Mike Ashley preparing for £50m takeover of Derby County
Ex Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is in advanced talks with Derby’s administrators over becoming the clubs new owner and his bid will be the largest received so far.
If successful, Ashley is expected to buy Pride Park Stadium from former owner Mel Morris and plans to takeover all affairs at the club after it went into administration back in September.
The Rams have been deducted a total of 21 points in the 2021/2022 season, having been given a further nine point penalty in November, which means their chances of surviving relegation seem extremely unlikely. However, the current situation at the club seems be rallying the whole squad who are determined to defy the odds and remain a Championship side next season.
Ashley’s Sports Direct company has a large distribution centre based on the Pride Park industrial estate, which sits on the periphery of the stadium grounds.
It would be the return of Mike Ashley to English football after he sold Newcastle United to the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia for £300million, following his 14-year stewardship. His time on Tyneside was disastrous for the football club and supporters, who were glad to see the back of the London-based businessman. Ashley failed to understand the area and what football meant to the people of Newcastle – he had no interest in what was good for the club.
Derby County are currently bottom of the table with 11 points but have found some fine form under boss Wayne Rooney, unbeaten in their last four league games and winning two without conceding a goal. They rescued a point in dramatic style last time out in the Championship with two goals in the last five minutes from Kazim-Richards and Curtis Davis to make it 2-2 at Reading.
Mike Ashley’s £50m valuation is set to be the highest received by the Administrators, Quantuma and is thought to be substantially more than the offer from General Sports Worldwide which includes former Derby chairman Andrew Appleby, former chief executive Sam Rush and Wolves’ former CEO Jez Moxey.
Adam Bate wrote a feature for Sky Sports back in October following the departure of Ashley from Newcastle:
‘Icons were alienated, interlopers overpromoted. Money was spent sporadically and begrudgingly, the investment intermittent and haphazard. Strategy was absent. When it did emerge it was about no more than ticking over. Nobody could mistake it for ambition.
‘Under Ashley, this became a zombie club, an illusion of life.’
This short extract perfectly sums up his time at the Magpies, however as Derby are in administration, it’s likely Ashely will become owner if his bid for the club remains the highest.
Beth Mead left out of England Women’s World Cup squad
Euro 2022 top goal scorer Beth Mead is not included in England Women’s World Cup squad.
The 27-year-old Arsenal forward has not played since November having been a major doubt for the competition.
This comes after an anterior cruciate ligament injury which she still has not fully recovered from.
England head coach Sarina Wiegman has named the 23-player squad for this summer’s tournament in Australia and New Zealand.
Tottenham striker Beth England, who has not been involved since last summer’s Euro competition is included.
Chelsea centre-back Millie Bright, who has been out with a knee injury since March, has made the 23-player squad.
Sarina Wiegman confirmed Bright would captain the team in the absence of injured defender Leah Williamson.
Wiegman went on to say she never thought Beth Mead would be fit in time for the tournament, saying: “She’s so positive and going well, but the timescale she had we would have taken so many risks to get to the World Cup
“I’m not willing to take that risk to push her too much and she gets injured again. We need to take care of players.”
England play Haiti in their opening match on 22nd July in Australia where they look to build on their success following Euro 2022.
Karl Darlow set for permanent move away from Newcastle United
After a successful loan spell to Hull City, Karl Darlow is poised for a permanent move away from St. James’.
Hull City manager Liam Rosenior has made it clear he wants to keep a hold of Newcastle United goalkeeper Karl Darlow.
Signing for the club in 2014 from Nottingham Forest, he went onto make 100 appearances for the magpies with his debut coming in 2015 under Steve McLaren. His best stint for the club was during the 2020/21 season making 25 appearances. He then saw himself fall out of favour when Martin Dubravka signed for the club and now with Nick Pope cementing the position as his own, Darlow saw himself drop down the pecking order.
Signing for Hull City on loan in January, he has since made 11 appearances keeping 5 clean sheets in the process, with three coming in the last four matches against good opposition in Millwall, Blackburn, and Watford.
“He’s been magnificent since he’s come in,” Rosenior said after Darlow’s clean sheet against Watford on Saturday. “I think he’s massively enjoying working here, I think he’s enjoying the club, he’s settled in with the players really really well.
“What I really like about Karl was as soon as he signed he had his young family come and join him and settle down in the area, and I think that’s helped him. Hopefully we’ll have discussions in the summer about his long-term future.”
Rosenior revealed earlier in the week his intention to keep Darlow at the club, and Hull are believed to be in discussions with Newcastle over making the goalkeeper’s stay at the MKM Stadium permanent – as his loan agreement is believed to have as an option.
Contracted at St. James’ until 2025, it seems as though a permanent move to Hull City would be the best thing for Darlow with his position at Newcastle United seemingly gone.
Where do you think Karl Darlow will be next season – let us know on our social media and follow us for latest North East Updates – https://linktr.ee/northeastupdates
Our Premier League Team of the Season 2022/2023
With the season drawing to a close, we have put together our Premier League Team of the Season.
In what has been a season that is set to go right down to the very end, it has been yet another spectacular campaign of football with players breaking out on to the scene and some very memorable moments.
Lets have a look at who we have decided is in the starting 11 for the Team of the Season.
The starting 11 was chosen in terms of not only who we think has been the best in those positions, but also who has either exceeded expectations but also who has done exactly what was expected of them in their position.
Nick Pope, Kieran Trippier and Sven Botman mean Newcastle United make up 60% of the defence in this team, but for good reason. This season, the magpies are currently bosting the best defence in the league conceding the least amount of goals, 24 to be precise.
William Saliba and Oleksandr Zinchenko make up the remaining two spots in the defence, the Arsenal duo have had a great campaign with the gunners still sat top of the league and looking to get their first league title in nearly 20 years.
A midfield three of Casemiro, Keving De Bruyne, and Martin Odegaard, three players so vital to their clubs and all having a wonderful season, it’s hard to put anyone else in there over them.
Up top, we have a front three of Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford, and Erling Haaland as all three players have had goals, influence, and star power in their clubs to push them to the very top this season.
The substitutes include top of the league goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, which seems harsh to leave him out of the starting squad but up against Nick Pope, either could go in and it would be a good decision, but Ramsdale just makes it onto our bench.
Ben Mee has had a cracking season with Brentford seeing them looking set to enjoy a top half finish with him at the heart of defence. Luke Shaw gets on the bench after a solid season under Ten Hag at United.
Bruno Guimaraes, Gabriel Martinelli, and Harry Kane are the remaining players on the bench, all have had a fantastic season but unfortunately only make the bench for this squad.
Roberto De Zerbi is the manager of the season for us, having joined Brighton in September following Graham Potter’s departure, many thought this spelt the end of Brighton’s good fortunes in the Premier League, but not only did De Zerbi do better than expected of him, he has taken a very good Brighton and Hove Albion team and improved them navigating them to a top half finish.
Manchester City only see two players in this team, although they have had a great season, the rotation of the team sees a great team instead of individual players, which is a testament to how Pep Guardiola wants his teams to be.
Premier League 22/23 Team of the Season:
Nick Pope (GK), Kieran Trippier, William Saliba, Sven Botman, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Casemiro, Kevin De Bruyne, Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford, Erling Haaland.
Aaron Ramsdale (GK), Ben Mee, Luke Shaw, Bruno Guimaraes, Alexis Mac Allister, Gabriel Martinelli, Harry Kane
Manager: Roberto De Zerbi (Brighton)
Who would you put in your Premier League Team of the Season – Let us know on our social media and follow us for latest North East Updates – https://linktr.ee/northeastupdates
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