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Mike Ashley’s Reign Of Terror At Newcastle Could Be Coming To An End

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 07: Sports Direct International founder Mike Ashley walks into the Red Lion pub in Westminster before attending a select committee hearing at Portcullis house on June 7, 2016 in London, England. Mike Ashley is to face the Business, Innovations and Skills Parliamentary Select Committee on working practices at his Sports Direct Shirebrook Warehouse in Derbyshire. In a letter to his staff he admitted that the centre needed 'improvements' after investigations found that staff had been paid less than the minimum wage and ambulances had been called to the complex 76 times in two years as staff were 'too scared' to call in sick. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Mike Ashley’s decade-long spell as Newcastle United owner could soon be coming to an end.

The Sports Direct businessman is in talks with Chinese investors regarding investment in the newly-promoted club, with a number of options being considered including a full takeover.

Multiple sources are now suggesting that Ashley entered into these talks a month ago, and that manager Rafa Benitez is fully aware of proceedings.

However, while Chinese investment is a distinct possibility, a full takeover would be that bit more complicated. Firstly, Ashley is not actively looking to sell right now. Newcastle are in a healthy financial position at the moment, have just achieved promotion to the Premier League at the first time of asking and are able to offer Benitez significant funds to strengthen the playing squad in the summer.

Secondly, an asking price of £400m, nearly four times the £134m Ashley paid for the club in 2007, would be offputting for a lot of potential buyers.

SWANSEA, WALES - OCTOBER 04: Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley (r) chats with managing director Lee Charnley before the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Newcastle United at Liberty Stadium on October 4, 2014 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Should a full buyer be found, it would bring to an end a turbulent period of Newcastle’s history. Since taking the reins in 2007, Ashley has overseen two relegations and any number of PR disasters.

Newcastle themselves have not commented on the matter (though they are not dismissing it either, which is telling), but their fans don’t exactly seem distraught at the prospect of a change in ownership…


Former Cork City defender Neal Horgan joined us in studio this week on the Mixer Irish Football Podcast to dissect Ireland’s 1-1 draw with Austria last weekend.

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Author: The PA Team

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