Date: 7th August 2019 at 5:01pm
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Newcastle United star Matt Ritchie has claimed he ‘doesn’t understand’ the unrest at St James’ Park going into the Premier League curtain-raiser at home to Arsenal.

Speaking with talkSPORT, the former Scotland international urged Toon fans to back the team this season, and defended Mike Ashley’s methods of running the club as to compete at the top of the table requires ‘mega, mega, mega-money’.

Ritchie feels the Sports Direct owner has been ‘honest and upfront’ about what funds will be spent and what direction he wishes to take the Magpies in, while suggesting we should follow in the methods of his former side AFC Bournemouth, in how the small club excelled by all pulling in the same direction.

Toon fans have regularly shared their frustrations in how United is being run this summer, with Champions League-winning manager Rafa Benitez allowed to leave the club at the end of his contract in June, while Ayoze Perez was sold to Leicester City and Ashley refused to buy last season’s Player of the Year Salamon Rondon from West Bromwich Albion.

Protests are planned for Sunday’s visit of Arsenal to the North East, with supporters gathering ahead of the tie and marching to St James’ Park, where they intend to have their voices heard.

But Ritchie evidently does not expect the protests to have a positive impact on how the team perform, and has called for supporters to be ‘in this together’.

“I don’t understand the unrest, I’ve got to be honest,” he said. “The club has gone out and spent money, we’re pushing and trying to compete with the teams 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.

“The owner has been honest in interviews in the press and has said he can’t go and compete with them, he’s been upfront about that, and to do that [compete at the top] he’d have to sell the club.”

“For me, we all have to be in this together,” Ritchie added. “There has been unrest ever since I arrived at the club, and the main thing I took from Bournemouth, and I know it’s a smaller club, but everyone was pulling in the same direction, with the same philosophy and mentality and desire to help one another.

“That’s what we need to be here; the fans, the staff and the players all as one and pulling in the same direction.”

Newcastle fans reacting on social media to his comments have not been impressed, to say the least.

Here’s what these fans had to say in reply…

Click for the forum

5 Replies to “‘Just gets more embarrassing’ – Loads of Newcastle fans react to first-team star’s comments”

  • Will all those fans still lamenting Benitez departure start looking forward!! Hes gone – FACT!! Steve Bruce is in – FACT!!

    I for one will support both the team and Bruce and to be honest the activity since 1st July has been positive! We have better balance across the park, and a coach who is dead keen to take the club forward – stop moaning about Rafas departure and Bruce’s arrival!!!

  • Wrong mate not 20 million net spend instalments from sissico gini mitro at least 15 -20 million this has not been mentioned he has spent NOTHING again when are people going to wake up

  • Why does the press not release what he has spent net in the past say 5 years and publish what money has come into the club in the same period you will find no other club has outlayed as little as nufc have

  • The players have got nothing to do with Mike Ashley. Ritchie was only seeing things as they are. Whats done is done. It is about time fans were backing team. Not turning up at games is only hurting team not Mike Ashley. Probably three points dropped, then fans crying “its not working” or ” the managers useless” etc. Turn up get behind team, they have done nothing wrong and there is evidence that they are gelling in areas, and you never know with 12th man(the fans) they may win. Fair enough put the banners out “we hate ashley” but do not hurt players who are working hard for you.

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