Ashley 'to ditch Newcastle sale'

Latest twist in Toon soap opera as Kinnear reveals owner is struggling to offload club and is ready to rebuild next season

Newcastle United are still for sale but their interim manager, Joe Kinnear, has confirmed that discussions involving the owner, Mike Ashley, have begun in the event of Ashley being unable to find a buyer.

Talking for the first time about the possibility of Ashley being at St James' Park next season, Kinnear said: "He's already talked to me about that, the possibility of staying on if it's not sold." When asked if he sensed Ashley was beginning to plan for the non-sale scenario, Kinnear replied: "I get that sense, I'm getting optimistic about it, let's put it that way. But you don't know what's around the corner.

"He will sell it if someone comes in with the right offer. We've spoken about the future. He [Ashley] has said: 'It looks like I'm not going to be able to sell it so we'll have to start talking about next year as well.' He's talking about it in long terms, he's comingto terms with the idea that he isn't about to sell it. Therefore he wants to get back in and rebuild the club, ifyou like."

How Newcastle fans, who rebelled against Ashley and his "Cockney Mafia" regime, will take these words remains to be seen. Supporters were infuriated by the treatment of the previous manager, Kevin Keegan, who is now involved in a lawsuit against the club. The expectation was that Keegan's claim would be heard in early January, but it is understood that after a preliminary hearing last week it could be March before legal arguments are heard. There is still the chance of an out-of-court settlement.

"When something else is out of the way I think you'll see a different picture," Kinnear said of Ashley. "I think you'll see a different Mike when that's all been put to bed. I know it's hurting him, the position he is in, and I know he definitely wants to come back.

"I think once the fans see he's prepared to invest back in the club, once they see we're improving, the team's getting better, a few more players added, it's all pluses on his side."

Newcastle host Tottenham today. "Two clubs waiting to happen," Kinnear said, "if they get the backing of the owners."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor