Likelihood of a Newcastle takeover before the New Year is 'fanciful', says Christian Purslow
Last Updated: 05/12/17 7:38am
Newcastle owner Mike Ashley could be forced to wait until the end of the season for a takeover to be completed, according to former Liverpool managing director Christian Purslow.
Ashley, who took control at St James' Park in 2007, announced his intention to sell the Premier League side in October while his lawyer confirmed he was keen to conclude a sale before Christmas.
Financier Amanda Staveley submitted a formal takeover offer a fortnight ago, although some way short of the £400m he told Sky Sports in August that he wanted and Purslow has described any potential deal coming to fruition before the New Year as "fanciful".
"Her (Staveley) view on value and Mike Ashley's are some way apart but critically she is also starting to be concerned about relegation risk," Purslow told Sky Sports News.
"Offering an owner of a Premier League team a deal that says, 'I will give you £250-300m, but if in August I find myself in the Championship I'd like a refund of a £100m' [then] Mike Ashley is never going to accept a deal like that.
"The more likely sequence of events, I am not saying it is impossible, is that buyers wait to see where Newcastle settle and once their Premier League fate is secure then a deal gets done by the end of the season.
"But the idea that a deal is going to happen in the next few weeks, let alone at levels that are way below what Mike Ashley's asking price was, is fanciful. I think by the end of the season is when the club gets sold."
Sky Sports News understands that Staveley's PCP Partners want a relegation compensation clause included in any deal to buy the club.
The Magpies have endured a slump in form in recent weeks which has seen them drop from seventh, in October, to their current position of 15th and Purslow believes it would be "crazy" for a prospective owner to commit with a bid at this stage.
Purslow said: "A run of poor form can turn a team in seventh place, everything looking rosy, into a team where the possibility of relegation starts to loom.
"The significance of that is that when you are buying or selling a football club, the valuation is directly linked to the revenue performance of that club. A club in the Championship is worth substantially less, a fraction of a club in the Premier League.
"Mike (Ashley) was rushing, positively rushing to capitalise on Newcastle's very good start to the season in the summer and autumn. We are now moving into these long winter days [and] Newcastle have had a very bad run of form.
"For any potential acquirer of Newcastle, today, to commit to a valuation would be a very bold move because if the club was relegated that value would look crazy."
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