An alarming slump in form has put the Magpies on the brink of dropping out of the Premier League, and nobody knows better than Ashley what relegation would mean to the club and the city.
It has been a season of struggle for Alan Pardew’s side, who boosted their ranks in Janauary with five French signings – Mathieu Debuchy, Yoan Gouffran, Moussa Sissoko, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Massadio Haidara.
However there was no provision made in their lengthy contracts for if Newcastle were relegated.
Although that could be a "plus" for Newcastle - the down side would be the prospect of the World Cup next summer.
Star players are already talking about the loss of European football - and they will not be satisfied with Championship football when they are trying to impress to make national squads for the trip to Brazil next June.
Tim Krul, Yohan Cabaye, Mathieu Debuchy, Steven Taylor, Davide Santon, Fabricio Coloccini, Chiek Tiote, Papiss Cisse, Hatem Ben Arfa ... all have World Cup hopes.
Should United go down, they would SERIOUSLY consider their careers on Tyneside..