Has Mike Ashley signed a non-disclosure agreement, and is that the reason he has not spoken about the possible takeover from the Bin Zayed group?
Mike Ashley– communication is not one of his finer qualities
According to a report in the Chronicle, Mike Ashley has signed a non-disclosure agreement and that is why he is so tight-lipped on any potential deal.
Though, as we all know, Mike Ashley does not need any reason to not speak to Newcastle fans. He has shown that he is very capable of being incommunicado over his past twelve years as owner of Newcastle United.
If this news of a non-disclosure agreement is true, it would give a reasonable explanation of why the Bin Zayed group only became so vocal after the news of the deal was reported by the Sun.
Prior to that, the group was very tight-lipped as Mike Ashley is currently now. The news entering the public square via the Sun could have relieved either party, or one party, of the non-disclosure agreement as the source of the information was now public and not, theoretically, exposed by any member of the agreement.
If the news becomes public and is not disclosed by any member of the agreement, then neither party has broken the non-disclosure agreement. They are then free to comment on the public information.
However, this is all conjecture as there are many forms of a non-disclosure agreement and they are often specific to the matter at hand. So without knowing the details of the agreement, it is just speculation at this point.
It is very telling though, that BZG is doing all of the talking. One can take this as a positive or as a negative. If we remember, it was Amanda Stavely who courted the fans via the press and appearances at Newcastle games when, as it turned out, she could not secure the funds to purchase the club.
This public display could have led Ashley to demand on a non-disclosure agreement with the Bin Zayed group to begin with. If so, and the reports became public, he may not be happy with the Bin Zayed group making so many statements now.
But it would explain why he is adamant in his silence and also why BZG are willing to make statements. As they may have been willing to speak to the press and fans from day one but were held to silence under an agreement.
This news, or conjecture, really has no bearing on where the two parties are in regards to an agreement. Right now, with so many conflicting press reports, it would definitely be best for Mike Ashley to give some sort of clarifying statement.
This may be too much to ask for from the absent owner of this great club. This whole circus is also becoming too much to bear for us fans. As the thought of Ashley no longer involved with NUFC, is a most welcomed though indeed.