Alan Shearer's response to Newcastle owner Mike Ashley's holiday offer: 'Shove it where the sun doesn't shine'
Alan Shearer says he'd tell Newcastle owner Mike Ashley to stick his free holiday offer "where the sun doesn't shine" - labelling it as "an insult".
The under-fire Newcastle United owner had taken Rafa Benitez and his squad out for an Italian meal in Ponteland last week in a bid to clear the air and help boost morale following the club's winless start to the campaign.
Following the meal, reports claimed Ashley asked players not to be distracted by the talk of a takeover and pledged to take "a more hands-on approach" at the club.
And while reiterating his support for Benitez ahead of what looks to be a crucial January transfer window, the Sports Direct tycoon supposedly promised to take the Newcastle squad on holiday, should they avoid a third relegation in just 12 years.
But club legend Shearer has criticised Ashley's gesture, labelling it as an insult - revealing what his reply would have been.
"Mike Ashley offering Newcastle players a free holiday if they avoid relegation is an insult.", said Shearer in an exclusive column with The Sun.
"If I was a player at that team dinner on Wednesday and he offered me that, I would have told him to shove it where the sun doesn’t shine.
"I would have said, ‘Instead of spending money on a holiday spend it on the football club and back the manager!
"As a player, that might give me hope and extra motivation that we’re all in the fight together."
Ashley's attempt to galvanise the Newcastle squad failed to have an instant impact as the Magpies let slip a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2 at Manchester United on Saturday - and Shearer questioned why a holiday would motivate players.
Shearer said: "These players are on from between Â£30,000 and Â£100,000-a-week, they are multi-millionaires.
"Does he not think they can afford any holiday they want?
"They have spent ten months with each other and my guess is that the last thing they would want is to go away as a team.
"As for the dinner, how is that going to make you better as a player?
"If you are motivated by that, or by the owner being at matches, there is something wrong with you. Was it a coincidence that the meal happened on the same night fans were meeting to discuss future protests against Ashley?"