Rangers déjà vu as Newcastle United celebrate Mike Ashley development
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Rangers déjà vu as Newcastle United celebrate Mike Ashley development

Newcastle United supporters are rejoicing as the Sports Direct signs and the visual remnants of the reign of former Rangers shareholder Mike Ashley comes crashing down.

The Toon Army have seen their club overhauled as Sports Direct owner Ashley sells up to the Saudis and Newcastle United set about retaining their Premier League status.

But given the High St billionaire has a penchant for lingering around following the severance of ties with clubs, there had been fears surrounding the advertising at St. James’ Park.

Those dramatic Sports Direct signs were a reminder of a painful period for Newcastle United fans and the notion they’d linger into Yasir Al-Rumayyan’s reign was a painful one.

But alas, reports are now claiming the signage is coming down and Newcastle United fans are viewing it as a symbolic move after years of boardroom struggles with Mike Ashley.

Newcastle United are set to remove the Sports Direct branding in St James’ Park, a major remnant of the Mike Ashley era. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

According to Sky Sports, the Magpies have confirmed work is underway to take down the signage and that there is an “expectation” the work will be completed for the next home game against Man City on December 19th.

Rangers fans know feeling of Mike Ashley grip loosening

Rangers fans know all too well that feeling of Mike Ashley’s grip loosening and they’ll empathise with the feeling at Newcastle United.

Ashley was a shareholder and provider of loans to Rangers during the club’s rebuild post-2012 and his influence remained all the way up until the beginning of last season in 2020.

This primarily concerned retail contracts which were signed during the previous regime and it’s telling that Mike Ashley lasted nearly a decade despite massive boardroom resistance.

The signing of the Castore deal saw the end of all pre-existing retail contracts and it was a move that was met with much relief by Rangers supporters.

Fans who had waited many years just to buy a kit were now being offered the chance to buy retail for their kids and themselves.

It wasn’t so long ago there were Sports Direct signs in Ibrox. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Newcastle United and their fans might have to endure a longer, more deep-rooted overhaul with Mike Ashley but there’s little doubt the removal of signage is a symbolic step for the club’s fans.

Mike Ashley first bought a controlling stake in Newcastle United in 2007 and spent over 14 years at the helm of the club before the £305m Saudi-led takeover [BBC Sport].

Meanwhile, Rangers fans have been criticising a Lyon ticket “shambles” as supporters are blocked from attending a Europa League match at the Groupama Stadium