Former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley involved in fresh takeover bid

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The former owner has not been involved in football since selling the Magpies to a PIF-led consortium last October.

Former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is reportedly set to be confirmed as the preferred bidder for the Coventry Building Society Arena.

The owners of the home of Championship side Coventry City and beleagured Premiership Rugby club Wasps officially applied to enter administration on Tuesday, with the BBC reporting Arena Coventry Ltd (ACL), Arena Coventry (2006) Ltd and IEC Experience Ltd “expect administration orders to be made in the forthcoming weeks".

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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. 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.”

Former Sky Sports broadcaster Richard Keys took to social media earlier this week suggesting Ashley would be named as preferred bidder for the venue within 24 to 48 hours - but also revealed the former Magpies owner was ‘not interested’ in buying Coventry City or Wasps as part of the deal.

The Sky Blues’ owners Sisu are said to be one of ‘four credible parties’ that have shown an interest in purchasing the CBS Arena after they were forced to spend two spells playing elsewhere after hosting ‘home’ games at Northampton Town and Birmingham City over rent disputes.

However, it now seems Ashley has stolen a march as he moves closer to ‘preferred bidder’ status, although an official offer has not been submitted as yet.

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