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Reported Mike Ashley wants £200m before entering full Newcastle United takeover talks to then make up the other £100m

8 months ago
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An interesting new report on Mike Ashley and the Newcastle United takeover saga.

It is now over six weeks since the NUFC owner stated a takeover of the club was imminent and could possibly be completed by the end of December, whilst of course it was back in 2008 when Ashley first said that supporters should stop protesting because he was selling the club as soon as possible…

A lot of other nonsense has also been said in the meantime by Mike Ashley and his willing associates, including that he wouldn’t be selling until Newcastle won a trophy, but we didn’t believe that either.

We find ourselves in the middle of yet another transfer window without a single signing so far and hours before a makeshift Newcastle will take on Blackburn in a cup competition everybody agrees is now pretty much pointless under Ashley’s ownership.

It is Michael Walker writing for I News who has brought this latest report/update and having covered Newcastle United for a lot of years, he isn’t one who makes a habit of invented speculation for attention.

Walker says that his information is that Mike Ashley wants to see proof of £200m before he enters into ‘full takeover talks’ with a potential investor(s).

The report saying that from that starting point, Ashley would then be looking to nail down add-ons which would take the final figure ‘close to £300m’, around about his valuation.

Peter Kenyon is of course the (only?) potential bidder being talked about and is trying to reach that £200m mark according to the I News report.

However, Mike Ashley is still not convinced Peter Kenyon’s consortium are able to show they are at that level yet.

There has already been widespread reporting of supposedly Ashley being willing to take at least some of the money in future instalments to help hasten a sale, so feasibly, if you believe this latest report, it could be £200m up front and then the balance via instalments.

Despite relegation looking very much a possibility, there has been absolutely no signs of any positive movement in the transfer market so far.

The I News report going along with our worst/expected fears, that if there is no takeover then Rafa Benitez will get no transfer funds:

Ashley is a notoriously unpredictable deal-maker, so nothing is certain, but the overall takeover picture means that, if a sale does not proceed, Ashley will have to decide whether to back Rafa Benitez with club funds this month.

It looks unlikely. Ashley would be doing so in the knowledge that he still wants to sell Newcastle and Benitez’s contract expires in May. It would be no surprise if Ashley is thinking post-Benitez.

Although the team have slipped into the bottom three of the Premier League and there is a belief that Ashley must act to protect an asset, this ignores previous relegations on his watch. Ashley may accept relegation reluctantly, then try to rebuild.

Benitez’s recent description of possible Premier League survival as a “miracle” is an exaggeration which has irritated those above him. It may also not have lifted the morale of his squad.

Ashley was at Stamford Bridge on Saturday to witness the 2-1 loss to Chelsea, but he and Benitez did not meet. This level of dysfunction is considered the norm at Ashley’s Newcastle, where Benitez’s £6m salary is another piece of the contradiction.’

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