This has convinced me that Mike Ashley is now selling Newcastle United
Is Mike Ashley going to sell Newcastle United?
A question that we have asked year after year, ever since he claimed in September 2008 that he was definitely going to sell as soon as possible.
These last 11 years, Newcastle fans have doubted just how genuine Mike Ashley was.
Laughably, over this past decade and more, Ashley has repeatedly insisted (read below) that he would only sell the club to somebody who ‘could take the club forward’, that they would have to prove ‘they had the best interests of Newcastle United at heart’…
Mike Ashley even had the nerve to say on 28 December 2008 (middle of the season when he first relegated NUFC): ‘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.’
Each time that Ashley and/or his friendly media have put this message out, it has made me feel like projectile vomiting, as per Mike Ashley into the pub fireplace.
The idea that he has the best interests of the club at heart is just embarrassing, quite the opposite.
Which leads me think that actually, I can well believe that Mike Ashley could be in the process of selling Newcastle United.
I have long held the view that if/when he did sell, he would want to leave as big a mess behind as possible.
Well here we are.
My belief is that heads of terms agreement has been reached with the Bin Zayed Group, proof of funds supplied by them, pretty much everything ready to go and a deal to be done, only for Mike Ashley to be dragging his feet.
As well as trying to get every possible last penny and benefit out of the deal, also deliberately delaying the takeover as long as possible, so they have the least amount of time to avoid disaster this coming season.
Imagine say that a deal will be dragged out long enough until when the squad come back from China, you are only talking a couple of weeks time.
Say the big day was Monday 22 July when a takeover was announced by Sheikh Khaled.
He could/would have to find a manager, along with am entire senior coaching team.
There would only be 17 days until the transfer window closed, only 20 days until the new season kicked off.
Has Mike Ashley delayed a sale long enough to bank extra payments from the Premier League that he could benefit from?
Ayoze Perez sold for £30m, in the next couple of weeks it is more than feasible we could see two or three of Schar, Longstaff, Lascelles, Dubravka and Hayden sold, with still no incoming signings made.
Rather than having the ‘best interests’ of Newcastle United at heart, I 100% believe that the Mike Ashley dream would be to bank top dollar when selling AND other benefits (ongoing SD adverts, merchandising rights etc etc), then leave such a mess behind that it leads to instant relegation once he is out of the door.
I have to ask you, with what has gone on so far this summer, what other scenario makes sense?
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.”
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.’
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