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Ashley takes Newcastle off market failed sale

Ashley takes Newcastle off market failed sale

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley took the club off the market after failing to find a buyer and is looking to sell the naming rights to the team's St. James' Park stadium.
Having failed to sell at a reduced price of 80 million pounds ($131 million) a club he bought for 134 million pounds two years ago while it was still in the English Premier League, Ashley is seeking bids from sponsors to rename the ground from next season.
Newcastle has played at St. James' Park since 1892.
"The club aims to maximize its commercial revenues," Newcastle said late Tuesday in a statement on its Web site. "This includes renegotiating its club sponsor and kit deal, which expire at the end of this season, as well as welcoming offers for the stadium naming rights for next season."
Newcastle's shirts are manufactured by Adidas and sponsored by Northern Rock bank.
Newcastle said Ashley will give the club another 20 million pounds to help fund a return to the Premier League and will retain the coach who has taken the northeast England club to the top of the second-tier League Championship.
The value of the club was hit severely when it was relegated to the League Championship in May but Chris Hughton has led the team to the top of the standings with minimal investment in the squad, and now has a contract as manager through to the end of next season.
"He has done a terrific job this season and we wish him every success for the rest of this season and beyond," managing director Derek Llambias said. "He will continue to receive our full backing and support."