Dear old Mike Ashley has really had everyone running around in circles this time!
Given his so called timing ability, it has become clear that there is no intention to sell and never was; otherwise why pitch the price so high.
This for a club from which he has already stripped it’s main assets…plus he can continue to enjoy the services [he thinks!] of a top class manager.
Then can tuck away a new windfall of TV cash, knowing that a drop to the Championship will only be temporary.
Why worry! Just spin a couple of rumours to use Amanda Staveley as a stalking horse and see what happens.
The only thing is that Rafa, being Spanish, is a very proud man, with good reason; Mike Ashley has treated everyone with contempt, for the sake of more money than he can possibly need.
I am 89 and spent 30 years in the Middle East and Spain.
Mike Ashley will certainly have left a bad smell in certain quarters; it may well be that if he carries on in his usual unscrupulous way, he will lose not only the opportunity of finalising a sensible sale but he will, without doubt, add to an already unsavoury reputation.
Middle Eastern business people are not going to be led up the garden path by Mike Ashley!
Buyers can also choose and may well prefer to buy a strong Championship club, at a very much lower Championship value, less Rafa.
Newcastle United – strong potentially but certainly demoralised.