Kieran Maguire: Mike Ashley plan 'clear' after twist in £10m Newcastle United legal drama
It is “clear” that Mike Ashley never intended to remain involved in the decision-making process at Newcastle United after he sold the club 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 High Court case regarding the £305million takeover in October last year.
Amanda Staveley was the public face of the deal as Ashley sold up to the PIF-fronted consortium.
Ashley is now suing Stavely over an alleged breach of a £10million loan he issued to help facilitate the deal.
The Athletic reported on Monday (20 June) that the retail mogul claims to have held talks about retaining a small stake in the club during the takeover talks.
But Maguire suggests that Ashley’s desire to keep some equity would strictly have been a business decision.
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“It’s not necessarily a bullet dodged,” he told Football Insider’s Adam Williams.
“It’s clear Mike Ashley was selling a majority sale in Newcastle. His ability to be involved in decision making would have been very much diluted.
“This might have been part of the process of haggling over the price. It could have helped reduce the price and made it easier for some of the members of the consortium to come up with the cash.
“It would have been a business decision rather than any desire to carry on making decisions at the club.”
Ashley’s claim against Staveley relates to her comments about removing Sports Direct signage at St James’ Park.
He argues that her remarks violated a clause that stipulated there must be no derogatory statements or comments during the takeover process.