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Edwards: Newcastle owner Ashley is happy to sell the club

first_imgThe Daily Telegraph’s north east correspondent, Luke Edwards has told talkSPORT Mike Ashley is happy to sell Newcastle as he pursues his interest in taking over Rangers. The Magpies owner has spent seven troubled years at the helm of the Tyneside outfit and while he has made the club profitable, a lack of ambition on the pitch combined with the sales of big stars such as Yohan Cabaye means he enjoys little popularity with the Toon Army supporters.Ashley already has a 10 per cent stake in Rangers but is unable to increase it due to his ownership of Newcastle, leading to fresh speculation the Sports Direct chief is looking to sell up.And Edwards told Kick Off: “They are a very secure financial institution. But it would be nice to find out why he doesn’t want to do any more with it than that. I think the Newcastle project turned sour for him a long time ago, particularly when he fell out with Kevin Keegan.“We’re going back to 2008 when that happened. When he took over Newcastle it was reported he wanted to have some fun. But when you get 52,000 people chanting for you to disappear [things change]. I think he lost interest and he’s been stuck with this football club.“But I think there’s been a fresh impetus on his behalf to try and sell it.”Ashley has twice tried to sell Newcastle previously, once after he faced serious protests when Keegan resigned in 2008 and again when the club were relegated just a year later. But Edwards suggested a better economic climate has now led the owner to look to offload the club once more.“If you also remember the economic downturn happened at the same time he fell out with Kevin Keegan,” the journalist added.“There weren’t a lot of people suddenly out there wanting to spend £250 – £300million on a football club. That situation has improved a little bit. He certainly had a look around over the summer, whether he can find someone to buy it isn’t clear. There’s a lot of clubs up for sale at the moment.”Another target for Newcastle supporters at the moment is Alan Pardew with reports suggesting the boss only has two more games to save his job, however, Edwards believes this is wide of the mark.“I don’t know whether the two game thing is right,” he said. “From what I’m told a timescale hasn’t been put on it and I don’t think Ashley is the sort of man who bows to any pressure.“You have to remember he could have sacked him three times in the past 18 months and hasn’t. He’s actually stood by Alan Pardew through all of this. In a perverse way that damages Pardew even more because the fans see him as a stooge of the owner.“There’s a frustation that there doesn’t seem to be any real ambition at Newcastle United, there’s nothing to pin your dreams on basically.”last_img read more