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Mike Ashley closes club’s retail store

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has been making headlines on Wednesday for not entirely positive reasons.

Ashley has never exactly been a fan favourite in the North East, and his latest move is unlikely to win him any more supporters.

According to the Daily Mail, Ashley is closing the Newcastle United retail store and has made all of his staff redundant.

The decision to close the store is said to be due to it being one of the conditions of the Saudi takeover deal, which has been awaiting High Court arbitration since its collapse last summer.

The DM adds that staff were said to be stunned when they were told on Monday that the shop must be cleared by next week and that all jobs would be lost:

Mike Ashley closes Newcastle’s retail store and makes all of its staff redundant | @CraigHope_DM https://t.co/hDg73ZBfzP

— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) April 14, 2021

Newcastle vs West Ham

Though matters off the pitch are grabbing the headlines at present, the Magpies must now turn their attentions to their clash with West Ham this weekend.

After beating Burnley last time out, Steve Bruce’s side are sat 17th in the PL, six points clear of the bottom three with a game in hand on Fulham.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley closes club’s retail store and makes all of its staff redundant

Newcastle United’s English midfielder Joe Willock (L) celebrates scoring his team’s second goal during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur at St James’ Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on April 4, 2021. – RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by SCOTT HEPPELL / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by SCOTT HEPPELL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

However, Newcastle are not safe yet, with a tough end-of-season run-in no doubt set to culminate in a very nervy end to the campaign.

Following their clash with Champions League-chasing West Ham, Newcastle have to face all of Liverpool, Arsenal Leicester City and Manchester City, with a final day meeting with Fulham perhaps set up to be crucial to either sides’ top-flight survival.

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