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Mike Ashley seeking clarity on Newcastle United takeover and at best is ‘weeks, if not months away’

3 weeks ago
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After a disastrous summer so far, fans have been left with the lingering hope that the potential Newcastle United Takeover could become reality.

Tomorrow (Thursday 27 June) is the exact halfway point in this transfer window, with no players signed so far and indeed no suggestion that there has been any attempt to buy anybody yet.

As for the managerial situation, Monday brought confirmation that Rafa Benitez will not be staying at St James Park after Sunday, when his current three year deal ends.

At least that is, certainly unless somebody other than Mike Ashley is in control of Newcastle United.

Wednesday has now finally brought an update, of sorts, regarding the hoped for Newcastle United Takeover.

The Independent (see below) report the Press Association saying that their information is that Mike Ashley is ‘seeking clarity on the progress made by interested parties’, in terms of buying the club.

They say that in particular this refers to the Bin Zayed Group.

When the Rafa news broke on Monday, George Caulkin of The Times said that he was aware of at least three interested bidders for the club, including the BZG.

The report says that at best, any conclusion is at least weeks away ‘if not months’.

If there is a chance of a takeover looking like it is going to happen, the Press Association say that opens up the possibility of a short-term appointment to bridge the gap until new owners ave taken control.

However, the alternative is the possibility of Mike Ashley instead appointing somebody who will accept the way Newcastle United is run and the manager’s (head coach?) place in that.

Many Newcastle fans are still dubious as to whether  Mike Ashley does indeed genuinely want to sell the club at a market price, the fear being that once in negotiations he will always be looking for more and more cash and/or post sale benefits such as advertising and/or Sports Direct still controlling the club shops.

The Independent report:

‘Press Association Sport understands the Magpies’ owner is seeking clarity on the progress being made by interested parties, principally Dubai-based Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, with which his representatives have been holding talks in recent weeks over a potential takeover.

At best, any conclusion appears to be several weeks, if not months away and that could mean appointing a manager on a short-term basis.

But if Ashley decides there is little prospect of a sale going through, he faces a very different scenario.

…the state of play on the takeover front will determine whether he is looking for a short-term appointment to bridge the gap to a new owner taking up the reins, or someone who is prepared to work under the well-established constraints of the Ashley regime on a longer-term basis should the sportswear magnate remain at the helm.’

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