A "Newcastle" google news alert gives almost daily hits referring to the transfer market. I've ignored them because they are mostly speculation, football reporters filling in the close season.
What was more interesting vis-a-vis the big picture, was the news that Ashley was going to be taking more direct control this season, with Mort away back to his law firm. Now, as two minutes with this blog would tell anyone, I'm no fan of big business. But I am willing to be pragmatic when it comes to Newcastle United, and say that an intelligent capitalist is just what we need in charge.
It shouldn't be too mysterious. Your plutocrat buys a club, and, ok, he's going to want it to plump up his ego, but he's also going to want it to make him lots more cash, because that's what he does. And the way to do that with football is simple: you win most of your games. He gets his happy bottom line, and we get that hit which you only get when your team hits the back of the net.
I've been saying this for years. And I've been saying it louder since Ashley bought the club. And now it looks as if I may be right. Wikipedia says of Ashley that he's "made his money by buying brands". Newcastle United is a great brand. The other brands he's bought, he's made profitable. Let's hope.