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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Mike Ashley – The Billionaire Who Owns Newcastle United

When one talks about the richest English men, Mike Ashley is among the first few names that pop up in one’s mind. One of the smartest entrepreneurs in the world, Mike Ashley is the owner of the popular English football club, Newcastle United.

Ashley is looked at as an introvert who hardly makes public appearances or gives interviews. As per the latest issue of the Forbes magazine, he is the 12th richest man (worth £1.7 billion) in Britain. However, with his club’s, Newcastle United, tickets are once again selling like hot cakes, and he is expected to break into the Top 10 soon.

Ashley grew up in Buckinghamshire and studied at Burnham Grammar School. He married Linda, an economic graduate, in 1988 and has three children with her. However, the two quietly divorced in 2003. The divorce was a major blow to Ashley that changed his financial positions to a huge degree. The settlement, worth £50m, is still among the biggest settlements in the history of the United Kingdom.

Ashley is hardly seen in public, which is why not much is known about his private life. He used to make regular appearances in Newcastle matches when Kevin Keegan was a part of the club. However, since his departure, Ashley is rarely seen attending the matches either.

He is known as a man with a lot of integrity. Some like to call him the whistleblower due to his role in the 2000s industry rival case. He handed evidence to the Office of Fair Trading and played a major role in improving the industry situation that was going out of hands.

This move brought him in the limelight and people started taking notice of his every action. However, one move that caught the most attention was his decision to buy 41.6% stake in Newcastle United in 2007.  He bought the shares from Sir John Hall for one pound each under his company, St. James Holding Limited’s, name.

He was later offered by the club to buy more shares, which he ultimately did when Freddy Shepherd sold his 28% shares to him on 7th June, 2007. By mid 2007, Ashley owned over 75% of the club’s shares, which give him the right to withdraw the company from public trading.

With this move, it was cleared that he was interesting in owning the club, which he ultimately did by paying a total of £134 million within a few months of withdrawing the club from the SE.

He was both praised and criticized for the move when he announced that he was not well aware of the club’s debts when he bought it. However, his involvement proved to be very good for the club as he cleared the club’s liabilities, which allowed the club to grow once again and achieve its long-lost status.

Ashley has stated on several occasions that he is willing to sell the club if he can find a competent seller. He had even put the club on sale in 2008 for a short period of time. Many people believe that he does not enjoy owning the club mainly because he does not have an understanding of the game. He has been criticized on several occasions for moves, such as selling Andy Carroll to rival clubs.

However, Ashley has full support of fans who love his way of handling things. It is clear that Newcastle United is recovering gradually and is aiming towards the top again. Ashley, who is more of a fan of his club, is often seen partying with fans and enjoying the match in the stadium or bars. All these qualities make him one of the most loved club owners.

If you are also Ashley or Newcastle United’s fan then you can get tickets from http://www.onlineticketexpress.com/sports/football/newcastle-united-tickets to watch the team live in action.

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Posted by on October 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Manchester United Ownership: From Glazer to Glazer

The Manchester United Football Club has seen it all – ownership changes, bankruptcy, name changes, peak, and downfall. The club has always passed the test of time and is today among the richest, most loved, and prestigious football clubs.

The MU club entered the stock market in 1990s. At that time there was a major power struggle between the manager, Alex Furgeson, and his horse-racing partners, J.P. McManus and John Magnier, who had become the club’s major stock holders.

The situation required directors to intervene and approach more investors so that MacManus and Magnier’s share could be reduced. This is when the Glazer family, which still owns the club, came into the picture.

Avram Glazer was looking for investment in the UK at that time period. He looked at MU as a good option and purchased the family’s first tranche of MU on 2 March, 2003 for around £9 million on a 2.9% stake.

Glazer family took more interest in the club as it saw a lot of potential in it. It slowly started increasing its investment by buying more shares. Glazer’s shares finally reached 3.17%, which required an immediate action from the board as the club was already facing the danger of a takeover.

However, Glazer continued to buy more shares clearing his intention. By December of the same year, he owned around 15% shares of the club. He also met the club’s chief executive, David Gill, to discuss his intention with him. Things started to get clearer when rumors of Glazer interrogating about a possible takeover became public.

By October 2004, he owned 30% shares, a threshold that required him to formally announce a takeover bid. Glazer continued to take interest in the club by buying shares from other major share holders, such as McManus and Magnier.

2005 saw a major change as Glazer successfully got 75% shares, allowing him to delist the club from the London Stock Exchange. Glazer continued to buy more shares reaching a 98% that gave him the ownership status and full control over the club. This also caused a compulsory buyout of all the remaining shares, making Glazer the only owner of the club.

Following the takeover, the club continued to thrive. Glazer continued to work hard and lead the club to the path of success. After this phase, the club won some major competitions and also signed a lucrative sponsorship deal with AIG.

As everything improved, so did the ticket sales. Manchester United FC tickets started selling like hot cakes resulting in a huge increase in the club’s revenue. Glazer family’s other members, Kevin, Edward, and Darcie also got appointed as non-executive directors in 2006, making it clear that the Glazer family had full control over the club.

However, regarding ownership, there was also a major issue of the loan that the Glazer family had taken to finance the club. The loan that was taken against the club’s assets was divided between the club and the family. In 2011, there were rumors of the family having to sell its share to payback a PIK loan, as the official statement announced that none of the club’s assets were used to do so.

All the changes resulted in several hate clubs too with “Love United Hate Glazer” becoming a famous slogan of fans who loved the club, but wanted different owners to run it. Rumors are that a club called “Red Knights” is planning to overtake the club by pooling in billions of dollars from the supporters. People are waiting breathlessly to see what the future holds for MU, which without a doubt is a hot club.

Nevertheless, those who wish to enjoy their time watching their favorite players bring their best can still buy tickets from http://www.onlineticketexpress.com/sports/football/manchester-united-tickets.