Recent comments from Sir Jim Ratcliffe on looking at English clubs-including Newcastle United-illustrate one of the reasons why the Magpies stay unsold with Mike Ashley putting the club on the block for some two years.
Petrochemicals billionaire Ratcliffe has recently purchased the former Team Sky cycling team and owns the Swiss club Lausanne, worth £ 21 billion. He also decided to invest £ 110million in America's Cup cycling and purchased Nice's Ligue 1 club.
He was still able to buy an English club, but he opted out owning a Premier League club for the time being because the cost is too high.
Quoted £ 3bn for Chelsea, he opted out of the purchase of Newcastle because-it says in the article-opportunities for expansion of St James ' Park "were not great."
Ashley put United on the market two years ago and at his value, which is believed to be between £ 300million and £ 400million, he had interest but nothing. Newcastle would seem to be ideal for a guy like Ratcliffe, who was looking to add another football club to his portfolio.
Yet comments from the Ratcliffe group would indicate that top-flight teams are locking themselves out of the market when they look over the Atlantic instead of the Premier League.
He said: "Ineos has always wanted to take a sensible approach. We don't like squandering money or we wouldn't be where we are now. It's part of our culture, trying to spend sensibly. It's pretty hard to make money so you don't want to lose it." Ratcliffe bought Nice for less than £ 100million, buying a club in France with a potential to contend for the championship – or at least make it into the Playoffs.
He would get Newcastle for £ 300million, but to make them successful, there would have to be another £ 100million investment in infrastructure and the game workers. Which seems to be probably the reason for the lack of progress on the sale–Ashley thinks he has a valuable asset, but for investors who want a return, there is not much interest in it.
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