What We Have Taken Away From The GACP Sports Brochure – And What It Is Missing

Former Manchester United and Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon is back in the news after a sensational report that he has made a second attempt to buy Newcastle United from the likely unwilling clutches of Mike Ashley.

This time Kenyon comes backed by the American group GACP Sports who are also part owner of French club Bordeaux. Though Ligue 1 commentator David Crossan pointed out on Twitter that they own just 14%.

The latest bid from Kenyon and his group is reportedly £300m and Ashley has 10 days with which to respond. This amount, however, is short of the reported £350m deal that the Bin Zayed Group were trying to get done this summer.

That deal, details of which are very much in the dark and may never come to light, quickly dissipated as soon as Mike Ashley gave his interview to Martin Samuel in the Daily Mail – the same outlet that has broken this latest takeover attempt.

Mike Ashley made the following comments in that interview with Samuel:

“The last bid, the one from UAE, he’s a prince and he’s got £38bn or £100bn, all these numbers — well, why would you even care what you’re paying then? What difference would £10m either way make? You would want speed, you would want certainty, you would want the keys and to get on with it.”

That’s an interesting comment and could lead one to suspect that Ashley moved the goalposts on BZG, but we’ll likely never find out the ins and outs of that supposed deal.

However, if Ashley was so concerned about an extra £10m why would he be willing to sell to Kenyon for less than he wanted from BZG? If this latest takeover attempt has any credence, we would expect Mike Ashley to turn it down. However, we must put an emphasis on the word “if”.

These latest takeover rumors, though, have come with a 46 page brochure which can be read here. This brochure is not likely to fill many Newcastle fans with much confidence in these new potential owners. While there are many issues with the report, we found two to be concerning for most Newcastle fans.

Two of the major complaints we have with Mike Ashley’s running of Newcastle United is continuing to buy players solely for their resale value along with a lack of investment in the club’s infrastructure. The brochure puts in writing that it plans to “sell top talent” for reinvestment in the squad. It also has nothing that we could find about investing in the club’s training facilities.

Here is page 18 of the report which simply is a screenshot of the website transfermarkt.com listing the “market value” of each Newcastle player. It is apparent from this list of players that this is an older screenshot from the website as it still has players like Ayoze Perez and Joselu listed, among others. While transfermarkt.com is an excellent website, it’s valuation of players is not known to be their best feature.

The following is page 21 from the brochure which outlines “On Pitch” and “Off Pitch” opportunities for to increase the value of Newcastle United.

Under the “On Pitch” section is the following statement:

With a transfer strategy in place, the Club would be positioned to sell top talent for significant sums allowing for continued substantial reinvestment into the squad

The “Off Pitch” section then states that it hopes to increase commercial revenue from £22m to £61m. Earlier in the brochure, the major selling point to investors was the high television revenue that Premier League clubs receive. So why exactly would Newcastle need to sell their top players to increase the value of the club?

We understand that this brochure is meant to lure investors but the whole reason why Mike Ashley’s model is a moot point now is because there is no need to sell your “top talent”. The club gain enough revenue to complete in the transfer market without having to sell players.

We also have completely bypassed the contention that Steve Bruce has had unparalleled success in Europe. That is also on page 21. Why was this brochure not updated with a current squad if it also mentions Steve Bruce as manager? Also what success has Steve Bruce had in Europe?

In short, even if this is a real attempt to buy Newcastle by Peter Kenyon and GACP Sports, we are a little concerned at what they would have in store for the club.

However, the motto of “Anyone But Ashley” is certainly a tempting one.

This article was originally posted here