In May 2007, Sir John Hall sold his stake in Newcastle United to Mike Ashley.

Hall owned 41.6% of the club, and received £55million for his shares from the Sports Direct tycoon.

11 years on, and there is talk of another takeover at St James’ Park. The club has been on the market for a year now, but is still under the ownership of Ashley.

There was talk of Amanda Staveley buying the club, but those rumours fizzled out and we’ve never heard from her since.

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

The other week, former Manchester United and Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon was reportedly lining up a bid for the Magpies.

The rumours are just that, and in some cases, no news is good news.

Sir John Hall hits the nail on the head

Speaking at a Newcastle Legends event, as reported by the Chronicle, Hall discussed the current ownership of the club.

The 85-year-old believes Ashley still wants to sell the club, and said something very telling about a takeover.

“If someone wants to buy a football club, they will come along and do it,” Hall said.

“It won’t be a long, drawn-out process done in public.”

Mandatory Credit: David Rogers/ALLSPORT

The last sentence is the most important. The Staveley bid for Newcastle was all over Twitter and all over the back pages. Is that really how you complete a serious takeover?

When a consortium launches a takeover bid, they will sign a non-disclosure agreement. This means that no details will be leaked out.

The Staveley bid was played out in the public eye for some reason, which made it more and more unlikely. Every day saw a new figure for Rafa’s transfer budget, yet here we are, still under Ashley’s ownership.

If a takeover is to happen, we won’t know much about it until the deal is done.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 29: Mike Ashley, owner of Newcastle United looks o during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Leicester City at St. James Park on September 29, 2018 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)