On balance, the state of football in the north east isn’t particularly great at the moment.
With three clubs split across the top three leagues in the country, and with the highest of those threatened with relegation, nobody north of the Tees is having a particularly great time of things.
Mired in the worst luck are Sunderland, shackled to League One and struggling to break free.
Sunderland have just received a significant investment in their finances, designed to help with recruitment, scouting, and ultimately help return the club to the upper echelons of the English game.
But what will smart for Toon fans is the fact that they reportedly considered doing something similar for the black and whites before settling on their bitter rivals.
Ashley’s lack of investment has been a considerable bone of contention for quite some time on Tyneside, and whether this was a partial takeover or a full buyout, no doubt some extra funding from the American businessmen now involved with the Black Cats wouldn’t have gone amiss.
Instead, this will go down as one of a long, long list of wasted opportunities for the Toon Army, whose fanbase will surely be quietly fuming at the news.
Yet another disappointment for the Magpies.