According to the Mirror’s Ian Murtagh, Mike Ashley is now wanting a Sports Direct advertising presence at St James’ Park included in any takeover deal – something that’s created a ‘stumbling block’ for all FOUR interested parties.
This comes after confirmation yesterday that the NUFC owner is now off away on a ‘Christmas Holiday’ – all but confirming that nothing is imminent on the takeover front as we speak.
The piece states that Peter Kenyon’s legal team are still working on a potential deal – with THREE other parties also credited with interest – however it seems all four groups aren’t happy to see Sports Direct advertising remain in and around the stadium.
Here’s a snippet from the Mirror’s piece published late last night:
“Ashley is looking for £300million, but is keen to retain an advertising presence at St James’ Park for his Sports Direct brand — an issue which has become a stumbling block.
“The fact he is now going to be abroad for the next two weeks suggests he does not hold out much hope of things being resolved soon.”
It’s not clear whether this has always been a demand of Ashley’s (to retain Sports Direct advertising following a takeover), however it was reported by several local reports a few weeks ago (after his big Sky interview) that it would be a clean break – suggesting he would take Sports Direct with him if and when any sale went through.
Either way, our hopes of a takeover early in the new year appear to be fading fast – with many questioning if Ashley really is interested in selling if he’s packing his bags and leaving the country around a stage that could be crucial to any potential buyout.
Time will tell, but I’m not confident at all – it’s best not to be when Mike Ashley is involved.