An intriguing piece was written in the Northern Echo this week, stating that Mike Ashley is now prepared to accept ‘staggered payments’ to secure the sale – something they believe he was NOT willing to do this time last year when Staveley was in talks.
In addition, Mike has a few problems of his own going on at the minute. He’s dealing with a dispute at Rangers, House of Fraser is his new toy and his baby – Sports Direct – don’t seem to being doing too well either:
Here’s a snippet from the Northern Echo’s piece, suggesting Ashley will reluctantly accept staggered payments for the first time:
‘While Ashley wants to sell up, he is also reluctant to go down the road he did at this time last year when he felt Amanda Staveley refused to offer in excess of £250m.
‘He is now prepared to consider staggered payments, something he was reluctant to do with Staveley, although ideally, he would prefer it all in one go.’
These claims will of course strengthen the hand of interested parties and Peter Kenyon, who is the current favourite to lead a takeover of NUFC.
Newcastle fan pressure has not helped Sports Direct but of course the problems of the retail sector as a whole will be the main issue for Sports Direct. However, Ashley will know that he doesn’t need any further bad publicity and may be getting to the point, finally, where he knows he needs to sell Newcastle to focus on his other business interests.
Flexibility on payment terms will help cash flow for potential buyers, especially with the January transfer window coming up. Let’s hope these latest reports are legitimate and a deal can finally be struck in the coming days.