Cable firm considering Toon army demob...Troubled cable provider NTL is in talks over the sale of its 9.9 per cent stake in Newcastle United football club. NTL was one of several media organisations to buy into Premier League football clubs prior to the redrafting of broadcast rights, foreseeing the opportunity for lucrative partnerships. Now, according the Financial Times NTL has been approached by Newcastle director Freddy Shepherd, who along with business partner Douglas Hall is hoping to take the listed club private and the heavily indebted company may be tempted by a sale as a way to recoup funds. It is thought NTL would maintain its media links with the club under the terms of any agreement. NTL also holds stakes in Aston Villa, Leicester City and Middlesbrough as well as ties with old firm rivals Glasgow Rangers and Celtic.