‘Everyone in Newcastle hates him’ - Cricket legend fires Mike Ashley shots amid Headingley takeover news
Former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley could see Frasers Group move in for a deal to purchase Headingley amid Yorkshire financial struggles.
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Cricket legend Sir Geoffrey Boycott has urged Yorkshire Cricket Club to not sell Headingley to former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley and learn from the fact that 'everybody in Newcastle hates him'.
Ashley owned the Magpies for 14 years and oversaw a tumultuous time at the club during which fans had called for his departure years before he eventually sold the club to a Saudi-led consortium in October 2021.
The end of his time in the North East hasn't stopped the business tycoon from making headlines in the sporting world. The Frasers Group bought the Coventry Building Society Arena last year, only to hand the football club an eviction notice weeks later and now PA understands that the business is looking at purchasing Headingley.
Yorkshire are in need of financial investment after deferring a £14.9 million sum owed to major creditors the Graves Trust in 2025. The Headingly sale would see an investor purchase naming and sponsorship rights to help pay off debts and move forward.
Despite the need for money, the idea of Mike Ashley's Frasers Group coming in has riled some familiar faces including England cricket legend Boycott. The Yorkshire-born batsman told the club's chief executive Stephen Vaughan: “Every week I pick up a paper and I hear you telling us ‘we’re near a deal’. That’s been going on for months and months.
“We know nothing more except (what’s in) the newspapers about that guy at Newcastle wanting to buy it, and the club near to selling to him.
“Everybody in Newcastle hates him. I don’t know him, but that doesn’t sound good for Yorkshire cricket if you’re going to sell to him and lease back. I don’t want to be leasing back Headingley, why the hell do I?
“So tell us something, for God’s sake! If you do try to sell and lease back, I’m telling you there will be trouble.”
Vaughan responded: “There are various offers with different connotations, but what I will say, if people genuinely think people have come forward with some sort of unicorn bid to buy the stadium, to keep it as a members’ club, all these things, then they’re kidding themselves.
“We would have taken something like that in a heartbeat. If anybody thinks there was some sort of miracle answer out there, they’re kidding themselves.
“If anybody thinks we aren’t taking certain offers seriously, personalities don’t come into it. The very best thing for our creditors, our members and other stakeholders will be accepted by the board, it’s as simple as that.”