It is fair to say that Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is quite possibly the least popular man on Tyneside at the present moment, with his penny pinching ways casting serious doubts over the future of the club.
At the helm for over 10 years now, the Sports Direct supremo has hardly endeared himself to the Toon Army in recent years, running the Magpies on a shoestring budget while making a series of controversial decisions which have angered the supporters.
The club is supposedly still up for sale, having been initially put up back in the winter, but there has been little news of progress, and Ashley is still at St James’ Park issuing statements that insist Rafael Benitez will get every “penny” to spend this summer.
Where have fans heard that before?
Now it is time for the owner to put his money where his mouth is, with the final reveal of the Premier League payments for the season just gone.
As confirmed by Sporting Intelligence’s Nick Harris via his official Twitter account, the Magpies have picked up the eighth most money from their top flight campaign with a stunning £123million windfall, and that will be a huge boost to keeping Benitez at the club – if Ashley lets him have access to the funds.
OFFICIAL: the final numbers for Premier League cash allocation for 2017-18. Story to follow. pic.twitter.com/U3CS0dEf5J
— Nick Harris (@sportingintel) May 17, 2018
The Spaniard has been linked with a move away this summer, with West Ham the latest side to be reported as potential suitors for the Liverpool man, and with £7million difference in terms of income, there is not much in it.
Still, if Ashley gives him what he wants from this new windfall, then the fans’ fears can be allayed for good – and a new deal may well be on the horizon.
In other Newcastle United news, the fans were left in panic stations after a report from Sky Sports.