Ashley not seeking to sell up

Press Association Sport understands that Mike Ashley is not actively looking to sell Newcastle, but may do if the price is right.

Last Updated: 26/06/13 at 11:34 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Transfer news: Football League clubs chase Dunston UTS striker Scott Fenwick

Post comment

Sky Sports understands a host of Football League clubs are tracking non-league hot-shot Scott Fenwick.

Sky Bet Championship: Middlesbrough captain Grant Leadbitter set to be handed new deal

Post comment

Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka has revealed that the club have opened contract talks with captain Grant Leadbitter.

All Articles

Mike Ashley: Not actively looking to sel

Mike Ashley: Not actively looking to sel

Mike Ashley is not actively looking to sell Newcastle.

The sportswear tycoon's critics were boosted on Wednesday by a report claiming the club is on the market once again.

However, Press Association Sport understands that while any prospective buyer could open the door to a deal by tabling a suitable offer, Ashley is not attempting to offload the business he bought six years ago as a matter of urgency.

Indeed, that has been the situation since the day he completed a £134.4million takeover during the summer of 2007.

Above all else, Ashley is a businessman and the chance to make a profit on a club in which he has since invested in excess of a further £130million is one which would prove difficult to resist.

However, the fact remains that there are no offers on the table and none in the pipeline.

Ashley has, of course, twice tried to sell Newcastle - once in the wake of Kevin Keegan's departure from his second spell as manager, and then again following relegation from the Barclays Premier League at the end of the 2008-09 season with fans in open revolt on both occasions.

However, at neither point did any party come remotely close to clinching a deal despite fevered speculation, with even an ill-fated mission to the cash-rich Middle East failing to smoke out a buyer.

Having taken the club off the market for the second time in October 2009 with then manager Chris Hughton and his players engaged in what would prove to be a successful battle to drag it back into the top flight at the first attempt, Ashley drew a line in the sand and set about the task of rebuilding it.

The watchword for he and managing director Derek Llambias was "stability", and although the going has been far from smooth at times - the decisions to rename St James' Park as the Sports Direct Arena and to strike a sponsorship deal with payday loans company Wonga were particularly badly received on Tyneside - the trend was largely upward until last season.

Newcastle finished fifth and won a return to European football at the end of the 2001-12 campaign, but struggled over the line in 16th place 12 months later with manager Alan Pardew baring the brunt of supporter frustration, but Ashley and Llambias finding themselves in the firing line too over their distinctly limited involvement in the summer transfer window.

However, a new pantomime villain strode on to the stage last week when the much-maligned Joe Kinnear was handed the role of director of football, prompting Llambias' exit and a fresh wave of bile.

Several hundred supporters attended a meeting at Newcastle Labour Club on Monday evening at which a motion was passed calling on Ashley to get out of town, something which has been a familiar refrain throughout his reign.

However, until such time as a sizeable cheque is sitting in the billionaire's bank account - and there is currently little sign of anyone preparing to put pen to paper - he will continue at the helm.

In the short term, that will mean listening to the action plan draw up by Kinnear in consultation with Pardew and chief scout Graham Carr for squad strengthening this summer and deciding how to act upon it, and further into the future, establishing a sustained period of stability both on and off the pitch.

That is unlikely to satisfy his detractors, who are seeking to mobilise the club's fan base to make their feelings abundantly clear as the start of the new season approaches.

But as he has shown so often in the past, that will be of little concern to Ashley, who remains very much committed to running the club along the lines of the self-sufficiency model set out in the wake of relegation until the day he is made an offer he cannot refuse.


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet


Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Footer 365

Premier League: Jose Mourinho confirms Eden Hazard's Chelsea contract talks ongoing

Jose Mourinho is confident Eden Hazard will commit his future to Chelsea, with talks ongoing over a contract extension.

Daley Blind backs Louis van Gaal's brutally honest approach at Manchester United

Daley Blind says Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal's brutally honest manner is good for team-building.

Premier League: Manchester United winger Angel di Maria delighted with Old Trafford bow

Manchester United winger Angel di Maria was delighted with his Old Trafford debut after the 4-0 win over QPR.

Mail Box

Who's More Miserable - Baggies Or Mags?

There's not a lot to choose between the misery of West Brom fans and the misery of Newcastle fans. We have mails on them, 'only QPR' and lots on Man United...

Forget it, Ronaldo Won't Come Back

A varied morning mailbox, with thoughts on Ronaldo, Daley Blind = Michael Carrick, Ed Woodward redemption, stick with Pardew, QPR's name change and marbles...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property