Peter Kenyon makes bizarre bid to crowd fund Newcastle takeover by offering them minimum buy-in of just £1m

The ex-Manchester United and Chelsea chief executive is still searching for the £300m needed to complete his purchase of the Toon.

And SunSport has learned that Kenyon is so anxious he is now doing a whip-round of anyone able to cough up a seven-figure sum.

Even then, the British businessman would only be able to pay Toon owner Mike Ashley in instalments staggered over the rest of the year.

But Kenyon is buoyed by Ashley viewing him as the "best fit” to buy the club.

And he is determined to get a deal over the line by any means possible, having spent weeks looking over Newcastle’s books and working with lawyers.

Kenyon’s struggle to meet Ashley's asking price, however, does raise doubts about his suitability for St James’ Park.

When Ashley put Newcastle up for sale in October 2017, he claimed a new owner must have the investment necessary to take the club to the “next level”.

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But it remains to be seen how Kenyon will find the money needed to strengthen Newcastle’s squad, even if he manages to successfully buy out Ashley.

In the meantime, Ashley has no intention of providing Rafa Benitez with any meaningful money to purchase players in the transfer window.

The Toon boss, who is likely to leave when his contract expires in the summer, expects to be left looking for loans and bargain deals at the end of the month.

Newcastle have won only one of their last nine games in all competitions.

They visit Chelsea on Saturday sitting just two points above the Premier League drop zone.

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