Sky News broke the story on Monday evening; announcing a formal offer in the region of £300m, had been made by PCP Capital Partners for Newcastle United. What followed was a mad scramble by sports media outlets, all stratching their heads at why the story had broken on a news channel and not through a dedicated sports source. Facebook and Twitter erupted with sports reporters and fans alike filling their own personal pages and column inches with thoughts and opinion on what is going on; what will happen next and what the final outcome will be. And quite frankly, it’s no surprise.
PCP Capital Partners are the only show in town; offering the full and undivided attention of anyone who has any interest in the future of the black and white stripes. The club is crying out for a change of ownership; the current owner has told us so, therefore it is natural that we all want news that signals that this change will happen. Fans want a new beginning; an end of the Mike Ashley era. They want Rafa Benitez at the helm of that new beginning; driving the club forward supported by owners with similar ambition.
How the story broke is intriguing. A News Channel breaking a sports story via a business correspondent tells you that this has more likely come from a source in the city rather than a sports media hack. Those with the most to say on this matter seem to be business correspondents normally heard providing opinion on the impact of Brexit, our future trade arrangements and whether we will soon be returning to bendy bananas and calling French Toast Eggy Bread.
By Tuesday afternoon Sky News were wheeling out David Buik, a financial pundit and former City of London bigwig at BGC Partners to pass opinion on PCP Capital Partners, their clients and the fact that, with their deep pockets they should simply see Mike Ashley’s asking price as a price worth paying. That would be an asking price that Mike Ashley has never disclosed btw. Buik supports Fulham FC. In his opinion Newcastle United is worth in excess of £380m.
Neither side benefits from any perceived breach of confidentiality therefore one would hope that neither Mike Ashley Holdings nor PCP Capital Partners sees this leak as problematic. Indeed, the fact that no statements have been forthcoming from either party tells you that they are still at the table; probably a little bit more wary of each other but nonetheless still sitting and talking. If common ground on a price can be reached then PCP capital Partners and Mike Ashley Holdings will enter into a period of exclusivity and until the white smoke that signals that exclusivity can be seen drifting over SJP speculation will emanate while Facebook and twitter will continue to spout degrees of panic and hope in equal measure.
But through all this, fans need to be patient. Good things come to those who wait!