Fans were informed last weekend of a new Newcastle United takeover bid, this time with its roots in Singapore, the Bellagraph Nova Group reported to be in ongoing talks with Mike Ashley and having made a bid.
The three main players in this BNG bid said to be Terence Loh, Nelson Loh and Evangeline Shen.
The whole thing sounded very far-fetched and on Friday night a brilliant piece from Reuters looked into the credentials of the Bellagraph Nova Group
The company (BNG) on its official website claims to have had a turnover of $12billion in 2019 and to have 23,000 employees.
BNG claims that its main headquarters are now in Paris BUT Reuters could find no records of a company called Bellagraph Nova Group registered in France.
In addition, Reuters could not find any company by that name at the address it had been given as the BNG HQ (10 Place Vendome), one of their reporters visited the address and there is an office rental business operated by Regus in the building, with a receptionist saying BNG Group has used some office space there but its staff were not always present….
Bellagraph Nova Group do indeed have an office in Singapore and Reuters visited it, they reported that it was on the top floor of a four storey building, above a pet shop and a restaurant.
Appearances aren’t always everything but fair to say this Reuters report definitely ticked a lot of boxes for Newcastle United fans, in terms of being in line with what their immediate thoughts were.
The Reuters exclusive also embarrasses the media who cover Newcastle United day to day, why couldn’t they have delved into this BNG story further? The same with the ludicrous repetitive media claims that Henry Mauriss is a serious bidder for NUFC.
As it happens, Newcastle fan and long time contributor to The Mag, Jonathan Drape-Comyn, currently lives in Singapore.
So after the piece by Reuters on Friday night, this morning (Singapore is seven hours ahead of UK time) Jonathan had a walk around to the Bellagraph Nova Group Singapore HQ and had a couple of surprises…
“I had a walk to the Bellagraph Nova Group / Novena Global HQ address this morning.
“Turns out its actually above one of my favourite restaurants.
“They do a great Hor Fun (takeaway equiv to beef in black bean sauce).
“That top floor doesn’t scream ‘billionaire owner’ if u ask me.”
Other Newcastle fans responded on Twitter to Jonathan’s message and photo:
“How does it take the media a week to report what it takes fans five minutes to find out?
“Even allowing for legal caution – I just don’t get it.”
“I think a little bit of effort and research costs a little bit of time.
“You can probably put out 10 small nonsense pieces in the same time it takes to write something logical and thoughtful.
What gets more clicks though?”
“Any trace of the 23,000 Bellagraph employees in that Restaurant?”
You can follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanComyn