Buckinghamshire billionaire Mike Ashley has bought the entire 41.6% stake in Newcastle United from Sir John Hall's family. It is believed that he has done so in full confidence in his ability to secure a 51% holding and therefore day to day control of the club. It is thought that this would then force Freddie Shepherd into selling his 29% stake, despite Newcastle's current chairman describing the club as 'impossible to buy' only last week.
Ashley was ranked 25th in the Sunday Times rich list and is thought to be worth £1.9bn. Ironically, given the fact that he has gazumped the replica shirt loving Shepherd, Ashley was the industry 'whistleblower' that reported price fixing in replica football shirts to the Office of Fair Trading in 2000.