Mike Ashley considers Newcastle United sale amid Chinese interest

Mike Ashley is mulling over the sale of Newcastle United following 10 turbulent years of frequent criticism by the club’s faithful. The Magpies are back in the Premier League following a successful Championship triumph last season, but the interest from the Chinese investors appears to have urged Ashley to consider a potential sale. The Fast East country recently placed restraints against overseas football takeovers, but this has not significantly diminished interest in the Tyneside club.

In recent years, Ashley has constantly rebuffed periodic reports that he is prepared to cash in on the Magpies, which he took over from the Shepherd and Sir John Hall’s families for £134m over a decade ago. Ashley’s advisors have remained coy over the ongoing takeover talk, but there is a sense of something going around. Justin Barnes, Ashley’s Sports Direct businesses operator, has been making constant visits to St. James Park of late.

Ashley has used Newcastle for the promotion of his businesses, but the club could stand to make huge money from sponsorship alone. Which could be just how Crystal Palace have been raking in a sizeable sum of money through the sponsorship with Mansion Group Limited, the big gaming company that is mostly known for their flagship brand Mansion Casino and also for sponsoring Tottenham before.

A report from The Guardian has claimed that Ashley is mulling over Chinese investment. Magpies boss Rafa Benitez signed a three-year extension with the promise of spending reasonably, and this was reflected by Ashley himself, who said:

“I’ve confirmed to Rafa and Lee Charnley (chief executive) that they can have every last penny that the club generates through promotion, player sales and other means in order to build for next season.”

There has been a huge inflow of cash into English clubs following China’s president Xi Jinping’s call to spend more in football back in 2015. Aston Villa, Wolverhampton Wanderers, West Bromwich Albion, and Birmingham City are some clubs who have been snapped up by Chinese consortiums, but none have made any significant progress upwards in their respective leagues.

The Chinese government have since brought strong measures towards irrational spending in the beautiful game, and this has decreased further interest from the Asian country.

With the huge Premier League TV money up for grabs, Newcastle United are in good hands irrespective of the change in ownership. The Tyneside club amassed a gross revenue of around £124m during their previous top-flight season in 2015/16, and this will jump significantly with the new TV money.

We had several highs during the last Premier League stint between 2010 and 2016, as we reached the highs of Europa League qualification only to succumb to relegation battles in the final years – due to the sporadic spending on players from the French Ligue 1 that never really quite worked out.

We have one of the best fan followings in the country and the jam-packed St. James Park will be hoping for a decent start to their league campaign which starts at home against Tottenham Hotspur on August 12.

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.