Magpies no longer for sale

28 December 2008 10:24
Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has confirmed that the club has been taken off the market and is no longer up for sale. Ashley took charge at St James' Park in May 2007, but had looked set to sell up in September this year after coming in for stern criticism following the exit of former manager Kevin Keegan. However, a statement from Ashley read: "I am happy to end the uncertainty the fans may have had about the future direction of Newcastle United. I know just how important that is to you. "I have withdrawn Newcastle United from the market and for me 2009 will be the year in which we drive the club forward together. "Even when I haven't been at games, I have remained a keen supporter, kicking and heading every ball and cheering the team on TV and being first to congratulate Joe Kinnear whenever there's a good result. "When I took the decision to put the club up for sale in September I made a point of saying two things were very important. "Firstly any potential buyer would have to show they had the best interests of Newcastle United at heart and had both the commitment and finance to be worthy custodians of such a fine football club before I would even consider doing a deal. "And secondly, I gave you my word that as long as I remain owner, this club would continue to be run responsibly at all levels. "I hope you will accept that I have stood by that pledge."

Source: ESA