According to ex-NUFC manager Sam Allardyce, Mike Ashley does genuinely want to sell the club – but he believes the club’s unstable position in the Premier League is the one reason he’s been yet to find new buyers.
He actually raises a valid point (who would spend £300m on a club that could be worth at leat half in a few months time?), but why wasn’t the club sold over the summer or in the months building up to now? I’d like to bet it was due to his excessive demands; whether that’s asking price or him insisting on a Sports Direct presence remaining inside St James’ Park.
Here’s what Allardyce has had to say when speaking on talkSPORT:
“I think he genuinely wants to sell Newcastle,”
“What surprises me, if it’s £300 million (the asking price), I don’t think that’s excessive. I really don’t.
“If the club was stable around 11th or 12th in the Premier League then I think you would get that buyer. The purchaser at this moment is saying, ‘am I buying a Premier League club or am I buying a Championship club?'”
To counter this though, takeover talk always seems to be around this time of year, exactly when what division we are playing in next year is uncertain. During the summer, Ashley doesn’t seem to be proactive in selling the club and if the Kenyon deal breaks down just like the PCP one did a year previously, you have to question the seller not the buyer.
Either it is a PR exercise from Ashley, who has no desire to sell and wants to use it as a smokescreen to not spend in January AGAIN – or he is not being flexible enough with buyers. He must try and sell in the summer’ early in the season, or accept a lower asking price with some of the price withheld unless we secure safety. If he is not prepared to do this, he shouldn’t be doing interviews on Sky News claiming a deal is close, to then disappear for a month.
Allardyce was the first manager Ashley sacked and is likely to be wanting to be in the news with the Huddersfield job now available. Either way, I just don’t believe that the club can be this hard to sell if that is what the owner genuinely wants – Ashley, like most things at NUFC, is causing the problem here.