'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.
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.
“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.