By Kieran Maguire

8th Aug, 2021 | 10:22am

Kieran Maguire: Ashley may be leaving 'poison pill' for PiF after 'classic' Newcastle update

Mike Ashley may leave a “poison pill” for the next Newcastle United owners if he decides to hand Steve Bruce a new contract.

So says finance boffin Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about a report concerning the 60-year-old Magpies manager.

The Daily Star reported on 30th July that Mike Ashley is set to hand Bruce a new three-year deal as a reward for keeping Newcastle in the top-flight.

His current deal expires next summer, six months after arbitration over the failed 2020 PIF-led Newcastle takeover bid are set to be complete.

This site revealed back in April that Newcastle are confident a fresh PIF deal can go through after the case is settled.

And Maguire suggests that Ashley may tie Bruce down to a new deal as a parting gift to the possible new oil-rich owners.

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He told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams: “We know that there have been various delays in the potential takeover. That has been pushed back to 2022.

“It could be a poison pill because whoever inherits Steve Bruce has to stick with him for another two years from 2022 or pay him off.

“That would be classic Mike Ashley, straight from his playbook. Newcastle paid a lot of compensation for him from Sheffield Wednesday after all.

“He has actually punched above his weight from a footballing perspective. But when it comes to Mike Ashley you are almost guilty by association.

“That is unless you choose to distance yourself from the club owners like Benitez did.”

In other news, ex-striker claims Bruce will be fuming at Ashley amid latest Newcastle United comments.