Rio Ferdinand launched a passionate defence of Mike Ashley on Saturday night.
The former player turned pundit insisting that Ashley was the one propping up Newcastle United and that it was obvious he was trying to sell the club, if only he could find somebody to buy it…
However, he picked the wrong TV show to do it on.
If he had been given the kind of platform Dennis Wise is given by Sky Sports to spread unopposed Mike Ashley propaganda, no problem.
The same if he had been a guest of disgraced presenters Andy Gray and Richard Keys at beIN Sports.
However, appearing on BT Sport, Rio Ferdinand found himself confronted by clued up host Jake Humphrey and former Newcastle player Jermaine Jenas.
They totally destroyed Ferdinand and his pathetic arguments/claims, so much so that by the end, Rio Ferdinand tried to claim he was only ‘playing devil’s advocate’ when backing the unscrupulous Newcastle United owner.
So why was Rio Ferdinand so blindly supportive of Mike Ashley?
Well, obviously there is no way that Rio Ferdinand would be doing it because of underhand motives. Him being such a respectable bloke and all that.
However, it has now emerged that there is a clear conflict of interest when it comes to the former Man Utd player talking about Mike Ashley.
This is from the Sports Direct website (their capitals not ours…)
‘EXCLUSIVELY AVAILABLE AT SPORTS DIRECT, THE NEW SEASON DROP FROM FIVE IS DEVELOPED IN COLLABORATION WITH THE MAN HIMSELF, RIO FERDINAND.
NEW SEASON COLOURS, PERFORMANCE CUTS AND FRESH FITS; SEASON 2 IS OFFICIALLY HERE.
GET GAME-READY WITH FIVE’
Not only that but the Keith Bishop Agency (majority owned by Mike Ashley/Sports Direct)
We’ve got the #Fridayfeeling! The wait is finally over… The amazing @FIVE_supply collection is here! Sporting icon @rioferdy5 has teamed up with @SportsDirectUK to deliver a clothing range set to inspire https://t.co/PJhPnFrjAZ #freethefuture #five #sdfootball pic.twitter.com/AZOuZWKuZE
— KBA_Sport (@kba_sport) December 8, 2017
Jake Humphrey hosting on BT Sport for the Man City v Newcastle match on Saturday, discussing the situation at Newcastle United with guests Rio Ferdinand, Richard Dunne and Jermaine Jenas:
Rio Ferdinand :
“I understand the fans anguish because they’re a passionate bunch up there (in Newcastle).
“But when they went down Mike Ashley spent big to get them back up.
“He spent money and I just see it if you look at it from his point of view.
“Mike Ashley has put money in to buy the club, he has put money in again when they have got relegated to get them back up, he is thinking ‘I have got them back up and I am fighting against countries who are investing in clubs….(as well as) massive consortiums who are putting money in, so I want to get out now.”
“If you want to get out, then get out.
“If you want to sell your house, then sell your house.
“It is not as easy as that. If it was it would have been done (ED: Mike Ashley first (supposedly) put NUFC up for sale in 2008 and 10 years later still not sold).
“Mike Ashley is obviously trying to get out….he has tried to sell the club once they’ve got back into the Premier League.
“He (Ashley) has fought to get them back into the Premier League and in that sense I can understand him but I can understand the anguish of the fans too.”
“We are not saying go and spend huge amounts, just go and spend enough so that they can build on a top ten finish last season.”
“It is easy to say it when it’s not your money.”
“It is the club’s (Newcastle United’s) money.”
“But it is his (Ashley’s) money, he is backing it (Newcastle United financially).”
“It is money that Newcastle have brought in, they have sold £40m of players (this summer) and they made £120m(+) of prize money (last season).
“You (Rio Ferdinand) say that they spent money when they went down but they sold Wijnaldum and Sissoko.
“Newcastle made £70m in those two deals, so I wouldn’t say Mike Ashley spent big in the Championship. It was money they recouped (ED: In that summer 2016 transfer window Newcastle made a £40m profit).”
“Newcastle United’s net spend is £1m (since promotion), less than Brighton (£110m) or Huddersfield (£78m).
“People talk about countries but those two teams aren’t backed by countries.”
“That doesn’t make good reading…
“Who would have said that Brighton’s net spend would be £100m and Newcastle’s £1m?
“I am just playing devil’s advocate…trying to look at it from Mike Ashley’s point of view. He’s thinking ‘I don’t want to spend any more money’.”