Former Newcastle United man Rob Lee has claimed that Mike Ashley has no intention of selling the club.
The owner was understood to be in advanced talks to sell the club in December, as reported by the Telegraph, but nothing ever materialised, and Lee is doubtful that he will let Magpies go any time soon.
Speaking on talkSPORT, as quoted by the Chronicle (13.27), he said: “I met him once with Alan Shearer many many years ago and he was okay, he just seems to take one step forward and two massive giant steps back
“He seems to want to upset the Geordies, you think he’s doing alright then he comes out with a statement at the end of the season a few years ago, we’re going to invest money, we’re going do this and that, every money we generate, but he never does it.
“I just think, you said a little while ago he’ll be there until the end of the season but he’ll be there much longer than that. He won’t sell, I don’t think he wants to sell.”
This is just about the last thing Newcastle will ever want to hear, but you have to say that, regretfully, Lee is probably right. Ashley seems to pull the same charade time after time, angling to sell just before a transfer window to justify his lack of spending then easing up in his efforts as soon as the window is closed. Admittedly, he did splash out on Miguel Almiron this time around, and perhaps that is a cause for some encouragement, but the reality is that that investment was a necessity to prevent the club from getting relegated. Ashley will not sell up until the team isn’t a financially viable venture for him any more, and that’s probably not going to happen until something like relegation hits. Unless someone walks into his office and signs him a cheque for £300 million there and then, the owner is going nowhere, and the only other solution is relegation. As far as catch 22s get, it doesn’t get much worse