Lee: Ashley plans don't ring true

FORMER Newcastle captain Rob Lee has questioned owner Mike Ashley&rsquo;s desire to sell the fallen north-east giants and accused him of deliberately stalling on the appointment of Alan Shearer as manager.<br /><br />Ashley put Newcastle up for sale in May after a turbulent season culminated in their relegation from the Premier League. But despite reports of a number of interested parties, the controversial sportswear tycoon has failed to broker a deal.<br /><br />In an exclusive interview with City A.M. Lee said: &ldquo;Nobody knows the truth apart from Mike Ashley. He is the only one who knows how many bids he has had in, how much they were for and whether he is willing to sell. As a businessman, he doesn&rsquo;t want to take a massive loss. As long as he doesn&rsquo;t sell, it&rsquo;s only a paper loss.&rdquo;<br /><br />Ashley has ignored the clamour to hand Shearer a permanent contract, having persuaded the club&rsquo;s record goalscorer to take over for the final few games of last season&rsquo;s campaign. &ldquo;By not appointing Alan he hasn&rsquo;t got to spend any more money,&rdquo;Lee added.