Mike Ashley has had Newcastle United up for sale since 2017 but there have always been questions regarding his willingness to actually move on, something Peterborough United director of football Barry Fry agrees with.
The Sports Direct tycoon is set to lock horns with the Premier League in two separate court cases with the arbitration one coming first this summer as Ashley continues to push through the takeover backed largely by PIF.
Will Newcastle have new owners next season?
Ashley’s lack of investment in the first-team squad, training ground and upkeep of St James’ Park are just a few reasons why he is strongly disliked on Tyneside and his quotes claiming that ‘dark forces’ were holding the club back appeared comical given his lack of apparent interest in the club.
He is a businessman at the end of the day and that was shown as the Sunday Times released their UK rich list this week and Ashley’s wealth had increased by £769 million in the last year, and despite this Fry does not believe Ashley wants to sell Newcastle as he spoke exclusively to This is Futbol:
“Mike is a businessman at the end of the day so I’m not sure he will change that figure because I’m not sure he really wants to sell the club.
“He says that he wants to sell the club if somebody can take it to a better level than what he can, but it’s going to require an awful lot of investment to do that, not only to buy Mike out but also invest in Newcastle United to take it forward and compete at the top. So I don’t think it’s going to happen.”
The Magpies have been at the centre of an on and off takeover saga for over a year now as Ashley accepted a huge £300 million bid from PCP Capital Partners, however, the Premier League did not allow it to be passed through smoothly, thus the consortium pulled the plug.
At Newcastle’s first home game of the season in front of fans, the 10,000 supporters were chanting for Mike Ashley to get out of their club, despite the owner putting his own money into two court cases to get himself away from Tyneside.