Newcastle United fans have been given a positive update on a potential takeover of the club.
Mike Ashley, the much-derided owner, has had the Magpies up for sale for more than 12 months.
A deal with businesswoman Amanda Staveley looked to be close before Ashley ended talks earlier this year and there appears to have been little movement since.
But, according to former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan, the Sports Direct tycoon is serious about selling up and could relinquish his ownership of the Premier League outfit as soon as January.
Jordan knows Ashley well and told talkSPORT: “He’s looking to sell. Absolutely he’s looking to sell.
“Unequivocally this time without a shadow of doubt from my vantage point without actually having spoken to Mike for a significant passage of time, reading the signs, knowing how deals get done. Last year when Staveley came to the table I pretty much said: ‘This deal will not get done, it will not get done’.
“This time there’s a different feel to it, there’s a different metric to it and look from it. Ashley is going to sell this football club. Now it’s not going to hold them back in January from spending money because if he has to spend money he will add it to the ticket. If he doesn’t have to write a cheque for it someone else is paying for it and so be it.
“With Mike I absolutely believe he should sell. I believe he will sell this time, I don’t believe it’s a PR spin.
“If I was him I wouldn’t want to be there anymore. It’s so toxic and debilitating for everyone at the football club – he’s never going to recover from the impression that he’s not there for the football club when they need him.”
Former Manchester City chief Garry Cook is reportedly leading a consortium interested in buying Newcastle.
And Jordan says a deal can be done quickly once any party meets Ashley’s valuation, thought to be around £300million.
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“You’d be surprised,” said Jordan, when asked about the speed of a sale.
“Due diligence on a football club isn’t that hard. I’ve bought one.
“People make it into a production but it isn’t that that much to look at – you know what the revenue streams are, you know what the threat and challenges are, you know what the playing squad is worth and you know what the inherent liabilities are.
“If there’s a will (to pass the Premier League checks quickly), there’s a way.”