Former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley linked to £23m purchase of stadium in Leeds

Former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is targeting another sports ground facing uncertainty.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Almost a year after Ashley’s Frasers Group purchased Coventry City’s CBS Arena, Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s Headingley Stadium is now in the sights of the former Newcastle owner.

Headingley is facing an uncertain future as Yorkshire look to raise around £15million needed to pay back their debt owed to the trust of former chairman Colin Graves. The Gazette’s sister title The Yorkshire Post claim that there is a ‘real prospect’ of the stadium being sold as it is valued at around £23million.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Yorkshire CCC told The Yorkshire Post: “We are making strong progress on securing the long-term future of Yorkshire County Cricket Club and look forward to announcing positive developments shortly.”

And Ashley’s Frasers Group are one of several parties thought to be interested in the purchase of the iconic ground. Ashley owned Newcastle United from 2007 up until the sale of the club to the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund in 2021.

During his time at Newcastle, St James’ Park remained in the hands of the club opposed to being sold to a third-party.

Yorkshire purchased Headingley for £12million back in 2005 from former landlords Leeds Cricket, Football & Athletic Company.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Last week it was reported that a sale of the Leeds-based ground could give Yorkshire a 10-year lease of the ground as well as a buyback option.

While insiders reportedly insist that any deal made would be in the best interests of cricket, former Yorkshire chairman Robin Smith deemed a potential sale as ‘irresponsible’ and ‘shameful’.

Smith said: “Professional cricket is a long-term business. Selling the freehold to overcome a cash crisis entirely of their [Yorkshire CCC board] own making is putting first board members’ immediate need for a solution to a problem they alone have created.”