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Mike Ashley to slash Newcastle asking price as fans step up protests

Mike Ashley
Mike Ashley
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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.