Mike Ashley may have inadvertently extended his ownership of Newcastle United by placing an astonishing price tag on the troubled club which is said to be in the region of £480m. Ashley is the current target of abuse from Newcastle supporters after disappointing signings and managerial decisions since he took over the club and, in a 16,000 word statement released at the weekend, has signaled his intent to listen to the fans and sell up.
However, with figures such as those quoted in the press attached to the club, it remains to be seen who, and in indeed why, anyone would want to buy into Newcastle.
"That price is just too much for this club, but we will see what happens and what offer can be made," a United source said, as quoted in The Telegraph.
"In reality, Newcastle have been up for sale for the last six months. If there had been interest from Dubai or Abu Dhabi it would already have surfaced."
Ashley is currently in Dubai, along with Dennis Wise, trying to find a suitor for the club. Ashley has given a detailed dossier on the club to a whole host of rich and influential figures in the region, including Dubai ruler C bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
It is believed that Ashley would be willing to lower his price to around £250m after negotiating, but £480m was quoted in the dossiers.
Sheikh Mohammed was part of the consortium that tried to buy Liverpool in 2006 and is said to be worth £8bn. However, Ashley must be mad in thinking that someone of his stature would want to pump this much money into the most poorly run club in England.
One of the main problems lies in the fact that the fans have too high an opinion of both the team and themselves for anyone to be given any sort of chance at the club. This means that instability is bred from the terraces as much as it is from the board room.
It looks as if Ashley will remain at the helm for sometime if he continues to attach unrealistic price tags on the club. But, if truth be told, he could slash prices like he does in Sports Direct and it is unlikely that he would find a buyer anytime soon.