Nick De Marco has described Mike Ashley as ‘one of the best’ in the aftermath of the Newcastle United takeover.
The Magpies were sold in October last year, with Ashley’s association with the club finally coming to an end.
On October 7th 2021, the Saudi-backed consortium bought Newcastle for £305million. It was the end of an incredible takeover saga that had gone on for more than a year.
A deal was first agreed in April 2020. 18 months and two legal challenges later and the takeover was finally approved.
One man who was pivotal in resurrecting the deal was De Marco. He was the QC appointed by Ashley to lead Newcastle’s arbitration challenge.
Arbitration was set to take place last summer, but was delayed until January 2022. In the end, arbitration wasn’t needed, and Newcastle are still enjoying the honeymoon period of their new ownership.
Toon fans don’t have much positive to say about Ashley, but, in an interview with the Chronicle, De Marco has praised the role of the Sports Direct tycoon.
Nick De Marco brands Mike Ashley ‘one of the best clients’ he’s had
“To be honest Mike Ashley is one of the best clients I have had in football and I have had many,” he told the Chronicle.
“As with most people who have reached his level of success without being handed it on a plate he is very hardworking and expects the same from those around him.
“But he listens carefully to the advice he receives and he gives clear instructions.
“I have no doubt that without Mike’s determination and intuition, and that of those who work closely with him, the takeover would never have happened. It was at times far more difficult than perhaps most people imagine.”
Newcastle fans just happy to see the back of Ashley after takeover
The best thing Ashley ever did for Newcastle was sell it. It’s just a shame it took so long.
He’s sold the club to a group that can take it forward, which is exactly what he said he’d do. Perhaps he saw this as his only chance to do just that, such was his determination to get the deal over the line.
While the deal has benefitted Newcastle massively, it’s boosted Ashley’s bank balance too. Given the financial impact of COVID, Ashley may have seen this as his only chance to get more than £300million for the Magpies.
Regardless of his motivation, the main thing is that he’s gone. That’s all that matters.
Newcastle fans can dream again, and are already looking up rather than down. The club has been transformed already, and this is only just the beginning.