The Mail (Craig Hope) are reporting today that Mike Ashley is close to pulling the Newcastle club off the market because none of the four consortia said to be interested in buying Newcastle can meet his price of around £300M.
Sources said to be close to Ashley say that he has not heard from Peter Kenyon in a few weeks now, and none of the other consortia seem able to get anywhere near the price asked by Ashley.
This is exactly what the majority of Newcastle fans thought would happen.
The owner would pretend to sell the club as he did in his interview with Sky Sports in early December – when he said he was closer to selling the club than ever before.
That was in truth to relieve the pressure to spend money in this month’s transfer market – and when he didn’t get any offers close to his (high) price since then – he would take the club off the market.
It’s not the first time this has happened with Mike Ashley.
Mike Ashley – will be taking Newcastle off the market?
And the report in the Mail says that Mike Ashley will be at St. James’ Park today for the game against relegation fighters Cardiff City.
And that’s probably because he wants to meet with manager Rafa Benitez after the game about his contract.
This all could mean that Mike Ashley will now act as though he will still be the owner in the summer and maybe for a year or two (or more) yet – because he will say he tried but cannot sell the club.
One thing he can do to please Newcastle fans is to sign Rafa Benitez up for the long term and give the man some money to spend.
But given the way he has treated our manager – it’s unlikely that Rafa will want to stay at a club run by Ashley unless Benitez gets cast iron promises from the owner in writing.
Given Ashley’s past history that’s just not going to happen.
And there could be demonstrations against the owner even today so we must win this game this afternoon against Cardiff City.
We need good news from somewhere because this not good news for the fans.
Our dreams for Newcastle are being squashed – once again.