Monday night saw Sky Sports claim that Mike Ashley is considering selling the club, with ‘Chinese investors’ allegedly keen on buying Newcastle United.
Widespread media reports followed, with claims that there is believed to be serious interest from those who have registered an interest.
Thankfully this past season has been more about Rafa Benitez and his players, rather than Mike Ashley and the failings of stooges such as Pardew, Carver and McClaren, that he has employed in the past.
So are we shortly to see the back of the Sports Direct supremo?
Well probably not according to one newspaper, who claim to have a different inside track on what is potentially going to happen.
The Telegraph claim that Mike Ashley told Rafa Benitez in May that a number of potential buyers had approached him with regard to buying the club.
The United boss is said to be ‘relaxed’ about any potential deal as it allegedly wouldn’t affect his plans/preparations for the coming Premier League season.
The newspaper deviate from the mainstream though by claiming that their information is that Mike Ashley would welcome somebody buying a part of Newcastle United, rather than the club outright.
The Telegraph saying that they understand Ashley would be ‘happy to share the responsibility of running the club, in return for the sort of significant investment that would greatly strengthen their player recruitment power’.
They report that ‘conversations with investors are ongoing’ with regard to the sale of a share in Newcastle United, whilst also claiming that Ashley has a valuation of £400m on the club and he doesn’t think anybody will be prepared to buy NUFC at that figure.
It is ironic that it is The Telegraph who are saying that Mike Ashley might prefer not to sell the club, considering the owner banned them and journalist Luke Edwards back in 2014, because they claimed Ashley WAS trying to sell the club, with the intention of buying Rangers instead.
You pay your money and take your choice when it comes to deciding what, if anything, you believe. A bit like transfer stories.
However, whilst I believe Mike Ashley would sell the club if somebody offered enough cash, I find it hard to believe he would be happy for somebody else to have a stake.
Anybody who would potentially put money in, would 100% be then expecting to have a say in how the club was run, and can you honestly see Ashley being happy about that?
The argument as well that Ashley would sell the club and then give that money to Rafa Benitez to spend in the transfer market also sounds very far-fetched.
The only reason for the owner to sell all or any part of Newcastle United would surely only be so he can then take that money and go and use it elsewhere to expand/prop up his business empire.