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EPL Club Newcastle Owner Mike Ashley Confirms Plan To Sell Club
Published September 15, 2008
|Ashley Confirms Plans To Sell Newcastle United|
POTENTIAL SUITORS: In London, Rob Stewart reports Newcastle VP Tony Jimenez has "flown to the Middle East to spearhead Ashley's attempts to off-load the club." Dubai Int'l Capital (DIC), which has attempted to buy EPL club Liverpool, "will only be interested in taking the club off [Ashley's] hands at a knock-down price." And Indian businessman Anil Ambani has "publicly ended his interest after failing to get a response from the club" (London TELEGRAPH, 9/15). In Manchester, Louise Taylor reports it is "understood that Ashley tried to make contact with representatives of [DIC] last week." Meanwhile, another possible buyer is Chinese property developer Xu Rongmao, who is "seemingly keen to exploit" Newcastle's stadium grounds by "redeveloping the high-value land around the ground" (Manchester GUARDIAN, 9/15). The TELEGRAPH's Stewart notes other possibilities include Microsoft Chair Bill Gates and former Newcastle Chair Freddy Shepherd, who was banned from the team's stadium under Ashley but "last night claimed he had been approached by two separate consortia to spearhead a takeover" (London TELEGRAPH, 9/15).
Liverpool Fans Hoping Gillette, Hicks
Become Next Owners To Sell Team
AMERICAN FLAVOR: The trend of Americans buying EPL teams was examined by the N.Y. TIMES' PLAY magazine's Joe Nocera, who notes in addition to Hicks and Gillett, Buccaneers Owners the Glazer family owns Manchester United, Browns Owner Randy Lerner owns Aston Villa, and Nuggets and Avalanche Owner Stan Kroenke owns 12% of EPL club Arsenal. Nocera writes Americans have "become fixated on" the EPL partly because "soccer is the most global sport with the greatest reach," and partly because "they think they can make more money there than they can in American leagues like the NFL or the NBA." But the appeal is "mainly because, to a surprising degree, they can act far more like old-fashioned two-fisted capitalists in England than they can" in the U.S. The EPL does not have a salary cap like the NFL and NBA do, and in the U.S., "there are limits on how much teams can market themselves outside the umbrella of the league; the [EPL] has far fewer restrictions" (PLAY, 9/ '08 issue).