Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Let's Be United Again; City Leader Would like to Meet with Any New Newcastle United Owner

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Let's Be United Again; City Leader Would like to Meet with Any New Newcastle United Owner

Article excerpt

Byline: Sophie Doughty Reporter sophie.doughty@ncjmedia.co.uk @Sophie_Doughty

CITY leader Nick Forbes has opened the door to Newcastle United's potential new owner Amanda Staveley saying he would like to meet her as takeover talks progress.

The Yorkshire-born businesswoman is locked in talks to buy the club from current owner Mike Ashley.

Today, as negotiations continue, the leader of Newcastle City Council has told how he is keen to meet with anyone whoever will become Newcastle United's new owner.

And Nick Forbes said he hoped whoever replaces Mr Ashley will appreciate the vital role they will play in the city and how important the club is to its people.

Coun Forbes said: "The council is always ready to work with those looking to invest in our city, and I'd be happy to meet anyone wanting to kick start a new relationship between the club and the city.

"That's not just important for both the council and NUFC, but I think also Newcastle as a whole gains from having an owner at the club who appreciates that they are responsible for more than just a football team, and recognises they have a role to play in the city as well."

Mr Ashley hinted that he was interested in selling the club in August.

It was initially thought he wanted offers of around PS400million for United, but the following month it was reported he had dropped his price to PS380million.

Ms Staveley, who once dated Prince Andrew, is now thought to be the frontrunner to buy Newcastle United and her group are currently at the due diligence stage of negotiations, although no formal offers have yet been made.

Newcastle United's relationship with Newcastle City Council has been a rocky one over recent years.

Coun Forbes was outspoken in his criticism of the club after it signed a sponsorship deal with the high interest payday loan company Wonga in 2013. …

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