Peter Kenyon’s Newcastle takeover bid reflects chaos engulfing club on and off pitch

  • 2018-06-07 08:50:02 16 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
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  • โดย: ห้องข่าวบันเทิง Workpoint

PETER KENYON’S torturous takeover attempt is typical of the chaos engulfing Newcastle both on and off the pitch.

The former Manchester United and Chelsea chief executive’s interest in buying the Toon first became public in September.

 Peter Kenyon's Newcastle takeover bid reflects the chaos engulfing the club on and off the pitch

But four months later, Kenyon is still scrabbling around for investors to raise £300million to take the club off Mike Ashley’s hands.

And fans must now fear that, should his consortium somehow get the keys to St James’ Park, it is not going to be the game-changer Newcastle need.

Of course, most of the Toon Army would be happy with  anyone but Ashley in charge — and they are encouraged by  Kenyon’s reputation in the game.

But if he is struggling to find funds at this stage, what cash would there be to purchase players and push Newcastle up the  Premier League?

 Kenyon is struggling to find investors to join his takeover group

Kenyon’s proposed takeover has been the talk of the Toon ever since Ashley announced last month he was closer than ever to a sale.

Then, it was hoped a deal could be completed by the New Year.

But Ashley’s Sky News interview was met with scepticism from  supporters, who saw it as a tactic to not put money in this month.

That led to last week’s leaking of a letter Kenyon sent him before Christmas — an attempt to prove the Sports Direct tycoon is a  willing seller despite what some fans think.

 Mike Ashley is still in charge and not putting any money in for transfers, angering fans

In the letter, Kenyon declared his delight that Ashley viewed his investor group as “the best fit” to buy him out.

He admitted to being “frustrated” at the slow progress but had a “serious determination to finalise the agreement as soon as possible”.

Kenyon confirmed he had “invested heavily in time and money on various legal and financial advisors”.

But it increasingly seems like that letter was just a bid to buy more time. SunSport revealed last month Kenyon was still £100m short of Ashley’s asking price, weeks after he had been allowed to look over the books.

We now understand he is searching for backers who can invest £1m each — and even then he would only be able to pay Ashley in  instalments staggered over the year.

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Sources insist there is another party which is  interested in buying Newcastle.

But they are said to be in a similar boat to Kenyon’s  consortium —  a group of  investors rather than one wealthy individual.

It all leaves the troubled Toon in a state of flux in what is a critical month, as they need to seriously strengthen their squad to steer clear of relegation.

Indeed, manager Rafa Benitez declared in December that  Newcastle would need a “miracle” to stay up — a comment which did not go down well inside the  corridors of power.

But while he  is desperate for new signings, Benitez is involved in another stand-off with club chiefs over his contract.

The Spaniard’s deal expires at the end of the season but, just like last summer, the Newcastle  hierarchy want him to extend his stay before they release any major money.

Benitez currently has no interest in penning fresh terms and is expected to walk away in May — unless this takeover takes place.

 This month could end up defining Newcastle's season

Benitez appears to have given up hope and his negativity, plus the uncertainty behind the scenes, has seeped through to the players who have made some alarming admissions in recent days.

Midfielder Matt Ritchie declared “the whole place just lacks belief” in reference to the Toon’s  performances and the atmosphere at St James’ Park, where they have only won twice all term.

Then forward Ayoze Perez stated “something is wrong” at the club and it was a “strange thing” — but he was unable to pinpoint what.

Newcastle legend Alan Shearer hit the nail on the head in his SunSport column on Monday when he said his beloved club feels “flat and lifeless”.

And the Magpies’ record goalscorer is rightly worried about their survival hopes as they sit only two points clear of the drop with just one win from their last nine games in all competitions.

The fans who make the long trip to Chelsea tomorrow — and the 52,000 who will pack into St James’ for next weekend’s visit of Cardiff — are now only doing so out of habit.

For there is no enjoyment left in following this football club.

There is no doubt something needs to change at Newcastle and quickly.

But Kenyon is doing little to convince that he is the man — or has the means — to turn the tide on the Toon.