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Volume 6 No. 232
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EPL Side Newcastle United Sale Being Held Up By Relegation Concerns

The proposed takeover of EPL side Newcastle United "has reached a critical stage, with disagreements about the value of the club if it is relegated from the Premier League preventing a quick deal" between Owner Mike Ashley and prospective buyer Amanda Staveley, according to Binham, Vandevelde & Ahmed of the FINANCIAL TIMES. The sides are "still in talks, but questions persist over how to structure a deal" should Newcastle, which has dropped to near the bottom of the league, fall out of English football's top tier, "a failure that would decimate the value" of the club. Contrary to a "flurry of reports that stoked fans' expectations" last week, PCP Capital, the investment company founded by Staveley, has not increased the £250M ($333M) offer it made four weeks ago. Ashley initially sought as much as £400M ($532.9M). Staveley is "resisting paying a high price up front and will not be swayed by promises of a rebate should Newcastle be relegated," according to people familiar with the talks. People close to both sides denied reports that a deal was imminent. The possibility that Newcastle might be relegated for a third time under Ashley's decade-long proprietorship "remains a critical issue." Unless concessions are made soon, a deal "may not be completed before the next transfer window closes in January" (FT, 12/15).