He wants out, the fans want him out, but it looks like the unhappy relationship will continue for longer than planned after Mike Ashley revealed he’d ended talks with Amanda Staveley over the potential takeover of the club.
It was revealed in October 2017 that Ashley was keen to sell the club after discussions with Staveley, backed by PCP Capital Partners group had taken place. It’s thought that a £250m bid had been made but sources close to Ashley claim that no deal was ever on the table.
Staveley, pictured at St James’s Park earlier in the year, raised the prospect of a takeover after being heavily involved in the acquisition of Manchester City by Sheikh Monsour in 2009, with a deal likely to be complete by Christmas (2017). However, since the initial period of due-diligence, it seems talks have stalled over the valuation of the club by both parties.
It’s thought Ashley was expecting around £400m for the sale of the club which he paid £134.4m in 2007. However, Staveley’s bid of £250m is well under this valuation for the club who currently sit in 15th position and just 6 points off the bottom of the Premier League.
The latest setback in Ashley’s attempts to sell the club will leave fans and manager Rafa Benitez wondering if any further investment in the playing squad during the remainder of the January transfer window will occur. Benitez, has made his frustrations with the club’s transfer policy known and this will no doubt cast further doubts over his future at the club.