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Mike Ashley In 'Advanced' Talks To Sell Newcastle United

Mike Ashley In 'Advanced' Talks To Sell Newcastle United

Mike Ashley is in 'advanced talks' to sell Newcastle United, with the owner's era 'closer than ever' to coming to an end.

During 13 years as owner of Newcastle, Ashley has overseen two relegations for the Magpies, plus two promotions back to the Premier League, and has had an uneasy relationship with the fans for most of that time.

There have been several proposed takeovers in recent years but according to Sky Sports, the Sports Direct owner is now in 'advanced talks' with PCP Partners.

According to reports there are documents at Companies House proving that the legal framework for the takeover are in place.

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Ashley has not been a popular figure at St James' Park. Image: PA Images
Ashley has not been a popular figure at St James' Park. Image: PA Images

The Athletic reported last week that the 'Mike Ashley era had never been closer to ending' with Amanda Staveley at the heart of the takeover.

Other documents even show that Ashley is actually helping fund the sale, lending money to the new consortium but with no voting powers. The money is eventually to be paid back.

Speaking to the Shield Gazette, University of Liverpool's Kieran Maguire explained the situation, saying, "The claims are in an amount of £150 million, which is an eye-watering sum of money.

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"Effectively, in the best case scenario this looks to mean that PCP are in takeover talks and that Mike Ashley is lending them £150 million to fund the deal.

"Let's say they've agreed a price and they can't afford it in cash, this essentially means that Ashley is somewhat bizarrely lending them the money to buy the football club.

"It could be that Ashley is saying that he won't take all of the money now - similarly to what we saw with Sunderland and Ellis Short - and he retains some form of cash investment in the, but that gives him no power as you need the stake to hold the power.

"You could then be left with a scenario, which is similar to what we've seen at other clubs, where the original owner still has money in the club but they don't own the shares so they can't run it on a daily basis."

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Newcastle finished fifth in the 2011/12 season under Ashley, when Alan Pardew was the manager, but most of the House of Fraser owner's tenure has been played under mediocrity at best.

Fans will be relieved to hear that the club could soon have a new owner. Will Ashley finally be going?

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Ryan Sidle

Ryan is a writer for SPORTbible. He covers all sport from football, formula one, cricket, rugby, tennis, athletics, mma and wrestling. He obviously hates YOUR football team and has no interest in synchronised swimming.