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Merson clashes with Stelling

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Paul Merson implied Newcastle United fans should feel lucky to have Mike Ashley as their owner.

The Sky Sports pundit claimed that no one else had come forward with the money to take the Magpies off Ashley’s hands, so fans should be starting to realise their lucky to have Ashley as where would they be otherwise.

“At the end of the day the fans have got to draw the line, this is a big city, one club, no one else has poured the money into the club,” said Merson on Sky Sports News (13:11, Saturday, August 24th).

“Only Mike Ashley has put his money in and he’s not saying I’m not selling and I’m going to ruin this club and take it whatever you want, no one else has come forward with the money.

“So sooner or later they have to got to go, y’know what lucky it is for Mike Ashley, otherwise where would be?”

Jeff Stelling then responded to Merson’s defence of the Newcastle owner, by claiming if the businessman wasn’t there, then someone else would be running the club.

“You have to say if Ashley wasn’t there, someone else would be running that football club,” said Stelling.

Merson questioned why no one had bought Newcastle off Ashley if that was the case and Stelling claimed the businessman was asking for too much money.


What was Merson on about? The Sky Sports pundit randomly opted to defend Ashley and seemed to imply that Newcastle fans should treat him better. Luckily Stelling was there to point out that someone else would clearly come in to run Newcastle if Ashley stepped aside, it’s just a case of him wanting too much money in order to sell the club. You would have understood Merson if he told fans to ease up on Steve Bruce as the Magpies boss is already under the cosh despite there having only having been two league games so far, but that wasn’t the case. Newcastle only broke their long-standing transfer record under Ashley in January when they purchased Miguel Almiron, as per the BBC, and he hasn’t exactly been a stellar owner outside of the transfer market either. In fact, if Merson wanted any further proof to why the Magpies fans shouldn’t feel lucky over Ashley, just look at the fact Labour MP Chi Onwurah is struggling to have her concerns, as seen on Twitter, about how the businessman runs the club addressed.

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