HAT IN THE RING: THE SUN's Sam Morgan reported WWE Owner Vince McMahon has been linked with an "incredible takeover" of Newcastle United. On Twitter, it "seems there is a groundswell of support for the boisterous McMahon." The American mogul "has turned the spectacle of muscular, spandex-wearing men fighting each other into a massive money-making machine." But "behind the show is a ruthless businessman who turned a company on the brink of ruin into a behemoth" (THE SUN, 10/17).
TURKISH TAKEOVER?: The BBC reported Turkey's richest man denied he is interested in buying Newcastle United. Reports suggested Murat Ulker, chair of foods company Yildiz Holding, was the "front-runner to take over" from Ashley. But a Yildiz Holding spokesperson said, "The company is not purchasing Newcastle and no discussions about the team have taken place. We wish them the best of luck in finding a new owner" (BBC, 10/18).
Everyone's making memes about it but just imagine the absolute scenes if Vince McMahon actually bought Newcastle United. pic.twitter.com/TPjVFl90eQ— JΛY BUCKS 🇦🇺 (@TheMasterBucks) October 16, 2017
NEXT PHASE: In Newcastle, Lee Ryder reported Ashley's lawyer, Andrew Henderson, has received "fresh enquiries from those interested in buying Newcastle United." However, "significantly, there are no parties that have joined the four groups that have signed non-disclosure agreement forms that would trigger further discussions." Staveley's group is believed to hold a "genuine interest" but it is also "mulling over purchases at other Premier League clubs." Henderson's next task will be to "draw up a list of those who are genuine contenders to buy the club" (CHRONICLE LIVE, 10/18). The PA reported Ashley is "hoping it will be a case of third time lucky" as he attempts to "finally offload the club" he brought for £134.4M in '07, following his two "unsuccessful previous attempts to sell up." However, reports said that sources close to the Sports Direct businessman are "insisting he will only do business" with a buyer who is able to fund "significant spending in a way he admitted recently he cannot do." As a result, there is "no exact price tag," with speculation suggesting the current owner is looking for anywhere between £300M ($395.9M) and £450M ($593.8M) before "relinquishing control" (PA, 10/17).