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Mike Ashley sets Newcastle United Takeover deadline before squad go to China – Sunday Times journalist

5 months ago
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It was 16 days ago when Sunday Times journalist Duncan Castles talked (see below) about the potential Newcastle United Takeover and said his information was that there was  ‘…scepticism in the City of London as to whether a deal [to buy the club] was actually in place.’

Over two weeks later, there is still no takeover, scepticism on any takeover happening is rife amongst Newcastle fans and neutrals alike – not just the City of London.

Whilst in other news, Mike Ashley has forced Rafa Benitez out of St James Park and a week before pre-season, six weeks ahead of the season starting, Newcastle have no manager, no new signings and seemingly no chance of seeing player of the year Salomon Rondon in a Newcastle shirt again.

Unless of course there is an actual Newcastle United takeover happening…

The clock is ticking ever louder and Sunday Time journalist Duncan Castles has given another update.

He says he has been told that Mike Ashley has set a deadline on whether a Newcastle United Takeover is actually going to happen and that the deadline is within these next two weeks.

The reasoning (supposedly) being that Ashley doesn’t want it to negatively affect preparations for the new season. A bit late for that!!!

The end of next week sees the squad report back to start pre-season and then a week later they will be flying off to China for pr-season friendlies, so by the time the squad is heading off, is when Mike Ashley wants to have an answer.

Duncan Castles says that if a Newcastle United takeover isn’t happening any time soon, then Mike Ashley wants to have a month to sort out transfers in and out, which to be fair is pretty much what happens every summer with him anyway!

These Castles claims actually fit in well with a Press Association piece on Wednesday, when they said that their information was that Mike Ashley was asking for updates from potential bidders to see how close they are to concluding a deal.

The Press Association even suggesting that one possibility was Ashley maybe deciding to only appoint a manager on a short-term basis, depending on what the feedback from potential buyers is.

I think a lot of this will make sense for Newcastle fans BUT their belief will be that it is Mike Ashley who isn’t making any takeover easy, not the potential buyers dragging their heels.

Always loving a gamble, Mike Ashley won’t be concerned like we are at the shambles the club is in six weeks before the season kicks off. He will think what is the worst that can happen…even if no sale happens, he could once again even make it so there is yet another profit shown in a summer transfer window by selling a couple of big price tag players, bringing in a far cheaper manager than Rafa, buy and loan a few players and still think there is a decent chance of staying up, considering most of the same squad from last season will remain.

Obviously we see the overwhelming issues caused by the absence of Rafa and Rondon for starters but Mike Ashley doesn’t!

What definitely doesn’t make sense is any idea that buyers would be dragging their heels.

We know Mike Ashley is almost certainly trying to take their eyes out with a higher and price and/or lasting benefits for himself, not overly concerned as per reasons above, that the new season is rushing ever closer.

However, any potential serious buyer will want to get in ASAP to try and bail out as much water from the sinking ship as possible ahead of transfer deadline and the new season, making temporary and longer lasting repairs to the damage Mike Ashley has done.

Sunday Times journalist Duncan Castles speaking on The Transfer Window podcast – 26 June 2019:

“What I have been told is that Mike Ashley himself has put a deadline on these discussions about a takeover, he wants a decision inside the next two weeks.

“Why?

“Because if a takeover isn’t going to take place, and I think the fact that a deadline is being placed on discussions suggests that none of these offers are as near to the line as they have been presented as being …

“If that deadline has been put in place, it is because Mike Ashley realises that if you don’t have a buyer as we get closer and closer to the edge of the transfer window, then you have a problem.

“And if he doesn’t have a buyer, he is going to have to manage the club going into next season.

“That deadline that I have been told of, would give him about a month before the transfer window closes, in which to buy and sell players for Newcastle for next season and also to sort out the issue of a manager.”

Sunday Times journalist Duncan Castles speaking on The Transfer Window podcast – 11 June 2019:

“I can tell you, Jose Mourinho is interested to find out whether there is a possibility of Newcastle United being bought by a wealthy owner.

“If it [Newcastle United] was, he would be interested in finding out whether that is an opportunity for him to manage again.

“I think it [a Newcastle United Takeover] is a longshot.

“For the reasons that we explained when we talked about that [Newcastle United] bid.

“That has been presented from a distant, relatively distant member of the Abu Dhabi royal family.

“That we had scepticism in the City of London as to whether a deal [to buy the club] was actually in place.”

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