Mike Ashley to slash Newcastle asking price as fans step up protests
Mike Ashley is prepared to lower his asking price for Newcastle United '“ as fans step up their protests against him.
Ashley put the club up for sale 11 months ago as the team battled to stay in the Premier League.
The billionaire – who is focused on his Sports Direct empire – had indicated that he was looking for upwards of £380million.
However, the Echounderstands that Ashley is ready to revise his expectations and consider bids closer to £300million.
Ashley broke off takeover talks with financier Amanda Staveley in January. Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners had lodged an offer of £250million, which was rejected by Ashley.
An associate of Ashley labelled talks with Staveley as a “complete waste of time”.
Ashley has had no success in finding an alternative buyer up to now.
United fans, angered by two relegations and years of under-investment in his 11 years as owner, have stepped up their protests against Ashley this season.
There was a demonstration calling on him to sell up outside the club shop at St James’s Park before Saturday’s home game against Arsenal, which ended in a 2-1 defeat.
The result left Newcastle 19th in the Premier League ahead of Saturday’s game against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
Ashley was involved in a stand-off with Rafa Benitez this summer.
Benitez was told he had to sell to buy in the transfer window after refusing to sign a contract extension.
United’s manager had wanted to know that Ashley’s ambitions matched his own before committing his future to the club.