Earlier today there was a report that Mike Ashley issued a deadline to Clear TV CEO Henry Mauriss. The claim, which came from The Mirror, says that Mike Ashley has given the American businessman until August 14 to reach an agreement to take over Newcastle United.
The Mirror have followed up with another report citing a source close to Mauriss who claims the 56-year-old is keen on a deal. However, it appears that this going so public could pose some problems.
Here is what the source said as reported by the Mirror:
“Henry is still interested in buying and is totally focused about trying to get a deal done.
“But it won’t be played out in public – that’s not his style. He has been watching developments and having discussions with his advisors. Mike Ashley and his lawyers are aware of Henry’s interest as they had discussions in December.
“Henry is genuinely interested in buying Newcastle. He’s a strategist. He’s been studying other Premier League clubs and making plans. Let’s see.”
Calls for Mauriss to release his plans for Newcastle have been met with resistance. He seems to want all the focus on his interest in Newcastle to go underground, which is generally how these deals get done.
If these reports are accurate, it cannot be helpful that so much scrutiny is now on the American. However, that may not be able to be avoided as the collapse of the Saudi bid has made worldwide headlines so any outside interest is going to be reported.
The key is going to be for Ashley and Mauriss to keep leaks to a minimum and see if a deal can be struck. It looks like the two haven’t met since December so the next two weeks could be crucial for any agreement to be reached.
Though all this begs the question of why this source is speaking out when Mauriss is said to be very protective of his privacy and doesn’t want this played out in public.
Note – here’s a petition to sign to get an independent review of the EPL Takeover process – please sign it – thanks.