Mike Ashley is desperate for the Newcastle United takeover to go through.
He agreed to sell the club to PCP Capital Partners in April 2020, but a deal is yet to be concluded.
The Premier League would not approve the takeover, and now its fate appears to lie in the courts.
The preliminary CAT hearing took place last week, where it was revealed that a takeover can go through if arbitration goes Newcastle’s way. We also discovered that arbitration will begin on January 3rd and should take little more than a week.
In early 2022, Toon fans could get the news they have been praying for for years. Ashley’s time as owner may finally come to an end.
But could Ashley’s current attitude towards the club actually cost him his £300million sale?
Could standing by Steve Bruce cost Mike Ashley the Newcastle takeover he craves?
While things are uncertain off the pitch, they aren’t great on it either.
Newcastle are 19th in the Premier League, without a win from their opening seven games.
Steve Bruce is under huge pressure from fans, but appears to be untouchable in the eyes of the owner.
According to the Chronicle, Bruce will be going nowhere unless Newcastle are cut adrift at the bottom. Ashley is reportedly focused on selling the club, and wants new owners to decide who will manage Newcastle.
But is that attitude counterproductive?
It’s been clear for a long time that Bruce isn’t the man for the job. Most fans aren’t keen on him, while results and performances are incredibly poor.
Despite this being his third season in charge, it’s impossible to see any kind of improvement in the Magpies.
While Ashley is reportedly focused on selling the club, could that determination, or stubbornness, actually cost him a sale?
Arbitration may open the door for a takeover, but there is no guarantee that a deal is still on the table.
If Newcastle are in a precarious position in January and facing a real battle to survive, their value will massively plummet. On top of that, the buyers might not be keen to take a risk on a club that might end up in the Championship.
It’s a lot of ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’. Bruce may turn things around and move Newcastle away from the relegation zone.
But performances this season have been poor, while Bruce’s whole tenure has been frustrating.
While it might be Bruce’s job to keep the club ‘ticking along’, at the moment he’s not doing that.
Realistically, Ashley needs Newcastle to be in the Premier League to get the sale he wants. While he may not want to pay Bruce the £3million in compensation, he could possibly lose 100 times that amount if his trust is misplaced.