DIC eyeing possible Newcastle United bid

By Rob Stewart

Last Updated: 8:46am GMT 18/02/2008

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The future direction of Newcastle United was the subject of heightened speculation last night after fresh rumours surfaced suggesting owner Mike Ashley is willing to sell the club less than a year after his £134 million takeover.

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    The Dubai International Capital (DIC) consortium are said to have been contacted by Ashley’s representatives about a £300 million sale.

      Mike Ashley may be about to sell Newcastle United
    Open to offers? Mike Ashley may be about to sell Newcastle United

    The link with a Middle East consortium frequently mooted as Liverpool’s suitors emerged after it was reported that a Tyneside-based group of businessmen were putting together a £250 million takeover bid and they want former club captain Alan Shearer on board.

    “Alan has been contacted by a group who want to try to buy Newcastle,” a source close to the talks said yesterday.

    “They’re from the North East. What they want from Alan is not his money but his support, his blessing.”

    Newcastle have regularly been at the centre of speculation suggesting Ashley is ready to sell up.

    The club have undergone major upheaval since he took over last summer. As well as sacking Sam Allardyce and replacing him with Kevin Keegan, the sports retail tycoon appointed Dennis Wise as the club’s director of football.

    Over the weekend Ashley and club chairman Chris Mort were the subject of a thinly veiled attack from Allardyce.

    “Huge businessmen, multimillionaires in their own right, very clever men, but never been shouted at,” Allardyce said.

    “They can’t stand the pressure, their knees buckle, they don’t stand strong and they use the easy option to take the pressure off themselves. They have to be the strongest ones and often they’re the weakest ones.”

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