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Mort rubbishes takeover talk

sports Updated: Feb 22, 2008 19:06 IST
AFP
It has been suggested that owner Mike Ashley was trying to off-load Newcastle less than a year after taking over at St James' Park

Newcastle chairman Chris Mort insists the Premier League club is not for sale despite reported interest from a consortium led by Alan Shearer and a Dubai investment group.

It has been suggested that owner Mike Ashley was trying to off-load Newcastle less than a year after taking over at St James' Park, with two groups interested in doing a deal.

Shearer was said to be fronting a consortium of businessmen looking to buy out Ashley, while a third-party financing group called PCP was reported to have been asked by Ashley to invite Dubai Investment Capital, the group interested in buying Liverpool, to turn their attentions to Newcastle.

But Mort is adamant there is no truth in either story.

"The reality is that the Alan Shearer story and the PCP story were both absolute rubbish," Mort told the Times.

"Alan has obviously denied he has been approached by a consortium and we had never heard of PCP until Monday's story."

While Newcastle's off-field future is still to be decided, Mort believes the club is heading in the right direction under Kevin Keegan.

Newcastle are still waiting for a first win since Keegan returned for his second spell in charge but Mort said: "He has a three-and-a-half-year contract and we are looking to see what can be achieved over that period."