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Not one formal offer for Newcastle United and now Mike Ashley has gone on his Christmas holidays – Report

2 years ago
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It is now 17 days since Mike Ashley dropped the bombshell.

At last after eleven and a half years Newcastle United is to be sold and talks are so far advanced with one of the numerous interested buyers, it was possible the sale could even be completed before the end of December.

Newcastle fans took a lot of interest in the owner’s appearance and words on Sky News on Monday 3 December, obviously.

However, as for believing that Mike Ashley would soon be leaving St James Park, that met very mixed reviews.

With only 11 more days of December remaining, it is now reported that rather than leaving St James Park, Mike Ashley has instead left the country.

The Shields Gazette report that the NUFC owner is now off on his Christmas holidays abroad.

The newspaper revealing that their information is that none of the claimed interested bidders has even made a formal offer for the club as yet.

Maybe best to put that New Year’s Eve celebration Champagne back on the shelf..

The Shields Gazette say that Mike Ashley has left the responsibility for dealing with any club sale issues with his legal representatives whilst he is away on holiday.

With modern technology meaning distances aren’t such a big deal, no reason why any decisions couldn’t still be made even though the owner has gone on his jollies, but remember this is the club where in the past, Mike Ashley’s annual festive holidays, which often seem to last until towards the end of January, have been blamed for a lack of spending in the mid-season transfer window.

What it surely most definitely tells us that there is nothing imminent and with the Premier League needing  weeks to do their bit for rubber stamping any change of club ownership, no news is definitely not good news. I am pretty certain that if things did get that far (change of ownership put forward for PL approval), there would definitely be a leak on that story into the public domain.

This all just adds to the circus/soap opera style of our club, which has gone on to a whole other level since Mike Ashley took over.

I don’t think there is another similar sized club where you would have the owner do what Ashley did with his Sky News interview and then feel that there is absolutely no obligation to give any kind of update/reassurance to Newcastle fans and Rafa Benitez as well, presumably.

This is why Mike Ashley loves not having to answer to rules, such as those that would be involved if Newcastle United were still a PLC with responsibilities to shareholders. No wonder he responds so badly to the likes of Sports Director shareholders when they question his actions and doesn’t take kindly to the restraints on what he says and does, due to SD being a PLC.

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.”

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