Former striker criticises Newcastle owner Mike Ashley

Andy Cole has hit out against Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, questioning his motives and stating that the fans of the club deserve a lot better.

Cole was a fan favourite at St James' Park between 1993 and 1995 scoring 68 times for the Magpies before moving to Manchester United in a £7m deal, setting a new transfer record for a British player. 

Now retired and pursuing a career in coaching, the 42-year-old has gone public in defence of his former club

Cole said; 

“I don’t know what Mike Ashley’s plans are for Newcastle this season, but the back end of last season was very disappointing"

“If Mike Ashley doesn’t want to invest in the football club, maybe find a suitable buyer because the Geordie fans deserve a lot better than what they are getting.”

Ashley - founder of Sports Direct - has come under consistent heavy scrutiny from Newcastle United fans since buying the club for around £138m in 2007. 

The 49-year-old has an estimated net worth of around  £3.75 billion, yet with such money to his name Ashley receives the majority of his criticism for his continued failure to invest money directly into the squad, along with his habit of selling the club's best players. 

Whist Newcastle fans gather that their best players are going to attract attention from bigger clubs and fully understand that on occasions they cannot prevent a player from leaving, they do expect the received transfer fee to be dedicated to finding a replacement, and this seems to be something Ashley has not been doing. 

The Magpies had appeared to be back on the up after narrowly missing out on European football in their first season back in the top flight, but since the 2011-12 season the club have slipped slowly but surely with the brief but embarrassing Joe Kinnear involvement and the sale of Yohan Cabaye to PSG in January confirming the scale of Newcastle United's recent rapid demise. 

Following the sale of Cabaye the amount of organised protests against the current board have multiplied and are unlikely to die down until the club is sold. There are few Newcastle fans who have a good word to say regarding the so called 'Cockney Mafia' and with the club in such turmoil, St James' Park is not such an attractive destination for any professional footballer at this moment in time. 

This is likely to hinder Newcastle United in their preparations for the upcoming season and whilst Andy Cole believes there is still some hope for the club, saying;

“If they can buy three or four players, you never know what will happen"

Newcastle fans may have to hold their breath on any big-money deals whilst Mike Ashley is still at the helm. 

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