By North-east correspondent Harry Sykes

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Newcastle have vowed to never again include release clauses in the contracts of their new signings following a Rafael Benitez crackdown.

The North-east giants confirmed on Friday morning that, as revealed by Football Insider on Thursday morning, Andros Townsend has joined Crystal Palace in a £13million deal after the Londoners activated the player’s buy-out clause.

Newcastle tried to convince the England international to stay and continue working with Benitez but he took the decision to become the first senior Magpies player to quit following the club’s relegation from the Premier League.

It was Townsend’s representatives that insisted on inserting the clause to his contract which allowed him to leave Tyneside after just six months.

“Naturally we are very disappointed to lose Andros but we are bound by the terms of his contract,” Newcastle United managing director Lee Charnley told the club’s official website.

“Given our situation in January it was a condition of him joining that we included a buy-out clause.

“However, I am sure now with Rafa as our manager we will not be in a position whereby we will need to agree to clauses of this nature in the future.”