'Take the money and run' – Newcastle United fans unite against Mike Ashley as takeover talk continues

Nineteen Newcastle United fan groups have issued a joint statement urging Mike Ashley to cut and run amid Saudi Arabian takeover talk.

Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 1:57 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 1:57 pm
Newcastle supporters cheer on their team during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Newcastle United at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on September 29, 2019. - Leicester won the game 5-0. (Photo by Lindsey Parnaby / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)

The Magpie Group, Toon For Change, London Magpie Group, Wor Flags, Maintain SJP, NUFC 360, AshleyOut, The Magpie Channel, Against Ashley, NWestMagpies, NUFCblog.co.uk, Aussie Mags, Dubai Mags, Singapore Mags, Toon Army Miami, Toon Army Sacramento, Toon Army Denver, Toon Army Canada and Toon Army Toronto put their name to a letter calling on the Sports Direct tycoon to sell up to Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman.

The Public Investment Fund-backed takeover bid, said to be worth around £340million, is set to see Amanda Staveley and billionaire brothers Simon and David Reuben take a stake at St James’s Park, ending 13 years of Ashley’s reign, should he accept their terms.

And fan groups are in absolutely no doubt – they want Ashley gone and the Saudi riches to flow.

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“The expertise is there. The money is there. The last remaining hurdle is Ashley’s answer," said the statement.

“Mike Ashley has long said that he would step aside once there was somebody that could take our club to the next level. Previous takeover attempts have apparently proved to be a waste of his time.

“However, we believe that this time he has a concrete bid, proof of funds is not an issue and there is a willing buyer. If he really does want to sell the club as he has said, he should accept the offer and end this toxic relationship once and for all.

“Ashley should not stand in the way of this once in a lifetime opportunity for our club, our communities and our proud city. It’s time for him to take his money and get out of our club.”

A takeover deal for Newcastle United could be finalised by the end of the week, the Gazette understands.

Talks between the two parties have been going on for four months – and are expected to reach a conclusion this week.

There is still work to be done, and the next 48 hours will be critical, according to sources close to the proposed deal.