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Embarrassing Matt Ritchie interview – Claims Mike Ashley is honest and doesn’t understand fan unrest

2 years ago
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Matt Ritchie has given an ‘interesting’ interview ahead of the new season.

The winger/wing-back saying that everybody has to pull together this season.

Nothing wrong with that, he is a player and wants the team/club to do well.

However, he has crossed a line with other comments.

Bearing in mind all interviews with players have to be sanctioned by Ashley’s people first, when Matt Ritchie turns up on the owner’s favourite radio station defending Mike Ashley, you have to question how he has ended up doing this interview and saying what he says.

Matt Ritchie declares ‘I don’t understand the unrest I have got to be honest’, I’m sorry but surely he isn’t that thick as to not understand why fans aren’t happy with this chaotic and potentially disastrous summer, whether they are going to still go to games or not, the vast majority of supporters share the same view of what has gone on.

The player states ‘I think the owner has been honest in his interviews…’ and when speaking about fan unrest, Matt Ritchie says that it is unrealistic to compete financially with the very top teams. He can’t honestly believe that this is what fans expect and are unhappy  about it not happening?

He could have talked about the fans who turn up on Sunday getting behind the team but absolutely no need to be talking about the politics of the club and Mike Ashley.

He is an ok player who tries very hard but Matt Ritchie is very lucky to be playing for a club like Newcastle United, playing in front of an average of 51,000+ in the second tier.

He compares the situation to Bournemouth when he was there and says about all of them pulling together. He left them in the Premier League to come to Newcastle in the Championship and said at the time because we are a much bigger club and that is why he came.

Yes Newcastle have bought two players but the net spend is still only around £25m this summer and this was after Mike Ashley promised there was £61m to spend plus whatever came in from sales. This follows over three years under Rafa Benitez when there was only a few million in net spend over that entire period.

Last summer Newcastle made a £20m+ profit on deals, whilst last season Bournemouth had a £62m net spend.

Since 2015/16, Bournemouth have had a net spend of £175m (source Transfermarkt) and they get crowds of 10,000 and have a far smaller turnover than Newcastle.

Including this current window, Bournemouth have signed 10 players for over £10m since 2017/18. In the same time it took until 31 January for Newcastle to sign one, when Almiron arrived.

Matt Ritchie says he wants everybody to pull together but by going against the fans and needlessly winding things up by praising Mike Ashley, he has done the exact opposite.

At the end of the day we pay his wages and Ashley put season tickets up yet again this summer. Out of touch…doesn’t even touch it with Matt Ritchie.

Matt Ritchie speaking to Talksport:

“I don’t understand the unrest I have got to be honest.

“The club has gone out, we have spent money, we are pushing.

“We are trying to compete with the teams that we can compete with and you have to be real.

“To compete at the top of the Premier League now, is mega mega mega money.

“I think the owner has been honest in his interviews in the press and said that he can’t go and compete with them and he has been up front with that. And to do that he would have to sell the club.

“For me, we have to all be in this together.

“I have said since I arrived at the football club there has been unrest a little bit.

“The main thing I take from Bournemouth is that, it is a smaller club I know, but everybody was pulling in the same direction, with the same philosophy, the same mentality and desire to help one another.

“That is what we need to be here – the fans, the staff and the playing staff, all as one. Pull in the same direction.

“That is something I’m really passionate about, we are all in this together.

“We need the fans to support the team and be with us.

“We played Manchester United last season at home and I got a bit of stick after the game because I said the atmosphere wasn’t great – but  I don’t retract what I said because it was how I felt.

Certainly after that period of games, the fans obviously with performances on the pitch changing how the fans see it.

“The atmosphere around the stadium, it is down to the players to make the atmosphere good but from the word go on Sunday we need everyone together.”

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