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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 June 2018

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley ‘furious’ with reports of £300m takeover bid by Dubai financier Staveley

Amanda Staveley’s formal offer to buy the club is reportedly much lower than £300m and will be rejected by Mike Ashley

Premier League club Newcastle United have been put up for sale by owner Mike Ashley, owner of sportswear giant Sports Direct. Stu Forster/Getty Images
Premier League club Newcastle United have been put up for sale by owner Mike Ashley, owner of sportswear giant Sports Direct. Stu Forster/Getty Images

Newcastle United’s owner Mike Ashley is said to be “furious” at reports that Dubai financier Amanda Staveley has offered around £300m (Dh1.46bn) to buy the club, with sources claiming the bid is much lower.

According to the Daily Mail, Mr Ashley, owner of controversial sportswear chain Sports Direct, will reject their initial offer.

On Monday night, Sky News reported that Ms Staveley’s firm PCP Capital Partners had made Mr Ashley formal offer of £300m.

However, sources close to the 53-year-old businessman told the Mail that the actual bid was much lower, and Ms Staveley must raise her offer to make progress.

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Read more:

Newcastle offered £300m in takeover bid by Dubai financier

English football's economic miracle driving Staveley's Newcastle bid

Liverpool owners turned down £1.5bn offer to buy club from Dubai financier

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Mr Ashley, who bought the Premier League club in 2007 for around £135 million, is also believed to be keen to include an advertising package for Sports Direct with the deal.

Sources added that they were confident the takeover would be completed with the PCP owner becoming the club’s chief executive.

Mr Ashley announced his intention to sell Newcastle United last month, after 10 years in charge. At the time, his lawyers said he hoped to finalise the sale by Christmas.

Businesswoman Amanda Staveley in the stands during the Premier League match at St James' Park, Newcastle. PA
Businesswoman Amanda Staveley in the stands during the Premier League match at St James' Park, Newcastle. PA

Speculation that Yorkshire-born Ms Staveley was interested in the club became rife when she was spotted with her husband- and PCP’s managing partner – Mehrdad Ghodoussi at St James’ Park in October for a Premier League match between the Magpies and rivals Liverpool Football Club.

However, the 44-year-old’s initial focus was on Liverpool, with sources revealing that takeover talks for The Reds had begun in April 2016.

Last month, The National revealed that the American owners of Liverpool, Fenway Sports Group, had turned down a £1.5bn bid at the eleventh hour, with sources close to the talks saying that FSG believed they could realise a better price for the club in the future.

Ms Staveley turned her attention to Newcastle and is believed to have made a formal offer for the club last week. The money for the bid is believed to be a combination of Ms Staveley’s equity and that of her major investors, which include funds in the Middle East.

Watch: John Turner and Mustafa Alrawi are discussing the latest developments around the potential sale of football club Newcastle United to Dubai financier Amanda Staveley