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Nigerian anger at Newcastle snub

By Stephen Fottrell
BBC Sport

Mike Ashley
Ashley is seeking investors to meet his 250m ($400m) price tag for the club

The London-based businessman fronting the Nigerian bid to buy Newcastle United has reacted angrily to suggestions that the offer is not real.

Chris Nathaniel branded comments by Keith Harris - the man tasked with selling the club - that no Nigerian consortium existed as "stupid".

"We have had Nigerians that don't exist and South Africans told by the media that they were bidding," Harris said.

A group of South African businessmen have also been linked with the club.

"I really can't get my head around why anyone would make such a stupid statement," Nathaniel told BBC Sport.

"[My clients] will be very disappointed and very angry [with these comments].

"The bid certainly still exists. We're currently getting a financial adviser on board to take the bid forward with Newcastle."

There's no shortage of takers that will take their [the Nigerian bidders] money for a football club

Chris Nathaniel
Nathaniel also said that his unnamed Nigerian clients may take their money elsewhere.

"There's no shortage of takers that will take their money for a football club.

"They're businessmen, they want to get a club in the Premiership and it doesn't necessarily have to be Newcastle.

"Newcastle are not the only club available."

Harris, chairman of investment bank Seymour Pierce, said two "very serious" foreign investors have emerged as contenders to buy the club.

He would not name those involved but said he hoped a sale would be concluded by early next year.

The club was put up for sale in September by owner Mike Ashley, who is thought to be asking in the region of 250m ($400m).

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see also
Interest grows in Magpies buy-out
04 Nov 08 |  Newcastle
Newcastle extend bidder deadline
07 Oct 08 |  Newcastle
Newcastle sale 'progressing well'
13 Oct 08 |  Newcastle
Nigerians prepare Newcastle offer
26 Sep 08 |  Newcastle

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