Former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley agrees ‘eight figure’ takeover involving football club

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The former Newcastle United owner has not been involved in football since selling the Magpies last October.

Former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has reportedly agreed an ‘eight figure sum’ for the Coventry Building Society Arena, the home of Coventry City Football Club and Wasps Rugby Club.

Ashley was named as the preferred bidder last week after the owners of the CBS Arena applied to enter administration. A spokesperson for Arena Coventry Ltd said: “The companies and the proposed administrators from FRP Advisory have run an accelerated sales process to sell the business and assets of the companies and have identified a preferred bidder.

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Former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)Former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
Former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

“The Arena will continue to trade as normal. We would like to thank all the working parties involved in helping the companies get to this stage and we are delighted that the doors will remain open to this flagship venue.”

With a hotel, and casino on site, the CBS Arena is a profitable business already, and Ashley already held talks with Coventry City Council about adding another hotel and car park. And according to BBC reporter Simon Gilbert, the 58-year-old has “agreed an eight figure sum for the stadium company and intends to immediately buy the company out of administration.”

If or when the Sports Direct tycoon becomes the landlord of the CBS Arena, the Daily Mail reports that Ashley will have a significant amount of control over Coventry’s commercial activities - putting him in a strong position to purchase the Coventry City at a knockdown price.

Ashley sold Newcastle United to the Public Investment of Saudi Arabia-backed consortium in October 2021 after a turbulent 14 years at St James’ Park. The 58-year-old attempted to buy Derby County in the summer, however local businessmen David Clowes won the race.

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