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Page last updated at 11:01 GMT, Thursday, 11 June 2009 12:01 UK

Group confirms Newcastle interest

Newcastle shirt for sale
Mike Ashley is willing to sell for 100m - 34.4m less than he paid for the club

The Singapore-based Profitable Group has confirmed its interest in launching a takeover bid for Newcastle.

The company has released a statement on its website revealing it has made contact with investment bankers Seymour Pierce, who are facilitating the sale.

The group's interest in launching a bid was first reported on Tuesday.

"A preliminary discussion with the representatives appointed to handle the sale of the club has been held," read the statement.

Current owner Mike Ashley put Newcastle up for sale for £100m following the Magpies' relegation from the Premier League on 24 May.

The Profitable Group has former Liverpool midfielder Steve McMahon as a commercial director, while ex-Newcastle manager Kenny Dalglish is its UK operations adviser.

It is the first company to declare its interest in public, although it expressed regret its interest had been revealed by other sources.

Alan Shearer is their number one choice as manager, they would look to increase capacity of St James' Park and put a footballing man in the boardroom

BBC Sport's Gordon Farquhar

"The group consider the leaking of the Group's interest in this matter unfortunate, and as supporters of Newcastle United, seek only to serve in the best interests of the club, the fans and the local community," the company said in their statement.

The group claims it would keep Alan Shearer as manager if successful.

Keith Harris, chairman of Seymour Pierce and the man charged with brokering a deal for the club, says he expects this to be completed by the end of June.

He said on Monday he had already been in contact with "two or three" interested parties, some of whom are now believed to be at a more advanced stage in their prospective bids.

A South African consortium and an Oman-based group reportedly retain an interest in the club, while speculation suggesting former chairman Freddy Shepherd has been asked to spearhead a bid by an unidentified consortium refuses to go away.


According to its official website, the Profitable Group "exists to increase the wealth of its clients, its employees and its owners, through the provision of strategically selected investment opportunities".

BBC Sport's Gordon Farquhar revealed he had spoken to a representative of the group who said he had been a fan of the club for 40 years and insisted they did mean business.

"Their concept for the club involves hugely increasing supporter involvement through a trust system on the lines of that in place at Barcelona," said Farquhar.

"Alan Shearer is their number one choice as manager, they would look to increase capacity of St James' Park and put a footballing man in the boardroom."

Time is of the essence for Newcastle, who remain without a manager as they prepare for life in the Championship.

Shearer, who took charge of the Magpies on a temporary basis at the end of last season, has presented his future plans to Ashley but the owner is unwilling to appoint a full-time manager because prospective buyers are likely to want to make their own appointment.

Season-ticket holders are set to receive their renewal notices this week but many may be unwilling to commit themselves as long as the unpopular Ashley remains as owner and fans' favourite Shearer is not guaranteed a job.

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see also
Group confirms Newcastle interest
11 Jun 09 |  Newcastle
Newcastle given 100m price tag
08 Jun 09 |  Newcastle
Ashley wants quick Newcastle sale
31 May 09 |  Newcastle
Shearer holds talks with Magpies
26 May 09 |  Newcastle
Shearer non-committal over future
25 May 09 |  Premier League
Duff pledges future to Newcastle
25 May 09 |  Newcastle
Aston Villa 1-0 Newcastle
24 May 09 |  Premier League
Newcastle's season of misery
24 May 09 |  Newcastle
What now for north-east football?
24 May 09 |  Football
Premier League photos
24 May 09 |  Premier League
Shearer confirmed as Magpies boss
01 Apr 09 |  Newcastle
Wise parts company with Newcastle
01 Apr 09 |  Newcastle
Kinnear back home after surgery
22 Feb 09 |  Newcastle
Ashley calls off Newcastle sale
28 Dec 08 |  Newcastle
Kinnear explains media outburst
16 Oct 08 |  Newcastle
Mike Ashley statement
14 Sep 08 |  Newcastle
Ashley puts Newcastle up for sale
14 Sep 08 |  Newcastle
Magpies fans protest over Ashley
13 Sep 08 |  Tyne
Keegan resigns as Newcastle boss
04 Sep 08 |  Newcastle

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