The UK businessman is currently thought to be weighing up a bid for League One side Derby County following Chris Kirchner’s withdrawal from the race, with his interest in the Rams dating back to last year.
It was even revealed by The Sun that he was preparing to sit down with Middlesbrough owner Steve Gibson to come to an agreement on a previous dispute between Boro and the East Midlands side – but failed to be chosen as preferred bidder.
Can you remember how much Sheffield United paid for these 22 summer signings?
Instead, it was Chris Kirchner that was chosen by the Rams’ administrators as the man to take the club forward in the early stages of April, but pulled out of the race once more earlier this month.
Ashley’s interest in buying the club has been sustained up to this point, though he was linked with a takeover deal for the Blades not so long ago by the Sheffield Star.
Since then, it has been revealed that US businessman Henry Mauriss had a bid accepted for a sizeable stake in the club, though it’s currently unclear whether that deal will go through with this saga continuing to drag on.
This could potentially allow Ashley to swoop in – but no contact has been made from he or his team yet – potentially good news for Derby with the 57-year-old potentially offering them a lifeline in the near future.
The Blades would be a good purchase for Ashley considering they are in a decent position to get themselves back to the Premier League and that could provide the businessman with more income.
However, you just feel he would have more credit in the bank if he rescued Derby, because the Rams’ supporters would be more bothered about sustainability as opposed to promotion considering off-pitch turmoil over the past year.
Not only have the Midlands outfit been in administration – but they have also suffered with transfer restrictions and a businessman like Ashley will help to keep them within these restrictions in the future.
That should give manager Wayne Rooney and/or his future successors a bit of freedom in the transfer market, though Ashley may be wise to spend a decent amount on the club in the coming years to continue a potential feel-good factor at Pride Park.
The choice between a potential top-tier return with the Blades and an exciting project with the Rams is an enviable one – but one thing he does need to do is make a bid for the latter quickly if he is to buy the club.
Clarity is needed in this delicate situation.