Mike Ashley has formally announced that he has ended takeover talks with Amanda Staveley, the only part to have tabled a firm offer over the sale of Newcastle United.
The announcement is likely to majorly frustrate Newcastle fans, who saw the takeover as the only real way of ensuring manager Rafa Benitez got the funds required to make something of his side, while also ridding their club of their deadwood and poor board management.
Staveley and her group PCP Capital Partners had tabled an offer of £250m, taking into account the club’s league position and requirement for immediate investment, and were unwilling to raise it to Ashley’s much higher requests.
Ashley has confirmed the club is still for sale, but it will not be sold to Staveley’s group.
A statement from a source close to Newcastle’s current owner, broadcast by Sky Sports, said: “It is only right to let the fans know that there is no deal on the table – or even under discussion – with Amanda Staveley and PCP.
“Attempts to reach a deal with Amanda Staveley and PCP have proved exhausting, frustrating and a complete waste of time.”
The phrasing of Ashley’s statement is likely to cause the most furore among fans, as most likely feel the choice of words more aptly describe the Mike Ashley reign itself, rather than the drawn out negotiations to relieve him of the club.
Staveley had been hoping to back Benitez during the January transfer window to help push through the much-needed squad improvements and secure Premier League safety but with the deal off budgets will likely be minimal, if not non-existent, for the Spaniard.
Fans can only hope Ashley finds a new party willing to step in and purchase the club, but having now shown this volatile and impatient nature should he not receive an offer matching own overly-ambitious valuation most interested parties will likely be scared away.