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Newcastle ´in US takeover talks´

SoccerNews in English Premier League 4 Jul 2008

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Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has held talks with US investors over a possible sale of the English Premier League club according to reports in the British press.

However, according to Friday’s edition of Britain’s Sun tabloid, Ashley’a asking price of 420 million pounds (840 million dollars) frightened off American private equity group InterMedia Partners.

Ashley himself paid 137 million pounds and took on approximately 80 million pounds of debt when he bought Newcastle from Freddy Shepherd last year.

Newcastle refused to comment on the matter Friday although, in the past, Ashley has insisted he was not looking to make a quick profit.

Since his takeover, billionaire businessman Ashley, who made his money with a chain of sports stores, has put 100 million pounds of his own fortune into the club in a bid to strengthen the north-east side’s squad.

Ashley has become best known at Newcastle for sitting amongst the home supporters while wearing a replica black-and-white first-team shirt during matches at St James’ Park.

And he initially found favour with many Newcastle fans by sacking manager Sam Allardyce in January after a poor run of results, but just eight months in to the former Bolton boss’s time with the Magpies, before replacing him with United hero Kevin Keegan – now in his second spell as manager at St James’.

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