Investor breaks silence on Newcastle United takeover talks with Mike Ashley

Investor Joe DaGrosa has lifted the lid on his takeover negotiations with Mike Ashley.

Friday, 24th April 2020, 7:02 am

DaGrosa, chief executive officer of GACP Sports, was involved in “mid-to-late stage discussions” with Ashley over a deal for Newcastle United last year.

However, talks broke down, and Ashley has agreed a deal with financier Amanda Staveley, backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and billionaire property investors David and Simon Reuben.

Speaking to NBC Sports, DaGrosa said: “It’s unfortunate in one respect that the deal didn’t go forward.

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“With a guy like Mike Ashley, you might get punched in the face – but you’ll never get knifed in the back.

“At the time, it was disappointing the deal didn’t go forward. It was on our side that a major backer pulled out at the last minute, but hindsight is 20-20. Better to be lucky than smart, because we probably dodged a short-term bullet.”

DaGrosa is now looking to buy a European club in a cut-price deal after selling his group’s stake in Bordeaux, seeing opportunities in a football landscape which is being reshaped by the coronavirus pandemic.

“In this environment, given what’s going on with the coronavirus pandemic, we believe there’s an opportunity to recreate (Manchester City parent company) City Football Group at a fraction of the cost,” said DaGrosa.

Joe DaGrosa.

“Club valuations are already coming down. In many cases, clubs are going to be effectively taken over by their lenders. There’s going to be some great opportunities in the next 12 months, and great opportunities to get world-class players at a fraction of the cost.”