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Tycoon to offload Magpies

Ashley puts Newcastle United up for sale

Mike Ashley Sky vid

Mike Ashley: quick sale likely

Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley has put English Premier League club Newcastle United up for sale.

Mr Ashley has pumped millions into the St James’ Park club but he has divided opinion among fans and in the game.

The Magpies have been twice relegated from the English top flight during the former Rangers director’s 10-year reign.

Estimates of the sale price range from £200 million to £400m.

A club statement said: “As a result of increasing press speculation regarding the future of Newcastle United, the owner of the club, St. James Holdings Limited, wishes to clarify its intentions.

“As one of the Premier League’s oldest and best supported football clubs – and for the benefit of its many fans and supporters in the UK and across the world – Newcastle United requires a clear direction and a path to a bright and successful future.

“To give the club the best possible opportunity of securing the positioning and investment necessary to take it to the next level, at what is an important time in its history, its present ownership has determined that it is in the best interests of Newcastle United and its fans for the club to be put up for sale.

“To give an incoming owner the maximum possible flexibility to make meaningful investment in the club, including in its playing squad, the sale process will give interested parties the opportunity of deferring substantial payments.

“A process will now commence of identifying new ownership for the club that will be capable of delivering the sustained investment in and dedication to the club that is necessary for it to achieve its ambitions.”

It has been reported that businesswoman Amanda Staveley, is interested in buying the club after being seen watching Newcastle’s recent 1-1 home draw against Liverpool.

She is a former partner of Prince Andrew and launched her PCP Capital Partners as a small Mayfair financial advisory. She is said to have an estimated £2 8billion under management and is reportedly open to buying a Premier League football club.

Her company was involved in the £210m deal that saw Sheikh Mansour take over Manchester City through the Abu Dhabi United Group.

She was involved in a failed bid for Liverpool when current Newcastle coach Rafa Benitez was manager.

Mr Ashley invested about £134m and saved it from possible financial ruin by paying off substantial debts left by the previous owners.

He wants a sale completed by Christmas, according to St. James Holdings Limited.

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