After a terrific start to the season, sitting as high as fourth in mid-October, the Magpies have lost six of their last seven top flight games and now find themselves in 16th position and only two points above the relegation zone.
Rather than blame the players or manager however, Cole, who scored 68 goals in 85 appearances for Newcastle in the mid-90s, believes it is club owner Mike Ashley who is at fault.
“I can blame him (Mike Ashley) because ultimately he has said to Benitez get us up and I’ll give it to you,” Cole said on Match of the Day Two Extra.
“That has happened and I don’t think he has given him a bead. So how are you going to stay in the Premier League if you don’t back your manager with financial resources?
“I believe the problems stem from him.”