Steve Harper’s message to Newcastle owner Mike Ashley

Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley
Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley

Steve Harper has sent a message to Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley – back Steve McClaren with transfer funds.

Former Magpies goalkeeper Harper is watching his old club with interest after McClaren was appointed new head coach a fortnight ago.

Steve Harper

Steve Harper

The ensuing two weeks have left Toon fans frustrated as the new boss has yet to appoint his backroom staff, with a number of coaches mentioned as being in the frame.

And more importantly, Newcastle have yet to make a breakthrough in the transfer market despite being linked to the likes of Charlie Austin, Bas Dost, Tom Ince and Will Hughes.

Harper, who spent more than a decade at St James’s Park, believes the Magpies can get back into the top 10 of the Premier League under McClaren – but only if Ashley splashes the cash.

“He needs backing, first of all,” said Harper.

They need to spend some money, and by all accounts they are going to.

Steve Harper

“Last year obviously John Carver was in there and I think with the squad available to him, it was very tough for him.

“They need to spend some money, and by all accounts they are going to.

“It’s a good football coach but he (McClaren) needs money to spend.

“Hopefully he can assemble a good staff and the owner and board give him some money to spend.

“It would be great to see Newcastle back up in the top 10 where they belong.”

Harper, who is out of contract after spending last season at Hull City, also believes Sunderland will be active in the transfer market this summer.

Dick Advocaat’s U-turn to stay on as head coach is evidence that the club will spend big, believes the 40-year-old.

“Part of Advocaat staying was that he wanted money to spend,” he added.

“He put himself in a great position with the job he did last year so I’m sure someone of his age and experience wouldn’t be there if he hadn’t been given some assurances.

“Sunderland have probably got money to spend to bring some players in and move forward.”

Harper also revealed he has had three offers to continue his career in India.