According to Sky Sports’ north-east reporter Keith Downie, Peter Kenyon’s interest in Newcastle United is ‘very much real’ and Mike Ashley ‘definitely wants to sell’ – but the deal ‘appears to have stalled..for now’.
It’s a frustrating update in the main, failing to include any news of a breakthrough between the two parties, however it’s another reporter who’s insisting that both Kenyon and Ashley are very much intent on doing a deal.
That said, Downie’s last line questions whether Ashley’s price tag is ‘too much’ – with no party (Peter Kenyon included) managing to match his asking price up to this point.
Here’s what he had to say during his latest takeover piece for Sky Sports:
‘It appears to have stalled for now and information is at a premium. Peter Kenyon and his US-based consortium are Mike Ashley’s preferred bidder, and the one group he hoped could push a deal through. Kenyon is very much real in his want to purchase the keys to St James’ Park, but as I write in mid-January, neither the former Chelsea CEO nor any of the other interested parties have entered a period of exclusivity with Ashley. That is, he is yet to show the current Newcastle owner the colour of his money.
‘Money has been spent from both parties in the shape of lawyers’ bills as Kenyon looks over the books of a club once more flirting with relegation, and the feeling within the club is that it could and should have been done by now. Only last month Ashley told our colleagues at Sky News he hoped to have a deal done in time for the January transfer window opening. But the silence right now is deafening.
‘Many Newcastle fans question whether Ashley does indeed want to sell, and they think the timing of the takeover news is an attempt to take pressure off him to spend in the January window. But I can assure you he definitely does want to sell, but no party have matched his asking price thus far. That begs the question, is he asking for too much?’
The wait goes on, however it seems pretty clear to me that any takeover will only happen in the summer (once our fate is sealed) if it is going to ever go ahead.
After all, if a deal was agreed tomorrow, any new owner would now have no time to influence new signings in the January window – meaning a takeover would include the very real risk of us being relegated.