Newcastle United has been put up for sale by owner Mike Ashley, who reportedly hopes to conclude a deal by Christmas.
The Premier League side won promotion last season, but has been relegated twice during Ashley’s ten-year stint.
The 53-year-old took over in 2007, buying the club for £134.4m. The latest club accounts – up to June 2016 and before the club’s relegation – showed a profit of £900,000 and a £126m turnover in 2015/16.
Ashley originally put the club up for sale in 2008 following a series of protests by supporters over the departure of manager Kevin Keegan. He took the club off the market in December the same year, but announced again he wanted to sell in May 2009 following relegation, ending his attempt five months later.
A club statement issued on Monday said: “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," added the statement.
"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."
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