International edition
September 24, 2021

Newcastle United said it received two offers of at least us$ 161.8 million

bwin named in Newcastle football club takeover rumors

(UK).- There is increasing speculation in the UK that online gaming operator bwin is putting together a us$ 161.8 million package to acquire Newcastle United F.C, one of the most fervently supported football clubs in the UK.

T

he club was put up for sale by its owner Mike Ashley in the wake of the club's relegation from the Premiership in May.

A group of bwin executives are said to have been shown around the club's St James' Park stadium earlier this week, according to The Guardian newspaper, after the company initially made contact with the club to enquire about a possible shirt sponsorship deal in place of incumbent Northern Rock.

A move by bwin to purchase the club would be a significant statement of intent by a company that is renowned for sport sponsorship deals, especially within the football market, with the company having a number of shirt sponsorship agreements already with top football sides including AC Milan and Real Madrid.

bwin could however just be interested in the club as a 'bargain' deal on offer. Sportswear tycoon Mike Ashley paid us$ 216 million for the club two years ago and has since injected up to us$ 178 million of his own money to pay off some of its debts.

However a disastrous spell in charge of the club, including a series of protests and demonstrations following Kevin Keegan's departure as manager, culminated this year in the club's relegation to the Football League Championship for the first time in 16 years. Mr Ashley initially put the club up for sale for us$ 647 million last September but following the club's departure from the top flight of English football, the value of the club has since plummeted.

A quick return to the Premiership could see the value of the club rise again however and with the Toon Army fans said to be the most 'loyal' football supporters in England, the club still maintains the third highest capacity football stadium in the country with over 52,000 seats.

Newcastle United FC said that it received two offers of at least us$ 161.8 million last week for the club, with a Malaysian consortium and former club Chairman Freddy Shepherd also said to have had discussions with the club. The identities of the bidders have not been disclosed since all parties have signed non-disclosure agreements before being granted access to the club's financial accounts.

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