According to the Northern Echo’s Scott Wilson, ‘senior staff’ at Newcastle have been left surprised by Mike Ashley’s takeover claims during his interview with Sky on Monday night – suggesting it is news to them that talks are as advanced as he has suggested.
It was particularly bizarre going public like this, as Ashley cited making talks public as a reason for not doing a deal with the Staveley camp and PCP Capital Partners this time last year; so I’n not surprised to hear about this reaction.
Here’s a snippet from Scott Wilson’s latest piece from the Northern Echo:
Senior Newcastle staff are understood to have been caught on the hop by Ashley’s comments, so while the Sports Direct owner has a justified reputation for making off-the-cuff moves, there is bound to be a large amount of scepticism about the veracity of his words until he is able to provide tangible proof that a potential buyer is in place.
Given his own infuriation at Staveley’s attempts to play out last December’s discussions in the public arena, it is also strange that he opted to go public himself when the vast majority of successful takeover deals are conducted in private.
That said, however, there has been increased talk of potential interest in the last month or so, with a consortium based in Turkey also having been heavily linked with an imminent move.
Staff at NUFC are likely to feel like most Newcastle fans on this; skeptical and confused on this latest development.
As fans we all desperately hope this is true and a deal is reached but it is hard to not be cynical considering the timing; perfect for Mike to then justify not backing Rafa in the upcoming January transfer window.
It is no coincidence that this has come off the back of planned protests and campaigns against Sports Direct. I know there has been squabbling on social media, especially between fans, but we all want the same thing and it is making a difference. Now is our chance to force Ashley to sell and it may just be we have buyers willing to take the club off his hands. Let’s keep the pressure up on Ashley for a few more weeks and do all we can to get rid of him for good.