Maybe this Amanda Staveley and Mike Ashley battle for Newcastle United will be made into a film one day.
Yet again, sadly there is more action off the pitch than on it, or in the transfer market…
An excellent Amanda Staveley exclusive interview in The Times on late Thursday night saw her go public with what has been going on, at least from her perspective.
She detailed that three offers for Newcastle United were made in November and that the final one of those, £250m on completion with no clauses, is still on table.
Ms Staveley also revealed that Mike Ashley’s representatives had informed her in December that another bidder had come in and was prepared to pay £350m.
The Amanda Staveley bidders weren’t prepared to respond to this lame move from Ashley and sure enough there has been no visible sign of that supposed new rival bigger bidder.
Now on Friday morning, rather than replying in kind, Mike Ashley has yet again used his friends at Sky Sports to make his response to the Staveley interview.
Sky Sports, as usual, say that ‘a source close to Mike Ashley’ has told them that he is not ‘aware of any bid that doesn’t contain relegation clauses’, which directly contradicts the Amanda Staveley interview, which says the only clause in the third and currently existing bid, is that Rafa stays as manager.
Mike Ashley (source) goes on to say that that his ‘sole focus is to support Rafa Benitez in the current transfer market’.
If anybody needed to judge Mike Ashley’s true intentions and the trust that can be placed in him, or not, this transfer window is as good a place to start as any.
Rafa Benitez said in December that he wanted all of his signings to be made by 15 January (four days ago) or at the very latest by the 20 January (tomorrow).
On top of that, Rafa has repeatedly said that he desperately needs new players and is counting on Mike Ashley keeping his promises to back him, just as was the case in January 2017 and summer 2017 when he ended up being badly let down and undermined.
In Rafa we trust, in Amanda Staveley most of us would be more than prepared to give her bid the best possible support and trust, with Mike Ashley there is zero trust after 11 seasons of lies and manipulation.
A report this week highlighted that under Mike Ashley, Newcastle had made £30m profit in the 10 January transfer windows so far, with all of the other 19 Premier League clubs showing far more support to their managers in the mid-season transfer windows.
Sky Sports – Friday 19 January 2018:
While no new talks are planned, SSN has been told that Staveley’s most recent bid – offering to pay £250m up front, with no compensation clause if Newcastle were relegated – remains on offer to Mike Ashley’s MASH Holdings.
This week’s strained relations seem a long way from the optimism felt by Staveley’s team in late November when a takeover of the Premier League club appeared just days away.
On Friday morning, a source close to Mike Ashley told SSN:
” We are not aware of any bid that doesn’t contain relegation clauses and we are not considering any further talks with PCP Capital Partners.
“Our sole focus is to support Rafa Benitez in the current transfer market with all the resources at our disposal.”