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Ashley slashes Newcastle sale price: BBC

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley, who is attempting to find a buyer for the club, has cut his asking price from 450 million pounds to somewhere between 280 million and 300 million, the BBC reported Tuesday.

Ashley bought the club for 133 million pounds last year and subsequently paid off some of its debts, so would still make a profit at the lower asking price.

He announced that he was selling up earlier this month after fans turned on him in the wake of Kevin Keegan's resignation as manager, which was reportedly triggered by a dispute with Ashley's director of football, Dennis Wise, over control of transfer policy.

Joe Kinnear started work this week as an interim replacement for Keegan but has been guaranteed employment only until the end of October, by which time Ashley hopes to have completed a sale.

Keegan's continued popularity on Tyneside means that new owners would be under intense pressure to reappoint him to the manager's seat.

The boardroom turmoil has not helped Newcastle's cause on the pitch with the club currently second from bottom of the Premier League and confidence in the squad “lower than a snake's belly”, according to star striker Michael Owen.

Tue 30 September, 2008
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