The latest farcical twist surrounding the Rangers five Newcastle players, has seen Shane Ferguson pull out of the Northern Ireland squad only hours after being named in it.

After Ferguson was originally named in the squad, Manager Stuart McCall said he was stunned to hear it, because he wasn’t expecting him back any time soon.

(To feature like John, send in your articles for our website to [email protected])

The Rangers boss adding that he’d never even seen Ferguson yet and all he knew was that he was contracted to the club for the rest of the season.

Stuart McCall speaking to the Glasgow Evening Times:

“Obviously he (Shane Ferguson) is contracted to us but as far as I was concerned, he was going to be out for a fair length of time, when I spoke to the doc when I came in here. He has certainly not been up here so, yeah, I was a bit stunned.

“There might be reasons for it, there might be… has he been quoted or anything or has he just been named in it and that’s it? It might be down to, I don’t know, his confidence, being part of the squad, being involved in it.

“I have not (heard anything from Newcastle) since I have been here. I have left that to the medical team and all I am aware of is that he is a long way away from playing football.”

The whole loan arrangement stinks in my opinion, right from the start it appeared that the five NUFC players were simply pawns in some strange Mike Ashley political ploy at Rangers.

The very fact that two of the five (see the photo at the top) – Mbabu and Ferguson, didn’t even go up for the photo shoot, tells you everything, despite it being only a couple of hours up the road.

Whether the loans were a move by Ashley to increase the financial problems at Rangers we’ll probably never know, certainly the new directors at Rangers appear to be keeping it quiet with regard to not antagonising Ashley, suggesting perhaps there is movement behind the scenes between the parties.

Surely in any normal club, unlike Newcastle, there would be no problems with just coming out and explaining where the five players are at in terms of being able to play in the near, or not so near, future.

There is plenty of interest in the subject from fans of both Rangers and Newcastle so the only conclusion I can draw is that Mike Ashley doesn’t want to give any clarity on the players.

The fact that five players were loaned from one club to another was newsworthy itself.

The fact the players moved from a club owned by a person who also had massive influence at another, was even more newsworthy.

Then the fact he’s landed Rangers with a handful of crocks for a short-term loan is the cherry on the newsworthy cake.

From the point of view of Newcastle fans, I think it would be a bit more interesting finding out what’s happening with these five, than simply daily scripted bulletins fed to the local press, with a different player each day telling us the United players are determined to put things right on Saturday.

This five player loan is just a bizarre example of the poison and nonsense that Mike Ashley has visited on both clubs, as for what the players really think of it all would be a story worth hearing.

NUFC Signed Prints -