Over two weeks on from THAT Sky interview where Ashley claimed a takeover was closer than it’s ever been, we’re now being told ‘time is running out’ for a deal to be done in time for January – with Ashley now away on holiday to make matters worse.
Unfortunately, there’s fears that Ashley has played us all once again, with two theories immediately entering my head…
1 – A ploy to cancel the Wolves boycott (It worked!)
The Wolves boycott was cancelled to give new owners a ‘clear run’ at completing a deal, also meaning Ashley could not blame our negativity on the collapse of any deal. The Ashley interview put fans in a no win position on this one really but unfortunately it’s now impossible to know what impact continued protests would have had on results on the field. We have gained valuable points over this period and do now, remarkably, have more points this season than a the same stage last year.
However, as progress on the takeover appears to have stalled, yet again, it is hard to shift the feeling that Ashley has somehow managed to get away with it, again. It does feel different this time and even Ashley must know the backlash this time would be huge if he doesn’t sell within the next month – and if this ploy to get the boycott cancelled has caused Ashley so much worry, it is good to know we can surely arrange another if needed.
As the Sports Direct share price continues to decrease, the last thing he needs is yet more negative publicity.
2 – An excuse to not spend in January once AGAIN.
An excuse not to spend in January would be typical of Ashley (he hasn’t spent in the January for years) and it would be a case of dejavu from 12 months ago; as PCP and their deal to buy the club ‘collapsed’.
The reason it would be even worse this year though is that this is the last window we have to keep hold Rafa Benitez, he won’t put up with zero investment yet again and is very likely to walk away this summer when his contract ends. He is waiting for investment or a takeover, and rightly wont commit to NUFC unless one of them is achieved. Ashley is harming is own asset by alienating Benitez, once the Spaniard departs our hopes do to – as long as Ashley is still here. Benitez goes, the value of NUFC plummets and fans will walk away in numbers. Surely even Ashley isn’t stupid enough to use this ploy to not spend again…but then again, never rule anything out under this owner.
What is your take on these theories, will a takeover eventually go through (with many journalists telling you interest IS genuine this time) or has this been yet another big Mike Ashley PR stunt?