Ashley To Sell Up?

Last updated : 31 July 2007 By Footy Mad - Editor

The article suggests Mike Ashley's ownership of Newcastle United may be short-lived.

The Guardian says "there is a suggestion that, having snapped up the club so quickly that even the former chairman Freddy Shepherd - then a major shareholder - was taken by surprise, he is encountering more problems than he expected.

"One interested party reports that it did not like what it saw when it conducted due diligence over the club's books before a potential takeover.

"Chris Mort, who Ashley installed as Newcastle chairman, does not intend to relocate to the north-east, fuelling the rumours that Ashley may be persuaded to bail out if a suitable buyer emerges."
Talking of Mort, Sam Allardyce spent yesterday in talks with Newcastle's new chairman in his quest for more transfer cash.

Allardyce warned that the consequences of starting the Premiership campaign with the existing squad would be disastrous.

Allardyce: "They (Mort and Ashley) know very little of football. It'd be pretty foolish not to back me now. It would be silly coming all this way from where I've come from, and Mike and Chris where they've come from, and not to come together to move the club forward. I see that as a non-starter.

"It's for me to provide enough information to help them understand why I'm doing what I'm doing and where I'm going and show them we need to focus initially on the first team."

Mention of the possibility of Kevin Keegan taking over as director of football or Alan Shearer succeeding him as manager in the near future have made Allardyce furious.

Those issues were also discussed when Allardyce met Mort yesterday, but the manager has been given assurances about his position.