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Absolute disgrace as BT Sport give Rio Ferdinand platform to shamelessly defend Mike Ashley despite conflict of interest

2 months ago
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Rio Ferdinand is at it again.

Despite a clear conflict of interest, BT Sport have given him a free platform to shamelessly defend Mike Ashley.

Rio Ferdinand has close links with the Newcastle United owner and the former Man Utd player has his ‘Five’ closing range exclusively available only at Sports Direct.

It is quite ridiculous the way Ferdinand has tried to defend the shocking way Ashley is running Newcastle and made himself look an even bigger fool than usual.

Rio Ferdinand speaking to BT Sport today (12 January 2019):

“I understand Rafa’s frustrations, because as a manager you want the ability to go out and spend money, but they’re not in that position.

“He is not going to go and spend his own money.

“You wouldn’t go and spend your own money now, knowing you were trying to sell something, unless you knew you were going to get that back.

“It is not easy to sell a football club.

“He has got a price and he is going to wait to get it.

“He has spent money at that football club, he is just not going to spend it at this time.

“All these fans…they dream and they dream big, I understand that.

“What are Newcastle’s aims?

“They can’t be aiming at being a Man Utd or a Man City, they have got to aim to be a Bournemouth – they have only just started spending.

“I’m not saying everything they are doing is correct.

“What I am saying is…

“I think with Mike Ashley, you can’t hammer him and say that he should be spending when he wants to sell the club.

“You wouldn’t spend on your house when you want to sell it.”

The Mag – 2 September 2019:

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)

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.”

Jake Humphrey:

“If you want to get out, then get out.

“If you want to sell your house, then sell your house.

Rio Ferdinand:

“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.”

Jake Humphrey:

 “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.”

Rio Ferdinand:

“It is easy to say it when it’s not your money.”

Jake Humphrey:

“It is the club’s (Newcastle United’s) money.”

Rio Ferdinand:

“But it is his (Ashley’s) money, he is backing it (Newcastle United financially).”

Jake Humphrey:

“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).

Jermaine Jenas:

“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).”

Jake Humphrey:

“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.”

Rio Ferdinand:

“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’.”

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