Football fans have reacted to the news that Mike Ashley has put Newcastle United up for sale with a mixture of joy and jokes.
Despite clearing existing debts and securing the club’s financial future when he arrived, the Sports Direct entrepreneur has had a rocky 10 years with Newcastle, including two relegations and frequent discord with supporters.
Ashley indicated several months ago that he would be open to doing a deal if ultra-rich investors emerged to take the Magpies to the next financial level, and the 53-year-old has removed any ambiguity from the situation, effectively planting the For Sale signs on the St James’ Park turf.
Ashley has previously attempted to sell the club but with no success – two famous former players reacted to the news in their own way on social media.
Just heard ..... pic.twitter.com/0RrorVrO07— Alan Shearer (@alanshearer) October 16, 2017
Not hard to read the room here, is it?
And it wasn’t just former players who were excited by the news that Ashley could sell the club by Christmas.
Mike Ashley putting Newcastle up for sale is the best news I've got in a long, long time.— Vince (@OnFireVince) October 16, 2017
Could the Magpies thrive under different ownership?
It's exciting because Newcastle United genuinely does have endless potential. One city club, massive fan base, everything is there already.— Joe Halliday (@halliday_9) October 17, 2017
Of course, no news of Newcastle’s current owner is complete without a few Sports Direct jokes – plenty of cups, but no trophies for Ashley.
You get a giant free mug and pair of Slazenger socks thrown in https://t.co/X1EQw8YfJ7— Nooruddean (@BeardedGenius) October 16, 2017
Newcastle United have been put up for sale with owner Mike Ashley set to throw in one of those giant mugs as part of any deal.— Lfc Kev (@Kev1Lfc) October 16, 2017
Mike Ashley has put Newcastle up for sale.
Order online and receive a free giant mug.— George Lewis (@georgelewiscom) October 17, 2017
And someone will have to come in with a good enough bid to convince Ashley to sell.