Newcastle are 'falling apart' under Ashley reign
A trio of former Newcastle United stars have condemned owner Mike Ashley's lack of ambition and insisted they fear the Magpies have a bleak future unless there are major changes on Tyneside.
Former Newcastle captain Alan Shearer, midfielder Rob Lee and striker Andrew Cole have all expressed their concern at Newcastle's failure to sign players this summer and questioned the thinking behind Ashley's resistance to improving the squad.
Ashley's reluctance to spend has raised concerns that he is more interested in taking money out of the club and the three feel Newcastle are suffering because of him.
Speaking after former Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper had used his testimonial against AC Milan this week to warn that the "toxic relationship" between the club's fans and Ashley had "poisoned" the club, Lee offered: "I can see where Steve is coming from.
"The fans have had a few hard years. They did very, very well a couple of years ago and almost got into the Champions League, but it has fallen apart since. If you stand still in football you tend to go backwards."
Cole added: "You've got to have some sense of ambition. It's almost as if somebody running the club wants to upset the punters and I find that very strange."
Shearer is baffled by the situation. "They needed more players but they did not arrive in the window. I haven't a clue why that didn't happen."
(© Daily Telegraph, London)