With updates last night from Sky Sports journalist Pete Graves and this morning from George Caulkin on the Athletic’s podcast Pod On The Tyne, it’s seeming almost a certainty that the consortium led by Amanda Staveley with the backing of the Saudi Sovereign Wealth-Fund is legit.
That is despite what beIN Sports anchor and Ashley apologist Richard Keys maintains:
@DeanaHoggat Dont hold your breath. The Saudi bid is not credible. But that doesn’t mean Ashley isn’t going to – or won’t sell.
— Richard Keys (@richardajkeys) January 28, 2020
Last night on his Instagram account, Pete Graves asserted that Ashley does want to sell the club, and the deal is with his lawyers at the moment. While George Caulkin didn’t go that far on Pod On The Tyne, he did maintain that an agreement was close.
Both Graves and Caulkin also claim that the leaks were not wanted by either Ashley or the Staveley-led consortium, with Caulkin saying that he feared the leaks would force an adverse reaction from Mike Ashley.
Let’s hope that’s not the case. This is the moment for Ashley to sell the club. There is just no way he can get off of this hook and thwart this massive opportunity for Newcastle United.
However, the Chronicle’s latest piece seems to think that Ashley is stalling for some reason.
The report by Lee Ryder claims that sources close to the deal have insisted there is no timescale to an agreement being reached despite many assertions that the next 48 hours are crucial.
Ryder also confirms that Ashley is unhappy with the leaks and is now investigating how this story was broken. Though, he too contends that this is all down to Mike Ashley accepting what is offered.
There is no great escape for Mike Ashley now. He cannot turn this down and use his familiar excuses of ‘no funds’ or ‘time wasters.’ This group has the money and wants to help Newcastle United fulfill it’s potential.
A collection of Newcastle United fan groups have also issued a collective statement that says as much. It’s time for Mike Ashley to release Newcastle from his grip and allow this club to prosper.
We have co-signed a statement issued by a collective of worldwide NUFC fan groups. Ashley should not stand in the way of this once in a lifetime opportunity for our club, our communities & proud city. It’s time for him to take his money and get out of our club. #AshleyOut #NUFC pic.twitter.com/Y4mmYbdzBh
— London Magpie Group (@LondonMagpies) January 29, 2020