Ashley open to Newcastle sale

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is not actively seeking to sell the club but is open to any suitable offers.

Last Updated: 26/06/13 at 14:04 Post Comment

Mike Ashley: Controversial tenure at Newcastle

Mike Ashley: Controversial tenure at Newcastle

The sportswear tycoon has been widely criticised since he took control of the club in 2007 and his critics were given further ammunition by reports in Wednesday's press suggesting he was ready to sell up.

However, those reports appear to be wide of the mark despite the Sports Direct owner coming under increased pressure to end his tenure at the club following the recent controversial appointment of Joe Kinnear as director of football.

Ashley is believed to be holding out for an offer that will allow him to recoup all of the money he has spent in his six years in charge at St James' Park, a figure of £267m according to the latest Deloitte Annual Review of Football Finance published earlier this month.

Ashley launched his bid for the club in May 2007 when he bought the Hall family's shareholding and had full control in July that year after purchasing the shares of then chairman Freddy Shepherd.

That is reported to have cost the Buckinghamshire-born businessman around £134m but, having failed to undertake due diligence before his takeover, he had to spend a further £100m clearing out existing debts.

Ashley also footed a large proportion of the club's wage bill following their relegation from the Premier League in 2009 to help fund their immediate return to the top flight.

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