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Mike Ashley struggling to sell Newcastle United

The love hate relationship which Mike Ashley enjoys with the Newcastle United faithful looks set to go on for some time yet with news that no buyers have come forward for the troubled football club. However, news from Mike Ashley's Sports Direct International company is a little better with earnings for the first half of 2008 showing a 7.4% increase. This is in direct contrast to the likes of JD sports, JJB Sports and the sports retail market in general.

The sale of Newcastle United has taken far longer than even Mike Ashley had expected with rumoured bids from the US and the Middle East failing to appear with suggestions that the credit crunch and ongoing worldwide recession has seen interest in football clubs collapse. It would appear that Ashley is stuck with the club for at least the rest of the season although a more prosperous period on the football pitch has taken some pressure off the sports tycoon.

There is serious concern that the UK football sector, which in many ways depends on wealthy benefactors such as Mike Ashley, could be in serious trouble if as rumoured a number of former wealthy owners decide to sell up. The owners of West Ham and Portsmouth are rumoured to be on the verge of selling their clubs after being hit by serious reductions in their personal wealth.

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