Philip Anschutz, American billionaire and MLS’ LA Galaxy owner has been touted by The Telegraph as a serious contender for buying Newcastle United.
To be honest, I doubt his interests very much. AEG might own LA Galaxy and part of Houston Dynamo and Hammarby IF, but buying Newcastle would be a) an investment on a whole different level and b) madness if he’s agreed to Ashley’s full asking price.
Last week, Keith Harris, the chairman of City bankers Seymour Pierce, confirmed a field of seven potential buyers had been drastically narrowed down to two ‘serious contenders.’
And wherever LA Galaxy is mentioned, David Beckham is in the news too. If Anschutz were to take over Newcastle there would be a strong possibility that he’d bring his marquee brand over from Galaxy to Newcastle to help make money, although I strongly doubt that a) Beckham would flourish in England and b) he’d want to come to Newcastle when he can go play in Milan for a while and party in LA for the rest of the year.
Bottom line, Anschutz is a good bet given his portfolio but there are still other players in the mix, so unless AEG pay full fare or the other buyers don’t come through, it’s not a done deal yet.
And of course, the question is whether he can pay Mark Ashley’s asking price – although this should be a bit easier now with the dollar getting a lot stronger against the pound, going from touching 2.00 at one point back down to 1.55 today, which represents nearly $100m saved if you consider 250m pounds as a realistic asking price.