Pardew and Ashley criticised by Newcastle legends Lee, Cole and Shearer

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has been accused by a number of the club’s former players, including ex-England internationals Robert Lee, Andrew Cole and Alan Shearer, of letting the club fall apart, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

A testimonial for former Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper was held in midweek and brought together group of former Newcastle players, to play a Milan legends XI. But prior to the fixture Harper spoke out about Ashley’s tenure as Newcastle owner and his criticisms have been echoed by Lee, Shearer and Cole.

I can see where Steve is coming from,” said Lee. “The fans want to see the club progressing and they want to see the owner spending some money on the team. That hasn’t happened.

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 again, but it has fallen apart since and they are struggling.

Cole added: “If you’re not going to put finances into the football team and try to improve by buying better players, fans are going to vote with their feet. You’ve got to have some sense of ambition.

Decisions are made at the top which throw a spanner in the works. It’s almost as if somebody running the club wants to upset the punters and I find that very strange.

Shearer, briefly the Newcastle manager under Ashley, also pointed the finger at the current incumbent, Alan Pardew, for his role in the club’s listless transfer window. “They needed more players but they did not arrive in the window,” said Shearer.

I was surprised by that because I kept on listening to Alan Pardew saying he wanted some players and the club were confident of bringing some in. I haven’t a clue why that didn’t happen.

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