Mike Ashley's continued refusal to meaningfully back Newcastle United has once again led to mass frustration amongst the Newcastle United fanbase, but Ashley has found an unlikely ally in BeIN Sports presenter Richard Keys.
The curious hamfisted regime at Newcastle has persevered despite numerous protests and takeover bids. Their return to the Premier League came thanks to the astute managerial skills of Rafael Benitez, who managed to deliver a net surplus of over £40m in transfer fees while securing promotion. He then kept the club in the Premier League.
However, the Premier League and television revenue has not been put to use this summer. The club spent are set to spend £9.5m on Yoshinori Muto, £4m on goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, Chelsea's Kenedy arrived on loan and Ki Sung Yueng on a free transfer.
On the other hand, midfielder Mikel Merino has been sold for £10m. Chancel Mbemba for £8m and Matz Sels for £3.5m while striker Aleksandar Mitrovic looks destined for Fulham for a reported fee of £20m.
With the transfer deadline just six days away and his contract approaching its last year, Benítez aired his concern about the current situation and admitted he was fearful about the oncoming season: "The fans have to be concerned, we are concerned. I’m really worried."
This was a view Keys challenged.
Shut up Rafa - or walk - which is your right. https://t.co/yVo28nq7O8 The club will survive you. Mike Ashley isn’t going to change for you. He was right last season - you had more than enough.
— Richard Keys (@richardajkeys) August 3, 2018
While misguided, the overwhelming backlash against Keys' comments were an interesting insight into the current level of resentment amongst the St James' Park faithful.
Richard Keys getting pelted on my timeline.
To be fair, you can't throw shit and not expect a lot of it to come back your way.
Contrary to belief though, Keys isn't stupid. He's saying things to get a rise in an attempt to stay relevant.
— Shane Saunders (@ShaneSaunders88) August 3, 2018
Why is he not allowed to be concerned about the depth of his squad? He wants to keep the club up and that means he needs a couple of new players, what's wrong with that?
— Charli (@Charli_Hayes) August 3, 2018
Your demise is very saddening. One of the top tv presenters in the country at one stage. The sexism and cheating scandal have led you to this: desperate attempts to feel relevant by making controversial statements contrary to popular opinion. Just sad tbh.
— NUFC360 (@NUFC360) August 3, 2018
Don’t really understand your agenda against Rafa, as a so called neutral. Rafa is well within his rights to push for more, you know, after banking 35-40 million in player sales this summer and after last winter and summers no spending policy. But whatever suits your agenda.
— Ibraheem (@Ibraheem_Rfida) August 3, 2018
“Rafa, as always, has my full support, and contrary to some media reports that portray me as a pantomime villain, I will continue to ensure that every penny generated by the club is available to him.”
Mike Ashley, May 2018. #WhereIsTheMoney pic.twitter.com/XmAWte887j
— Tom Wooldridge (@TomWooldridge29) August 3, 2018
What a weird thing to say, Rafa performed wonders last season and hasn't been backed at all, club have made a profit this year in transfers meaning he's not even getting the money they are making to improve the team.
— C_22 (@douglas1_craig) August 3, 2018