Former midfielder claims Newcastle United should be Champions League, not hanging on in the Premier League

Ex-Newcastle United midfielder Jermaine Jenas claims the Magpies should be a Champions League club, not fighting to hang on to their Premier League status.

Wednesday, 14th August 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th August 2019, 7:05 am
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 28: Jermaine Jenas prior to the Group B match of the UEFA Champions League between Tottenham Hotspur and FC Internazionale at Wembley Stadium on November 28, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Jenas was signed by Bobby Robson in 2002 and played against Barcelona, Juventus, Inter Milan, Dynamo Kiev, Feyenoord and Bayer Leverkusen in European football’s premier competition in the 2002/03 season, when the Magpies reached the last 16.

And it’s at that level where he thinks United belong – not where the club is currently operating under owner Mike Ashley.

“When I was playing for Newcastle, we were in the Champions League, Europe - that's Newcastle United to me, not a team that is hanging on in the Premier League,” said Jenas on the BBC.

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ATHENS, GREECE - MARCH 10: Giovanni Silva de Oliveira of Olympiakos challenges Jermaine Jenas of Newcastle during the UEFA Cup, round of 16, First leg match between Olympiakos and Newcastle United at The Karaiskaki Stadium on March 10, 2005 in Athens, Greece. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

“I know Steve Bruce has wanted that job for a long time, he is a Geordie man himself.

“The fans are disappointed Rafa Benitez left. I have to give the fans credit, they love the club so much. And they want is for it to be treated right, for the money to be spent right.

“And they feel that over the course of time of Mike Ashley's tenure that hasn't happened.

“I maybe feel they because have dipped into the market - even with Ayoze Perez they have a net spend of £30m - would that settle the fans? It hasn't.

“The reality is, you can't blame them. They know what is going on at their football club.”

Ashley’s United spent around £57million in the summer transfer window – but recouped around £30million of that from the sale of Perez.