Mike Ashley, a billionaire businessman, has secured an underhand deal with Sir John Hall for a controlling stake in Newcastle United Football Club and has sacked Michael Owen in his first action as majority shareholder.
The businessman agreed to acquire 41.6% of Newcastle's stock from Sir John, worth an estimated £55 million, in a move of deceit and trickery aimed at publicly humiliating Michael Owen.
Ashley was reported to have contacted Sir John under the guise of a genuine business approach. However early rumours suggest the motivation for the bid was cold revenge after Owen conducted a public affair with Mike Ashley's younger wife following his fateful World Cup injury in June 2006.
Ashley was reported to be on the golf course when he heard the news that Owen had been named as England's B team captain - he was then said to have snapped his 3-wood over his knee before calling his bank manager in preparation for the transaction.
Initial reports have noted that Owen is understandably surprised but not fazed by the move.
"I never really liked it in Newcastle anyway" Owen said during an interview. "Freddy Shepherd was right when he said Geordie women are all dogs. I think I'm going to move to Sunderland and play with Roy Keane. The lasses there might be easy but at least they're tasty!"
Sunderland AFC, who have been newly promoted to the English Premiership, are understood to be in contract talks with Owen following his shock dismissal from NUFC.