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Ashley has five-year plan for Newcastle

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is now planning to stay in charge for at least five years.

The club's managing director, Derek Llambias, told the Evening Chronicle: "In five years' time I would hope we would be challenging for everything.

"We hope to be like an Aston Villa. But you need to have solid grounding under your feet. You need that - it should have been built years ago.

"We inherited so much. We're knocking down walls and rebuilding."

United are still paying for the likes of Oba Martins and Damien Duff, while the club have only recently cleared debts for Spanish flop Albert Luque and Emre, who they inherited after staggered transfer plans were agreed by the old board.

Llambias explained: "We are trying to get away from dating so that we don't have huge amounts of money going out.

"We are trying to pay up front. People like Coloccini, Xisco and Gutierrez, which is just getting sorted out now - we own those players.

"It's like buying a car on HP but then it gets written off, but you still have to pay it. That's how the business was being run, they ran it on a credit."

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