Ashley to invest £20million in Toon

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Newcastle owner Mike Ashley pledged to invest £20million back into the Magpies after he last night took the Coca-Cola Championship club off the market.

In a move to bring some much-needed stability to the St James' Park outfit, Ashley also confirmed Chris Hughton as permanent boss on an 18-month deal.

Ashley had spoken to a number of prospective buyers for Newcastle in recent months without being able to close out a deal. The club revealed on Tuesday night that the most recent of those bids from Barry Moat had fallen through after he failed to come up with the price of £80million.

That latest failure prompted Ashley to take the club off the market with the owner also promising to reinvest in the club as they bid to return to the Barclays Premier League at the first time of asking.

The Magpies currently sit top of the Championship table despite a quiet summer transfer window and could be strengthened in January following Ashley's money pledge.

A statement explained the club's long-term plan - including renaming St James' Park.

It said: "Whilst confirming these two matters, Newcastle United now aims to move forward on and off the pitch.

"The club aims to maximise its commercial revenues; this includes renegotiating its club sponsor and kit deal, which expire at the end of this season, as well as welcoming offers for the stadium naming rights for next season."

On Hughton's appointment, managing director Derek Llambias said: "We are delighted that Chris has accepted the post of full-time manager. He has done a terrific job this season and we wish him every success for the rest of this season and beyond.

"He will continue to receive our full backing and support."

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