It isn’t just Mike Ashley and Amanda Staveley who are engaged in a desperate battle of wills.
The newspapers and wider media are also desperately competing with each other when it comes to exclusives.
It would be quite entertaining to watch if this wasn’t our football club at the heart of all the conflict.
Sky Sports are as always Mike Ashley’s preferred first choice to get his message out.
Whilst Amanda Staveley has obviously realised/being pointed towards the fact that George Caulkin of The Times is for many fans the most credible medium for what is, or isn’t, happening at Newcastle United.
As for the media overall, they are all obviously open to a good story/exclusive, whichever side it happens to come from.
Luke Edwards and The Telegraph have been offered one on a plate on Friday morning.
He indicates that he has been briefed by the Mike Ashley side of things and that an offer of £300m, without conditions/clauses attached, would tempt him and the club set to be sold at last.
However, Edwards says that ‘the Ashley camp do not expect any progress to be made on the takeover’ and that the Amanda Staveley interview with The Times was simply a ‘face-saving exercise’.
He further goes on to say that the Mike Ashley camp think that only once Premier League safety is achieved (if indeed it is), is there any possibility of a new offer.
The Times interview outlined that three bids had been made in November, the final one being £250m with no clauses, apart from Rafa staying on as manager.
The previous two offers had offered at least £300m but only if relegation was avoided this season.
The Telegraph say that Amanda Staveley’s people have been claiming that the asking price is £300m but that the Mike Ashley minions have claimed it is £300m – but only if a guaranteed lump sum.
For my money…we return to the question of timing, in terms of when Mike Ashley put the club up for sale.
If he was serious about this being as painless a process as possible with the best chance of success, then surely the for sale signs should have gone straight up back in April, nine months ago, when victory over Preston guaranteed Newcastle were promoted.
You can only presume as well that Mike Ashley knew all along that he was never going to properly back Rafa Benitez (though not informing the manager of that fact) in the summer transfer market, meaning Newcastle would be guaranteed a fight against relegation.
Many journalists and fans are comparing it to you buying or selling a house, saying well if £300m is the price Mike Ashley wants, then that is what Amanda Staveley (or whoever) simply has to pay – if she and her backers want Newcastle United.
The house comparison is ok up to a point but it is like being expected to pay full price for a house before you find out whether the authorities are going to give permission for an abattoir or open cast mining to get the go ahead next door.
The fear for Newcastle fans is ironically not so much relegation (after two already and two near misses in only eight Premier League seasons under Ashley we are used to it), it is more the worry that if Rafa keeps the team up, then Mike Ashley won’t want £300m anymore, he will keep raising the price beyond what anybody else values it at.