It looks like any Newcastle fans hoping that Mike Ashley could be selling up soon, may need to think again.

Supporters would love just to be able to concentrate on who is playing in the next match and who United might sign, but you’d be a fool not to accept that the fortunes of Newcastle United are inextricably linked to Ashley’s Sports Direct empire.

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When he bought the club, Mike Ashley’s people told John  Hall that his primary reason for doing so was to drive the expansion of his retail business.

That is surely beyond any doubt now and even Sports Direct have been compelled to mention the importance of Mike Ashley’s ownership of Newcastle United and the resultant free promotion of SD, as a major factor in the retailer’s growth and success.

It looks now though as Mike Ashley is going to push his business empire onto a whole new level and it would be madness to think that Newcastle United isn’t needed as a major factor, in helping this expansion be a success.

Morgan Stanley believe that the Sports Direct shares are very attractive and says that this is despite knocking 20% off their valuation because of Mike Ashley’s ‘unusual corporate governance’.

With factors such as Sports Direct currently having no chief financial officer or investor relations functions, plus Ashley still owning such a large portion (55%) of the company.

Obviously the huge coverage of Premier League football in every European country, including the likes of Holland and Germany, gives any potential expansion of Sports Direct a massive lift via Newcastle United.

Also though, surely maybe no coincidence that Newcastle have now signed three (four if you include the loan of Luuk de Jong) Dutch players and are said to be continuing to look there for ‘value for money’ as well as allegedly targeting Germany and Spain this summer.