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Man Utd hero Rio Ferdinand defends Newcastle owner Mike Ashley AGAIN in dig at angry fans

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Ferdinand was asked for his thoughts on Ashley on BT Sport on Saturday night following their 2-1 defeat by Chelsea at St James’ park.

The Manchester United legend recently launched a clothing brand that will be sold exclusively in Ashley's Sports Direct stores.

And when quizzed by presenter Jake Humphrey on his relationship with unpopular owner Ashley, Ferdinand said the fans should thank him.

“Newcastle are a yo-yo club," he said. “He doesn't want to do that anymore.

“He's been there, done that and move on. What's the problem? He wants to sell the club, why should he go and spend millions of pounds.”

Ferdinand insisted his views were not influenced by his business dealings with Ashley.

The Newcastle chief has been heavily criticised for failing to invest in the squad having spent less than any other Premier League side in the summer.

However, Ferdinand said they should give him a break because of the money he spent on getting them back in the Premier League two seasons ago.

He said: “He spent £30m on a striker, £30m on a midfielder – as he is trying to sell the club – both of them get injured. £60m down the drain. Would you do that?

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

“He's done that to get them back up, and by the way, please say thank you for getting Rafa Benitez in because by rights, they're lucky to have him.”

And the former centre-back has now reiterated his stance to fans the day after his on-air rant.

He wrote on Twitter: “NUFC fans good morning to you all!!

“Ya clubs turning a profit, no debt, oh & playing in the PL! Terrible!”

Ferdinand’s comments left a number of fans angered as they responded to his Tweet that has since been deleted.

One said: “Would you be prepared to sit down with a group of Newcastle fans who could calmly and clearly explain to you why they’re so unhappy?”

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