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'Where has £123m gone?': Another ex-Newcastle star in explosive rant at Mike Ashley

Steve Howey has hit out at Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley
Steve Howey has hit out at Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley

Steve Howey has become the latest former Newcastle United star to hit out at owner Mike Ashley.

The defender spent over a decade at St James's Park and quickly became a fans' favourite under Kevin Keegan as the club enjoyed one of its most successful spells in recent memory.

But Howey is now frustrated with the trajectory of the club and used his appearance on Sky Sports to launch an explosive rant at owner Ashley.

During his rant, Howey defended Newcastle supporters and claimed that they do not have unrealistic ambitions, stating that they merely want to see progression at the club.

READ: Alan Shearer has this blunt warning for Mike Ashley

He also urged Ashley to back manager Rafa Benitez in the transfer market and insisted that the lack of investment in the playing squad is what really 'narks' supporters.

“The fact is, Newcastle fans are disappointed because they can’t see the club moving forward, they can’t see the club progressing in any way," he said.

“Newcastle made £123m from the Premier League and TV last year plus £43.5 million in player sales.

"Now Mike Ashley was on Sky Sports and used this as a platform to say ‘Rafa Benitez will get every penny the club generates’. That has not been the case.

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“He (Ashley) said he wants to sell the club, that hasn’t been the case, or he has put it up for too much money.

“Rafa Benitez should have been at least given the money he got for selling the players but he didn’t, that is what narks the fans.

“Rafa Benitez has spent £13 million on THREE players which doesn’t get you anywhere in this day and age."

And Howey, who racked up four caps for England, believes that keeping Benitez happy should be Ashley's primary objective - with the 46-year-old believing the Spaniard's departure could lead to Newcastle struggling.

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He also questioned where the £123m revenue the club brought in had gone, with several areas of the club crying out for improvement.

He added: “Rafa is the one that the fans are pinning their hopes on, he is Newcastle’s biggest asset and why would you get rid of your best asset?

“You lose him and when you haven’t got the strength and depth of quality, which Newcastle haven’t got, they are going to struggle.

MORE: Newcastle legend has a stern warning for owner Ashley

“Rafa Benitez has turned around and said he would love this to be a five or ten year plan.

“But if you look at the ground, it needs work on. The academy needs work on.

“Where has £123 million gone? I don’t understand where it goes.”