Kieran Maguire: 'Mike Ashley won't take this lying down' as £10m Newcastle United twist revealed
Mike Ashley was never likely to go quietly after he sold Newcastle United to the Saudi Public Investment Fund.
That is the view of finance guru Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the latest twist in the £10million legal case involving Ashley and Magpies chief Amanda Staveley.
Staveley was the public face of the deal that saw Ashley, who was deeply unpopular on Tyneside because of what was perceived as a chronic lack of investment, sell Newcastle to PIF for £305million in October last year.
The retail baron loaned Staveley £10m as part of the arrangement with the proviso that the new regime would not disparage his running of the club.
But as relayed by the Evening Standard last Saturday (29 October), Ashley alleges that Staveley gave the media a “false picture” of the Tynesiders’ finances in the aftermath of the buyout.
Ashley has also been linked with the acquisition of the Coventry Building Society Arena, whose operator has gone into administration, in recent weeks.
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Maguire does not believe that the two developments are linked, however.
“Mike Ashley does not need this money on an urgent basis,” he told Football Insider’s Adam Williams.
“He is a very successful businessman in his own right. He is asset rich, and while not all of those assets will be liquid in the form of cash, he is almost certain to have the reserves necessary to acquire the CBS arena.
“So, I don’t think there are any natural links behind his claims against Amanda Staveley and his potential investment in football in the Midlands.
“Ashley does appear to have skin which is far thinner than perhaps most people realise when it comes to criticism.
“This is his means of making sure that if people are going to criticise him, he isn’t going to take it lying down.”