"There are a lot of questions being asked by certain fan groups that are not understanding why it is taking so long for Newcastle to be sold, or why it is taking so long for Charlton to be sold. Not understanding the vagaries and the peculiarities of how football clubs are bought and sold. It is like any other business, you do something called due diligence, which means that you evaluate what the club has and doesn’t have, its assets and its liabilities. But predominantly in football, the biggest decision is meeting the expectations of an incumbent owner.
"Football is a very immature business in lots of ways. If you look at any other sector there will be banks involved in financing things, institutions involved in financing big transactions of £200m, £300m, £400m, £500m. In football, you don’t see those banks and institutions coming to the fore very often, because they don’t view football as a business that is particularly mature. They look at it and a player is worth £5m then the next minute is worth £50m.
"One minute a club is getting £125m for being in the Premier League and then two and six for being in the Championship. With Newcastle and Charlton, you will see a football club being sold quickly when that football club is in distress. When my football club was in distress, when I ran out of money and hit the buffers, along came the vultures to take it for two and six and make a lot money.
"If you look at Aston Villa, in distress and boom, out flying from nowhere, two billionaire guys. When it comes to football clubs that aren’t in distress with owners that can afford to keep them, at Charlton, Mike Ashley at Newcastle, those clubs are not going to be sold until figure the owners want, whether that is justified or not. The thing about football and we are all guilty of it, we get locked up in Narnia, we forget that the normal world of business doesn’t look at football the same way that we do and the valuations we put on things.
"If you are in League Two or League One, the baker, the candlestick maker, the butcher, are the guys that buy those football clubs. When you are in the Premier League or Championship it is the big guys, that have big dough, that don’t often have an affiliation with the football club and are looking at the economics of it, and are not going to pay £300m for a club like Newcastle, because they are not going to get a return on their money any time soon.
"So the reasons that football clubs like Newcastle and Charlton do not get sold, is because the incumbent owners, will not sell it for anything less than they think it is worth. And there are two valuations, what somebody is prepared to pay and what somebody is prepared to sell it for. In football they are vastly different. So it is not because there are complexities about sell-ons, or about how much players are worth, it is because Ashley wants three or four hundred million quid…and the valuations of those football clubs don’t meet it and it is because planet football lives in a completely different world, and that is why it takes so long. And Ashley doesn’t care if they get relegated, he has proven the fact that it doesn’t cost him anything, so he doesn’t care. The only time Mike Ashley will sell Newcastle is when it really starts to cost him something."