This morning some disturbing 'news' emerged from the bookmakers. This news was twofold.
Firstly, Chris Hughton was introduced to the pool of betting on who will be in charge of Newcastle on the first day of the season. The caretaker came in at 6/1 third favourite behind Gianluca Vialli [5/1] and of course big Al who still remains firm favourite at 1/2.
Whilst this is not too surprising due to the constant lack of activity on the rudderless ship that is St. James' Park, after all Hughton has been handed the reigns before and he knows the team as well as anyone.
The more worrying news was the speed at which Hughton's odds were slashed to 100/30 and brought down to second favourite.
Hughton may indeed still be behind Shearer in the stakes but the likelihood of his introduction at a short price suggests the bookmakers at skybet have caught wind of something at SJP. Pair that with the news that there is indeed a frankly, quite terrifying back-up-plan in the minds of Fat Ash and Llambias.
Now you may need to be sitting down for this but the news on the grapevine is that Ashley plans to 'weather the storm'.
This means holding on to players, paying their wages and praying we get promoted at the first time of asking.
For the first time I really believe that this season could see the end of the club I love.
Anything other than promotion will bankrupt the club and leave Newcastle destroyed.
If the bookies believe Hughton will be in charge at the start of the season then they must believe a takeover is some way off. If a takeover is some way off then Fat Ash must still be in charge come the season start. If Ashley is still in charge come the start of the season then we may not have a club by the end of it.
The plans to launch FC United of Newcastle start here.