Mike Ashley leaves Newcastle board, with manager McClaren joining

Mike Ashley at Tup Tup Palace

There has been large-scale restructuring in the St James's Park boardroom ahead of the new season.

Newcastle United have announced on their website that they have made major changes to their boardroom, on the day they appointed Steve McClaren as their new manager.

Magpies fans will be encouraged to hear that club owner Mike Ashley has stepped away from footballing matters, with the club saying he is "relinquishing his position on the board" while finance director John Irving is leaving the club entirely.

In their place come the former England boss, making Newcastle the only side in the Premier League to have their manager on the club's board.

Chief scout Graham Carr and club ambassador Bob Moncur have joined McClaren in the boardroom.

"It was particularly important for us that the head coach also became a board member in order to gain a full understanding and appreciation for the Club and its operations as a whole, not just the football side," managing director Lee Charnley told the Newcastle website. "In Steve we have an individual who embraced that responsibility."

"Graham and Bob's passion for the Club is beyond question and I believe given the collective skills, knowledge and experience, together, we are incredibly strong.

"Whilst, of course, we all have our individual primary duties, there is a huge common desire for the Club as a whole to move forward and succeed."

Despite Ashley's sidestepping from influence at the club, it is believed he will still govern the commercial interests of the Magpies with the same level of influence.

But whatever it signifies, any move that minimises his influence will be deemed a small success to the Newcastle fans that are so passionate that he joins Irving in leaving St James's Park entirely.

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