Amid Newcastle sale rumors Ferdinand astonishing defense of Newcastle owner received criticism from Fans and Pundits.
Speaking ahead of the Magpies’ clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on BT Sport, the former Manchester United and England defender said he understood Mike Ashley dealings in the transfer windows as he attempts to sell the club.
Former Manchester United star and current pundit Rio Ferdinand has been criticized for the comments he made in which he defended Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley. The billionaire retail entrepreneur sells Ferdinand’s own clothing brand FIVE exclusively at his retail branch Sports Direct, but the 40-year-old says opinions have nothing to do with business.
Ferdinand said: “I don’t even really know him well, I will get to know him. My issue has got nothing to do with my business dealings I’ve got with his company. When he went down he spent £50million of his own money to get them back up. 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 are 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.”
Ferdinand then added that Newcastle supporters should start to have more realistic expectations about their club.
He continued, “It’s not easy to sell a football club. He’s got a price and he’s going to wait to get it. He’s spent money at that football club, he’s just not going to spend it at this time. 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 Manchester United or a Manchester 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.”
His comments prompted an angry reaction on Twitter, with pundits and fans calling Ferdinand out.
Rio Ferdinand. His utter contempt for Newcastle fans is quite astonishing. Aligned with Mike Ashley with his business deals mean us #NUFC fans now need to worship. @btsport – whatever you’re paying him, it’s too much.
— Glen (@GlenLegend) January 13, 2019
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
ICYMI: The quite ridiculous claims of @rioferdy5.
— Mark Douglas (@MsiDouglas) January 12, 2019
Utterly embarrassing from Ferdinand. Either incredibly ignorant or wilfully disingenuous pic.twitter.com/MTdV0AGtoP
— Nooruddean (@BeardedGenius) January 12, 2019
Rio Ferdinand has annoyed a lot of Newcastle fans tonight and rightly so too, talk about kissing mike Ashley’s backside cause he’s got his fashion range in his shops. Disgrace!!
— Pete Norman (@PeteNorman2612) January 12, 2019
Rio Ferdinand either being a lazy pundit or ignoring the reality for his own purposes. https://t.co/7Z3Rp5UhmA
— Jay McKenna (@JayMcKenna87) January 12, 2019
Oh mate https://t.co/xbIBPIhPGz
— John McIntosh (@JohnMcIntosh19) January 13, 2019
This is so ignorant it's incredible. Ferdinand has always portrayed himself as the 'banterous' man of the people. Well he has destroyed that perception in just a matter on minutespic.twitter.com/8knZkIYGSw
— Gully Burrows (@gullyburrows93) January 12, 2019
Rio Ferdinand reacted to the criticism he received on Sunday Morning and sending out the tweet directed at the St. James Park faithful.
@NUFC fans good morning to you all!! Ya clubs turning a profit, no debt, oh & playing in the PL! Terrible!
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) January 13, 2019