- Paddy Power make Zuckerberg a 14/1 shot to buy Newcastle United
- United boss Mike Ashley wants to sell the club by Christmas
On Tuesday, Newcastle owner Mike Ashley said that he was keen to sell the Premier League club before Christmas.
This is the second time that the Sports Direct clothing and sports equipment chain owner has put the club up for sale during what has been a controversial ten-year reign, and the business magnate is so keen to cut his links with the north-east club, that he has said he is willing to let any buyer pay in instalments.
Zuckerberg, who turned Facebook into one of the world’s biggest websites, may seem to be an unlikely prospective buyer, but the multi-billionaire has apparently been looking at the Premier League for some time and last month he was forced to deny rumours that he had entered into talks to buy London club Tottenham Hotspur.
Bookmaker Paddy Power has already opened a market on the identity of the next Newcastle owner, and Zuckerberg has been installed as the 14-1 third-favorite to take over.
Ahead of him in the betting are Robert Kraft, the current owner of the NFL franchise New England Patriots, who can be backed at 11-1 and Russian politician Mikhail Prokhorov, who is also available at 11-1.
US restaurant mogul and Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta is 17-1, with entreprenuer Richard Branson at 90-1 and, somewhat bizarrely, US President Donald Trump at 60-1.
Despite those odds, it appears financier Amanda Staveley is in pole position to be the next owner – not nearly as exciting, but Paddy is not offering odds on that outcome as yet.
No sale price for the club has been released, but it is believed in the English media that Ashley will be hoping to sell it for over £350 million ($460 million).
He originally paid £133m when he bought the club from Sir John Hall and the late Freddy Shepherd in 2007, but in his time as owner, has also paid the club around £129m in loans.
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