Some intriguing developments on the potential sale of NUFC this weekend, with The Times now reporting that Mike Ashley wants a ‘quick sale’ at NUFC, having accepted that the current squad would need strengthening in January – something he is unwilling to invest in given his long term ventures lie elsewhere.
Ashley’s made his intentions clear when opting to lower the asking price from £400m to an alleged £380m last month, however The Times now claim that the NUFC owner is now actively pushing for a quick sale to avoid the financial outlay Benitez wishes for in the January transfer window.
Ashley does not want to invest in the team in the January transfer window and so he wants a quick sale done. [Times] #NUFC
— NUFC 360 (@NUFC360) October 7, 2017
He’s not the only one looking to act quickly according to The Times. The next Premier League TV rights package is set to arrive in February, with this influx of cash expected to up the club’s value, meaning it’s also in the ‘interested parties’ best interests to conclude a deal before the year is out. A quick sale (or purchase for this matter) would help potential new owners secure the club at a lower price, also enabling them to reap the financial rewards of the next TV rights package.
This all makes sense from an Ashley or potential buyers point of view, however this could spell good and bad news for ourselves and Benitez.
The overriding feeling is positive if this story is to be believed, with Ashley’s willingness to sell being of paramount importance, however this could put us in an unfortunate position come January if Ashley was no closer to leaving the club.
Ashley doesn’t loosen his purse strings at the best of times and if he is still here in January, you can almost bet Benitez won’t get the financial backing our squad may just require in the winter transfer window.
At present our league position isn’t a major concern following our solid start to the season, but a bad run between now and January or a sudden bout of injuries to key players could see us heading into the transfer window in need of new players to make sure of our Premier League status – a potentially disastrous scenario given Ashley’s stance ahead of his pending exit.
It could go the other way and new ownership may just be in place by then, but uncertainty at board level will certainly not bode well for any January transfer activity – even if Ashley’s departure would be a huge boost.
To summarise, this should be seen as a positive development, showing yet more signs that Ashley wants out for good and quickly, however it’s wise to be aware that this could lead to struggles in the short term (lack of transfer activity in January) in exchange of long term rewards (Ashley out and new owners onboard).