One thing we do know for sure is that Mike Ashley met Amanda Staveley on Wednesday night.

The pair of them photographed leaving an Indian Restaurant with other recognisable figures, including the owner of the Express and other newspapers, Richard Desmond, and Ashley’s wife.

The meeting was well reported and it is possibly a toss of the coin whether the meeting was deliberately leaked by one or both parties.

What was discussed at the meeting has sparked a lot of debate and various claims as to where any deal was at, though a line taken by many of the newspapers, after apparently being briefed by one or more of the interested parties, was that February could be the earliest any deal could be completed.

Now The Mail have made an interesting report, that Mike Ashley has claimed he has a rival bidder interested as well as Amanda Staveley, a bidder who supposedly is prepared to pay £320m for the club.

It had been previously claimed and widely reported that a number of rival bidders, as well as the Amanda Staveley one, had been given access to the club’s books after signing NDAs (non-disclosure agreements).

However, over the course of months no identity of any of these rival bidders has been made public, if indeed they ever existed.

Part of the intrigue with NDAs, especially for the media, is that any claims can be made and when not backed up with fine details, can claim it is because nothing has been made public because buyers/seller have agreed to keep their contact quiet, as well as the details of what they have been allowed to see after the signing of an NDA.

Likewise with Mike Ashley and this report of him claiming a rival bidder, who knows whether he/she/they really exists? Based on everything we think/know of him, most would assume he’d be lying.

Everybody, including The Mail, is claiming that the current position is Staveley offering £250m, Ashley wanting £300m, now a rival bidder claimed to be offering £320m. It does appear too good to be true and if so why wouldn’t Mike Ashley be snapping the rival bidder’s hand off? If you believe the rival bidder exists then maybe you could also imagine that this £320m includes various clauses including a relegation one.

We arrive back at the same position, speculating and just hoping that the end result is the right one, and arrives sooner rather than later.

A thought that keeps coming back to me, is that if Amanda Staveley’s £250m bid is way below what the club is really worth, as Mike Ashley clearly seems to think so, then surely another bidder/bidders would be coming forward. Very rarely are sizeable Premier League clubs up for sale and the PL’s announcement of the new TV packages (200 of 380 matches shown live, extra games shown live at 7.45pm on Saturday nights etc etc)  to kick off in 2019/20 are going to see serious extra money going to everyone in the top tier.

For me there is no doubt that if a new ambitious owner comes in, then there is massive scope for them to do so much better both on and off the pitch than the chaos we see under Ashley and the club ran with a skeleton staff behind the scenes, with no serious attempts to bring in extra commercial revenue.

Until that change (takeover) happens then no real rebuilding of the club can happen, whatever Rafa Benitez tries to do, he is simply firefighting and trying to attach some stability to playing affairs at a club that has stumbled from one disaster to the next under Ashley.

The Mail:

‘Understand that no agreement was reached during their dinner at a curry house in Hampstead and the offer from Staveley and PCP Capital Partners remains at £250million.

Mike Ashley is holding out for £300m and has claimed that a rival bidder is prepared to pay £320m, although no details are known of the second party.

Another complicating factor is Newcastle’s performance on the pitch and the threat of relegation from the Premier League.

Benitez is desperate to reinforce a squad he believes was left short after the summer transfer window and has called on Ashley to invest, reminding him that a club heading for the Championship will not be as valuable to prospective buyers.’

  • Dillon Tovak

    The part of this that proves it’s BS is someone wants to pay 320 but he’s holding out for 300??? 😂😂

  • Paul9

    Common sense says sell to the highest bidder

    • Mark Potter

      Not if there are strings attached. Or there are doubts about the fit and proper person test. Or Ashley prefers to sell to someone who is from Britain, or thinks they would have more interest in the club and the community than some Far Eastern businessman who’s never had a real interest in football. Or he wants cash up front, not in installments.

  • Toon69

    Could be the rival bidder wants to pay by installments over many years but Ashley is looking for 300m in one lump sum….. or its just another fairytale made up by the daily fail newspaper who provide no source, just that Ashley says, even though he’s over in the states….

  • Alex

    This rival bid has as much substance as Ashley’s transfer pot – neither exist.

  • Waxi

    Why would Ashley pop out on a Wednesday night for a ruby and a few beers to meet the PCP gang if he had bids around 70 million over what PCP have put on the table. The pics from the sun said it all with a member of both negotiating teams punching the air as they left the meeting so more click bait from the mail. We will get to know soon enough.

    • Tel Boy Telboy

      Spot on lets wait and see, As I said yesterday why on earth would she meet Ashley for Dinner if there wasn’t something going on ?

      • Waxi

        My guess would be Telboy is the deal has been agreed the other night they are business people the handshake seals the deal the solicitors need to do a bit of work before it goes to the EPL to be signed off. Ashley and Charnley will feel the full wrath of the toon if nothing is spent in January so he will offload it as quick as possible. No way would members of both teams come out punching the air if nothing had been sorted out so we just need to wait and see in the coming weeks.

        • LA toon

          Full wrath? Similar to the last 10 years? Wow they will be worried stiff. 50,000+ every week is all they care about. Venting by way of remarks on this site or the Chron has not perturbed Fatman or his cronies.

          • Waxi

            Lets see how [email protected] people will be in January if the fat man don.t spend.

    • Mark Potter

      I see a pic of only one person supposedly “punching the air”. He could just as well have been waving off one of the other guests. It was Richard Desmond, owner of the Express. He is not a member of either negotiation team.

      • Waxi

        Yes Mark it was one person but it was a mutual friend and the story suggests he was part of the discussion or why be at the meeting. The Sun quote Their mutual friend Desmond joined them for food at Paradise in Hampstead, as did Ashley’s wife Linda. Our photos show the newspaper and magazine owner, wearing a navy coat and jeans, appearing to punch the air in celebration as he says goodbye to Staveley.

        And Desmond repeats the gesture when waving off Ashley, who is in his trademark white shirt and jeans and is driven away by Linda in their 4×4. My point being things looked very positive and only those at that table know what has been said so any newspaper who try and guess are just spouting [email protected]

        • Mark Potter

          The two paragraphs are referring to the same person, something which most subsequent reports copying from the Sun’s report didn’t realise. And he is not a member of the negotiating teams.

          You can clearly see why his hand is in a fist – he is clutching his car keys. The much more likely explanation is that he took his car keys out of his pocket just before Ashley or Staveley were driving out of the car park, and simply raised his hand in a good-bye gesture. Not a fist pump.

          That’s not to say that a face to face meeting without lawyers and accountants isn’t a positive sign. But the supposed “fist pump” is not proof they reached any agreement.

          • Waxi


  • anyobrien

    He’s a reet bell end Ashley

  • Leazes Ender

    You do know who Richard Desmond is don’t you Jim?

    • Dillon Tovak

      A tax dodger?

  • TheFatController

    The claim of another bidder they refer to is the claim rumoured a few weeks ago surely?

    If it was a new bid, it’d be the major news of the day, not an aside in a small article.

    So basically, the Mail know nothing new and nothing at all really, but as it’s matchday they want to have something on the takeover to get on Google listings and get clicks to make them money….

    When it comes to news, bids are like proof a God exists being found – neither will be reported in small articles on inside pages …so until either are front or back page headlines, they haven’t been substantiated.

  • Arty Hume

    Anyone with any common sense knows this is B.S, he would take the 320 and run, trying to breath life into a stalking horse on a meat hook.

  • Dutch

    ‘Understand that no agreement was reached during their dinner at a curry house in Hampstead, How would the Daily Mail know this.? Secondly Ashley making a statement about another buyer for 320 Million surely must break any NDA rules

  • Paul amour TOON

    Not even worth commenting on there is SO much BS in this (not The Mag) but mails report, the mail has never been known to get exclusives on Newcastle or anything else for that matter, I’ll turn over and go back to sleep

  • HarryHype59

    This whole takeover Saga has turned into the long drawn out boring saga, I feared it would be under Ashley!

    Defeats against Leicester and Everton will confirm the club is in yet another relegation battle! No prospective buyers will risk their £300m capital on a club that has a high probability of losing the lucrative TV money!

    I am resigned to the dead hand of Ashley’s rule until the end of this season!

    • Mark Potter

      Happy Harry, following the Merson school of predictions. You’re a great supporter of the club, when you suggest we have a “high probability” of relegation, when we are not even in the bottom three.

      • glassjawsh-got-banned

        1 point from 18 suggest otherwise!

      • HarryHype59

        I suggest you take at the form table! NUFC proudly sit bottom in 20th position!

        Any one not acknowledging that this team is in relegation free fall, is deluding themselves!

  • Geordiegiants

    He could be in cahoots with Staveley, she might be being used as a stooge to bring out other buyers. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility, that he is paying her and the express editor to advertise in the usual Jabba sly way.

    • Peaky Magpie

      Interesting new angle ???

      • Geordiegiants

        It’s certainly something that he would do. Him and Philip Green are among the most vile dispicable people to of ever lived. The pair of them are like legalised ganstas, our government are frightened of them, a bit like Pablo Escobar.

        • Peaky Magpie

          I would not be at all surprised if you were proved right.The mega rich move in mysterious circles within secret societies and as you say the government know about but turn a blind eye and refuse to act.

          • Mark Potter

            What do the “government know about”? That he’s a successful businessman, who likes a drink and sells cheap sportswear. What, exactly, are these crimes that secret societies are covering up? You sound like a barking mad conspiracy theorist.

          • Peaky Magpie

            Tax avoidance for a start.The normal working man/woman avoids tax there’s a letter through the letterbox or a knock at the door.

          • Mark Potter

            Proof? Or just a conspiracy theory?

          • Geordiegiants

            You a horny like? Yeah proof is in the pudding, but you and I both know people get away with assorts because proof isn’t available.

          • Peaky Magpie

            Perfectly put 👍

          • glassjawsh-got-banned

            eh, we agree on something!

          • Mark Potter

            No, I don’t know anyone personally who has committed a serious crime but got away with it “because proof isn’t available”. But Escobar did. When he was arrested he hired people to shoot dead the two investigating police officers, so they couldn’t give evidence at his trial. The trial collapsed and he walked free.

            As far as I know Ashley has never been arrested, nor charged with any crime. The recent HMRC investigation into the club is around tax avoidance by players, not the club. The suggestion is that the club colluded with those players and their agents to help the players avoid tax, as part of the transfer deals. The investigation is into the people who run the club, specifically the Director, Lee Charnley, who was arrested, but, so far, has not been charged with any crime. No-one has. He’s innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

            Ashley isn’t even remotely implicated in the case as far as we can tell. He wasn’t arrested, his offices and home weren’t raided and none of his documents were seized.

            You really ought to check your facts before accusing people of crimes they haven’t been found guilty of in a court.

          • Geordiegiants


          • Geordiegiants

            If the government know nothing why have him up in front of the commitee? What do the goverment do about Google, Costa to name a couple. There is only one person looking like and idiot to me.

        • Mark Potter

          Stupidest of stupid comments. He’s more vile than Ghengis Khan, Atilla the Hun, Vlad the Impaler, Hitler or Stalin? More despicable than the Moors Murderers,Harold Shipman or Peter Sutcliffe?

          Escobar was the leader of a Colombian drug cartel, who made £billions from selling cocaine. He was responsible for the deaths of judges, politicians and anyone else who opposed him. He paid his hitmen to kill about 600 police officers over several years of terrorising Colombia.

          You are an idiot, if you think selling cheap sportswear using minimum wage employees is a crime, or in any way equivalent to mass murder.

          • Geordiegiants

            It’s all relevant, in today’s society he is a slave worker, tax dodger and gives a fig about nobody or nothing but himself. He treats people with a total lack of respect and pushes the limits of what is acceptable in today’s society. He is in today society as bad as some of the above mentioned, take Adolf for instance, he was accepted and classed as a hero, then look what happened, if the cancer thought for one minute he could get away with anything at all he would, even the loyalist of supporters like yourself can not deny it.

          • Mark Potter

            Slave worker? He buys people abroad and keeps them in chains, treating them as property, rather than people? Slavery has been illegal in Britain since time immemorial. You want to report him to the police if you have evidence that he keeps slaves.

            And I repeat, if you are too stupid to understand, Hitler murdered over 6 million Jews, gypsies and socialists. And was responsible for a war that killed many times that, including the Blitz against London and half a million of our soldiers, sailors and airmen. Running a football club on a tight budget, selling cheap sportswear and/or being an overweight cockney are not crimes, nevermind crimes against humanity/genocide. I get it that you don’t like him, but only the most seriously deluded could equate him with Hitler, or even suggest that he is worse than the Moors Murderers. You need to get some perspective in your life if you think that anything he has done is comparable to murdering and torturing people.

    • hetonmag

      He does things behind people’s back’s mate and not in the glare of the public IMO.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    the Blonde`s wasting her time, The Fat lad won`t take £250 & neither would i

    • Kneebotherm8

      I waddn’t tekk 250 quid either.

  • Da Ca

    I think the article in the mail is the usual tosh from the paper I also think a deal was verbally agreed at Wednesday’s meeting if the photos are anything to go by I could be wrong and usually am.

  • Albert Stubbins

    Rival bidder my a***!

  • Pozz Mozz

    Rafa holds the cards
    Bring us close to relegation and Ashley would be begging for 250

  • Peaky Magpie

    Don’t believe nowt The Mail says,right wing tosh for the over 65’s.

    • hetonmag

      Beg your pardon I’m 69 and never ever read it.

      • Dillon Tovak

        Don’t worry it’s not for over 65’s, it’s for people that love to feed the part of their brain that lives off of fear and idle speculation.

        • hetonmag

          Correct 👍

      • Peaky Magpie

        👍👍👍 I stand corrected sir,I should have probably said “certain” over 65’s !

        • hetonmag

          Cheers bud👍👍👍

  • Shipcote Willy

    With Ashley’s reputation for always telling the truth it has to be true hasn’t it?

  • Craig Crowley

    Oldest trick in the book. So predictable. No longer fazed by all this baloney. Either you are selling it or you are simply not. That’s it.

  • 5floorshigh

    e bay tactics

  • 1957

    Staveley is going to have to up her offer considerably, I can’t see anyway Ashley would take anything less than £300m. The idea he can be panicked into selling cheaply because of a chance of relegation doesn’t hold water, he is more likely to hold on and sack Benitez in a gamble to stay up.

    • HarryHype59

      Why should she up her offer when the team is free falling back into the Championship?

  • grantham mag

    Once upon a time there was a barrow boy called peter or was it a shepherd boy called fat mike, any way they both bloody liars.

  • zidangus

    So when does Benitez stop getting a free pass for the terrible form Newcastle are in. You can only blame the lack of transfers for so long. There are teams with worse squads on paper than Newcastle doing better in the PL.

    • Geordiegiants

      What a load of sh!t, you are obviously an inbred. We have the weakest squad in the premier league easily, and our best first 11 are the same 11 players from the championship. You Mackem tool.

  • anyobrien

    Getting tedious now…. We, in our current state are going down again, so the fat oaf will not get his asking price just look at Villa as a great example.
    Rafa needs to somehow galvanise this poor squad into the the well oiled slick machine we had earlier in the season. There is a hell of a lot of football to be played and I’d like to think we can cause the odd upset on the way(West ham yesterday)…. The oaf must realise the longer we slip down the epl the less its worth, common sense really so he needs to release funds or its good by epl and the one thing he loves ££££