It seems global sporting franchises are the order of the day and cricket looks set to be the next sport to succumb to the far east money men as both Manchester City and Hampshire C.C.C. take the first bold steps to World domination.
But, is there room for another club to muscle in on the action? England cricketer Graeme Swann certainly hopes so. The England spin bowler is an avid follower of the Toon army and is more than keen on the idea of playing for a Newcastle United cricket team in the money-spinning Indian Premier League.
The Northampton born Toon fan has heard the news that Manchester City are interested in partnering with an IPL franchise and has expressed his interest in being a part of a Newcastle team.
Swann told The Sun, "It would be great. I'd happily play cricket for Newcastle United. It can't be Sunderland - they will be bankrupt soon like the rest of them!"
Graeme Swann is just part of a strong contingent of Newcastle fans in the England Test Team, along with fast bowler Graeme Onions and former international Steven Harmisson. Whilst the banter is fierce with Twenty20 captain Paul Collingwood, who comes from Wearside and supports fierce rivals Sunderland.
Next year the IPL competition expands from eight to ten teams and will leave room for another outfit to take to the field. Any chance Ashley follows the oldest game of them all?