What if... Sir John Hall had never sold his Newcastle stake to Mike Ashley?

There are a great many reasons why Newcastle United supporters hate on their club’s owner Mike Ashley but while his consistently uncouth behaviour, embarrassing comments and decision to plaster St James’ Park in Sports Direct logos are hardly minor indiscretions it always ultimately comes down to his parsimony.

Since taking control of the North-East giants in June 2007 Ashley has implemented a transfer mandate that makes Ebenezer Scrooge appear profligate and this from a club that was...

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