Former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is interested in purchasing stricken Championship side Derby County, according to the Daily Mirror.
Ashley, 57, sold the Magpies on Thursday to a consortium based in Saudi Arabia, bringing down the curtain on what was a turbulent 14-year tenure at St James’ Park with a huge amount of tension between him and many Newcastle fans throughout his time there.
With money to invest after this sale and Derby County up for sale, he is reportedly interested in getting straight back into football and as per the Mirror, a number of ‘discreet’ enquiries have been submitted from Ashley’s team regarding a potential takeover.
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The Rams entered administration last month enduring a tough time both on and off the pitch this calendar year, with Wayne Rooney’s side narrowly escaping relegation before being placed under a transfer embargo in the summer.
Amid their failure to make payments to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and a fifth charge previously being brought against them by the EFL for defaulting on transfer instalment fees, owner Mel Morris took the decision to place the club into administration, in the search for a new buyer.
There is a sizeable amount of interest in the East Midlands side from potential investors though, with Ashley seemingly joining former Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans in the race to acquire the club according to The Sun.
Amid this latest news, how do Derby County fans feel about the prospect of welcoming the 57-year-old to Pride Park? Hesitant because of his reputation in Newcastle? Happy to take him just to avoid liquidation?
We have taken a look at some of the latest reaction on Twitter.
I dont get the hate towards Ashley, compared to Mel Morris he is a dream owner. I dont see Newcastle scratting around for freebies and loan signings, never sold the stadium, he might not have brought Ronaldo or Messi, but he kept the club more than ticking over #dcfc
— RamsFans84 (@RamsFanatic1884) October 10, 2021
— Twedds (@METwedds) October 10, 2021
— TEE🅡ATH🧲 (@badwaltirath) October 10, 2021
Don’t understand the hate surrounding Ashley taking over Derby, kept Newcastle debt free and premier league for god knows how long. Better than we have had for how long? 🤷♂️ don’t think we can be picky #dcfc
— Darren (@Dazzy696) October 9, 2021
We haven’t got much choice but from what choice we have/know of, Mike Ashley would be very good for us imo. #dcfc
— JB (@jimmybannister_) October 9, 2021
If Ashley gets us to the prem and doesn’t bankrupt us in the process, clearing all debt and making us ‘desirable’ then I’m all for it.
Derby in the prem… all day long. #dcfc
— Tom Morris (@T0mDcFc1) October 10, 2021
I can’t be the only one who thinks that Mike Ashley isn’t the worst option? He’s a businessman, a shrewd one at that, stabilise us, leave us financially secure and sell us on for a profit. Only way to ensure a profit is make us a premier league club. Sign me up. #dcfc #dcfcfans
— James Cotton (@jcotton87) October 10, 2021