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Report – Stumbling block for Newcastle takeover as Mike Ashley wants Sports Direct adverts to remain as part of any deal

2 years ago
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It is now 18 days since Mike Ashley popped up on Sky News, telling everybody that it was possible he could have sold Newcastle United by the end of December.

A mixture of laughter, hope, scepticism and bemusement met the NUFC owner’s announcement, as supporters wondered why was he going public with this, if takeover talks were so far down the line?

Plenty of media coverage since that point but a desperate shortage of detail, both Peter Kenyon and Garry Cook having their names put forward, though their claimed roles are as trying to put together the money men, rather than they themselves having the money to do so.

The only clear action we have seen, is confirmation on Thursday that Mike Ashley has jetted off on holiday, rather than being around to hand the keys over when…an imminent sale of Newcastle United goes through.

A new report claims extra inside information and reason(s) as to why there has been no significant progress on the Newcastle takeover.

It is The Mirror who are reporting two obstacles.

They say Mike Ashley wants Sports Direct advertising retained at St James Park as part of any deal.

Meanwhile, they also claim that none of the four supposedly active bidders, have so far agree to meet Ashley’s valuation of the football club.

With these media reports, you can never be sure how accurate they are, if at all, due to the fact that what they are reporting also happen to be the fears that fans are voicing already.

Namely, Mike Ashley has no intention of selling or is asking far higher than what the club is actually worth, which are basically the same thing and would mean no chance of the club being sold.

Whilst supporters have also always voiced fears that even if the club was sold, Mike Ashley still wouldn’t allow there to be a clean break, with the potential of insisting on the likes of the SD adverts remaining at St James Park and/or continuing involvement by Sports Direct with the club’s physical and online shops.

If there are a number of bidders interested in the club, which surely should be the case if NUFC is genuinely up for sale at a fair price, then a sale should happen as a result of normal negotiations when it comes to selling any business.

However, there have been so many false dawns where Mike Ashley ha claimed he is really really trying to sell the club this time, and only last year when the Amanda Staveley bid was made public, Ashley’s legal representative Andrew Henderson told Sky Sports that as well as the Staveley interest, they were also already in contact with a host of other serious bidders keen to buy the club.

Whilst Mike Ashley and his people were more than happy to demonise Amanda Staveley and claim she had been simply wasting his (Ashley’s) time, they never even felt the need to even mention where all these other serious bidders had disappeared to, that THEY had told us were there, indicating at least one of these serious bidders would be buying the club.

So 12 months on, has anything changed?

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