Mike Ashley has been handed a deadline by Amanda Staveley according to reports on Tuesday morning.
The Times report that the Newcastle United owner has been given until Monday 18 December to accept a one-off payment to buy the club.
The newspaper says that their information is that it is a £250m offer that is on the table as a take it or leave it offer from Amanda Staveley.
Matt Hughes (The Times Deputy Football Correspondent) states that Staveley is now demanding a quick answer because she is worried about running out of time, as the Premier League requires 30 days once agreement has been reached, in order for them to undertake due diligence and ratify the deal.
With a poor run of form dragging Newcastle down to the relegation zone, the newspaper reports that the bidders want to ensure there is enough time to strengthen the team in the January transfer window. The window opens in only 27 days time and closes 30 days after that, meaning there is not a lot of time to play with.
They further report that Mike Ashley had been hoping for a competing bid from elsewhere but rumours a couple of weeks ago of that happening have proved hollow, so the Amanda Staveley bid is said to be the only one on the table.
The Times state that the £250m bid was met with disappointment by Mike Ashley as he was still holding out for £380m but clearly one point from the last 18 hasn’t exactly helped his bargaining position.
Monday night saw former Liverpool Managing Director, Christian Purslow, tell Sky Sports News that it was ‘fanciful’ to think the club would be sold by Christmas and that by the end of the season was a far more likely scenario.
He said that with valuations so far apart and no certainty about which division Newcastle would be in next season, it would be impossible for the two sides to agree a price, until the relegation question was answered. Purslow also said it was far-fetched to believe that a compromise could be reached whereby Mike Ashley would get something closer to what he wanted but also agree to a clause that would see massive compensation paid to the buyers if Newcastle did indeed go down this season.
Stories on Newcastle United tend to carry far more weight if it is George Caulkin, who covers the north east for The Times, is delivering the news.
Obviously claims of Amanda Staveley setting a deadline is an extra/new strand to the story but as always, very hard to tell whether any update is basically just a rehash of what has gone before.
What is for sure is that Newcastle fans are desperate for a deal to be concluded as quickly as possible, as there is very little faith in Rafa Benitez being backed properly in January’s transfer market if Mike Ashley is still here.
Matt Hughes has given a number of claimed updates on the potential deal dating back to October, when he wrote:
“There are three separate groups of potential investors conducting due diligence at Newcastle United in addition to PCP Capital Partners, which is run by Amanda Staveley, who held informal talks with club officials at St James Park last weekend.
“Unlike PCP, the other interested parties have signed non-disclosure agreements and are pushing for a quick deal, ideally before the next Premier League TV rights package is completed in February, which they all expect to have an inflationary effect.
“Mike Ashley, the owner, also wants a quick sale as he is keen to avoid an outlay in the January transfer window on an asset of which he is in the process of disposing, having conceded that Newcastle’s squad requires strengthening.”