Mike Ashley has been the owner of Newcastle United since 2007 and has failed to sell the club on multiple occasions, but Gary Neville has told the Sports Direct CEO to lower his asking price
Ahead of Newcastle’s clash against Leeds on Friday night, Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville issued a plea to Mike Ashley to accept a lower fee and sell the club.
Despite multiple takeover attempts and plenty on interest, Ashley remains the owner of the Magpies, much to the dismay of the club’s supporters.
The Sports Direct CEO bought Newcastle in 2007 for £135million but has put the club up for sale on multiple occasions since, although no deal is yet to transpire.
Ashley has frustrated Newcastle fans for over a decade as the businessmen fails to invest in the club the way that the supporters desire, and continues to anger the Geordie faithful by refusing to lower his asking price when entering negotiations about a possible sale.
Newcastle have fallen from grace as the once title challengers have been relegated from the Premier League twice since Ashley took over the club, once in 2009 and then again in 2016.
Although football clubs are a healthy business prospect, it doesn’t go down well with the fans when the owners don’t invest or express desire in succeeding on the field, which is something that Neville has spoken out about with his beloved Manchester United who are under the Glazer ownership.
Newcastle remains a huge club, but a change of ownership is long overdue in order to rebuild the Magpies and push them back in the right direction, and Neville has urged Ashley to do the right thing for football.
The pundit said: “This club has got to be sold quickly, this club has to change hands. It’s got to, quickly. Mike Ashley has got to dispose of it.
“It’s easy to say drop the price a little bit, but he has to do the right thing at some point. He’s got a lot of money, it’s not going to change his life if he loses a bit more money.
“He’s got to dispose of the club now and do the right thing. There’s real damage being done here over a long period of time.”
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The former United defender also commented about the problem filtering down to the players, and said: “When you give footballers an excuse, you’ve got a real problem.
“What’s coming from the top is poor. That gives an excuse right the way through the club. The players can shield themselves from that.
“I think it’s difficult for the players as well. When you come into a club that’s got a spirit problem and an energy problem, the fans in here tonight are desperate to do well.
“But if they go a goal down they’re going to be at it, they’re going to be moody, the atmosphere will be poor. When you’re a footballer and you know you’re a mistake away from it being a poor atmosphere, you are going to protect yourself.
“That’s when you get leaks coming out of the club. Players protecting themselves, agents leaking stuff, and the cycle of negativity exists.”