With little sign of Mike Ashley’s relationship with Newcastle fans improving, will the owner ever pack up shop and sell the club? It is fair to say there is a toxic feeling towards Ashley from the Geordie faithful and the departure of manager Rafael Benitez this summer has proven to be the last straw for some sections of support.
Protest groups have been set up in an attempt to force Ashley out of the club, while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn recently had a pop at how the Englishman was running the Magpies. Supporters are still holding out hope the club will be sold in the not-so-distant future but a takeover looks far away, as things stand.
A brief moment of joy came around on September 27 this year when it was claimed Peter Kenyon’s new American investment fund GACP Sports, which also owns French club Bordeaux, had relaunched a bid to buy the club.
The former Chelsea and Manchester United chief executive attempted a takeover of Newcastle with another consortium last year but could not raise the necessary funds.
However, it has been over two weeks since that report and, according to Chronicle journalist Mark Douglas, the news is not positive regarding Kenyon. “A fortnight on from promises from sources close to Peter Kenyon that he was back in the running to buy out Newcastle United, the club are yet to engage in any new talks with the would-be Magpies owner,” he wrote.
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Unfortunately for Newcastle fans, they have seen failed takeover bids before and it could be a while before Ashley is forced out of St James’ Park.
This summer, it was strongly claimed the Bin Zayed Group had agreed a deal to buy Newcastle for £350million although that takeover failed to happen, much to the displeasure of Newcastle fans.
Back in January 2018, Amanda Staveley failed in her third bid to buy the Magpies via her PCP Capital Partners investment firm, having supposedly not met Ashley’s demands.
Despite the owner saying he is ready to sell if an acceptable offer comes in, there always appears to be some issue with a potential buyer that forces a deal to collapse.
It seems a strange situation at Newcastle, who did spring a surprise when defeating Manchester United 1-0 at home prior to the international break. As things stand, it seems likely Ashley will be sticking around for some time yet.