The Sun is reporting today that Amanda Staveley is “on the point of ending any further talks” with Mike Ashley about buying Newcastle United.
The reason is the Newcastle owner has raised the price to £400M after the club finished in 10th place in the league – the upper half of the league table – after we had struggled with relegation.
So in 6 months Rafa and our players increased the value of the club (at least in the eyes of the owner) by £100M, and he still will not agree to Rafa’s demands for his new contract?
The news about the increase in price is not really new since there were rumors Ashley was becoming greedy and really didn’t want to sell the club after Newcastle have done so well this year in the second half of the season.
Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley – do they know what they’re doing?
There seems to be bad blood between Ms. Staveley and Ashley after last year’s antics, and the Newcastle owner labeled Ms. Staveley as a “time waster” in early January when he called the talks off.
However, the Sun are reporting that discussions have continued this year, but if Ashley has raised the asking price to £400M, then Staveley will no longer be interested in buying the club.
It seems Staveley has never really had the money to buy Newcastle.
The Chronicle is also reporting that Benitez thought that Ashley’s statement of last Sunday that he will “ensure every penny generated by the club is made available” means that Rafa must sell before he can buy.
That would be utterly ridiculous if that’s the case.
If this news is all true, we wouldn’t blame Rafa too much if he did go and talk with West Ham about their manager position.
Mike Ashley is too stubborn and difficult a character to deal with.
It looks like Newcastle’s golden opportunity for success under Rafa could even be ending soon.
That would be a disgrace, and Mike Ashley would have to shoulder the full responsibility for that.
We hope that Rafa turns down any approach by West Ham this week – because if he starts talking with Chairmen Gold and Sullivan, he may be persuaded very quickly to join them.
Our best hope is Rafa’s very close relationship with the fans, the players, and the City and that it is too strong to break.
In that case, he could still want to stay at Newcastle even with Ashley still around.
After all, he’s made tremendous progress in the last two seasons without much money available, and there will be a lot more money to spend from now on.
Rafa could turn down West Ham and say he still wants to stay on Tyneside.
To end on a positive note – that’s still very possible.