Ashley puts £80m price on Newcastle

Football Mike Ashley, the want-away owner of Newcastle United football club and the majority stakeholder in the sportswear retailer Sports Direct, has publicly challenged Barry Moat, a Tyneside businessman, to buy the St James' Park club.

Mr Ashley has even cut the asking price in an attempt to offload Newcastle, who were relegated from the Premiership at the end of last season. After months of holding out for £100m, Mr Ashley has offered the club to Mr Moat for £80m, in an attempt to try to sell in one deal, rather than waiting for a second cash instalment next summer. "Barry Moat has been driving me mad for two years," Mr Ashley said over the weekend. "If he wants to buy the club, he's got a one-off opportunity to come up with the cash, £80m upfront." Mr Ashley bought the club for £134.4m two years ago and has said he regrets the decision. He has also said that Newcastle could be worth £150m if it returns to the top division.