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Page last updated at 12:30 GMT, Tuesday, 30 September 2008 13:30 UK

Ashley cuts Newcastle price tag

Mike Ashley
Ashley announced he was selling after fan protests

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has reduced his asking price for the club from 450m to a figure in the region of 280m to 300m, BBC Sport understands.

Having paid 133m for the club and paid off its loans, a price of 300m would still leave him with a profit of 50m.

"Newcastle is a private company and Ashley has no shareholders to consult before accepting a bid," explained BBC Sports Editor Mihir Bose.

"In that sense the value of Newcastle is whatever he can get on the market."

Ashley only took charge of Newcastle last year but decided to sell after vociferous fan protests following the resignation of manager Kevin Keegan.

Last week, former Wimbledon and Nottingham Forest manager Joe Kinnear was named as the surprise choice of caretaker manager until a new owner can be found.

As many as five bidders, including a Nigerian consortium, are thought to be interested but potential buyers do not have to make a bid yet.

First any buyer must show they have the money, and that is only the first step before facing several other hurdles to make sure the sale takes place.

Tooney Montana
Despite the club's current plight, being second-bottom of the Premier League, Newcastle could still be an attractive investment opportunity.

St James' Park holds 52,000 fans, with 35,000 of them season-ticket holders, and is currently valued at about 150m.

Ashley owns the stadium, although the ground is owned by Newcastle City Council and Ashley pays rent on it.

The playing squad is worth about 100m and has a wage bill of 70m, which is by no means the largest in the Premier League.

see also
Kinnear starts work at Newcastle
30 Sep 08 |  Newcastle
Mihir Bose blog
30 Sep 08 |  Football
Kinnear reign hindered by old ban
28 Sep 08 |  Newcastle
Newcastle 1-2 Blackburn
27 Sep 08 |  Premier League
Magpies name Kinnear interim boss
26 Sep 08 |  Newcastle
Harford backs Kinnear to succeed
26 Sep 08 |  Newcastle
Venables rejects Newcastle offer
26 Sep 08 |  Newcastle
Ashley puts Newcastle up for sale
14 Sep 08 |  Newcastle
Mike Ashley statement
14 Sep 08 |  Newcastle
Keegan resigns as Newcastle boss
04 Sep 08 |  Newcastle

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