Ashley’s controversial tenure came to end earlier this month when PCP Partners, the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia and Reuben brothers acquired the club in a £305million deal.
This afternoon’s home game with Tottenham Hotspur is set for a carnival atmosphere, and Paddy Power have got in on the act.
The Irish bookies have created a four-metre-high farewell gift, featuring the words “Goodbye Mug”. Ashley is the head of Sports Direct, whose large novelty mugs have become a key branding product.
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A Paddy Power spokesperson said: “We wanted to give ex-Newcastle owner Mike Ashley a send-off befitting a man of his footballing fortitude. And when we got to thinking about him, the first thing that sprang to mind was a massive mug!
“With Newcastle fans regularly expressing their disappointment over a lack of investment in the squad throughout the Ashley era, we’re proud to reveal that our mug is probably the most expensive item to be unveiled at St James’ Park in quite some time.”
After the initial unveiling at the stadium this morning, the mug will be left to brew at Paddy Power’s retail outlet on Newcastle’s Clayton Street.
There, fans can trade in their old Sports Direct mugs for a free replica ‘Goodbye Mug’ to take home between 12:30pm and 4pm.