Ashley Finally Sees The Light And Packs His Bags!
He wants to offload the club and recoup some of his massive investment.
Ashley (talking to The Sunday Times): "It has been catastrophic for everybody. I've lost my money and I've made terrible decisions. Now I want to sell it as soon as I can ... advisers will be appointed shortly."
Keith Harris (and Orville), chairman of investment bank Seymour Pierce, scoured the world looking for buyers.
Seven different consortia were provided with prospectuses outlining details of the club's financial standing, with groups from Nigeria and South Africa having been linked with buy-out bids.
However, Ashley got TOO greedy, and when he looked for a profit, none of the interested parties came up with an acceptable deal and Ashley opted to put a hold on his plans to sell.
He told the Geordie public he was "here for the long term", but we (NewcastleUtd-mad) reported exclusively on this website that he would put the club up for sale the moment we escaped relegation.
But the worst happened ... we hit the relegation trap-door ... and Ashley will suffer the cost.
Four weeks ago he said he had no regrets buying the club (not that anyone on Tyneside believes a word the man says) ... but now he says he regrets buying his 100% stake in Newcastle in 2007.
Ashley: "Of course I regret it.
"I never said I was an expert in football clubs. I was just a fan - although a very wealthy fan.
"But I'm not so wealthy now. I put my money into it and I tried my best. But I accept my best was woefully short. I am genuinely sorry for everybody about what has happened."
PA Sport understands Ashley could be willing to sell the club for £100million, which would represent a significant loss.
When he originally put the club up for sale in September 2008, Ashley released a 1,600-word statement in which he revealed the price of his investment.
"Newcastle's best asset has been, is and always will be the fans," he said.
"But like any business with assets, the club has debts.
"I paid £134million out of my own pocket for the club. I then poured another £110million into the club, not to pay off the debt, but just to reduce it."