Newcastle smack down reports of WWE Toon takeover
Wrestling billionaire Vince McMahon has been linked with a £330m move for the Magpies – prompting incredulity
NEWCASTLE fans, fed up with Mike Ashley's ownership of the club, may have braced themselves for new torment today as American wrestling supremo Vince McMahon, the owner of the WWE circus, was touted as a potential buyer.
The billionaire was linked with the club two years ago and now the rumour has resurfaced on website Winner Sports. It claims a Newcastle source says McMahon has been "sniffing around the club" and is keen to buy the Magpies as a way of boosting the profile of his wrestling brand in Europe.
"He has even indicated he could put on wrestling bouts at St James' Park," says the source.
The claims have provoked an incredulous reaction among more established media. Newcastle "has woken to find itself at the centre of one of the more bizarre stories of the season," says the Daily Mail. It adds that although the rumours will "likely come to nothing... it has provoked an amusing response on Twitter."
Still, the claims will "hit Toon fans like a flying elbow-drop off the top rope", says Metro. And there are plenty who fear that while manager Alan Pardew saw off Joe Kinnear, who resigned earlier this month, he may not have what it takes to defeat McMahon.
If Newcastle lose with Vince McMahon at the helm, surely Pardew will hit rock bottom? pic.twitter.com/rt1knQbRX4
— NextBet.co.uk (@NextBetTips) February 18, 2014
Others believe that the soap opera that surrounds Newcastle, may even be too far-fetched for McMahon
Very much doubt WWE's Vince McMahon does want to buy Newcastle. Makes no sense. He'd find the storylines unrealistic and the playacting OTT.
— Rory Smith (@RorySmithTimes) February 17, 2014
But it was left to The Sun that quashed talk of a takeover. It claims that the club has "smacked down talk of a stunning multi-million pound takeover" by McMahon, who was reportedly prepared to pay £330m.
"Well-placed sources on Tyneside played down speculation that unpopular Toon owner Mike Ashley is set to sell-up to the former actor and wrestler after seven turbulent years in charge," adds the paper.