This is why billionaire backed away from Newcastle United takeover

Billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe was put off buying Newcastle United – by Mike Ashley’s asking price.

Sunday, 8th September 2019, 5:30 pm
Bob Ratcliffe.

Ratcliffe’s Ineos group bought Nice for £88million last month.

However, Newcastle and Chelsea had been considered before the group turned its attention to the French club.

Ashley, United’s owner, put the club up for sale in late 2017. However, Ashley’s £350million valuation has put off potential buyers.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

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And Ratcliffe’s brother Bob, CEO of the football division of Ineos, told BBC 5 Live: "We spent quite a lot of time looking at Premier League clubs and their valuations

"It was difficult to rationalise purchases in the Premier League for us. If you look below the top six, they are all £150m and above. You are going to write a cheque for £50m and get in the Everton cup. Where are you going to go?

"You look at Newcastle, and we looked at a lot of clubs. You come back to a valuation in the hundreds of millions, and it’s difficult to contemplate. I think the foreseeable future it is off the radar. We have a three to five-year project in Nice, and that will keep us busy."

The need to redevelop Stamford Bridge home put Ineos off a move for Chelsea.

“There was some early exchange, but we were a significant way apart on valuations,” said Ratcliffe. "The issue with Chelsea is its stadium. We’re all getting older, and it’s a decade of your life to resolve that."