Newcastle fans reveal new protest against Mike Ashley – at St James's Park

Newcastle United fans plan to hold a protest against Mike Ashley at St James's Park.

The Magpie Group have announced plans for a demonstration before Saturday's home game against Arsenal.

They will protest outside the club shop at the Gallowgate end of the stadium at 2.15pm.

Previous demonstrations have been staged outside the Northumberland Street branch of Sports Direct.

United manager Rafa Benitez, speaking last month, said he had "sympathy" for protesting fans, though he urged them to back his team once they were inside the stadium.

"I have a lot of sympathy for our fans, because they are really good," said Benitez. "They know the city, they know club. They know the North East and how well you can live here, they know all these things.

Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley

Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley

“They would like to see the club do things in one way.

"What I would say is just be sure that when you go to the stadium, you support the team because it's the only way for us to be stronger."

The Magpie Group, formed in the summer by a network of supporters' groups, wants to see Ashley – who has presided over two relegations in 11 years – sell the club.

They wrote an open letter to Ashley in late July.

Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez

It read: "We have seen the reaction to the #IfRafaGoesWeGo movement and this has acted as a catalyst to bring the wider fan base together.

"We are all united in that we will do anything we can, both as groups and together as a fan base, to drive through a change in ownership.

"Over to you, Mike. You have already admitted you are not the man to take the club forward. It is time to sell up and go."

Ashley, the founder and majority shareholder of Sports Direct, put the club up for sale in late 2016.