Keith Harris has been talking again what Mike Ashley has done for the Newcastle United club.
Harris was asked whether Ashley could decide to remain in charge rather than sell the Newcastle club at a loss and he answered:
“I wouldn’t rule anything out, football is so unpredictable.”
But that’s a leading question because who wants to sell at a loss? From what we know Mike would not have to sell at any loss, and in fact Mike has already said it will not be a fire sale, as he at least wants to get his money back.
“Mike still has a good wad of money as you’d say. He is a clever businessman and he is self-made. He has done a lot of good there with the Academy, there has been a lot of investment.”
“When you look back through the years so many good players have come from that North East corner, but how many were signed up by Newcastle? Not many. Mike has tried to change that, but that isn’t a headline is it?”
“I know him well and I’m representing him now, he has actually cleared up Newcastle’s debt. On the balance sheet it shows they don’t owe money, they owe it to him. That’s not debt, that’s equity, a more efficient way for an owner who owns the whole business.”
“Mike has been there 15 months and if you asked him he would say, for 12 months he absolutely loved it . . . we’ll have to see if he makes any money out of it.”
We still expect Mike to sell before the end of the year, although in reality the sale will have been slowed a little by the credit crunch. And it will probably mean that Joe Kinnear will remain in charge longer than the 8 games he was signed up for.
But as long as Joe keeps improving the team’s attitude and performances, as he did on Sunday, that will not be too much of a burden.
But we don’t think there’s any way that Mike can remain owner of the club long term.