Former Newcastle owner Mike Ashley completes major £17m deal involving Championship club

Former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has completed the purchase of Coventry City’s home stadium the CBS Arena.

Over a year has passed since Ashley sold Newcastle to a consortium led by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund for £305million. In recent weeks, Ashley has reportedly expressed an interest in buying Coventry City.

Earlier this month, Ashley was reported to be close to purchasing Coventry’s home ground, The CBS Arena, having agreed an eight-figure sum for the 32,609-seater stadium. The stadium’s owners, Wasps Rugby Club, entered administration in October.

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Ashley’s exclusivity to buy the stadium expired on Thursday, November 17 – the same day as the CBS Arena insolvency heading at the Business and Insolvency Court in London.

Mike Ashley, former owner of Newcastle United. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Following the hearing, Ashley's Frasers Group completed the purchase of the CBS Arena.

The former Magpies owner has also been linked with a full takeover of Coventry City in the event he purchased the stadium.

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But statements published by Coventry City have seemingly quashed Ashley’s chances of purchasing the club. The club’s owners, SISU Capital Ltd, confirmed on Wednesday that it had agreed to sell a majority 85% stake in the club to local businessman Doug King.

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The deal, which is subject to EFL approval, will involve clearing all of the Sky Blues’ current debts. The club also confirmed its own plans to submit a £25million bid for the CBS Arena ahead of Ashley's purchase.

A club statement read: “CCFC’s bid is the only one which can guarantee that the Sky Blues can continue to play home games in Coventry over the long term.”