After weeks of speculation it seems that Newcastle United will NOT have a new owner this season.
Businesswoman Amanda Staveley and her PCP Partners Capital group made a formal bid for the club but Mike Ashley says she is "a waste of time".
We’ve been here before - as our trip through the Toon takeover archive since Mike Ashley took over the club, reveals.
1. Nigerian consortium, September 2008
A curious historical fact but Toon fans once liked (after a fashion) Mike Ashley back when he bought the club in 2007 and sacked Sam Allardyce, replacing him with Kevin Keegan . Once Keegan quit in high dudgeon, relations soured and there was quickly talk of Ashley selling up.
And it seemed four Nigerian tycoons were quickly out of the blocks to take over and ask Keegan to return.
Chris Nathaniel, a London-based businessman was the go to spokesman for the bid of anything between £200m and £350m, going by reports at the time. Then it all went quiet..
2. Barry Moat, August 2009
At the time Newcastle United had been relegated to the Championship and things were looking bleak.
Then up stepped Tyneside business man Barry Moat. There was talk of a £70m to £90m bid - Ashley’s reported asking price then being a Championship cut price £100m - and of Moat installing Alan Shearer as manager.
However the deal fell through, the reasons floated being either he failed to meet Ashley’s asking price, didn’t manage to raise sufficient funds, or didn’t like the fact the deal became public being a private person.
Amongst all of the takeover bids, this appears to have been the most serious.
3. Geoff Sheard, August 2009
Then there was this one from North West-based businessman Geoff Sheard.
His interest in the club became public came just 24 hours after Barry Moat was reportedly given a further week by Newcastle owner Mike Ashley to come up with the funds to complete a £100m takeover.
Sheard had attempted to take over Sheffield Wednesday in 2008 and even sent a letter to the club claiming he had 100 million Euros ready to invest. But the letter was reportedly found to be from a US financier who had been jailed for money laundering and the deal collapsed.
In 2011, it emerged that Sheard applied to make himself bankrupt, and a bankruptcy order was made.
The order described Sheard as unemployed and living at his parents’ home.
4. Graham Roberts, August 2009
Former Spurs and Rangers player Graham Roberts fronted a consortium called Fanbase 410 which hoped to take over Newcastle United in what appeared to be an anarchistic way.
“We want to get the fans involved,” he said in an interview.
“They can buy a share, they can pick the chairman, they can pick the manager, they can run the club.”
They could probably have even pick themselves for the team too in the Brave New Roberts World. It would have been interesting but sadly got nowhere.
5. Vince McMahon, 2011
The ultimate slow news day rumour was this one involving Vince McMahon, the billionaire owner of WWE, which was run up the flag pole in 2011.
It started as a social media rumour in the US and took on enough significance for someone to run it by the club, just in case.
“We wouldn’t even comment on that,” a spokesman said at the time, which was comment enough.
However there was subsequent talk the interest came from McMahon’s son, Shane, who might at least know Newcastle United existed (not a given for Vince) as he was a football fan.
6. Chinese consortium, October 2017
Ah, the ubiquitous Chinese consortium. The latter day equivalent of the Russian oligarchs of the noughties and the Arab sheikhs of pretty much every era.
The Toon version was reportedly sniffing around the club and even signed a non-disclosure agreement with United as it sought to put together an offer that will entice Ashley to part with the club.
Just a coincidence of course that it coincided with the efforts by Amanda Staveley to take over the club.