According to the Shields Gazette’s Miles Starforth, Mike Ashley has now ‘gone on holiday for Christmas’ – leaving the club ‘no nearer to being sold’, with Rafa Benitez STILL yet to be told his January budget.
If it’s true that potential buyers are yet to show proof of funds or make a formal bid then maybe Mike can justify a Christmas break, but what’s unforgivable is claims that Rafa Benitez has been left not knowing his January budget – despite him expecting a chat with the club’s hierarchy to finalise plans before the new year.
Here’s a snippet from the latest takeover piece from the Shields Gazette’s Miles Starforth – claiming
‘Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has gone on holiday for Christmas – with the club no nearer being sold.
‘And the Gazette understands that none of the four interested groups – one of them is led by former Chelsea and Manchester United chief executive Peter Kenyon – have lodged a formal bid.
‘Ashley – who broke off talks with would-be buyer Amanda Staveley early this year – has left the matter in the hands of his lawyers while he is on his annual holiday over the festive period.
‘The billionaire – who is looking for upwards of £300million for the club he bought 11 years ago – is waiting for one or more of the groups to secure the funds needed to buy the club.
‘Rafa Benitez, meanwhile, was hoping to discuss the January window with the club’s hierarchy this week.
‘United’s manager, desperate to strengthen his squad for the second half of the season, wants to know his transfer budget, having drawn up lists of potential targets, including Atlanta United midfielder Miguel Almiron.
‘It would take a club-record fee to sign 24-year-old Almiron, who is understood to be keen to join Newcastle.
‘And Benitez – who had to sell to buy in the summer after refusing to sign a new contract – wants to know where he stands ahead of the window, having done the groundwork head of recruitment Steve Nickson.’
Newcastle fans will hope desperately this report isn’t true but the sad truth is that this sounds pretty accurate knowing Ashley. Momentum has slowed and now almost evaporated ever since Ashley made the bizarre decision to go public on Sky News, especially if there wasn’t even a firm bid at that stage either.
It is beyond belief that we still have a world class manager, yet continue to drive him away and deprive him with the basics to help him do his job. Every window Ashley does this disappearing act, Rafa has clearly lined up the Almiron deal but once again a lack of finance will see it fall through. After all, the Almiron fee may be £20m and a new transfer record but let’s not forget we made a £21m profit in the summer so still would be merely breaking even.
Ashley is playing roulette with the future of Newcastle yet again and as fans, if this takeover doesn’t happen, we need to make it abundantly clear we need him out – and before Rafa goes.