Newcastle takeover bid attracts local attention

Mike Ashley could be close to escape from his controversial spell as owner of Newcastle United after it was revealed there was &ldquo;real and decent interest&rdquo; in the football club from more than one Tyneside party.<br /><br />Sports Direct owner Ashley is desperate to sell the club, which was relegated from the Premier League last month, even at a considerable loss after two turbulent years at the helm.<br /><br />Seymour Pierce chairman Keith Harris, a football club takeover specialist who worked on deals for Chelsea and Aston Villa said yesterday: &ldquo;There is real and decent interest. This is not necessarily from far flung parts of the globe and from those expressing interest when it was first marketed but this is good, gritty interest.&rdquo;<br /><br />A source close to the situation told City A.M. that there was more than one party from the North East looking at the club. The source also played down reports that former chairman Freddy Shepherd, who Mike Ashley bought the club from in 2007, is working on a bid to take back the group.