Ex-Newcastle midfielder Clark claims Ashley is the most committed club owner in the Premier League and sympathises with the man in the dugout.
Former Newcastle United midfielder Lee Clark has praised the club's owner Mike Ashley and called the Magpies chief the most committed owner of a football club in the Premier League, according to quotes in the Chronicle.
Ashley has long been a source of controversy and, often, criticism from fans during his time at the helm of the North East club for such things as his treatment of certain managers and his attempts to rename St. James' Park after his Sports Direct company.
However, Clark, a boyhood Magpies fan, is adamant that the businessman's past mistakes should not be held against him and insists that the owner has done all that he can to improve the fortunes of the club this season.
The Chronicle quotes Clark as saying on talkSPORT: "What I’ve got to say is certainly there were question marks last season over investment and the owner being committed.
"Well, he’s shown this season that there hasn’t been a more committed owner in the Premier League with the funds that have been spent. That cannot be thrown at them any more."
Meanwhile, the newly-appointed Kilmarnock manager says that Newcastle's "Jekyll and Hyde" nature is the primary reason behind their struggles this season, not McClaren.
The Magpies have earned 17 of their 24 Premier League points in front of their own fans, losing just two of their last 10 at home, but have lost their last five away matches in a row, winning just twice on the road all season.
Clark added: "It's pull your hair out time for Steve. It’s too much Jekyll and Hyde. They go away from home and the level of performance is not good enough.
"It’s not just losing away from home, it’s the manner in terms of the losses. The way the big players are performing at home, we don’t seem to be getting a tune out of them away from home."
Newcastle are in the Premier League relegation zone on goal difference with just 12 league matches remaining this season.