Mike Ashley sends Newcastle United players to pick fruit on farm in Surrey

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The owner of Newcastle United has temporarily transferred his entire squad to a fruit farm in Surrey to generate some much-needed income during the lockdown.

The on-loan deal will see the footballers pick fruit and veg from dawn until dusk in return for a small wage given directly to the club.

Mike Ashley said that due to the coronavirus lockdown and high costs of paying the players’ wages, he had no choice in the matter.

“I can’t afford to keep giving these lads big wages each week while they to do nothing because the Premier League is postponed at the moment,” explained Ashley.

“It makes much more sense to lend them out to a fruit farm where they can earn some cash for the club and know they’re helping keep the nation’s economy afloat. That gives them a sense of purpose.

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“The alternative is to let them lounge around in their luxury homes, or to pop down to the supermarket in their Lamborghini, knowing they are wasting their lives away. That would play hell with their self-esteem. As a responsible employer, I just can’t allow that to happen, obviously.”

On hearing the news they were going to be sent fruit picking, the Newcastle squad looked about as happy as a Geordie in a Sunderland shirt.

One player, who asked to remain as anonymous as his performances on the pitch, told us, “This is nearly as humiliating as when we lost 3-0 away to Oxford in FA Cup a couple of years ago.”