Ashley steps down from Newcastle board as McClaren joins

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has left the club's board with new head coach Steve McClaren among those drafted in.

New head coach Steve McClaren will take up a place on Newcastle United's board of directors, while owner Mike Ashley has relinquished his seat.

McClaren took the reins at Newcastle on Wednesday and, having signed an initial three-year deal, will become the first Premier League boss to be on their club's board.

However, owner Ashley - a target of fans' frustrations during recent seasons due to a perceived lack of investment in the team - will step down from the board.

Ashley, who purchased the club in 2007, is seen by many Newcastle supporters to be a key reason behind the club's struggles.

Chief scout Graham Carr and ambassador Bob Moncur will also join the board alongside managing director Lee Charnley.

Charnley said in a statement: "This is a very positive step forward for the club and I am delighted that Steve, Graham and Bob will join me on the board.

"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.

"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."