After the Manchester City takeover (and the mad chase for players on the last day), some Premier League club owners came out with their hats in their hands looking for investment or if they were lucky, a big pay day.
In the last month or so, 6 Premier League clubs (Newcastle United, Tottenham, Sunderland, Liverpool, Everton and Portsmouth) have been linked with investors and potential buyouts – let’s look at each club’s current status in the ‘takeover stakes’:
Everton chairman Bill Kenwright has been fishing for a buyer from before Chelsea lost in the league at Stamford Bridge. He’s aware that he’s taken the club as far as he can, but is Everton an attractive investment opportunity? There’s a new stadium to build which might be out of town, then there’s a Champions League neighbour to contend with.
Considering Everton’s recent history, it should be easier for them to find a buyer than Manchester City – and you feel that it’s only a matter of time before they do, but so far Everton have had no luck. The Asians are more interested in Tottenham, it seems.
An American businessman recently ploughed 30m into the Drumaville consortium – considering the sort of expenditures Roy Keane has made in the past couple of seasons they’re going to need more if Sunderland want to be a regular top 10 club and fight for a spot in Europe.
After Newcastle and Tottenham were linked with buyers, there was a rumour that Pompey were up for sale as well. However the owner as since then come and clarified that Portsmouth is not for sale, even though they are in debt and have no money to further invest in the club. Here’s hoping that Diarra and Defoe can keep Portsmouth in the top 10 and in with a shout for Europe.
Once considered the most dysfunctional owners in the Premier League, Liverpool’s twosome have gladly taken a backseat to the shenanigans at Newcastle, the spending in Manchester and the pimping in London. They’ve made a strong start to the season too, and look like a side that would scrape through tough games with a win rather than losing at home to relegation contenders.
If they can make a genuine challenge for the title, maybe that will earn them some respect? At least it will raise the value of the club, and might help with Stanley Park as well.
An Asian businessman is interested in paying 300m-400m for Tottenham, and while the club has received no official offer they made sure to keep their legs uncrossed by telling the press that they would consider any reasonable offers. After their recent start to the season, the last thing they need is major upheaval but if the new owner comes in with a long-term view, it can only be good for Tottenham.
6. Newcastle United
Mike Ashley has single-handedly done what few people thought possible – change the public perception of Newcastle as a club with unrealistic expectations. Unfortunately for Newcastle fans, he’s also turned their club into a laughing stock with no way out for fans or players. A Nigerian consortium is supposedly interested but with the current club situation and global credit crunch, Ashley will be lucky to get more than 200m for Newcastle.
A couple of years ago, when Roman and the Glazers first made their move, we said that football wasn’t all about the money. It’s impossible to say that now – it’s going to get more and more commercialised and the sooner you get in (buy a club in a top division), the better your chances are of making a profit.