Chelsea vs Newcastle
The late match in the Premier League on Saturday saw Chelsea host Newcastle.
Of course, current Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez has previously managed Chelsea to success.
The match was broadcasted on BT Sport in the UK, and prior to kick-off the pundits discussed how Newcastle are faring under owner Mike Ashley.
Most Newcastle fans hate Ashley with a passion.
However, in something of a surprise, Rio Ferdinand came out in vocal support of the Magpies supremo.
What Rio Ferdinand said about Mike Ashley
Rio Ferdinand made the case that Newcastle fans should be thanking Mike Ashley, not hating him.
I understand Rafa’s frustrations because as a manager you want the ability to go out and spend money, but they’re not in that position.
At the same time I understand Mike Ashley. Why is he going to spend more and more money – millions and millions of pounds – when he’s actually looking to sell the club? He’s got them to a point now where they’re back in the Premier League and they’re consolidating to a certain extent.
He’s not going to go spend his own money. You wouldn’t go spend your own money now knowing you were trying to sell something unless you knew you were going to get that back
All these fans, they do dream, and they dream big and I understand that. What are Newcastle’s aims? They can’t be aiming at being a Man United or a Man City. They’ve got to aim to be a Bournemouth. They’ve only just started spending.
I’m not saying everything they’re doing is correct. What I’m saying is, I think Mike Ashley, you can’t hammer him and say that he should be spending when he wants to sell the club. You wouldn’t spend on your house when you want to sell it.
I don’t even know him [Mike Ashley] very well!
When they went down, he spent £50m of his own money to get them up. Thank you, that should be.
By the way, please say thank you for getting Rafa Benítez in! They’re lucky to have him!
"I don't even know him [Mike Ashley] very well!"
"When they went down, he spent £50m of his own money to get them up. Thank you, that should be."
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 12, 2019
Rio Ferdinand backlash
Rio Ferdinand’s comments have gone down badly.
Mainly because much of what Ferdinand said is contested.
Specifically, Mike Ashley never spent 50 million pounds of his own money on helping Newcastle when they were relegated.
The tweets are below.
Rio Ferdinand saying that Mike Ashley spent £50m of his own money to get Newcastle United promoted and he should be thanked. That's categorically not true. The money spent was generated by the club.
— Daniel Storey (@danielstorey85) January 12, 2019
He’s made himself look like a right fool here.
For someone that doesn’t have a “conflict of interest” between his company and Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct he gets very animated and passionate about defending MA’s running of #NUFC
— GallowgateShots (@GallowgateShots) January 12, 2019
.@rioferdy5, who has a sponsorship deal with Sports Direct: “I think Ashley, you can’t hammer him and say that he should be spending when he wants to sell. You wouldn’t spend on your house when you want to sell it.”
We are asking him to spend what the club has, you pleb.
— NUFC 360 (@NUFC360) January 12, 2019
Still trying to ignore facts. Sold Wijnaldum for £25m, Sissoko for £30m and Townsend for £14m. It’s also irrelevant now as have lowest net spend in PL and ended last window more £20m in profit. It’s like a parent saying you can’t have new shoes because I spent £70 two years ago
— Luke Edwards (@LukeEdwardsTele) January 12, 2019
Jake Humphrey simply asks Rio Ferdinand to explain his business connection to Sports Direct and suddenly he raises his voice and starts telling the Newcastle fans to be grateful to Mike Ashley. Clearly hoping Ashley’s watching and he’ll start buying more of his products. #CHENEW
— Matthew Storey (@Stereo2309) January 12, 2019