Newcastle set for foreign ownership

Newcastle's new owner is almost certain to hail from overseas - and there is no indication yet from any interested party that Kevin Keegan's return to the club is central to their plans.

Those are the claims of Keith Harris, the man charged with identifying the right buyer to succeed Mike Ashley as owner at St James' Park.

The Seymour Pierce chairman was asked to broker a deal to sell the Magpies, after sportswear magnate Ashley put the Barclays Premier League club up for sale a month ago.

Harris today confirmed seven parties are still under consideration as prospective new owners - contrary to previous reports, none of those is from South Africa - and they have all yet to show their hand on the Keegan issue.

"I think it is certainly likely that the next owner of Newcastle will come away from these shores," said Harris, who claims much of the wealth and will to buy into English football is centred in either the Middle or Far East, or the USA.

He was, however, unwilling to pinpoint the location of the most significant players.

"Whether it is the Middle East is another matter," he told Sky Sports News.

"But it is a reasonable assumption to say the new owner will not be from Britain.

"We have had now, for seven or eight days, seven interested parties.

"They are not from these shores, and that is not surprising.

"Within that group, we have taken the chance to start honing down the list - so far nobody has dropped out."

As for the likelihood of Keegan - a huge crowd favourite on Tyneside - returning for another stint as manager, Harris remains unsure.

"Nobody has said to us that is a condition for us to go forward. Nobody has said, as a pre-condition, it is this manager or that manager," Harris said.

Keegan left the club last month after alleging board intrusion into transfers - and the shock appointment of Joe Kinnear was subsequently announced, in the role of interim manager.

"Joe Kinnear has done a pretty good job in the short period of time he has had," Harris said.

"Whoever is the new owner, it would be their choice of the management team on and off the field."

That owner appears highly unlikely to be South African.

Although Harris confirmed conversations have taken place with individuals from that country, he made it clear he is not expecting them to develop.

"We need to distinguish between interest and serious interest," he said.

"We have had people talk to us from those parts of the world - but we have not deemed it serious interest."

Harris also sought to clarify the reported valuation of Newcastle.

"£400m sounds like an exaggeration," he said.

Reacting to a Sky Sports News suggestion that £300m might be nearer the mark, he agreed: "That seems reasonable."

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff
tv

Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Arts and Entertainment
tv

Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist

Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me
tv

Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama

Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week