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Mike Ashley puts Newcastle United up for sale


Newcastle United’s English owner Mike Ashley (L) smiles with managing director Lee Charnley (R) as he waits for the kick off in the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and West Ham United at St James Park, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, north east England on May 24, 2015. AFP PHOTO / IAN MACNICOL RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. NO USE WITH UNAUTHORIZED AUDIO, VIDEO, DATA, FIXTURE LISTS, CLUB/LEAGUE LOGOS OR LIVE SERVICES. ONLINE IN-MATCH USE LIMITED TO 45 IMAGES, NO VIDEO EMULATION. NO USE IN BETTING, GAMES OR SINGLE CLUB/LEAGUE/PLAYER PUBLICATIONS. (Photo credit should read Ian MacNicol/AFP/Getty Images)

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Newcastle United is up for sale. That sound you can hear is Magpies fans around the globe rejoicing.

[ MORE: Newcastle draw at Saints ]

Much-maligned owner Mike Ashley has long said he would sell the club if a viable buyer arrived and it appears the time is now.

Ashley bought Newcastle back in 2007 and has overseen two relegations from the Premier League, plus has been heavily criticized for not spending enough on the playing squad.

The businessman wants to sell the club by Christmas and in a statement the club said it would “give interested parties the opportunity of deferring substantial payment.” In simpler terms: Ashley will give potential buyers a chance to pay the full fee in installments.

With investment specialist Amanda Staveley seen at a recent Newcastle vs. Liverpool game, speculation was rife that a new owner was being lined up to buy Newcastle. That is indeed the case.

Staveley oversaw the purchase of Manchester City by Abu Dhabi United and also lined up a deal for Liverpool to be bought by Dubai International Captial which fell through. Her investment management company, PCP Capital Partners, is rumored to be involved in any potential sale of Newcastle.

Below is a statement released by the club via St. James’ Holdings limited, the company which owns Newcastle.

As a result of increasing press speculation regarding the future of Newcastle United, the owner of the club, St. James Holdings Limited, wishes to clarify its intentions.

As one of the Premier League’s oldest and best supported football clubs - and for the benefit of its many fans and supporters in the UK and across the world - Newcastle United requires a clear direction and a path to a bright and successful future.

To give the club the best possible opportunity of securing the positioning and investment necessary to take it to the next level, at what is an important time in its history, its present ownership has determined that it is in the best interests of Newcastle United and its fans for the club to be put up for sale.

To give an incoming owner the maximum possible flexibility to make meaningful investment in the club, including in its playing squad, the sale process will give interested parties the opportunity of deferring substantial payments.

A process will now commence of identifying new ownership for the club that will be capable of delivering the sustained investment in and dedication to the club that is necessary for it to achieve its ambitions.