The entrepreneur, who owns sports brands JD Sports, Dunlop Slazenger and Kangol, has put the club up for sale at £100m. A whopping £34m less than he paid for it back in 2007.
Ashley has spent the last two years bailing out Newcastle United’s debts, throwing £110m of his personal funds into the beleaguered club: an investment which will have to be written off.
Ashley told The Sunday Times: "It has been catastrophic for everybody. I’ve lost my money and I’ve made terrible decisions. Now I want to sell it as soon as I can… advisers will be appointed shortly.”
But there are no takeover offers on the table as yet. This is worrying for Ashley, who is seeking a quick sale before the club haemorrhages any more cash.
He admits that he made a mistake buying the club in the first place: "I never said I was an expert in football clubs. I was just a fan – although a very wealthy fan. But I’m not so wealthy now. I put my money into it and I tried my best. But I accept my best was woefully short. I am genuinely sorry for everybody about what has happened."
Ashley’s personal wealth has tumbled from £1.4bn following the Sports Direct IPO back in 2007, to £700m this year.