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SBD Global/August 15, 2017/Franchises

Newcastle United Owner Mike Ashley Would Move Aside For Wealthy Buyer

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Premier League side Newcastle United Owner Mike Ashley revealed he "would stand aside if a wealthier investor was interested in taking over -- but does not expect to be inundated with offers," according to the PA. A "rare interview" with Ashley was broadcast on Sunday. While fans "will surely have been interested in Ashley's conciliatory words" toward a number of former managers as well as his "regret over rebranding" St. James' Park, his thoughts on the future "created the most intrigue." Ashley admitted the money available to Manager Rafael Benítez was "not enough.'' He said, "I have got to make it crystal clear. I am nowhere near wealthy enough to compete with Manchester City and Chelsea. It is a wealthy individual taking on what is the equivalent of countries. I cannot and I will not. And that is why if someone wants to come along and take this seat and fund Newcastle with their nought on the end more than me, I will not stand in Newcastle's way.'' The 52-year-old was "quick to add that he was pessimistic about the prospects of such funding arriving and instead began looking to the future" (PA, 8/14).
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