Football

Monday announcement at Newcastle

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Newcastle will make an announcement on Monday over ongoing efforts to sell the club.

Owner Mike Ashley was expected to make a decision by the end of this week over whether or not to accept one of the bids currently on the table, or to continue running the Magpies himself for another season.

However, talks with local businessman Barry Moat, as well as two other consortia, are continuing as Ashley looks to strike a £100million deal for the club he bought for £134.4million a little more than two years ago.

The longer things go without a conclusion being reached, the more likely it appears that the current regime will stay in place with the transfer deadline fast approaching and the Magpies' squad threadbare in the wake of 10 departures and just one arrival.

However, although time is running down, the possibility of a new owner taking over remains alive, for now at least.

The news will do little to appease fans who are hoping for a change of ownership and the installation of a new manager - most favour Alan Shearer, who would be appointed by several of the competing consortia - and have vented their anger at Ashley in recent months.

However, they have also been pleasantly surprised by their start to the Coca-Cola Championship season, which has seen the team take seven points from a possible nine and will send them to Crystal Palace tomorrow sitting third in the table behind leaders Cardiff only on goal difference.

Should Monday's announcement be that Ashley has decided to take the club off the market for the second time after a lengthy, but ultimately futile search for a buyer, he will then face a decision over his manager.

Impressed by the way Shearer had run team affairs for the final eight games of a dismal campaign, he spoke to him at the end of last season with a view to making his appointment permanent.

However, he put the club up for sale just days later after the former Newcastle skipper had outlined his plans for the way forward.

It is understood Ashley believes greater experience is needed, and the Magpies have sounded out a series of potential bosses, including Joe Kinnear, in recent weeks.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Football
Championship
Cardiff City
Newcastle United
Alan Shearer
Crystal Palace

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