By Russell Edge
Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is not actually looking to sell the club and is using the public coverage of potential takeover plans to avoid investing in the January transfer window, according to a report.
News website The London Economic claim that the Sports Direct supremo is using speculation over the prospective sale of the club as an excuse to avoid providing manager Rafael Benitez backing in the transfer market over the winter period.
It is stated that Ashley is instead looking to take the money given to Newcastle by the Premier League for his own gain, and that the whole takeover talk is a cleverly worked tactic to boost his personal coffers.
Such a claim will be considered outrageous by many considering the public coverage which a proposed takeover of the Magpies has received, which included the club confirming they were officially up for sale via their own website, relaying a statement made by St James’ Holdings Limited, the group fronted by Ashley which purchased the club in 2007.
Various reputable outlets have delivered numerous reports over the takeover, with the Daily Mail’s Craig Hope naming British businesswoman Amanda Staveley, who is reportedly fronting a move from PCP Capital Partners, as the front runner, while the Northern Echo stated that she has held discussions over backing from Middle Eastern investors.
Ashley has endured a tumultuous decade on Tyneside, having overseen the club secure a fifth placed finish and reach the Europa League quarter finals, as well as watching them suffer two relegations under his reign.
In other Newcastle United news, a top journalist has delivered a definitive update on the club’s reported pursuit of a Premier League icon.