Newcastle United fans are rejoicing this afternoon after it was announced that owner Mike Ashley wishes to sell the club before Christmas.
Ashley bought a 41.3 % stake in Newcastle 10 years ago, and initially his takeover of the club was welcomed by fans as he arrived to their matches donning the club's colours, sitting in the stands with them and also guzzling down beer with them.
However, his relationship with the Geordie faithful quickly turned sour due to chronic underinvestment in the club and going through eight managers in 10 years did Ashley no favours to help his image with the fans.
A statement was released through Newcastle United's website announcing the news,
As one of the Premier League's oldest and best supported football clubs - and for the benefit of its many fans and supporters in the UK and across the world - Newcastle United requires a clear direction and a path to a bright and successful future.
To give the club the best possible opportunity of securing the positioning and investment necessary to take it to the next level, at what is an important time in its history, its present ownership has determined that it is in the best interests of Newcastle United and its fans for the club to be put up for sale.
To give an incoming owner the maximum possible flexibility to make meaningful investment in the club, including in its playing squad, the sale process will give interested parties the opportunity of deferring substantial payments.
A process will now commence of identifying new ownership for the club that will be capable of delivering the sustained investment in and dedication to the club that is necessary for it to achieve its ambitions.
Fan's may not rejoice until the sale is made official but it is a much welcomed boost for manager Rafa Benitez who was unhappy with the lack of investment over the summer summer since being promoted as champions from the Championship.
Check out the Newcastle fan's reaction to the news that Ashley has put their club up for sale:
So Mike Ashley wants Newcastle sold by Christmas. Let's just hope it does ASAP.
— P D Proudlock (@PDProudlock) October 16, 2017
Whoever buys Newcastle from Mike Ashley, do they get one of these bad boys with their purchase? pic.twitter.com/sTjYiin7qj
— james (@jjudgephoto) October 16, 2017
Mike Ashley wants to be gone by Christmas! Best present anyone can ask for 😂
— cian (@cwaitken) October 16, 2017
Mike Ashley once said "I am not Father Christmas" - now he wants out by Christmas #NUFC
— Michael Marsh (@MJ_Marsh) October 16, 2017
Mike Ashley has put @NUFC up for sale. Finally!!! Can we have #WengerOut next please....
— Ritayan Basu | ঋতায়ন বসু (@ritayanbasu) October 16, 2017
This being #NUFC though, we'll probably end up in some Venky's-style hell. Not that Mike Ashley's far off that, but, y'know...
— Shiftz (@ShiftzUKG) October 16, 2017
Mike Ashley will be gone by Christmas. Happy Monday ⚫️⚪️😃
— Chris Steele (@ChrisSteele90) October 16, 2017
#MikeAshley gone hoping #NUFC get a owner who spends
— Gopi Raju ♥ (@GopiR_offl) October 16, 2017
Mike Ashley is in one incredible rush, even offering deferred payments. I reckon the next instalment is due on his Rustlers standing order.
— Ali (@NotAliGrey) October 16, 2017
Mike Ashley is finally selling Newcastle Football Club 🙌🏿 Thank God #QuickSellNeeded
— Ricky 🇺🇬 (@therickylife) October 16, 2017
Delighted that mike Ashley has finally put Newcastle up for sale 👍🏻👍🏻
— ryan pooley (@ryan_pooley) October 16, 2017
Finally mike Ashley is selling up and doing one out of Newcastle 👌🏻
— Josh Phear (@joshphear) October 16, 2017