Monday morning 10am, Newcastle United started selling tickets to excited/terrified supporters for the match against Sunderland in a couple of weeks time (Sunday 20 March).

Tuesday morning 10am, Newcastle United are selling tickets to fans for the derby game.

Wednesday morning 10am. Newcastle United are selling tickets to fans for the derby game…

That’s right, Mike Ashley has finally been able to reach the very core of Newcastle United supporters and twist the knife in where it really hurts.

His running of the club has led it to this.

Yes, the derby match will obviously sell out, eventually, but what took a few hours in the past is now taking days.

So many supporters, especially those with a few years on the clock, have had more than enough of Ashley’s running of the club.

He has sucked so much passion and that blind loyalty out of supporters, the club is really standing on the edge of a cliff.

With Ashley’s continued presence, no matter how much money is now spent to try and desperately protect his asset from relegation, I don’t think there is a credible future possible while he remains as owner.

There hasn’t been a single sold out match at St James Park in the last 14 months (since Everton in December 2014), well apart from the rugby matches in the autumn.

Can you imagine that, at St James Park the only things that sold out were rugby matches!

In the past, even when things got really bad under Souness and Gullit, the thought of giving up your season ticket was laughable, even if you were totally fed up – because you held out hope that the good times would return and if they did, you feared you wouldn’t get back in.

Yes tens of thousands of fans still go and superficially the crowds are not looking too bad at St James Park, for the moment…

However, they are held together with sticky plasters and elastic bands, with half season tickets for a few quid handed out to kids, cheap under the counter tickets going to students, civil servants, police etc. Football tourists from abroad, stag parties and any other ruse, anything that can just about paper over the cracks.

Last season when Newcastle had to beat West Ham to be sure that relegation was avoided, St James Park wasn’t full.

So many fans now don’t see relegation as the thing to fear the most, whether fans are still going to games or not, the biggest fear for the vast majority is that of potentially never getting rid of Mike Ashley.