Magpies wait on bidders
Newcastle have confirmed a 17th October deadline for prospective buyers to approach Mike Ashley.
Last Updated: 08/10/08 9:27am
Newcastle have confirmed a 17th October deadline for prospective buyers to approach Mike Ashley but the company charged with selling the club is uncertain whether a new buyer will be found in the immediate future.
It was recently reported that Tuesday was the final date set by under-fire owner Ashley, who has been looking to sell since the beginning of September following the criticism he received in the wake of the shock resignation of Kevin Keegan.
But interim boss Joe Kinnear, who is managing the club on an eight-game contract, has verified conjecture that Ashley has set a nine-day window for potential investors to make a bid.
Kinnear has also said that six parties have already approached Ashley, who bought the Premier League club for £240million last year.
"Mike Ashley has told me that all bids have to be in by 17th October," Kinnear told the Daily Express.
"He said six consortia have been in touch and are interested."
But Keith Harris of Seymour Price, the investment bankers who are negotiating a possible sale on behalf of Ashley, admits that the recent credit crunch is causing uncertainty.
Asked if a deal was imminent, Harris added: "Who knows in this world? It is so unpredictable.
"You can't avoid being affected by the financial markets one way or another."
And Harris insists that Ashley never set Tuesday's rumoured date, but he has revealed that his company is in negotiations with a number of interested parties.
"There was never an official deadline," said Harris. "There was never a 'you-must-get-your-bids-in by' because that is not the way you do these things.
"What we said was we had sent the teaser documents out and we had a good response, with some questions included. We are now in the process of answering all those questions.
"We are getting back to people and obviously we are encouraged that we have had questions because if people aren't interested they don't bother asking questions.
"That is a process that is ongoing. What happens between now and then is as unpredictable as what the stock market is going to do."