Sheard confirms Newcastle interest
Businessman Geoff Sheard has confirmed he is fronting a bid by a mystery American company to buy Newcastle. Sheard, who tried unsuccessfully to take over at Sheffield Wednesday last season, claims to have been in talks with the Magpies for several weeks, but not on his own behalf. He told the Evening Chronicle: "It's not me who is buying the club - that should be made very clear. I have put together a package for a group who want to come in and take over the club." He added: "That's what they want to do, given the opportunity to do so. Talks have been going on for a couple of weeks now." Owner Mike Ashley gave Tyneside businessman Barry Moat extra time to put the finances in place to launch his own formal offer on Monday, but it is understood that other prospective buyers still remain in the hunt. However, none has yet come up with the £100million Ashley wants to secure a sale, while there is also the matter of the club's existing £39million overdraft facility with Barclays Bank to be addressed. The club was put up for sale in May in the wake of relegation, and while several interested parties have entered into detailed discussions, a deal is yet to be struck. There is a growing feeling that, if Ashley does not get what he wants by the end of this week, he will shelve his sale plans for a second time and press on with his own plans to get the club back into the Premier League. The Magpies currently sit joint top of the Coca-Cola Championship after an encouraging start to the season. However, the squad is threadbare with no fewer than 10 men having been sold to date and only one, loan signing Danny Simpson, having arrived in their place.
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