Sunday, 31 May 2009

Ashley: Get me out of here now!

MIKE ASHLEY has revealed he wants to sell crisis club Newcastle ASAP.

Retail tycoon Ashley apologised for mistakes he made this season as the Magpies were relegated from the Premier League.

And he is ready to offload the club for around £100million and recoup some of his massive investment.

He said: "It has been catastrophic for everybody.

"I've lost my money and I've made terrible decisions.

"Now I want to sell it as soon as I can. Advisers will be appointed shortly."

Ashley tried to sell Newcastle last year after fans' angry reaction to boss Kevin Keegan's departure.

Keith Harris, chairman of investment bank Seymour Pierce, scoured the world looking for buyers after being asked to do so by Ashley.

Seven different consortia were provided with prospectuses outlining details of the club's financial standing.

Groups from Nigeria and South Africa were linked with buy-out bids.

But none of the interested parties came up with an acceptable deal and Ashley opted to put a hold on his plans to sell.

Ashley, who bought the club in 2007, said: "Of course I regret it.
"I never said I was an expert in football clubs.

"I was just a fan - although a very wealthy fan.

But I'm not so wealthy now.

"I put my money into it and I tried my best.

But I accept my best was woefully short.

"I am genuinely sorry for everybody about what has happened."

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