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Newcastle United takeover news LIVE - Announcement date set?

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Winter on takeover

Henry Winter has given his verdict on the proposed takeover of Newcastle United - insisting the Magpies will be 'better off' without Mike Ashley.

The Times chief football writer told Newcastle Fans TV: "I think Newcastle United are better off and football in general is better off. Talking to people from other clubs from a neutral perspective, I think people find Mike Ashley a slightly embarrassing owner - particularly at a club like Newcastle United.

"As an outsider coming in, I can't think of too many places where a club is so embedded in it's community. Wherever you walk in town, it looms large emotionally and physically with cathedral on the hill. For me, it's always been one of the great walks anywhere in world football.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 07: Sports Direct International founder Mike Ashley leaves the Red Lion pub in Westminster to attend a Parliamentary select committee hearing at Portcullis house on June 7, 2016 in London, England.

"Newcastle United - to use the Barcelona expression - is more than a club. This is about a community, an identity. I know people try to see this as a sort of north-south thing, the Cockney who came up and 'get him out of our club'. But bad owners come from everywhere. For someone who is such a brilliant businessman, he just didn't get Newcastle United and the fans. He didn't understand that cups matter. People sometimes depict the fans as being these big dreamers, but I think they're pretty down to earth.

"It's a special place. Mike Ashley didn't get that, and the disconnect between Newcastle United fans and what they want and represent. I think Mike robbed you of that.

"You'd be well rid of Mike Ashley. You don't need me to tell you that, but I think football in general thinks he is not an owner who cares."

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