Barnes labels Newcastle fans as bizarre

St James Park

Big-spending Newcastle United were relegated to the Championship.

Quoted by Soccerway, John Barnes has suggested that Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is given a bit too much flak by supporters.

The Magpies suffered their second Premier League relegation in six years - and second under Ashley's stewardship -this past season as Rafael Benitez's side prepare for life in the Championship next season.

Their demotion comes after Ashley offered significant financial backing to former manager Steve McClaren, who spent upwards of £70 million between the summer and winter transfer window.

Given that his wallet is clearly open, Barnes feels that Ashley deserves slightly more respect from the Newcastle faithful, the vast majority of whom seem to disdain the Sports Direct supremo.

He told Omnisport, via Soccerway: "The thing about it is Ashley has been very supportive in terms of the money he's given them.

"The whole idea of them [the supporters] against Ashley is a little bit bizarre."

Barnes is perhaps right with regards to Ashley's continued investment, but the truth is that he is responsible for the club's relegation, having kept faith with McClaren for far too long.

Newcastle smashed Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 with 10 men on Sunday as supporters were left dreaming about what could have been if Ashley replaced McClaren with Benitez a lot sooner than he did - the Spaniard came in with 10 Premier League game left, winning three, losing three and drawing four.

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