Is Mike Ashley at it again, or is this the time when he is eventually telling the truth?

Newcastle fans have quickly delivered their verdict after Ashley’s Monday night performance.

A case of heard it all before and a widespread belief that it is yet another case of simply messing with the fans and/or a start of a PR campaign to justify not buying a single player in a third January window in a row.

What about the media though?

Those journalists who follow Newcastle United on a daily basis, what do they make of the appearance/performance of Mike Ashley?

Here are three of the major figures and they all say/claim that they had been hearing that something could be in the offing ahead of Ashley’s Sky News appearance.

For Newcastle fans reading what they have to say, I guess there are two big questions.

Are these journalists telling the truth (I think they are).

Then if you accept that, is it credible what they are hearing?

I think this is where it falls down for me, not totally writing it off but when you hear anything like this, your automatic reaction is to think of the NUFC owner’s PR people behind it.

A lot of things don’t add up with what Mike Ashley is claiming. If you believe what he says, there are talks going on but they are not even down to a case of this supposed interested buyer having exclusive talks, yet Ashley says a deal could be completed this month???

The truth is out there, somewhere.

Luke Edwards – Telegraph:

‘For what it is worth I’ve been sitting on news of advanced takeover talks for a week now but didn’t want to write anything as we’re heard it all before. I don’t know who they are but I know things have been progressing well and it fits with Mike Ashley’s comments today

As ever, this is a slightly confusing picture with lots of conflicting information, but the important thing is I’m told what Ashley said tonight is “genuine”.

Lots of questions but I’m more confident than I have been in the past. Thing that troubles me is why Ashley has blurted this out when secrecy was demanded of others involved. Fingers crossed etc’

Craig Hope – The Mail:

‘Given that his preference is not to conduct takeover business in public, there is a strong chance that this is a tactic to hurry along investors, especially as sources have suggested there is more than one group who have expressed interest in recent weeks. They say that an unnamed investment fund are among those suitors but they have not signed a non-disclosure agreement.

However the identity of the party Ashley has spoken about remains a mystery and his revelations on Sky News even caught some of those close to him on the hop.

One name which has been doing the rounds is that of Arthur Blank, the owner of NFL side Atlanta Falcons and MLS franchise Atlanta United. The 76-year-old is said to be worth nearly $5billion.’

Mark Douglas – Chronicle:

‘Not surprised people are cynical about Mike Ashley’s latest interview – Kevin Keegan’s recent book laid bare the tribunal at which they admitted to miselading fans – and it should be treated with a health warning. He says that he’s not at the exclusivity point yet – which is confusing given he says a deal could be done in three weeks (before January).

But – and it’s a big but – there has been a lot of noise recently about takeovers. I have to be honest, I’ve been told recently something was advanced but in the post-Staveley ‘take-everything-with-a-pinch-salt’ mood I didn’t necessarily think it worthy of another story in the cynical climate.

It seems from what I’m being told tonight there is something in it. US interest seems the most plausible. An interesting few weeks await.’

The Mag – Monday 3 December 2018:

Mike Ashley has announced on Monday night that Newcastle United could be sold before the end of this month.

The NUFC owner stating that talks with the potential buyer are way beyond any previous talks with anybody wanting to buy the club and that it is ‘possible’ a deal could be done and dusted in December – but ‘realistic’ for it to happen this month might be ‘too strong a word’ to use.

Yet again you can’t help but have a small part of you wonder if it could happen at last BUT having over a decade now of the club supposedly being up for sale and a series of supposed near misses, most of us will believe it when we see it.

Predictably, it was Sky where Mike Ashley turned up. With cynics (all of us!) no doubt wondering if his sudden chat about supposedly selling the club, is in any way some part of a PR circus connected to his appearance before a house of commons select committee to talk about ‘saving the high street’ earlier today and/or yet another episode in toying with the hopes of Newcastle fans.

Mike Ashley talking to Sky News:

“I am hopeful for the Newcastle fans, for the club, for everybody, that I will be able to step aside and we will be able to get an owner in that can please everybody.”

‘When will that be?’

“When would I like it to be?

“I would like it to be before the January transfer window.”

‘Is that realistic?’

“Hmmm. Realistic? It’s possible, realistic is maybe too strong a word.

“Hopefully we can carry on the good form…just recent good form…and we can get the deal done.”

‘So you are in exclusive talks with someone right now?’

“Not an exclusive but…

“Talks are at a more progressed stage than they have ever been.”

‘And whoever buys the club would presumably have to put in transfer funds for Rafa Benitez?’

“Yes, I’m very keen to sell it to the right buyer, so everybody is happy, that would be good news.”

  • Kenny

    One of the wonders of the World must be how did that oaf manage to become a

    • Leicester Mag

      Indeed and reality is there is some luck involved. He’s way too arrogant to ever reflect on this fact. Like most such people their profile is close to psychopathic. Zero emotion or empathy a good capitalist does make

      • Tweed Mag

        Spot on.

    • Wor Lass

      The Chronic hacks must believe it `cos they`re getting a bit leery with Ashley – Ryder and Douglas have both been slagging him off and saying how he`s undermining Rafa. They must think he`s going shortly. It`s bound to be wrong, then!

      • Sickandtired

        If Douglas and Ryder have their finger on the pulse, it means the patient is already dead! Clueless the pair of them and all at the Ronnie.

        • Wor Lass

          It`s where they put that finger that worries me!

    • Sickandtired

      Business moves that Macbeth would have been proud of – and of course a public flotation which now allows him to play with shareholders money instead of his own.

  • Seewhy

    Let’s suspend belief just for a moment and pretend this is serious. Let’s assume the potential buyer is, as most seem to suggest, this Arthur Blank bloke. Ashley says he hasn’t the funds to take NUFC forward – yet his net worth is 28% greater then Blank, who is already committed to the Falcons and Atlanta United. Anything’s better than FCB, but is Blank REALLY going to inject huge transfer funds into the club? He’s got to better than Ashley but we need to manage our expectations, even if it’s true.

    • Steven05

      Yes but a good staring point for him would be to at least generate and spend accordingly in relation to the clubs potential (like football clubs do)

    • Tweed Mag

      Even if they used ‘every penny the club generates’ the team would be strengthened and more competitive. Rafa may even get £100m to spend if things were done properly. That would be a big step forward. No idea who this American is, but surely he knows more about how to run a club than Ashley. We are all in the dark until the deal is done (and if).

      • Leazes.

        He’s in his late seventies.

    • Tony English

      Blank ‘n White army?

  • Carverlier football

    Is the chat about the Atlanta owner because the only player we’ve been seriously linked with for January plays for them I wonder?

  • Tony English

    When you have journalists saying they knew about this news but chose not to report it, it leads you to believe the story was planted several weeks ago by Ashley’s PR hoping it WOULD be published.

    So they found another way to get the story out…why? It can’t JUST be to have an excuse for no spending in January, he doesn’t need an excuse, he’ll do what he wants in that respect anyway.

    There must be something else, an inquiry in the offing, an HMRC ruling, it’s hard not to be cynical.

    • TeessideMag

      Exactly, probably thought hang on, why have the journalists we briefed not wrote anything??? Best mention it on sky myself

      • Tony English

        I’ve absolutely no idea what move he’s planning, but it can’t be just about the transfer fund, he seems to be too brazen a move for that, too choreographed.

  • Mike

    timing is about right? Boycott Wolves transfer window looming Rafa not staying on. hmmmm

    • Steven05

      All the more reason to increase the pressure


  • Wor Lass

    It looks like he`s trying to flush out some interest by claiming a deal`s already done. It`s similar to what he cooked up with Staveley but it didn`t work then. It`s impossible to figure out what`s going on when you`re dealing with a proven liar. Fingers crossed, hope and keep the pressure on.

  • panther

    Fat mongs going nowhere

  • Mark Davies

    If it is the bloke from Atlanta lets hope he has A Blank cheque ready for Rafa!

  • Mr_Kinnear

    Apparently he’s selling NUFC to the house of fraser.LoL

  • Cockneytrev

    How are these journalists taken in time after time,, it’s not saying a lot for our university system,,

  • Themoscow72

    If a buyer comes a long with £300m he will sell simple as that. Then he will recover his outlay and legal costs with not much left over. This site has not said a word on the Checkatrade trophy game tonight a way we can get to Wembley. No support for the up and coming reserve side just the usual suspects moaning on. We have a massive game on Sunday which could keep us up with Ashley or new owners who could actually be far worse. For every ones sake you must hope Peter Kenyon is behind the deal as the rest are likely to be clowns.

  • Paul Patterson

    I’m no body language expert, but that was as stuttery an interview with wry smiles and elongated pauses as I’ve seen in a while.
    Oh and #courtprovenliar.

  • Hughie

    He is playing games again. He has already stated that these are not public matters, so why raise rumours. He probably did this as a result of irritation at the fans who turned up to slag him off. He knows that this will worry all about the January window, and that it takes months to sell a football club, so unless negotiations are very advanced, it means nothing. He is simply doing all he can to upset fans who upset him.

  • Sickandtired

    Using Ashley’s excuses as a measure, a new owner worth $5 billion would also not be rich enough to compete in the PL. That’s ‘only’ £3.8 billion…not that much more than Fatty’s worth not too long ago.

    • DZA

      I thought the samething.

  • Arty Hume

    He’s lying again, his lips moved!

  • Hughie_Gallacher

    I bet Simon Pryde will be trying to whip all the listeners up into an enthusiastic frenzy on Total Sport tonight.
    The sad thing is, he will have some success.

  • S.G.M.

    Sad news is, if he dose sell the muppets on here will have nowt to write about.

  • DZA

    And in two month time when Ashley still the owner of the club, we as in the fans need to step up the boycotting of games to force his hand. We all know Ashley loves to change the goalposts and last nights TV interview sounds like him changing the posts again, to get someone really interested to buy the club, or just another excuse not to spend in the January window.

  • Geordiegiants

    I haven’t bothered to read any of this article because, I know how much these journalists know.

  • Wezza

    According to Ronnie Gill:

    “Steve Cannon, Blank’s chief executive of the AMB group, says there is no merit in any reports linking him with the Magpies”

    All bull 💩