Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has put the troubled club up for sale.
Following a series of protests by supporters before and after Saturday’s 2 – 1 home defeat by Hull City, Ashley has decided to walk away from the club he has owned for a little over a year.
It’s been a highly volatile 16 months in charge for Ashley who, having bought the club for around £134 million pounds, first sacked manager Sam Alladyce, then brought in Kevin Keegan only to see the former England boss resign in a protest over transfer dealings earlier this month.
On the pitch too, things are far from well, and the weekend’s defeat to newly promoted Hull leaves them 16th in the table and only out of the early relegation places on goal difference.
In a statement, Ashley said: “I’m now a dad who can’t take his kids to a football game because I am advised that we would be assaulted.
“I am no longer prepared to subsidise Newcastle. “I am putting the club up for sale. I hope the next owner is someone who can lavish the amount of money on the club that the fans want.
In his statement, Ashley revealed just how much he has spent in his tenure but insists he did not buy Newcastle to make money and will not leave them in the lurch.
“I paid £134m out of my own pocket for the club,” said Ashley.
“I then poured another £110 million into the club not to pay off the debt but just to reduce it. The club is still in debt.
“Even worse than that, the club still owes millions of pounds in transfer fees. I shall be paying out many more millions over the coming year to pay for players bought by the club before I arrived.”
Newcastle’s next game is away to West Ham this coming Saturday.