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Richard Keys slammed by Newcastle fans for bizarre Rafa Benitez suggestion

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The Magpies dropped into the Premier League relegation zone after Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Chelsea.

The travelling support made their voices heard at Stamford Bridge, often chanting towards owner Mike Ashley: “You fat cockney b*****d, get out of our club.”

Newcastle fans have long been campaigning for the Sports Direct owner to sell the club, which he has officially had for sale for over a year.

The businessman has run a tight ship since buying the Tyneside club in 2007, sticking with Newcastle through two relegations but refusing to hand his managers warchests that will take the squad to the next level.

Benitez has made his frustrations known regarding the club’s limited funds, and the fans are firmly behind their Spanish coach, who steered them to 10th last season.

But buttons were pushed last night when former Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand voiced some controversial opinions on Newcastle fans’ attitude towards Ashley, who values the club at £300m.

“When they went down, he spent £50million odd to get them back up, of his own money,” Ferdinand told BT Sport.

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

“He wants to move on, what’s the problem? He wants to sell the club. Why should he go and spend millions and millions of pounds?”

Former Sky Sports anchor Richard Keys then took to Twitter to not only agree with Ferdinand’s words, but also make an outlandish suggestion.

“Well said @rioferdy5,” Keys wrote with clapping emojis. “If Rafa loves Newcastle as he says - spend some of his own money. He’s got enough.

“Management is about teamwork - why should it always be Ashley? Buy it. It’s still for sale. They’re in the bottom 3 & Rafa is responsible. He picks the team.”

Thousands of football fans responded to the post, with one user plainly writing: “You can get f****d too,” while another said: “To improve you need to invest in quality, which Rafa hasn’t been permitted to do since our return to the prem.”

It was not just Geordies who piled into the beIN Sports presenter’s mentions, with many football fans aghast by the 61-year-old’s views.

“Worst tweet I’ve ever seen,” one user simply wrote, as Times journalist Oliver Kay asked: “Erm, seriously?”

Another reply earned over one thousand likes for “What an utterly bizarre statement”, while football journalist Daniel Storey said: “Richard, do you pay the wages of guests that come on BeIn Sports? If a camera needs replacing, do you chip in to buy it?”

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