Ashworth Steps Up Newcastle Battle With United Waiting

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A good few weeks ago, as Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s partial takeover of Manchester United was about to sail through, the Old Trafford outfit made their long speculated move for Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth.

The 53 year old was placed on gardening leave back on February 19th as a response to their approach, as Ashworth made it clear he wanted to take up the new opportunity and play his own part in Ineos’ new and revamped off pitch set up.

However, to date, there has been no agreement on the compensation package that needs to be struck for the deal to take place, and reports are suggesting that they are increasingly resigned to the fact that he will probably not be appointed until after the summer transfer window has already closed.

Even then it would still hinge on a compensation deal being struck, and there is no real reason to think that their current disagreements would find more common ground simply with a bit more passage of time.

Back in February, co-owner Ratcliffe told the BBC’s Dan Roan that from his point of view he failed to see why Newcastle would not ultimately do a deal that worked for both parties here as it ‘doesn’t make sense for Ashworth to be sat around doing nothing for 18 months’.

Whilst that is a valid point and you could understand why he thought it, it simply does not take into account Newcastle’s perspective. They will not more cheaply help a direct rival just because it would better suit United’s plans, and there is also no great correlation between what he now costs them on gardening leave and a reduction in the level of compensation they want.

With their clearly being no sign of a resolution in sight here, at the very least in the short to medium term, it seems that Ashworth is now prepared to try and force the issue himself a little bit in an effort to find a more speedy and suitable conclusion.

Taking Newcastle to an arbitration process is a reasonably novel idea in these circumstances, but he obviously feels an independent third party may be better suited to finding a resolution here that works for all sides – but Newcastle remain confident in their own position here.

Some kind of deal will ultimately, and eventually, be struck here, but whether or not United and Ashworth get the result they want from this panel, remains to be seen.

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