Mike Ashley has now received four acceptable bids for Newcastle United and a sale is imminent, according to Sky Sports.
The broadcaster says that Ashley is now negotiating with the various parties, with Sky stating that they have all at least matched the NUFC owner’s £300m valuation.
Newcastle fans will be naturally sceptical (don’t shoot the messenger!) about the Sky Sports claims, after over 10 years of the club being allegedly for sale.
They will rightfully be asking, if Mike Ashley had genuinely being trying to sell the club previously, why had their not being a single acceptable offer, yet there are four now…
Sky Sports say their information is that most, if not all, of the bids are from overseas investors.
However, the only one they name is the one fronted by Peter Kenyon.
It was announced/claimed in September that the former Chelsea and Manchester United Chief Executive was fronting a bid and had approached Mike Ashley to ask what his selling price for the club was.
Sky claim that Kenyon has remained in talks with Ashley’s representatives since that point.
They state that Peter Kenyon’s offer is backed by investors from the United States.
Referring to Mike Ashley’s surprise interview on Monday night on Sky News (see below), the broadcaster says that there is indeed optimism that a deal could be concluded by the end of December , in advance of the January transfer window.
Though for that to happen, they do admit that it would be ‘a race against time’ with the Premier League’s financial rules and background checks to take place.
On the face of it, with Ashley’s quotes and these Sky Sports reports, it would appear a sale of Newcastle United is all but guaranteed.
However, Newcastle fans certainly won’t be racing to celebrate just yet, after so many false dawns year after year.
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.
“It’s possible” – Mike Ashley says he is in talks to sell Newcastle United in a deal he hopes will go through before the January transfer window
— Sky News (@SkyNews) December 3, 2018
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.”