The BBC are reporting today that they have recently had an exclusive interview with Evangeline Shen, one of the owners of Singapore-based Bellagraph Nova, the company who insist they are serious bidders to take over Newcastle United.

This company first came to prominence in August when they were said to have put a bid of £280M to current United owner Mike Ashley.

Research into the company at the time led to some doubts as to their operation, and this was not helped when it was established that a picture of Ms Shen and her co-directors with ex-US president Barak Obama had been photoshopped!

They have also made inconsistent statements about the company’s assets and have retracted some press statements.

Ms Shen co-founded Bellagraph Nova with business partners and cousins Nelson Loh and Terence Loh. They have claimed to have an office base in Paris but international news organisation Reuters were unable to establish its whereabouts when they looked.

In the exclusive BBC article Ms Shen states that “bidding for Newcastle is part of our strategy because it’s a well-known football club but still has room to improve, and we believe that improvement is good for the club as well as for our brand”.

“We started real planning for the club such as whom to hire as trainer and whom to sign for players”

UTD111 have covered this story in our latest podcast here:

In 2019 Bellagraph Nova claimed to have a turnover of $12bn and 23,000 employees.

The BBC article includes a view from Singapore-based corporate governance expert Mak Yuen Teen, who said it is not unusual for some companies to exaggerate their credentials or “window-dress”.

“I’ve seen listed companies continually misrepresent themselves including on the Singapore Exchange – announcing deals that are false, using fake degrees, but this is at a whole new level”

Following the withdrawal of the bid from the consortium headed by Amanda Staveley, Mike Ashley is currently examining whether legal action against the Premier League is feasible, so things are pretty much still up in the air.

We await further developments with interest!

What do you think? As ever, we would welcome your comments, opinions and views below.

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