English Premiership

Owner not selling - Magpies

2014-09-13 10:53
Mike Ashley (File)

London - Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley remains committed to the club and will not sell it for any price over the next two years, the Premier League outfit said on Friday.

Newcastle were responding to a report in the Daily Telegraph newspaper that said Ashley would listen to offers for the English club and was interested in taking control of former Scottish champions Rangers.

Ashley had said earlier on Friday that he was not buying more shares to help fund Rangers, a club in which he has a minority investment.

"The truth is Mike Ashley remains committed to Newcastle United," the club said in a statement on its website, adding that it was banning the Daily Telegraph from covering its home matches.

"For the avoidance of doubt, this means that for the remainder of this season and at least until the end of next season, Mike Ashley will not, under any circumstances, sell Newcastle United at any price," it added.

Ashley, the founder of retail group Sports Direct, bought Newcastle in 2007.

Ashley has a stake of more than 4.5 percent in Rangers who had been trying to raise about four million pounds from the sale of new shares to ensure financial stability.

"I will not be participating in the open offer which closes at 11am (1000 GMT) today," Ashley said in a one-line statement, referring to the fund raising by Rangers.

Rangers raised £3.1 million pounds  in the sale, falling short of their target.

The funding should however help the club to pay its way pending a further effort to raise money which is expected to be authorised by shareholders next month.

Rangers have moved up to the second tier of the Scottish game after being forced to relaunch from the fourth rung following the club's collapse under a pile of debt in 2012.

That smooth progress on the field has been marred by boardroom infighting and further financial losses.

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