Mike Ashley has spoken out on the Bin Zayed Group’s reported takeover bid for Newcastle United.
The Magpies were heavily linked with a buyout from the Middle Eastern consortium earlier this summer, but hopes of a deal being struck have fizzled out in recent weeks.
And now Ashley has sought to clarify the situation on Tyneside.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, he said: “So I have to assume I will stay running this football club. There are no offers. Define an offer. I’m not a believer any more.
“Peter Kenyon convinced me last Christmas that it was going to get done. I’m never doing that again. I think I could own this football club for ever. That is my new mental state. The reality is with these deals that once it gets out, if it’s not done, it’s probably not going to get done.
‘The day someone buys Newcastle, they’ll do their due diligence – and finished. It will happen like Manchester City. By the time the media find out, it’s already complete. There’s no need for a delay with Newcastle. It is, honestly, a very well-run football club.
“The last bid, the one from UAE, he’s a prince and he’s got £38bn or £100bn, all these numbers — well, why would you even care what you’re paying then? What difference would £10m either way make? You would want speed, you would want certainty, you would want the keys and to get on with it.
‘I will not stand in the way of Newcastle United.”
This is not good news for Newcastle fans. This kind of softly-softly approach, coating a hard message on lots of diplomatic speak about how well ran the club is and how he only wants what is best for the Magpies is classic Ashley, and is designed to throw fans off the scent. The real takeaway from this is that he believes he can be the owner for the foreseeable future. Given how intense the unrest is amongst supporters at the moment, that is a disastrous thing to hear. With regards to the Bin Zayed Group, Ashley makes it sound as if a deal was never on the cards. This is one thing that actually seems plausible. Everything got out of hand a little too quickly this summer, and as soon as rumours start to circle and burgeon like wildfire, that kind of deal is always going to be in trouble. All in all, Ashley has broken his silence, but Toon fans won’t like what he has to say.
This article was originally posted here