Mike Ashley completes his heist of Newcastle United’s transfer funds

Mike Ashley completed his winter heist of Newcastle United’s transfer funds last night, bringing in just three loan signings after a buy-out saga dominated most of the transfer window.

The club’s infamous owner was under a lot of pressure to spend big in this window with Newcastle lying perilously above the relegation zone.

Premier League clubs spent a record £150 million on deadline day yesterday, bringing their overall outlay for the month to £430 million.

But Ashley managed to dodge reinvesting the sizeable TV and gate money generated by the club in a well-orchestrated heist.

Back in November we reported that he had no intention to sell the club when speculation first rose about a potential buy-out to Amanda Staveley.

His intentions were actually to create enough turmoil to avoid putting his hands in his pockets and fund Rafa Benitez’s ambitious plans.

And it worked.

Newcastle shipped out Jack Colback, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Jamie Sterry, Henri Saivet and Freddie Woodman out on loan and brought in Kenedy, Martin Dubravka and Islam Slimani on loan deals in return.

As The Chronicle’s Mark Douglas wrote, it is a sign of the “biggest deriliction of duty on Ashley’s watch”, and although the fans have reacted resolutely, surely enough is enough for the embattled Magpies?

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