Mike Ashley is asking for about £20m too much for Newcastle United, according to a football finance expert.
The Magpies owner has put a £300m asking price on the club as he aims to sell it.
Amanda Staveley and her PCP Partners company were in negotiations to buy the club, only for Ashley to pull out of talks last month, describing them as a ‘waste of time’.
However, it is believed Staveley is still interested in purchasing the club, although she’s now waiting on their Premier League status being confirmed for next season.
Staveley is thought to have bid around £250m at highest, and financial expert Kieran Maguire believes around £20m-£30m more might be what it takes to convince Ashley to sell.
Maguire told the Daily Star: “We use a valuation model here at the University from a guy call Dr Tom Markham, who is now head of Sports Interactive – the people that do Football Manager.
“His PHD was based on this. I’ve crunched the numbers into that and it comes out at around £280m for a cash price.
“That is also around about the amount of money that Ashley has stuck in on a personal level, so I think when he walks away from Newcastle, he doesn’t want to be out of pocket himself.
“If PCP stuck in an extra £20m-£30m [on top of their final £250m offer] I think perhaps he might move on that [£300m asking price].”
Previous Staveley offers were believed to include lower price offers with clauses for extra payments once things such as the battle against relegation was (hopefully) won.
Explaining those further, Maguire continued: “I think he is reluctant about the relegation clauses as realistically there’s about a 30% chance of Newcastle being relegated, given the position they’re in.
“There are 11 clubs separated by six points, so you’ve got a three in 11 chance of going down – that’s quite nasty to contemplate because the money in the Championship is pretty tough.
“The other issue in terms of outstanding concerns is the HMRC investigation into Newcastle and I think that was also built into the first two bids that were made by PCP, whereas the third bid – which was £250m and we’ll take on all the risk ourselves.
“We’ll take on relegation and the risk of HMRC fines. They say the reason we’re coming in so much lower is because we’re the risk takers.
“If you take on risk, they make you factor that into a price.”