Mike Ashley is now back from Hawaii and we expect a decision within days as to whether he will keep the Newcastle club and prolong the agony for Newcastle fans.
Barry Moat – he’s our last chance
It appears that Ashley hopes he can get a good deal for the club from Batty Moat on his return from holiday in Hawaii at the weekend. The negotiations a timely boost as they reach a delicate stage, and we understand that Seymour Pierce’s Chairman Keith Harris is actually recommending the sale to Mike.
We hope all this is true.
Moat, a close friend of Alan Shearer, who managed the side for the last 8 games of last season, is now the front -runner and maybe the only runner for the club, but so far he has not been able to strike a deal with Ashley.
A source close to the talks said that Moat has followed up with several offers and we have to hope he can improve his offer this week to capture the clu8b and put it back in Geordie hands.
A source close to the talks said to the Telegraph today:
“Ashley has been stamping his feet saying he wants to get a sale done but the reality is that he’s not accepted an offer yet.”
“Moat would be a good buyer of the club. He has the right backing but nothing has happened because Ashley has not accepted an offer.”
“Now they are trying to get to a point where there is an offer that Ashley either accepts or rejects. With just three weeks of the window left something needs to be done this week.”
Ashley has hired investment banker Keith Harris to sell the club on his behalf but the £100M price tag he placed on St James’ Park has not been met and he will not get that now for the Newcastle club.
The source continued:
“He’ll struggle to get anyone to meet the £100 million,”
“The price range is between £70 million and £90 million but that’s dependent on him slashing the wage bill by getting rid of more big earners.”
Former Leeds and Aston Villa manager David O’Leary has emerged recently as a candidate for the vacant Newcastle job, although it doesn’t look like he’s yet been approached with a formal job offer.
If Ashley retains control, he is expected to ask O’Leary, or another experienced manager, maybe the available Alan Curbishley, formerly of West Ham, to take control of the troubled club.
By our next game on Satrurday against Reading we think the ownership issue will have been solved – one way or the other.
If Ashley remains in charge that word “solved” is probably not an appropriate choice of words though.