Writer: Ross Molyneux
Date:Thursday October 2 2008
According to the Daily Mail, the mystery South African bidders for the club have unveiled themselves and are looking for a quick resolution to the takeover process. With some very rich men involved it seems like the focus will shift to running a soluble youth recruitment system, with the aid of Simon Clifford (of Brazilian Soccer School fame). The full text reads:
"The South African consortium bidding to take control of Newcastle United believe they are emerging as the likely successors to Mike Ashley. Seven groups are in the running to buy out the Sports Direct billionaire, but the 'Bok Consortium' are confident they have the clout and the plan to head off rival interest from Nigeria, China and America.
Sportsmail can reveal the group are headed by Jonathan Cleland - a South African-raised Scot whose career has been based around developing major brands - with the backing of billionaires Johan Rupert, Brian Gilbertson, Vivian Imerman and Brian Joffe.
Cleland said: 'Now is the time to reveal who we are out of respect for the supporters. The people of Newcastle deserve better. We are not in any way criticising Mike Ashley's running of Newcastle United.
'However, quite simply we have in our consortium the world class skills and talents to achieve the footballing and commercial success required and deserved.'
Each member of the consortium has a history of reviving troubled businesses. Rupert is the man behind Swiss-owned luxury goods company Richemont, and Imerman transformed Whyte and Mackay. Any bid for control is not expected to reach its conclusion until the end of the month. Key to Cleland's vision of transforming the club will be the appointment at youth level of Simon Clifford, whose Brazilian Soccer Schools have more than two million members.
'We will invest in youth to build a club,' said Cleland. 'Simon Clifford is an integral part of our consortium. Players like Micah Richards have come through his system.'
Date:Thursday October 2 2008
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