[News] Newcastle Is Up For Sale

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Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has said he is prepared to sell the club after weeks of turmoil at St James' Park.

Ashley has come under criticism for the way he has run the club, notably the way he allowed Kevin Keegan to leave.

Keegan left his position as manager on 4 September, claiming he had no control of transfer dealings at St James' Park.

"I am putting the club up for sale. I hope the next owner is someone who can lavish the amount of money on the club that the fans want," said Ashley.

Ashley missed Saturday's home defeat to Hull as Newcastle fans staged a number of protests in and outside the ground.

The protests criticised Ashley's ownership of the club and after just 15 months in control of Newcastle the Geordie businessman has decided to sell his stake.

Newcastle better get a good owner so they can fulfil their potential.

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it's not about being able to lavish money, it's a hard lesson in how not to run a football club.

i'm glad he's selling up, i hope someone with some sense takes over and hands control back to the manager... just because they are not putting their hands in their own pockets doesn't mean they are going to throw the cash around. I just get the impression that Ashley didn't trust the management to spend wisely..

but hey, what do i know :)

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Finally, the *** is out of there, hope Denis Wise follows and would love to see a new owner reinstating Kevin Keegan, giving him complete control of the club.

Well done Newcastle fans, all the protests have helped lol, who saw them on MOTD, what passionate fans the club has.

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The barcode sitcom continues.

I feel sorry for the fans - big club with a lot of potential, some good players, a huge loyal fan base but a completely incompetent owner and board. Just goes from one calamity to another.

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Former Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd has told Sky Sports News he has already been approached by two consortiums interested in taking over at St James' Park.

Mike Ashley's decision to put the club up for sale, amid vociferous criticism from the club's supporters over the departure of Kevin Keegan, has already alerted a number of consortiums weighing up a takeover.

Sports Direct owner Ashley bought a 93 per cent share of the club for ?134.4million in May 2007 but his regime has been beset by problems.

Shepherd claims two separate 'big-money players' have approached him; although he will not be lending his name to their possible bids.

Two consortiums

"There are people who would buy that club, there is no doubt about that," he told Sky Sports News.

"I've been approached by two consortiums to add my name to it. I didn't fancy adding my name to the consortiums that were offered to me, but there are always people who would buy that club."

When quizzed on whether he would ever consider returning to his boyhood club Shepherd remained coy, although he did state he was firmly in favour of reinstating Keegan as manager.

He said: "One thing I've learnt is never say never.

"I'd take a bet we haven't heard the last of Kevin Keegan. I would definitely bring Kevin back, he's the right man for the job.

"It's entirely up to Mike Ashley. When I worked with Kevin he used to identify the players and put a value on them and we used to try and get the money to buy the players. We didn't try to get involved in judging the player - it was left to Kevin."

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Newcastle owner Mike Ashley wants a staggering ?481million for the club, according to reports.

The Sports Direct mogul is believed to currently be in Dubai to try and sell the club after falling foul of the Toon Army following Kevin Keegan's departure from St James's Park.

ArabianBusiness.com claims talks have opened between Ashley and the Dubai-based group Zabeel Investments.

Sale documents have been given to Zabeel by Ashley containing a price of 860 million US dollars (?481million) for the club he bought for ?130million 16 months ago, and then ploughed another ?100million into.

Zabeel Investments is owned by Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum and was part of the consortium that tried to buy Liverpool in 2006.

However, Zabeel Investments chairman Mohammed Ali Al Hashimi has insisted he has not been directly approached.

Not interested

He told Arabian Business: "We have not had any contact. I am not interested in any [English Premier League club] right now."

City sources still remain dubious whether a deal can be done with Middle East investors at anything like the level that Ashley wants.

One source said: "In reality Newcastle have been up for sale for the last six months. If there had been interest from Dubai or Abu Dhabi it would already have surfaced.

"What makes it even more difficult is that Newcastle do not appear as a very saleable asset at the moment - the club has no manager, the fans are protesting and the team are struggling."

Meanwhile, despite reports to the contrary, Ashley has yet to make contact with Keith Harris, the former Football League chairman who helped broker the takeovers of Manchester City by Thaksin Shinawatra and West Ham by their Icelandic consortium.

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Newcastle legend Peter Beardsley has told Geordie fans to lay off under-fire owner Mike Ashley and thank him for reducing the club's debts.

Ashley put Newcastle up for sale this week when protests revealed the extent of his unpopularity.

But Beardsley, who enjoyed two great spells as a Newcastle player, believes Ashley has been harshly treated.

"He didn't come here to fail and he has put a lot of money into the club, so credit to him," said Beardsley.

"Unfortunately, it hasn't worked out but I'm a little bit disappointed he has to walk away.

"His heart was in the right place. Maybe he didn't always show it in the right way but I think he really cared about Newcastle."

A successful businessman in the sportswear sector, Ashley has found sporting success harder to come by.


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If you have been sending Nigeria millions of pounds through email then you could be owning Newcastle :shifty: :p

A consortium based in Nigeria is planning a bid to take over Newcastle United, according to reports in Africa.

Earlier this month, current Magpies owner Mike Ashley announced he was looking to sell the club following the criticism he has received in the wake of Kevin Keegan's resignation.

However, a buyer has yet to be found, with Ashley rumoured to be looking for a fee of more than ?400million and Dubai International Capital recently ruling themselves out of the running.

But a Nigerian company claims to have ?350million - and is bidding to secure the remaining funding which would improve its chances of a successful takeover.


Chief Executive Officer of the NVA Management Chris Nathaniel, whose company are said to be handling the deal, told Kick Off Nigeria: "All along I have been working hard to get wealthy and football loving Nigerian entrepreneurs to buy the club since Mike Ashley indicated his willingness to sell the club to the person, people or entrepreneurs who can meet the ?400million selling price of the club.

"Right now I am happy to tell you that well meaning Nigerians have responded and the consortium of Nigerian entrepreneurs has so far contributed ?350million to buy the club.

"Ashley has stood his ground that he won't sell the club until the money is raised to the asking price of ?400million.

"So what that means is that we need to raise another ?50million or ?100million to shut the door behind the other top Arab companies who are also interested in the club.

"The Arab companies have also indicated interest and made offers - but they haven't met the asking price too."

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The Nigerian consortium hoping to buy Newcastle United has told the BBC it has presented its bid to the club.

The group is one of several thought to be interested, but is the first to announce it has tabled an offer.

The man fronting the bid, UK-based businessman Chris Nathaniel, refused to confirm the size of the offer.

"We can't at this stage, that's confidential between ourselves and Newcastle, but a bid was put in on Friday evening," he said.

"There's been no timeline given by Newcastle but we hope it will be sometime soon."

Previous reports suggested the Nigerian group had raised ?350m and was looking to increase that figure.

Newcastle United's owner Mike Ashley put the club up for sale in the wake of the sudden departure of former manager Kevin Keegan, but has insisted he will hold out for the right price.

But Nathaniel told the BBC's African sports programme Fast Track the Nigerian group would not get involved in a bidding war.

"What they don't want to do is spend a load of money to buy the club and have no money to buy players and to work on what is a quite a troubled infrastructure," he said.

The identities of the people behind the deal remain a closely guarded secret, and Nathaniel said they wanted to remain anonymous until their bid is accepted.

A spokesman for Newcastle United said the club had no comment to make.


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