NEWCASTLE, England (AP) — English Premier League club Newcastle is up for sale.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley's company, St. James Holdings, released a statement Monday saying the decision was taken "to give the club the best possible opportunity of securing the positioning and investment necessary to take it to the next level."

The 53-year-old Ashley bought Newcastle in 2007, clearing existing debts and securing the club's financial future at a troubling time. The club has been relegated twice in the intervening decade and there has been frequent discord with the fans.

The statement said Newcastle has made a public announcement due to growing "press speculation," which increased after the appearance of financier Amanda Staveley at Newcastle's game against Liverpool this month.

Ashley also put Newcastle up for sale in 2008.