Mike Ashley's lawyer explains what will happen next at Newcastle

Mike Ashley
Mike Ashley

Mike Ashley's lawyer has explained what will happen next at Newcastle United.

Ashley yesterday issued a statement formally putting the club up for sale.

The billionaire had previously spoken about his willingness to sell up.

Andrew Henderson, of legal firm Dentons, said: “There's obviously been a lot of press speculation about Mike’s intentions towards the club.

“I think that there is a view that over the years there has been a considerable investment, perhaps a feeling that all that can be done has been done.

“So it is probably just a recognition that it might be time for a change.

“Our intentions at the moment are to see if the club can be brought forward into new ownership by, potentially, Christmas.

“That would allow for a period for serious interested parties to put themselves forward, for a diligence process to carry on, and then hopefully by Christmas for a sale to conclude with the sort of flexibility around terms we have discussed.

“If that weren’t possible, then there's no desire to sell the club for any price to anyone. There is a lot of responsibility that goes with owning the football club, so we would then look at that at the relevant time.

“That’s the objective, but nobody has a crystal ball, so nobody can say for sure what happens and when.

“I think back to the question of price, it will depend on what somebody is prepared to pay for the club.

“Football clubs have a scarcity value, nobody is making 150-year-old football clubs with the kind of traditions that Newcastle United have, so obviously there is value there but then in terms of what the number is that will be dictated by how many people, how many serious people are interested, how many serious people can deliver and so we then get to how long will that take, how long do we give them.

“I think that is a matter for negotiation, but certainly not all in year one, so that’s how we would be approaching it.”