Newcastle United: Mike Ashley ends takeover talks with Amanda Staveley

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley with managing director Lee Charnley
Mike Ashley took charge of the club in 2007

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has ended talks with businesswoman Amanda Staveley over a takeover that could have been worth around £250m.

Ashley said in October he wanted to sell the club after 10 years in charge.

He was believed to have been close to selling to Staveley's PCP Capital Partners group in mid-November after weeks of negotiations.

However, the deal is now understood to be off after PCP failed to match Ashley's valuation of the club.

A Newcastle source told BBC Sport: "Ashley was unhappy with their approach and feels discussions have been a waste of time but the club remains up for sale."

Staveley's group, which is thought to be backed by money from the Middle East and China, is one of a series of prospective buyers that signed non-disclosure agreements with the club last year.

It made a formal offer for the club in November which, it is understood, could have eventually risen to £300m if certain targets were met.

BBC Sport understands there has been no formal contact between the Ashley and Staveley teams since before Christmas.

Staveley helped broker the purchase of Manchester City by Sheikh Mansour in 2009 and it was reported that she led Dubai International Capital's £400m bid for Liverpool in 2008.

Ashley, 53, has been a divisive figure at St James' Park, with some supporters regularly protesting about the way the businessman has run the club.

He bought Newcastle for £134.4m in 2007. Their latest accounts showed a profit of £900,000 and turnover of £126m in 2015-16.

The club have been relegated twice from the Premier League during Ashley's 10-year reign and are currently 16th in the top flight after 16 games, having won promotion last season under Rafael Benitez.

Analysis

BBC sports news correspondent Richard Conway

Deals of this size and scale - and involving big personalities - almost never run smoothly.

What is known is that a £250m bid for Newcastle United remains on the table from Amanda Staveley.

It's clearly unacceptable from Mike Ashley's perspective.

But with relegation a distinct possibility both parties know the club could be worth just £100m in May if the worst happens.

Stick or twist? Both sides must decide what to do next. Ashley's camp has made it clear they feel talks are over for now but this could be brinksmanship.

The impending Premier League TV deal negotiations will conclude in February. It may be that no real progress is made until then.

Meanwhile, Ashley will be hoping some of those parties that have signed non-disclosure agreements will submit viable bids.

But as of right now Staveley's bid is the only one he's received - and she remains the most realistic buyer in light of any other credible suitors.

Top Stories