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Volume 6 No. 194


EPL side Newcastle United is being put up for sale at the "right time" by Owner Mike Ashley and is in a "healthy position," sport finance expert Dan Plumley said, according to the BBC. Ashley bought the club, which was promoted to the Premier League last season, for £134.4M in '07 and "hopes to sell by Christmas." Newcastle turned over £126M in '15-16 and Plumley, a senior lecturer in sport business management, believes it is now worth "in the region of £300M." He said, "It is an attractive proposition." Plumley, from Sheffield Hallam University, based his estimate on the club's matchday, commercial and broadcasting revenues, plus the assets of St. James' Park and the training ground. He also pointed to "intangible" assets such as Newcastle's fan base, history, players and manager, while its current league position of ninth "helps drive the potential price up." Plumley: "There are far more positives than negatives in terms of the standing of the club. The club is in a healthy position to attract a buyer at this point in time." Plumley also believes Newcastle's fan base -- driven by the fact it is a one-club city -- is an "important part of the valuation Ashley can realistically expect." Plumley added, "From a negotiations point of view, the valuation will take into account their current position, their passionate fan base, the fact they sell out the stadium regularly, the high demand to watch games and their history. All those things push the valuation up" (BBC, 10/17).

STAVELEY TEMPTED?: In London, Burt & Edwards reported Amanda Staveley "still appears interested in buying Newcastle United." Staveley, whose PCP Capital Partners firm is understood to control up to £30B ($39.6B) of Middle Eastern wealth, is believed to have identified Newcastle as the "most viable Premier League club to purchase although a deal is some way off." The financier has failed in two attempts to buy Liverpool, most recently offering at least £1.2B for the club, so she "could easily afford Newcastle." A number of potential buyers have reportedly signed non-disclosure agreements which prevent them from discussing any details of a takeover attempt, although there are "conflicting reports regarding how much it will cost to buy." Talk of Chinese investment has "receded given the change of policy there about buying foreign sports teams" (TELEGRAPH, 10/16).

McLaren Formula 1 co-Owner Mansour Ojjeh said that the Woking team's split with F1 engine partner Honda will be good for both parties, "likening the situation" to a marriage that did not work out. Ojjeh believes that "Honda tried as hard as it could." He said, "I don't think I have to explain it's been tough. It's been tough for them also. I don't think it was a lack of effort, and I don't think it was a lack of effort on our part. It just didn't work. It's like irreconcilable differences in a marriage or something. I think it's the right decision that we go our ways" (MOTORSPORT, 10/17).

Middlesex County Cricket Club lost its appeal against the two-point penalty imposed by the England & Wales Cricket Board following its abandoned game against Surrey. It means its relegation stands and the '16 county champion will start the '18 season in Division Two. Middlesex was relegated by a point after losing its final match of the season against Somerset. However, Middlesex claimed "there were grounds for an appeal" against the penalty after the match against Surrey "was stopped when a crossbow bolt was fired into the Oval" (London GUARDIAN, 10/17).

Man City announced the launch of a new fan experience at its City Football Academy. The club’s new first team experience tour "will give fans an insight into the inner workings of the facility and how players train and prepare for matches." Fans will be guided through the players’ changing rooms, boot room, gym areas, pitches, private lounge and "analysis theatre," where tactics and gameplay are discussed (BDAILY, 10/17).