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Newcastle fans wary of club takeover
Published : 27 May 2009 13:22:13
A lukewarm welcomed greeted reports that investment banker Keith Harris is reportedly brokering a takeover deal less than two years after Ashley bought the club in a £134.4 million buy-out. Harris, the head of the City investment bank Seymour Pierce who was hired by Ashley to sell the club last year, is understood to have travelled to Tyneside on Tuesday for talks with a consortium interested in buying the St James' Park club. Ashley may have been blamed for the club's relegation to the Championship but the Newcastle United Supporters' Club are wary about the thought of anther change of ownership. 'When Mike Ashley first bought the club most people welcomed it but what we have learnt in the last two years is that it's not what people say that counts it's what people do,' NUSC member Michael Ord told Telegraph Sport. 'So whilst on the face of it would be good news, in my opinion that depends on who he sells to and what their intentions are. That's important. 'As long as he sells to a person or a group of people who have the long-term interests of the club at heart, and will invest in the football club and help us recover premier league status, and take us forward as a club, great. 'If he is going to sell to a group of people who are going to take money out of the club and further our decline then that will be bad news.' Ashley is currently trying to persuade Alan Shearer to take over as manager on a long-term basis but Ord insists prospective new owners should be privy to his appointment. 'Mr Ashley complained when he took over the club that a new manager had just been appointed who wasn't his choice,' Ord added. 'Irrespective of who it is, if the club is going to be sold then it's the people who are buying it who need to talk to Alan Shearer, or any other prospective manager, because it needs to be their man. 'The important thing is that whoever is going to be in charge of the club in terms of ownership for next season they need to have the decision as to who will be the manager.' Ord is backing Ashley's attempts to persuade Shearer to sign a four-year contract to steer his hometown club back into the Premier League. 'Alan Shearer is an absolute hero in Newcastle,' Ord continued. 'But if he was to manage us in the Championship, or Division Two as I would call it, he needs to have people around him who have knowledge and understand that league because it's not like the Premiership. 'He needs people around him who will help him find the right players to get us out of that league. It won't be the same players who could take us back up to the Premiership. We need to have the right people for the right jobs. 'He is professional enough and I am sure determined enough to make sure that if he is appointed that he gets it right. "I have confidence that he is the right man for the job and he is one of the only people who would be afforded the time to get things right by fans who have been accused of lacking patience in the past.'