REPORTS a mystery north-east textile tycoon is bidding for Newcastle United appear to have been a hoax.

A press release sent to The Northern Echo on behalf of businessman Rick Parkinson claimed he was heading a group prepared to invest £150m to buy Newcastle United and arm Alan Shearer with a £30m transfer war chest.

It claimed Parkinson was "originally from Ponteland, has made millions from the textiles industry, as well as from a number of offshore investments in the early 2000s, and claims to be worth more than £250m."

But with the club unaware of the mysterious Mr Parkinson and his consortium it would appear the story is nothing more than a stitch-up.

Do you have any inside information on 'Mr Parkinson', his consortium or North-East PR Group who issued the press release? Call The Northern Echo on 01325 505065.