Mike Ashley keeps counsel on Newcastle United takeover – for now

Mike Ashley is expected to maintain his silence, for now, as the Newcastle United takeover saga drags on.

Monday, 24th August 2020, 12:30 pm

It was reported over the weekend that Ashley was going to make a public statement in the wake of the withdrawal of a £300million bid from a group led by financier Amanda Staveley late last month.

Ashley, said to be “keen to give his version of events”, was also going to address interest from American businessman Henry Mauriss and a bid from the Bellagraph Nova Group, according to the Daily Star.

The only statement so far has come from managing director Lee Charnley, who said on July 31: “Never say never, but to be clear Mike Ashley is 100% committed to this deal (sale).”

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Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley.

There are hopes on Tyneside that the Staveley deal can be resurrected, and Ashley is not expected to make a comment at this stage.

Meanwhile, head coach Steve Bruce – who called for “clarity” from the Premier League as it considered Staveley’s bid, which was funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, late last season – spoke about the takeover form the club’s training base in York last week.

“I think the club needed to (have clarity),” said Bruce. “There’s nothing worse than uncertainty at any club, because it just filters down, no matter how you try and fudge it. It filters down to everybody.

"Am I going to be safe in my job? That’s not just me, it’s everybody around the ground.

"We’re glad there’s a bit of clarity. It’s done, and we get on with it.”