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By ESPN Staff

Extra police drafted in to deal with Magpies fans

Police are preparing for a series of demonstrations by Newcastle fans against club owner Mike Ashley.

Hundreds of supporters plan to protest over the departure of Kevin Keegan, who stepped down as manager after his authority was alleged to have been undermined by the Newcastle board.

As many as five separate demonstrations may take place in Newcastle city centre before, during and after the Magpies' home game against Hull on Saturday.

Northumbria Police said extra officers will be on duty and urged fans to vent their frustration peacefully.

A spokesman said: "The safety of the public remains top of our agenda at all football games throughout the season. The forthcoming game on Saturday is no different, policing levels will always be adjusted according to any intelligence about possible disorder.

"We are aware that there is the potential for protest on Saturday and we will facilitate lawful and peaceful protest.''

The Toon Ultras group, which campaigned for a singing end to be introduced at St James's Park, want fans to congregate an hour before kick-off at the old Milburn reception of the ground.

Another march, advertised on fans' website NUFC.com is proposed to begin from Tilley's bar, on Westgate Road, to St James's Park, starting at 3pm.

Police have revealed they have already spoken to rebel fans' groups who were planning marches to make them aware of the laws surrounding demonstrations.

Keegan resigned on September 4 after three days of discussions with the club's board.

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