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Truth behind Mike Ashley will only sell Newcastle United to someone who can take the club forward

2 years ago
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It is an old one but it is a ‘good one’, that Mike Ashley would only consider selling Newcastle United to somebody who would take the club forward.

Indeed, fully 11 years Mike Ashley declared ‘…any potential buyer would have to show they had the best interests of Newcastle United at heart and had both the commitment and finance to be worthy custodians of such a fine football club before I would even consider doing a deal.’

No wonder he has struggled to sell NUFC for well over a decade of trying…it would be so so difficult to find anybody who could show that they had the best interests of NUFC at heart more than him (Mike Ashley).

Tuesday night has seen fans react with anger/amusement that the Chronicle are still taking the NUFC owner seriously regarding ‘only selling to a group which can take Newcastle United forward’…

The Chronicle – 4 June 2019:

‘It’s thought that Mike Ashley is only open to selling to a group which can take Newcastle United forward – indeed it’s understood that Peter Kenyon, and other unnamed groups have failed to satisfy that request when negotiating a deal for United.

Yet given Ashley’s ownership of NUFC – of which many would argue he’s failed to take the club forward himself – fans question why there is such a demand on any new owner.’

Of all the shameful Mike Ashley statements, after the disgraceful shoddy way he has mistreated Newcastle United and used it solely for his own purposes, to claim he would only sell to somebody who could prove they would care for the club…is outrageous.

It is laughable that anybody in the media 11 years ago slavishly repeated this line without putting it in proper context, so to be doing it now is just plain embarrassing.

The only selling to a new custodian with best interests of NUFC at heart, has clearly been part of Mike Ashley’s PR strategy throughout more than a decade of pretending he had any intention of selling up. Whether that (being willing to sell) has changed in summer 2019 remains to be seen.

However, we can see below how it has been a strict PR strategy for Ashley and his people to follow, featuring all the usual suspects…

Below we have a statement from Mike Ashley 11 years ago, then the club repeating the message via the official fans forum last September, then Sky Sports towing the Ashley line, as well as his minion Dennis Wise doing the same via that broadcaster, before then Wise popping up again on Talksport trotting it out just before the new year.

Mike Ashley statement – 28 December 2008:

“I have withdrawn Newcastle United from the market and for me 2009 will be the year in which we drive the club forward together.

“When I took the decision to put the club up for sale in September I made a point of saying two things were very important.

“Firstly any potential buyer would have to show they had the best interests of Newcastle United at heart and had both the commitment and finance to be worthy custodians of such a fine football club before I would even consider doing a deal.

“And secondly, I gave you my word that as long as I remain owner, this club would continue to be run responsibly at all levels.

“I hope you will accept that I have stood by that pledge.”

Newcastle United Official Fans Forum minutes from meeting on 24 September 2018:

“The club remains for sale.

“The club has a very clear and reasonable process for individuals or groups who express an interest in purchasing the club. There has not been a lot of serious interest and a sale is not close as it stands.

“The owner wants a fair price and has been open to the dating of payments to achieve a sale.

“In addition the buyer must be someone, or a group, that can take the football club forward and support it financially better than he can.”

Sky Sports – 1 October 2018:

‘Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has challenged anyone wanting to buy the club to show him the money.

‘Sky Sports News understands that aside from purchasing the club, prospective buyers must also prove they have the funds to take the club forward.’

Dennis Wise speaking on Sky Sports later that day (1 October 2018):

“If someone comes up with the right amount of money and he’s willing to obviously take it forward on terms that he is happy with, I am sure Mike Ashley will do the correct thing.

“What he is not going to do is allow somebody not to take that football club forward and he takes the blame for it.

“That is what his mindset really is.

“He’s trying his best but unfortunately in Newcastle fans’ eyes, his best is never good enough.

“And it never will be good enough…

“But I’m sure in the long-term he (Mike Ashley) will try to do the right thing.”

Dennis Wise speaking to Talksport – 18 December 2018:

“I think Mike Ashley will sell it if it’s the right person.

“I don’t think he will give it to somebody who will strip the club.

“He will only hand it over to someone who is obviously going to take it in another direction and pile some money in, make it happen for Newcastle.”

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