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BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand faces backlash from Newcastle fans after voicing support for club owner Mike Ashley

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Former England and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has become embroiled in a war of words with Newcastle fans after voicing his support for the north-east club's controversial owner Mike Ashley.

The 2-1 defeat at Chelsea left Newcastle third from bottom of the Premier League and there has been a perceived lack of investment in the first-team squad while protacted takeover talks go on between Ashley and a consortium fronted by Peter Kenyon, the former chief executive at Manchester United and Chelsea.

Before the match at Stamford Bridge kicked off, Ferdinand, working as a pundit on BT Sport, said of Ashley: "He spent £50million of his own money to get them back up [from the Championship].

"You can’t hammer him and say that he should be spending when he wants to sell the club.

"You look down the road, last season or whatever, Sunderland spent £1.2 million to get in the Championship.
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