NEWCASTLE UNITED's board have admitted they are considering making Rangers their feeder club, by confirming it at a fans' forum.

The Ibrox club are under new ownership with Dave King grabbing power last week. But St James' Park billionaire owner Mike Ashley still has considerable influence at the Championship club.

Five Newcastle youngsters are currently on loan at Rangers, although only Haris Vuckic has made any kind of impact so far, with the rest currently injured.

Newcastle board members answered questions, verbal and written, from their supporters at a fans forum at St James' Park last week.

And they have also revealed Ashley would ensure Newcastle take preference over Rangers should both clubs qualify for Europe at the same time - UEFA rules state two clubs cannot both qualify for Europe if one man has influence on both clubs.

In response to a question from Newcastle fan David Maudlin, who asked if 'Rangers could be a feeder club for Newcastle United similarly to the relationship between Premier League clubs and those in Europe?'

The Newcastle board replied: "We are exploring the possibility of strategic partnerships with a number of clubs. A number of Premier League clubs already have this type of arrangement/relationship. The purpose of this would be to send players to these clubs to aid their development with the ultimate beneficiary being Newcastle United."

Maudlin also asked: "How does the club see the issues surrounding Rangers? UEFA and the FA seem to be sitting on the fence with regard to potential Europa League qualification?"

The response from the St James' Park board was: "The board is aware of the UEFA regulations regarding the situation. The club and its owner would not put Newcastle United in a position where it would lose a European place because of Rangers."

And the Geordie club's board denied suggestions Ashley would sell Newcastle at the end of next season because that's the earliest possible time Rangers can now qualify for Europe.

They pointed out: "Any link between that date and the point at which Rangers could potentially qualify for Europe again was purely coincidental and completely unrelated. That date was specified in order to dismiss incorrect stories in the media and that Mike Ashley remains committed to Newcastle United."