Mike Ashley has reportedly agreed a £350million deal to sell Newcastle United


Mike Ashley's tumultuous reign over Newcastle United could be nearing its end. 

The Sports Direct tycoon has overseen two relegations and as far as the majority of the Toon Army are concerned, 12 years of misery. 

To say that the Magpies' fortunes are on the verge of up-turning would be a huge understatement, if reports on Sunday night are to be believed. 

According to The Sun, the 54-year-old has agreed a £350million deal to sell the club to Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan, a billionaire based in Dubai. 

A member of the Abu Dhabi royal family, he is a cousin of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour. 

And things have turned out rather well for them, haven't they? Incidentally, Mansour himself considered buying Newcastle instead of City but Ashley refused to meet him. 

Newcastle's prospective new owner has reportedly expressed an interest in acquiring a Premier League club in the past, failing to buy Liverpool for £2billion only last year. 

On the one hand, the St James' Park faithful will be dying to know who the man is behind the takeover bid - but many of them will just be delighted regardless. 

Who is Newcastle's prospective new owner? 

The Bin Zayed Group covers a wide range of business interests, from financial services to energy and property. 

Sheikh Khaled also has other sporting ventures and is president of the UAE Sailing and Rowing Federation.

Newcastle fans could be forgiven if they are just a little hesitant in their celebrations. 

News of this kind always brings uncertainty and there have been a number of false dawns in the past. 


In fact, Ashley has tried to sell the club three times previously, including just a year into his tenure after a falling out with Kevin Keegan. 

His asking price was always too high and he struggled to find an appropriate suitor. In recent seasons, he has been increasingly distant and stopped attending home matches due to his unpopularity. 

There are further questions to be asked about how a change in hands would affect Newcastle from a football perspective. 

Aside from the obvious injection of millions of pounds that will be anticipated - and it's much-needed after years of underinvestment - tying down Rafa Benitez is now a matter of some urgency. 

So after all those banners, chants, street marches, pamphlets, and protests, the 'Ashley Out' campaign finally looks to have yielded some results. 

Would you welcome the Magpies' potential new owners? Have your say in the comments. 

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