Quiet, nobody move, we dont want to startle him and blow the whole thing.
Its safe to say that Ashley is not the most popular character in Newcastle, with many fans growing frustrated with his penny-pinching approach to business. However, if reports are to be believed, he is near to selling the club to Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan for around £350m.
Its the day many fans have been dreaming of, so lets get to know the man a little better. Here are five things you need to know about Sheikh Khaled...
He Is the Cousin of Manchester Citys Owner
If success in football runs in the family, then Newcastle fans are in for a treat if this deal goes through.
Thats because Sheikh Khaled is the cousin of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who has helped build one of the most dominant teams in all of Europe.
Plus, if Sheikh Khaled plans to spend money like his cousin, he will soon endear himself to the St James Park faithful. However, his family connection is causing a stir over the possibility of a regulations breach in the Premier League.
Mike Ashley sells #NUFC to Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan - cousin of #MCFC owner Sheikh Mansour 🤔Is this not a breach of Premier League regulations?Allowing family members to own clubs in the same division will lead to special relationships that are entirely unethical
— Crippy Cooke (@CrippyCooke) May 26, 2019
He Tried to Finalise the Most Expensive Takeover in History in 2018
Sheikh Khaled has long been keen to dip his toe into the footballing waters, so much so that he was ready to bankroll the most expensive takeover in history last year.
According to the Daily Mail, he failed with an eye-watering £2bn bid to buy Liverpool in 2018, after several meetings with club officials. However, Reds shareholders John W Henry and Michael Gordon never met with Sheikh Khaled, seemingly determined not to sell.
Mike Ashley has agreed to sell Newcastle for £350million to the cousin of Sheikh Mansour.Contracts have been signed and submitted to the Premier League between Ashley and Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan. [The Sun] pic.twitter.com/oWuRm62KWo
— City Chief (@City_Chief) May 26, 2019
Newcastle may not have been his first chance, but do you really think fans will care?
He Knows All About Business
Having money is all well and good, but the owner of a club needs to know all about business if they are to help their team improve. Fortunately, Sheikh Khaled fits the bill.
After securing a degree in Business Administration and a PhD in Finance from universities in the United States, Sheikh Khaled set up the Bin Zayed Group in 1988 which specialises in a number of areas, including finance, technology and trading.
He clearly knows how to run a business, and also how to make money, and the hope is that he can apply these skills to football.
His Company Values Sound Like a Recipe for Success in Football
Not only has Sheikh Khaled masterminded the emergence of a hugely successful company, but he has done so with values that are sure to excite football fans.
On the Bin Zayed Group website, the companys values are listed, and it should come as no surprise why they have been so successful. They focus on improving, growing and rewarding people for top performances, but the main focus is one thing - profits.
If you apply all these values to football, it sounds like Sheikh Khaled could be the dream owner. He wants to strengthen and improve, and he wants to make money doing it.
He Wants Rafa Benitez to Stay
If theres one person who has been the subject of more speculation than Ashley, its manager Rafa Benitez. The Spaniard is beloved by most in Newcastle, but finds himself out of contract at the end of the season. A major question on everyones lips is this - how would this takeover affect Benitez?
Not to be over dramatic about the takeover but I’ve just ordered a Newcastle shirt with Mbappe 7 on the back.
— Adam. (@AdamNUFC_) May 27, 2019
To put it simply, it could be exactly what he needs to stay. Both The Sun and the Daily Mail note that Sheikh Khaled wants Benitez to stay at the club, so much so that securing his future would be one of his first jobs at St James Park.
Benitez wants to see investment and improvement, and it looks like he could get that with Sheikh Khaled.