By Kieran Maguire

1st Apr, 2021 | 6:18pm

Kieran Maguire: Ashley may 'do well' to get £150m for Newcastle amid surprise Bruce reveal

Mike Ashley will do well to get £150million for Newcastle United if they get relegated.

That is according to finance guru and Football Insider columnist Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively after this site revealed that Bruce’s pay-off would increase to more than £4million if he keeps the team up for a second season. 

The 60-year-old’s surprisingly large payoff – given Ashley’s notorious frugality – rises with each season he ensures top-flight safety.

Newcastle are teetering on the edge of relegation and have just a two-point advantage over 18th place Fulham, though they do have a game in hand.

Maguire compared Bruce with outspoken ex-Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez and insisted that Ashley’s business model is born out of self-interest.

He told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams: “I think Ashley is trying to ensure that the club is in the Premier League when he sells it.

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“Newcastle is worth £300m as a Premier League club. If he gets half of that in the Championship, he’ll be doing well.

“For whatever reason, Ashley and Steve Bruce seem to have a good relationship. I think Ashley knows there isn’t that many people he can trust and what he doesn’t want is a situation such as arose under Benitez when you’ve got the manager effectively siding with the fans.

“Bruce isn’t going to do that. To a certain extent, he is going to be Ashley’s mouthpiece and will toe the party line.”

Ashley is keen to sell Newcastle and saw a £300m Saudi-backed takeover bid collapse in 2020.

The Times revealed that the club has a policy of not including relegation clauses in players’ contracts and so will take a heft wage bill with them if they finish in the bottom three.

In other news, Newcastle United squad’s fury at what Bruce has been getting his assistants to do is revealed.