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Rio Ferdinand slammed as BT Sport pundit says Newcastle fans should thank Mike Ashley

Mirror logo Mirror 12/01/2019 Thomas Bristow
Rio Ferdinand has hit out at Newcastle fans © Getty Rio Ferdinand has hit out at Newcastle fans

Rio Ferdinand has been blasted by Newcastle fans after the BT Sport pundit said they should be thanking Mike Ashley.

The 40-year-old defended the Newcastle owner in an angry rant prior to the club's game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The former Manchester United defender sells his merchandise, FIVE, through Sports Direct, but denied that being the reason why he has a high opinion of Ashley. 

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"I don't even know him [Mike Ashley] very well! I will get to know him," he told BT Sport.

"My issue is, and it's got nothing to do with business dealings I got with his company, when they went down he spent £50m of his own money to get them up.

"Thank you, that should be."

He added: "Also, you look down the road, Sunderland, they had £1.2million to spend in the Championship.

Mike Ashley wearing a suit and tie © Credits: REUTERS

"He's done that to get back up. And, by the way, please say thank you for getting Rafa Benítez in! Because they're lucky to have him!"

Host Jake Humphrey then pointed out that since Newcastle secured promotion, Brighton have spent £100million, Huddersfield £72million while Newcastle have parted with just £6million.

In that time they have earned a Premier League income of £150million.

"Newcastle are a yo-yo club," responded Ferdinand.

A Mike Ashley Out badge on a fan's shirt © Getty Images A Mike Ashley Out badge on a fan's shirt

"He's [Mike Ashley] been there, he's done that, he wants to move on. What's the problem?

"He wants to sell the club. Why should he then go on and spend millions of millions of pounds.

"He spent £30million on a striker, £30million on a midfielder as he's trying to sell the club, and both of them get injured.

"£60million down the drain. Would you do that?"

His rant didn't go down well with the fans.

One fan tweeted: "Rio Ferdinand can f*** right off - 'Newcastle are lucky to have Mike Ashley'."

Another posted: "Didn't mind Rio Ferdinand until he just came out with that s*** about the fans should be thanking Ashley for getting us out of the championship and bringing Rafa in, it was the fat b******* fault we got relegated twice FFS."

Gallery: Players who were sold too soon (Grid)

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