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Staveley Sale Off: 3 Things to Consider

Fact: It’s not the end of the World

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Earlier today Sky Sports reported that due to frustrations with dealing with the Staveley group, talks between Mike Ashley and the PCP have been discontinued.

This tweet alarmed many fans and immediately the reactions were extreme. People are convinced that this is the end of the club as we know it. Rafa will leave and we will eventually end up in League 1 with Sunderland.

As fans it is important for us to not overreact with anything that comes out of the Ashley party, and to truly look at things from an analytical perspective. Mike Ashley is known to be someone who will manipulate the media in order to get what he wants and make himself look like the “hero”.

It is important to first recognize that the “talks” are off, but the sale of the club is not. Ashley is still very much interested in selling the club and given that information you have to begin to think like a businessman. Ashley wants to sell the club at his price, and is going to do whatever it takes in order to get the maximum return on his investment. That being said, here are three things to consider given the news that broke today.

First, consider the source of the story. Sky Sports has typically been a pro Ashley source of news related to Newcastle United, so it is no surprise that they broke the story. Sky seem to do whatever it takes to make Ashley look like he is not the villain that we all know him to be. They seem to consistently fabricate stories that split the fan base in two, and that alone should be a red flag to anyone who saw the story.

The story was not an official statement made by Mike Ashley, Lee Charnley or any of the Ashley legal team. I would take this information with a grain of salt. Like everything relating to the takeover, the source is anonymous and often times cannot be trusted. Like with the Dubai story, this could be something that Ashley is doing in order to speed up the sale.

Furthermore, the frustrations Ashley seem to have are somewhat his own doing. From the outside looking in it appears as if he has put in the minimal amount of effort to progress the deal. He met with Staveley in person once and then took a 3 week holiday in the middle of negotiations. If anyone should be frustrated negotiating the deal it would be the PCP group. I am not the only one who have noticed this ridiculous reason from the Ashley party, many fans have chimed in asking how Ashley could be frustrated when he is the source of the frustration

Secondly, consider the response PCP will have to these remarks. Keith Downing of Sky already has the initial response to Ashley's claim of an offer never being made.

This is a first statement in a series of statements that will likely be reported to the media from “sources close to the deal”. All of the positive news we have heard concerning the sale have been from PCP, so there is no doubt that they will use the media as a way to refute whatever Ashley spews.

As fans though, we cannot look at PCP as the hero and Ashley as the villain, even though that is all too easy. We must remember that they are conducting business and each party has done and likely will continue to do their fair share of using the media as a tool to advance negotiations. However, it is easier to lean towards believing leaks concerning the sale from PCP especially because they have been positive for the most part and somewhat easier to confirm. News outside of the Ashley camp has brought us the news of the first offer, the NDA being signed, and an initial offer being put on the table. All of this being said, just like the sources that brought us the Ashley news, we have to remember to take this all with a grain of salt. No official news has been announced, so there is no reason to believe anything we have read so far. The only thing we really know is that Ashley wants to sell and PCP are looking to buy.

Lastly, we must consider the fact that we are dealing with one of the worst owners in club history, but also one of the best businessmen in club history. A man that has overseen the relegation of the club twice, uses the club for advertising, and refuses to spend money in every transfer window, is the same man who balanced the books at Newcastle, loaned the club tons of money and always has a profit every transfer window.

Ashley is a businessman so it is natural that he wants to get a maximum return on his investment. Sure, it seems evil, and honestly every one has had enough of his shit, but you have to look at things from his perspective. As a businessman he is going to do whatever it takes to not only get the deal done, but get a deal done that is going to be favorable for him. This was never going to be a quick process because Ashley and the fans both knew that nobody was going to meet his valuation. In the eyes of Ashley however, he is willing to milk this process until he gets what he wants, simply because he can. Everything he does is to generate profit, and you have to remember that every time news concerning him comes out.

Ashley is out to make money even if that means bullying buyers into a deal. In the case of Ashley vs. Staveley, all we can do as fans is see who cracks first. Sure it is frustrating, but so has being a Newcastle fan under the reign of Ashley.

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