which can to an abrupt halt after the January Transfer window had slammed shut.
Fast forward a year, and it seems to be Deja-vu all over again. As last Saturday, two hours before we were due to kick off against Leicester, the news broke that seemed to give people a lift, a sense of hope that the current regime could be on its last legs. The news broken by Sky News that former Manchester United and Chelsea Chief Executive Peter Kenyon, with the supposed backing of American money, were looking to buy our beloved club.
This undoubtedly sent every supporter of the club trying to go through the report with a fine toothcomb to try and find any flaws in the report, or whether it was a ploy by Ashley’s people to get us believing again. Let’s be honest, who can blame us for being skeptical when it comes to our club, and any talk of a light at the end of the tunnel, however faint.
Since the news broke on Saturday afternoon, there has been no more talk from the Kenyon camp (the story was apparently leaked by one of his aides) but a report out of the Middle East, in The National, stated that Kenyon may be struggling to find an investor with the money to buy the club, and any interested investors from that part of the world, including PCP, wouldn’t be looking at the club while we sit near the bottom of the table.
The main problem with selling the club seems to stem all to one man, Mike Ashley. PCP were not enamored by Ashley’s disappearing act last year, and the general non-committal stance he took in trying to sell the club. Today news broke, from minutes from an early hearing in Ashley trying to recoup £3m back from former employee Tony Jimenez, that a possible sale to Sheik Mansour fell down because of an incident by Ashley in a bar in Dubai.
Nevertheless, we know Ashley doesn’t really stick to the rules when it comes to business, but if the reports of Kenyon looking to buy the club with backing, could end a different way. Ashley may have a big ego, but Kenyon has undoubtably worked with bigger ego’s in his impressive football CV, top of that list could be current Chelsea owner Roman Abramovic.
Personally I am begging for these reports to be right, and I get the feeling that Kenyon isn’t the sort of person to let his business dealings play out in the media. If I had a choice between him and Stavely, I would much prefer Peter Kenyon in charge of the club. He has worked with high profile managers before, and had resounding success with Ferguson at Man U, but he is a football man, knows the region with his work with Steve Gibson at the Boro, and will turn us back into a Football Club, instead of a massive billboard for Sports Direct and its subsidiaries. Stavely although will have Middle Eastern money behind her, and a credible owner, is a business woman. With Rafa being the quintessential football man, what better type of person to help and back our beloved manager, than another Football man, with a history of success at the highest level.