The Newcastle United takeover took a significant step forward this week, with the breaking news that an offer had been made to buy the club.
This may be nowhere near a final deal being completed but in the 10+ years of Mike Ashley rule, this is a real first.
Rumours have abounded in the past but this is the first time an actual offer has been confirmed by both sides (Mike Ashley and the Amanda Staveley led bidders), albeit that confirmation has come via the respective media that the two parties are using to get their message out.
It is pointless worrying at this stage about how much has or hasn’t been offered and/or how much Ashley will or won’t accept.
The bottom line is that somebody has come forward with genuine interest in buying the club and Mike Ashley is definitely interested in selling, or else there is no way he would have allowed an outside party (parties?) to see confidential information about the running of his business – with or without a non-disclosure agreement.
The essential factor in a football club (or anything else) changing hands is that first of all, you need a willing buyer and willing seller.
If something is priced right then you will always have willing buyers and no doubt that has been the case at times over the course of the past decade.
A willing seller? Well whatever has gone before we have certainly got one now and surely it will suit Mike Ashley just as much as the other side, to get this deal done as quickly as possible.
This is not the moment to try and play anybody for fools.