Mike Ashley ‘tipped barmaid £5’ after celebrating Newcastle sale to the Saudis

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Mike Ashley reportedly tipped a barmaid a fiver as he celebrated his £305million sale of Newcastle United by meeting pals for a drinking session.

Ashley last week sold the Premier League club to a Saudi-backed consortium – bringing to an end to his 14-year tenure as owner.

The takeover made Newcastle the world's wealthiest club, with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) taking an 80% stake, while the remaining 20% was split equally between Amanda Staveley and the Reuben brothers.

And Ashley celebrated the deal with drinks in the Kings Arms pub in Soho, according to The Sun.

The publication said the 57-year-old looked happy as he ordered rounds for himself and five friends in a five-hour celebration at the London boozer.

An onlooker said: “Mike was in good spirits and left one barmaid a £5 tip.

“You’d have had no idea he’d done a £300million deal.

“Drinkers were flowing. They were all wearing suits and huddled around the table, laughing and chatting.

“They just looked like a normal bunch of blokes meeting after work.

“They arrived at around 5.30pm or 6pm and were drinking beer until closing time, about 11pm.”

A manager confirmed Ashley and his buddies were at the Kings Arms, but added: “I don’t know anything about football.”

Sports Direct boss Ashley is said to be worth around £2.7billion and is the 61st richest man in the UK.

Many Toon fans were unhappy with what they saw as a lack of investment in the club during his tenure, and gathered in their thousands outside St James' Park to celebrate the news when it was announced last Thursday.

Ashley has insisted he put the club first during the sale, saying he rejected a higher bid than the one he accepted.

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"I would like it to be known that I received a higher offer for the club than the one that I accepted," he told The Sun.

"It was from another reputable bidder, who made a credible case.

"But I felt the bid that we accepted from the current new owners would deliver the best for Newcastle United."

Newcastle's new owners have promised investment, but their immediate priority will be to steer the club away from the relegation zone, with Steve Bruce's side currently 19th after a winless start to the season.

It was reported by The Mirror that Bruce will be sacked this week, with his No2 Graeme Jones taking charge for next Sunday's Premier League clash at home to Tottenham.

  • Mike Ashley
  • Steve Bruce
  • Premier League
  • Sports Direct
  • Saudi Arabia
  • London
  • Newcastle United FC

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