According to a report from Football Insider, ex-Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips has predicted that unpopular Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley could remain at the club for up to three more years despite takeover talks seemingly well underway.
Ashley, who put the club up for sale two years ago, has reportedly been in negotiations with Prince Mohammed bin Salman who is backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund – whilst also receiving help from former sole prospective buyer Amanda Staveley. A report from the Guardian in late January indicated that a deal is ‘90%‘ done and could be completed imminently, but after a week of radio silence from both parties, Magpies supporters anxiously wait for a crucial update. The Sports Direct magnate, who has refused offers in the past from Staveley who failed to match his £340 million valuation (Daily Telegraph), now also desires a non-refundable bond of £250,000 paid directly to himself before any deal is made to sell the club.
Speaking to Football Insider, former Black Cats forward Phillips, who scored 63 goals in 146 appearances for Newcastle’s arch-rivals (Transfermarkt), has gone on to suggest that the takeover may not happen for up to three more years.
“It’s been, 10 years, over 10 years? And how many years has there been exactly the same but he’s still there?,” explained the pundit.
“He’s obviously got very thick skin, hasn’t he, and yeah, I could honestly see him there being another one, two, three years.
“Newcastle fans probably don’t want to hear me say it but he has put his money where his mouth is and there’s no question about that.
“It’s just some of the decisions he made obviously upset the Newcastle supporters and they don’t see a way back for him.”
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