Mike Ashley may have scuppered Newcastle United takeover

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The frustration of the Newcastle United fans is palpable.

News broke several months ago that a £300million deal to takeover the club was all-but complete, meaning that Mike Ashley was soon to be on the way out of the door.

Amanda Staveley is the figurehead of that Saudi-backed consortium and with the excitement pulsing through Tyneside it was starting to feel like a city who were looking forward to what was in store.

If only they knew.

With the deal passed on to the Premier League for ratification, it seemed that this was merely a formality to complete the deal.

However four months later and we're still waiting on that decision.

The Premier League have a responsibility to ensure that the new owners are suitable to take over a club that's so close to so many hearts, so of course the decision has to be correct.

But you can forgive supporters for growing sceptical as the wait continues.

The Newcastle United beat has been rife with speculation and theories as to what is going on, but in truth no one truly knows.

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One man who knows more than most about the finer details of a major takeover like this is Kieran Maguire.

The football finance expert was discussing the takeover on The Price Of Football Podcast where he suggested that it could actually be Mike Ashley who is behind the delay.

He said: “Mike Ashley is definitely keen to divest himself of Newcastle United, there’s no doubt about that. The reason why it’s taking so long is that he’s been hawking the club around for at least a couple of years.

“I think some of the things that might put people off which could be put into Mike Ashley’s bin is that, when you’re buying Newcastle United Football Club, if you go into the small print of the accounts – which as you know, I’m no stranger to doing – you’re actually buying 22 different companies.

“So, he’s set up Newcastle United kit and Newcastle United pies and Newcastle United this, that and the other, which makes it trickier.

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"If you’re just buying Newcastle United itself, then you know exactly what you’ve got and this is also an issue as far as those people who are looking at Wigan Athletic are concerned – what exactly are you buying from the administrator?

"So, you need to list it all out. So, by having it split between 22 different companies, it just makes it a bit of a pain in the backside.”

GIVEMESPORT'S Phil Spencer says...

While such a delay is hugely frustrating for Mike Ashley, the mentioned theory could hold some weight.

The fact that numerous companies are said to have been created means that such a process will be harder to complete.

There's no getting away from the fact that the controversy regarding piracy and human rights violations from the buyers' side will be a huge area for investigation.

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But it's unlikely that everything is done and dusted on Ashley's side either.

The hope now is that the Premier League can make a decision as quickly as possible.

Regardless of whether it's the outcome that supporters want or not, fans need a little bit of transparency regarding their club.

Such a feeling of limbo is not good for the football club - particularly given the fact that we're close to the end of the season when plans really must be put in place for next term. 

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