Don Hutchison blasts ex-Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd, suggests why club are struggling

The former Sunderland midfielder disagrees with Shepherd's claim that the Magpies and other lowly clubs need to spend big money to solve their problems.

Former Sunderland and West Ham United midfielder Don Hutchison has rubbished ex-Newcastle United chairman Freddy Shepherd's claim that struggling sides need to spend big to save themselves, suggesting on his Twitter account that that kind of thinking is the reason the club are down at the bottom of the league in the first place.

The Magpies are a point clear of the relegation zone with just two games remaining after an upturn in recent form which has seen them win two and draw two of their last four games.

One man who has played a big role in that improvement is January signing Andros Townsend, who joined the club from Tottenham Hotspur for £12 million and has scored four goals in his last nine appearances, including the stunning winner in a crucial 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace last weekend.

Shepherd, who was in control at St. James' Park from 1996 to 2007, suggested in an interview with Sky Sports News on Thursday morning that struggling clubs such as Newcastle should spend large sums of money in the transfer market as Premier League survival all comes down to money.

However, Hutchison, who played 430 league games in English football in a 19-year career, clearly took issue with this claim and issued a stinging riposte on his Twitter account in which he insisted football cannot be treated like a computer game.

He tweeted: "Just hearing Freddie Sheperd [sic] on telly. This type of thinking is exactly why Newcastle and other teams are in the crap!!!! He is saying it’s all down to money! Teams need to spend/what a load of crap! Employ good recruitment people! Not champ[ionship] manager clowns! Football people."

According to widely reported figures, Newcastle spent over £50 million in the transfer market last summer, paying eight-figure fees for players such as the £14.5 million spent on Georginio Wijnaldum, £13 million for Aleksandar Mitrovic, and £12 million for midfield flop Florian Thauvin.

With the club desperately struggling to keep their head above water in the Premier League at the turn of the year, they shelled out another £24 million in January on Townsend and Jonjo Shelvey, but it is only since new manager Rafael Benitez has had time to put his own tactical stamp on the club that any improvement in performances or results has been visible.

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