We hadn't heard news of an attempted takeover bid at Newcastle for at least a fortnight. Something was wrong. We needed to know who would be the latest optimist to put an offer on the table, only to be turned down by Mike Ashley. Who would step up to the plate?
Well, it turns out Peter Kenyon fancies another go. Having been unsuccessful earlier this year, he has got in contact with another American consortium and managed to convince them that negotiating with Ashley is worthwhile.
Fair play Peter, that must have been a hard sell.
Ashley has been the owner of Newcastle since 2007. It's been a long 12 years. During that time he has tried to sell the club on a number of occasions, but has had no luck so far. Has he ever actually been close to selling?
Amanda Staveley held talks with Ashley. No luck. As already mentioned, Kenyon is on his second try. Should we really believe he will be any better off this time around?
The question that needs to be answered is this: does Ashley really want to sell Newcastle or is this all a waste of time? He was said to be considering offers to sell the club back in 2009 when the side dropped down to the Championship for the first time. Nothing came of it. If you tried to sell something for a decade and did not manage to do so, at some stage you should perhaps look at yourself and wonder why.
There are two possible answers. One - he is unrealistic with his demands.
Two - he does not actually want to let the club go.
Perhaps there is a mix of both.
Let's take a look at what he said in 2015. As reported by The Telegraph, Ashley claimed: "We are now definitely going to win something and by the way I shan’t be selling until we do. [I won’t be selling] Not at any price. And by the way, when I say win something, if we ever get in a position of a Champions League place, that counts as winning something."
Where do you even start with this statement? Since Ashley took over, the team have made two quarter-finals in cup competitions. One in the League Cup when they were trounced 4-0 by Tottenham, and once in the Europa League when they lost out to Benfica. This is a club that does not look like winning anything under Ashley's control.
He talks about getting a Champions League place as 'winning something'. That is not true, and Newcastle have only been battling for Europe once since he came on board. Does he not see that was the anomaly, not the norm?
To cap it all off, he made that statement ahead of the final day of the 2014/15 season when Newcastle were playing West Ham needing a result to secure their survival in the Premier League. Talk of Europe at that stage was simply delusional.
Of course, Newcastle are capable of rising again. This is a club that played some of the most entertaining football the Premier League has seen in the 1990s under Kevin Keegan, and then were a joy to watch under Sir Bobby Robson in the early 2000s. 52,000 loyal fans turn up every other weekend, hoping their side can give them something to cheer about.
That won't happen under Ashley, though. He has failed to invest in the club for too many years, and he's since spent big money on unproven players who have struggled to deliver.
Newcastle need a new owner, but Ashley has been reluctant to sell so far. Don't get your hopes up, Newcastle fans, there is no reason to believe this time should be any different.
Source : 90min