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Ashley targets Magpies sale
14 Sep 2008 - 17:37:54
Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has confirmed that he is seeking to sell the club, following the weekend protests over his position before, during and after the 2-1 loss to Hull City.
Ashley stayed away from St James' Park for the loss to the Tigers, having angered the Toon Army by playing a major part in the decision of former manager Kevin Keegan to quit the club.
A statement from Ashley confirmed: "I am putting the club up for sale. I hope that the fans get what they want and that the next owner is someone who can lavish the amount of money on the club that the fans want.
"This will not be a fire sale. Newcastle is now in a much stronger position than it was in 2007. It is planning for the future and it is sustainable.
"I am very conscious of the responsibility that I bear in owning Newcastle United. Tough decisions have to be made in business and I will not shy away from doing what I consider to be in the best interests of the club. This is not fantasy football.
"I hope that all the fans get to read this statement so that they understand what I am about.
"I would not expect all of the fans to agree with me. But I have set out my plan clearly. If I can't sell the club to someone who will give the fans what they want, then I shall continue to ensure that Newcastle is run on a business and football model that is sustainable.
"I care too much about the club merely to abandon it. I have the interests of Newcastle United at heart.
"I have listened to you. You want me out. That is what I am now trying to do, but it won't happen overnight and it may not happen at all if a buyer does not come in.
"You don't need to demonstrate against me again because I have got the message. Any further action will only have an adverse effect on the team."