New buyer emerges for Toon
Local businessman Geoff Sheard has emerged as another potential buyer of Newcastle United. The Magpies confirmed on Tuesday that they were in contact with the entrepreneur through Keith Harris, chairman of London-based investment bank Seymour Pierce. The talks come just one day after the club announced their decision to give fellow potential buyer Barry Moat further time to table his own formal offer as owner Mike Ashley looks to finally make the sale. Sheard failed in an attempt to buy Yorkshire club Sheffield Wednesday last summer and the North West-based businessman has yet to prove he has the funds available to make a substantial bid. Newcastle managing director Derek Llambias said: "Geoff is dealing with Keith Harris and we are still waiting for proof of funds." Ashley is reportedly seeking £100million for the club with a further £39million needed to service its overdraft facility and is understood to be hoping for a decision by the end of the week as another informal deadline is set. Besides Sheard, Newcastle are believed to have two potential buyers in talks at advanced stages, one of which is Moat. Whether Sheard, who is rumoured to have financial backing from the USA and is keen to bring Alan Shearer back as full time manager, will become a serious candidate for the buy remains to be seen. On the pitch the saga has not affected the players as they sit joint top of the Championship table with 10 points from a possible 12 and prepare to take on Huddersfield in Wednesday night's Carling Cup clash at St. James' Park. Caretaker boss Chris Hughton has been limited to just one signing, Danny Simpson on loan from Manchester United, while 10 players have left, but he insists he and his players will continue to go about their job. Hughton said: "Probably from the first day of pre-season, I have been convinced by the end of that week that a decision would be made (on the sale), and of course what has happened is that that's gone on and on. "A decision will be made at some stage. What has been quoted this week is that they will give Barry Moat that extra time he needs, and that's all we can work off. "If something happens, that would be beneficial for everybody, but until it does, we will get on with the business here."
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