Newcastle United have confirmed they will be take part in a pre-season tournament in China this July, and Toon supporters have met the news with mixed reactions.

The Toon will play for the Premier League Asia Trophy this summer, competing with Wolves, Man City and West Ham in Nanjing and Shanghai.

Newcastle originally took part in the inaugural competition way back in 2003 and came runners-up after losing to Chelsea on pens.

However their choice to involve themselves this year has been met with scepticism.

Some supporters have suggested that the pre-season trip is not a footballing decision and merely a chance for the club to grow it’s brand in Asia.

It’s also got others worried about what it means for Rafa Benitez’s future, especially as the manager dislikes extravagant pre-season ventures.

Some Toon fans have been more positive, but in the Mike Ashley era almost every decision is questioned.

(Photo by Jon Bromley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Newcastle fans on Asia Trophy

Newcastle’s pre-season

The one negative thing about this announcement is that it’s very presumptuous.

Although Newcastle are seven points above the relegation zone, there’s still seven matches to play and anything can happen.

If the worst was to come and Newcastle were relegated, could they really take part in the Premier League Asia Trophy?

The answer is of course not, leaving a potentially embarrassing situation around the corner.

(Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

However after three pre-seasons in Ireland, it’s about time the Toon took part in some more competitive preparations.

The truth is that this is an exciting move for Newcastle and important for their growth.

The global expansion of the Premier League has meant teams can make fantastic commercial revenue from pre-season tournaments such as these.

It’s also not a tour. Newcastle will be in China for no longer than a week, meaning plenty of other pre-season prep can be arranged.

The decision is also unlikely to have any effect on Rafa Benitez’s contract negotiations.

Benitez has managed the likes of Liverpool and Real Madrid who regularly take part in such competitions.

While it’s rumoured he’s not keen on them, he will more than likely understand they are profitable.

The Mike Ashley era has meant every little decision comes into question and is met with negativity.

But Newcastle supporters should be excited the club has finally taken advantage of a pre-season opportunity.

(Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

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