Newcastle fans have waited a long time to hear positive news regarding a change of ownership at the club.
With Mike Ashley’s days supposed to be numbered, Newcastle could once again become a huge force in the Premier League, once the Saudi-led takeover is finalized.
The proposed buyout initially failed last summer and the issues stemmed from claims about Saudi Arabia’s human rights record and accusations of TV piracy.
However, in light of the announcement that Saudi Arabia would lift its ban on broadcaster beIN SPORTS – the piracy dispute has been settled and the takeover can now take place.
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Before Fenway Sports Group acquired ownership of Liverpool in 2010, even before Tom Hicks and George Gillett took over in 2007, there were a number of other contenders and potential buyouts that never took place. .
Steve Morgan against the Prime Minister of Thailand
In 2004, a few years before Hicks and Gillett took over the club, Liverpool-born businessman Steve Morgan attempted to take full control and saw offers rejected.
The Moores family had owned the club for over 50 years and in 2004 the difficult decision was made by majority shareholder David Moores that they had pushed the club as far as possible.
Premier League rivals such as Chelsea were backed by billionaire owners and Liverpool simply did not have the finances to compete.
The search for buyers began and Redrow Homes owner Morgan was turned down a £ 73million offer in May 2004 because it was seen as “undervaluing” the club, but it wasn’t was not the first time he was making an offer.
Earlier that year he was turned down a £ 50million opening bid, but after his significantly restructured bid was rejected, the businessman and the club’s third shareholder reluctantly withdrew his interest and tried to increase his influence.
Of Thailand, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has filed a £ 60million offer for 30% of the shares.
It emerged that the deal would be state-funded via a unique lottery in Thailand, but Shinawatra wanted to have a stake in “any” Premier League club – as revealed by spokesperson Jakrapob Penkair in 2004.
“The PM is aiming for Liverpool but he holds all the Premiership teams in high regard. He wouldn’t care about a Premiership team at all. Ultimately I have to say any team will be fine.” , said Penkair.
Ultimately, Shinawatra’s grand plan fell through and he was forced to walk away as his popularity in Thailand waned and a general election was on the horizon.
Dubai then lost to Hicks and Gillett
Dubai government-owned investment group Dubai International Capital began talks with Liverpool in 2005, but was forced to pull out in January 2007.
A formal offer was made in December 2006, but the deal was moving at a much slower pace than the club wanted.
Former Liverpool FC general manager Rick Parry said in an interview in 2015: “Bearing in mind that the first conversation took place in Istanbul, we are still negotiating with DIC in February 2007.
“And if there’s real summit engagement in Dubai, things don’t take that long. They would come, then they’d go, then they’d come back with a slightly different deal, then they’d go.
“We were missing the transfer window, we have David [Moores] literally lending the club some money to buy Dirk Kuyt to keep us going and there was just something about it where everyone thought it didn’t feel right. “
Liverpool’s board initially rejected George Gillett in favor of Dubai, but he came back with what appeared to be an improved offer and the club wished they had more time to consider it – which ultimately led to the end. of the DIC negotiations.
FSG almost lost ownership of Liverpool to compete
After taking over Liverpool in 2007, it took only three and a half years for Hicks and Gillett to lead the club to the brink of administration.
In October 2010, ownership finally changed hands and Fenway Sports Group was commissioned to rebuild the club.
But that could have been a different story as they weren’t the only ones looking to buy Liverpool in 2010 – Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots and a direct rival of FSG, has considered buying Liverpool twice.
Kraft first got interested in 2007, before the Hicks and Gillett era, and then again in 2010 – but both times he pulled out.
“Robert Kraft would have been a wonderful owner,” former Liverpool CEO Rick Parry said at the Anfield Wrap in 2015. “Another person with a great record in Boston, with the Patriots and the New England Revolution. He came and visited Anfield.
But it seems the second time around, Kraft’s interest was far less real than it was in 2007.
“Bob got involved in this deal because he knew these guys [Henry and Werner] sniffed at the English Premier League, ”a former Patriots executive told Liverpool.com last year. “He had no interest – he couldn’t afford it – but if he could tick them off, it was a victory in our book. And he only cares about winning.
Interest of the Far East
It wasn’t just Kraft who was a potential buyer for Liverpool when Hicks and Gillett were forced to put the club up for sale.
There was interest from China as well as Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim.
It was revealed by The Times in 2010 that the Chinese government was the mysterious sponsor behind a bid for Liverpool Football Club in August of the same year.
Potential foreign buyers were circling around and their offer would bring in a club worth between £ 300m and £ 350m.
Lim, however, also came close to buying the club and he made two offers in a similar region, apparently for £ 300million and £ 320million – both of which were turned down.
He said at the time: “I have tried to engage constructively with the Board and RBS on the basis of an offer, funded from my existing resources, providing greater value to Liverpool Football Club, more money for the players, full repayment of all bank debts and a long-term personal commitment to building a better future for the Club and its supporters.
“The board and RBS chose not to respond or discuss my offer with me. My reps even offered to meet with the board last night. This was ignored.”
Lim was forced to withdraw from the race as the decision had already been made – FSG was to be the new owner of Liverpool Football Club.