Mike Ashley puts Newcastle up for sale
Ashley, who first purchased the Premier League outfit in 2007 for approximately £134.4 million, wants to have the sale completed by Christmas, St James Holdings Limited confirmed.
He has been open to offers for the Magpies since the turn of the year, but instructed club officials to issue a public statement in a move which could be seen as an attempt to smoke out potential buyers.
The statement, which was released on Monday, read: ‘As one of the Premier League's oldest and best supported football clubs - and for the benefit of its many fans and supporters in the UK and across the world - Newcastle United requires a clear direction and a path to a bright and successful future.
‘To give the club the best possible opportunity of securing the positioning and investment necessary to take it to the next level, at what is an important time in its history, its present ownership has determined that it is in the best interests of Newcastle United and its fans for the club to be put up for sale.’