Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has been warned not to wear his Alan Smith Toon shirt for this week's derby against Sunderland.

The billionaire has been quietly advised against doing so at the Stadium of Light and stirring unnecessary extra tension at one of the most tempestuous fixtures in football, says the Sunday Sun.

And Ashley may well miss the game altogether.

"Mike understands just how passionate an occasion this is, and would do nothing to put any extra pressure on police or stadium security staff at Sunderland," said a United source.

"And there's a strong possibility that he will have to miss the game through business commitments."