English Premiership

Magpies up for SALE!

2017-10-16 19:42
Newcastle United (File)

London - Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is ready to end his controversial reign after putting the Premier League club up for sale on Monday.

Ashley has been a polarising figure at Newcastle since taking over at St James' Park in 2007 and the sports retail tycoon has decided now is the time to step down.

Newcastle have been relegated from the Premier League twice in the Ashley era, with the 53-year-old angering Magpies fans with his failed managerial appointments and his decision to sell naming rights to the club's historic stadium.

Ashley has frustrated current Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez by failing to back the Spaniard in the transfer market.

Benitez has publicly complained about Newcastle's spending on several occasions since leading them to promotion from the Championship last season, with Ashley responding that he doesn't have the cash to compete with superpowers like Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United.

Now Ashley, who paid £134 million for Newcastle, reportedly hopes to find a new owner by the end of the year following the formal announcement of his sale plan.

"As one of the Premier League's oldest and best supported football clubs - and for the benefit of its many fans and supporters in the UK and across the world - Newcastle United requires a clear direction and a path to a bright and successful future," a Newcastle statement read.

"To give the club the best possible opportunity of securing the positioning and investment necessary to take it to the next level, at what is an important time in its history, its present ownership has determined that it is in the best interests of Newcastle United and its fans for the club to be put up for sale."

Speculation over Newcastle's future was ramped up after the appearance of financier Amanda Staveley at their match against Liverpool earlier this month.

After initially trying to win over Newcastle fans by sitting with them at away matches -- the Londoner was often pictured in a Newcastle shirt drinking beer with supporters -- he spent far less time at the north-east club once the atmosphere soured in recent years.

Ashley unsuccessfully cycled through a host of managers in a bid to transform Newcastle's fortunes, with Kevin Keegan, Joe Kinnear, Alan Pardew and Steve McClaren among his hires.

Newcastle are currently ninth in the Premier League after Sunday's 2-2 draw at Southampton, but Ashley looks to have realised more investment is needed and he is willing to let a new buyer defer part of the payments to allow funds to be used on improving Benitez's squad.

"To give an incoming owner the maximum possible flexibility to make meaningful investment in the club, including in its playing squad, the sale process will give interested parties the opportunity of deferring substantial payments," the statement added.

"A process will now commence of identifying new ownership for the club that will be capable of delivering the sustained investment in and dedication to the club that is necessary for it to achieve its ambitions."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Friday, 24 November 2017
West Ham United v Leicester City, London Stadium 22:00
Saturday, 25 November 2017
Swansea City v AFC Bournemouth, Liberty Stadium 17:00
Manchester United v Brighton & Hove Albion, Old Trafford 17:00
Crystal Palace v Stoke City, Selhurst Park 17:00
Newcastle United v Watford, St. James' Park 17:00
Tottenham Hotspur v West Bromwich Albion, Wembley Stadium 17:00
Liverpool v Chelsea, Anfield 19:30
Sunday, 26 November 2017
Southampton v Everton, St. Mary's Stadium 15:30
Burnley v Arsenal, Turf Moor 16:00
Huddersfield Town v Manchester City, The John Smith's Stadium 18:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2017/18 season?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 PSL season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.