Matt Ritchie has admitted that it has been hard for him to ignore the rumours about the potential takeover at the club, but has stressed that ‘success on the pitch will bring success off it’ – suggesting we must improve our own results to help win over a potential new buyer.
As we know, several parties have signed non-disclosure agreements since Ashley put the club up for sale, with Amanda Staveley and her PCP Capital Partners group currently in the due diligence phase of the potential takeover.
With Ashley keen to sell up by Christmas, us fans aren’t the only ones hoping for a quick sale, however Matt Ritchie has admitted that while the speculation is hard to ignore, the players are remaining focused on matters on the pitch:
“I’ve got to be honest that I’ve tried to, not ignore it because it’s obviously there, but as players we need to continue to work hard and do our stuff out on the pitch and training pitch,”
“We can’t affect anything that goes on upstairs at the football club. We’ll be dictated to what happens, we can have any say or involvement in that, so there’s no point in worrying about that.
“We just need to stay focused on what happens on the pitch and hopefully success on the pitch will bring success off the pitch.”
A fair outlook from Ritchie, who is clearly aware of what a takeover could mean for the club, but also mindful of the job he and his team-mates must continue to carry out on the pitch to keep a potential buyer interested.
At the end of the day, our form could have a major impact on a takeover.
Would Staveley’s offer to Mike Ashley be reduced or reconsidered if we suddenly found ourselves in the bottom three come Christmas time? Quite possibly. After all, a new buyer doesn’t want to spend hundreds of millions on a club if it looks in serious danger of relegation.
Benitez has emphasises the need for focus and togetherness in recent weeks. Hopefully that can pay dividends and keep us in a healthy position ahead of a potential takeover – something that will only make us more of an attractive proposition to someone like Staveley.