Ashley set to stay in Toon

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley will stand by the Magpies even if they are relegated because he is “wedded” to the club.

Newcastle: Ashley set to stay in ToonNewcastle: Ashley set to stay in Toon

The Sports Direct chief faces the prospect of seeing the Magpies slip out of the Barclays Premier League for the second time in his near nine-year stint as owner if they cannot turn their season around over the final eight games.

But Ashley, who this month sanctioned the appointment of former Real Madrid boss Rafael Benitez in place of the sacked Steve McClaren, insists he is going nowhere should the worst happen.

Asked if he would stick with the club in the event of relegation, Ashley said: “Yes, I think I’ve got no choice. I’m wedded to Newcastle, like Sports Direct. They have got me and I have got them, that’s just the way it is.”

Newcastle, who battled back to snatch a 1-1 derby draw with Sunderland on Sunday, find themselves in desperate trouble at the foot of the table despite Ashley following through on his promise to invest in the squad with a total spend of more than £82million during the last two transfer windows.

They currently sit in 19th place and three points adrift of safety, and their trip to fellow strugglers Norwich after the international break could go a long way towards deciding their fate.

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