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Sky Sports : “I can assure you Mike Ashley definitely does want to sell”

2 years ago

Sky Sports have given an update on Mike Ashley and the potential takeover of Newcastle United.

It is now 46 days since the NUFC owner appeared on Sky News and stated a sale of the club was imminent.

Mike Ashley saying it was possible that a sale could even be completed before the end of December, as the talks with one potential buyer were at such an advanced stage.

When he popped up unexpectedly then, it was still eight and a half weeks until the January transfer window would be scheduled to end.

Difficult to imagine how things could have gone much worse for Newcastle fans since that point as the takeover appears now to be more talk over with noting happening, Newcastle have won only one of the eight Premier League games since that TV interview and have now dropped into the relegation zone, whilst it is only 13 days until the end of the transfer window and there appears to be as much chance of credible signings being made as there is of a takeover happening this month.

Net result, Rafa Benitez, his team and the fans, have what looks a do or die massive relegation game tomorrow, with the club’s owner happily sitting back and watching Newcastle United struggle for survival, a little bit like a fish out of water desperately trying to keep going.

Despite all of this Keith Downie, who covers Newcastle United for Sky Sports, insists ‘I can assure you Mike Ashley definitely does want to sell’ Newcastle United.

The Sky Sports man says he understands no bidder has yet met his asking price, which is why the club hasn’t yet been sold.

This though raises the usual questions that have been asked since Mike Ashley first claimed 11 years ago that fans didn’t need to worry and should stop protesting – because he would sell the club as soon as possible.

Newcastle supporters doubting whether he has ever seriously wanted to sell the club because of all the benefits he receives from owning it.

Whilst Keith Downie claims Mike Ashley does definitely want to sell Newcastle United, he does accept the question must be asked as to whether he is asking for too high a price?

Which then brings us back to whether he is truly serious about selling up.

After 11 years who can honestly believe that Mike Ashley does want to sell, if it was priced to sell then it would have done so.

Keeping it at a price that nobody will pay for it, is the same as not wanting to sell.

The Sky Sports reporter says that there is still not even an agreement of exclusivity with any of the supposed bidders and you also have to ask the question as to where all of these other definite serious bidders are, who Mike Ashley and his people indicated definitely existed. The same as when Amanda Staveley was on the scene and Ashley’s lawyer actually stated on Sky Sports that they had any number of other serious bidders as well, ready to buy the club, only for them to mysteriously disappear and Sky Sports and the rest of the media not question Mike Ashley and  his people as to where they were after Ashley eventually accused Staveley of wasting his time.

Until he actually does sell the club, Newcastle fans will continue to feel that they are simply being played by Mike Ashley yet again. When somebody has misled people so often in the past, how on earth are you supposed to believe them?

When it comes to what you should and shouldn’t believe, you also have to take into account that much of what Sky Sports and the media report/claim, is simply what has been said by Mike Ashley or put out by his people.

What a time to be alive.

Sky Sports’ man covering Newcastle United, Keith Downie:

‘It appears to have stalled for now and information is at a premium.

Peter Kenyon and his US-based consortium are Mike Ashley’s preferred bidder, and the one group he hoped could push a deal through. Kenyon is very much real in his want to purchase the keys to St James’ Park, but as I write in mid-January, neither the former Chelsea CEO nor any of the other interested parties have entered a period of exclusivity with Ashley.

‘That is, he is yet to show the current Newcastle owner the colour of his money.

‘Money has been spent from both parties in the shape of lawyers’ bills as Kenyon looks over the books of a club once more flirting with relegation, and the feeling within the club is that it could and should have been done by now.

‘Only last month Ashley told our colleagues at Sky News he hoped to have a deal done in time for the January transfer window opening. But the silence right now is deafening.

‘Many Newcastle fans question whether Ashley does indeed want to sell, and they think the timing of the takeover news is an attempt to take pressure off him to spend in the January window.

‘But I can assure you Mike Ashley definitely does want to sell, but no party have matched his asking price thus far.

‘That begs the question, is he asking for too much?’


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