Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

This Latest Twist in Ashley's Tenure Is Far from a Surprise; NUFC TAKEOVER COLLAPSES: WHAT NEXT FOR THE CLUB AND MIKE ASHLEY?

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

This Latest Twist in Ashley's Tenure Is Far from a Surprise; NUFC TAKEOVER COLLAPSES: WHAT NEXT FOR THE CLUB AND MIKE ASHLEY?

Article excerpt

Byline: LEERYDER Analysing life in Black & White

IT'S 10 years since Mike Ashley persuaded Kevin Keegan to take Newcastle United back to the promised land in the Premier League.

However, in the decade that has since rolled by there hasn't been much to shout about during the Buckinghamshire tycoon's tenure on Tyneside.

Keegan's arrival in 2008 was supposed to be the start of great times, but it quickly started to turn sour for the legendary Toon boss and it was clear that tight controls over finance meant the club was never going to be able to reach for the stars like they did during Special K's first stint in the dugout.

Fast forward to 2018 and the hope of a takeover deal that would have resulted in Amanda Staveley spearheading a new approach - backed with Middle East money - has now seemingly disintegrated.

Ashley is understood to have pulled the plug on the deal that would have handed Staveley the power in the boardroom after growing tired of the time taken to thrash the sale out.

The United owner is renowned for playing hardball in the business world when he feels the need and with no advance on the offer of PS250million and some quibbling over a relegation clause and potential sanctions from the HRMC investigation going on in the background.

Ashley will probably say that Staveley had her chance to seize the opportunity at St James' Park.

It's worth noting that Newcastle have not been taken off the market and this may even be a ploy to invite fresh offers.

One thing seems clear, though, and that is Ashley is not interested in selling the club on the cheap and offers north of PS300million are all he's interested in.

It is still believed that Ashley is ready to take staggered payments for the club and there are thought to be other interested parties in the background, although none are close to even getting around the table to talk big money at this stage.

So why has this happened in such a sudden way and what has pushed Ashley to call time on the talks with Staveley and PCP Capital Partners? …

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