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Newcastle for Sale Again?
Times Online, August 22nd, 2007 2:15PM



Barely two months after he bought the club, British billionaire Mike Ashley is discussing the sale of Newcastle United. The London Times says Icelandic retail mogul Palmi Haraldsson has already entered into talks with Ashley about acquiring the club's assets for more than $270 million. Newcastle denied the rumors.

The development comes amid unsettling times for the EPL club. Since Ashley's June takeover, Newcastle Chairman Freddy Shepherd has stepped down while both his family and the Halls, who owned a significant stakes club, have sold off shares. Meanwhile, new manager Sam Allardyce has complained about a lack of sufficient funds to buy new players after releasing so many when he took charge in May.

It's unclear why Ashley is motivated to sell so soon, but a source told the Times that he realized he could make a quick profit after pouring some $60 million into the club to help it refinance the $160 million debt he assumed when he bought the club for $266 million in June. There is also the possibility that Ashley could secure a lucrative deal with his retail chain, Sport Direct, if he sold to Haraldsson. The same source said that the Icelandic's advisors had been in contact with Ashley's, although a deal could still collapse.

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