Mark Douglas: Latest takeover development is a non starter if accurate

Image for Mark Douglas: Latest takeover development is a non starter if accurate

Chronicle journalist Mark Douglas is not confident that the latest development in Newcastle United’s potential takeover would pass the Premier League’s test.

The Bin Zayed Group have been in talks to buy the Tyneside club from Mike Ashley since May, but there have been very few updates in recent weeks with the Magpies now firmly pressing on with their summer transfer window business.

According to This is Money, American hedge fund Fortress Investment Group, which is backed by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, has been in talks with BZG about potential help in securing the deal to buy Newcastle for between £300million and £350million.

However Douglas is concerned that this approach by BZG could be problematic, especially when it comes to the Premier League’s fit-and-proper-person test.

Speaking via his personal Twitter account, Douglas said: “Not a finance expert but reading between the lines they haven’t got the money and are looking for someone to lend it to them.

“Not good if accurate – not good at all. How do you finance repayments? Through club revenue.”

He added: “It’s a finance proposal that wouldn’t get past [the] Premier League test so it’s a non-starter if accurate.”


Is it about time we give up all hope on BZG buying Ashley out of the club? Nothing seems to have happened in ages and while BZG have confirmed in a number of statements that they have agreed a fee with Ashley, the Premier League and Newcastle United have remained silent. Although Ashley is known for not giving much away, the fact that local news outlets have not had many updates on the situation is worrying. The Sun’s report that kickstarted all of this takeover talk seemed way too good to be true at the time as it make it sound as though the takeover was at a very advanced stage. Yet since that report in May, everything seems to be going backwards. BZG now don’t even seem to have the money to meet Ashley’s asking price. Although we all want Ashley out of Newcastle, do we really want him to be replaced by someone who is going to be owing money to outside investors? Someone will come along eventually but it does not seem as though BZG will be taking over at St James’ Park any time soon.

Share this article