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SBD Global/August 9, 2012/Franchises

Newcastle United Owner Wants To Buy 10% Stake In Rangers

Newcastle United Owner Mike Ashley is in advanced talks with Rangers CEO Charles Green about "buying a stake of up to 10% in the club" and forming a joint venture to sell its replica kit through his Sports Direct stores, according to Ian McConnell of the HERALD SCOTLAND. A deal between Ashley and Green "is expected to be completed within days." Ashley, "a controversial retail tycoon who has had a rollercoaster relationship with the city and Newcastle United fans, has deep pockets." His near-69% stake in Sports Direct, which has defied the economic downturn -- as rivals including JJB Sports have struggled -- is worth more than £1.2B ($1.9B). One source said the price of a 10% stake in Rangers would be "like chicken feed" to Ashley. A spokesperson for Ashley refused to comment on the deal and a club spokesperson said: "It is speculation, and we will not comment on commercial matters." However, another source said, "Talks are at an advanced stage, and the deal should be signed in the next few days" (HERALD SCOTLAND, 8/8).

CONNECT FOUR: In other news, the BBC reported that Rugby Super League club Bradford Bulls administrator Brendan Guilfoyle "has confirmed that he has been approached by a new potential buyer" for the Odsal side. He is now expecting to hear back from the Rugby Football League about this latest bid. Guilfoyle said, "I put the offer to the RFL last Friday and they will make their decision later on Wednesday" (BBC, 8/8).
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