How Mike Ashley fluffed chance to sell Newcastle to Sheikh Mansour in 2008 | inside World Soccer


How Mike Ashley fluffed chance to sell Newcastle to Sheikh Mansour in 2008

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Former Newcastle United recruitment chief Tony Jimenez has revealed that Sheikh Mansour was interested in buying the club before he eventually purchased Manchester City.

Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan are pictured during the friendly match between Al Ain and Manchester City at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium on May 15, 2014 in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan are pictured during the friendly match between Al Ain and Manchester City at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium on May 15, 2014 in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.
Photo: Francois Nel/GETTY IMAGES


Jimenez was brought in by controversial Toon owner Mike Ashley in January 2008 to head up player recruitment.

In an interview with The Times, the 55-year-old has now suggested that his main role when appointed was to sell the club to a Middle East buyer.

Ashley put the club up for sale in 2008 after Kevin Keegan walked away following a row over transfers.

Mike wanted me to sell the club on the basis of my relationships in the Middle East, so I came in under the cover story of working in player recruitment.

If he had played his cards right Mike could have sold Newcastle to Abu Dhabi before they bought Manchester City.

In September 2008, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan acquired City - a club that had finished ninth in the Premier League the season before and were without a trophy in 32 seasons.

Over the past decade, the 47-year-old of the Abu Dhabi ruling family has bankrolled a spending spree of around £1.3 billion that turned the Citizens into a domestic giant with three Premier League titles, three League Cups and one FA Cup in their trophy cabinet since the takeover.

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