Owner Mike Ashley is “wedded to Newcastle” whether relegated or safe

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Embattled with supporters and rarely heard from, Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley emerged Monday and said he isn’t going anywhere.

Ashley said he thinks new hire Rafa Benitez is the right man to help Newcastle avoid relegation, and that drawing Sunderland 1-1  in Sunday’s Tyne-Wear Derby was “not a disaster”.

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The 51-year-old English billionaire and owner of Sports Direct said he won’t sell the team if the Magpies go down to the Championship.

Newcastle is currently three points back of 17th place Norwich, who they play next week.

From the BBC:

Asked if he would stick with the club in the event of relegation, Ashley said: “Yes, I think I’ve got no choice.

“I’m wedded to Newcastle. They have got me and I have got them, that’s just the way it is.”

Ashley has been through relegation once, and spent big in August and January to help avoid the same fate this season. But manager Steve McClaren never found momentum for the club, and Benitez was brought in two weeks ago.

[ MORE: Benitez, Wijnaldum react to drawing with Sunderland ]

It’s seemingly not a happy marriage at all, but Ashley thinks they can soldier through the struggles.