Richard Keys claims that there would be 'no club' without Mike Ashley in Twitter spat with Newcastle fans

Richard Keys (right) has hit back at Newcastle fans
Richard Keys (right) has hit back at Newcastle fans

Richard Keys has once again taken to social media to back Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley amid a backlash from the club's support.

Ashley has been heavily criticised by supporters in recent weeks following another transfer window in which the owner failed to properly back manager Rafa Benitez.

That has led to supporters planning boycotts and further action on the eve of the new Premier League season as their displeasure spills over.

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But former Sky Sports pundit Richard Keys has hit back at Newcastle United fans - believing they should be grateful for Ashley's input at the club.

In his latest of a series of exchanges with supporters on social media, Keys has claimed that there would not be a club without Ashley, while also claiming that he 'saved' them from bankruptcy.

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Keys, who now works for BeIN Sports, did admit that the Newcastle owner has made mistakes - yet remained staunch in his backing of the Sports Direct tycoon.

Writing a response to a displeased Newcastle fan, Keys said: "He’s given you financial stability. He saved the club from bankruptcy.

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"Like anyone else - he’s made mistakes but he gave you Shearer. He gave you Benitez.

"He gave you a future. There was no club to manage without his money."