MX23RW : Wednesday, January 16 02:25:29

Rob Lee: 'Newcastle United no longer feels like huge club'

Former Newcastle United midfielder Rob Lee believes that the club "does not feel" huge anymore and feels that players "don't want to play" for the Magpies.

Rob Lee has claimed that Newcastle United "does not feel" like a big club anymore and feels that players "don't want to play" for the Magpies.

The Tynesiders were promoted from the Championship last term but currently sit just two points above the Premier League relegation zone.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley put the club up for sale in October, but ended talks last month over a potential £250m sale to financier Amanda Staveley.

Speaking to BBC Sport, former Magpies stalwart Lee said: "There is no point in Newcastle getting into the Premier League then keeping the same players that got them there.

"Sometimes you need better players. Bournemouth and Watford have both spent more than us. Newcastle is a huge club but it does not feel like that anymore, people don't want to play for them anymore.

"We were challenging the top teams like Manchester United and Arsenal, had trips to Europe, but it all seems so far away now. It is a shame. The club has been in decline for such a long time.

"Mike Ashley takes one step forward and then three giant steps backwards. It is time now for change, we need change, we need someone else to take the helm.

"It has become a stalemate. It is complicated with Ashley wanting a certain amount but prospective buyers are only willing to pay a certain amount because of what they value the club."

Since Ashley's takeover in 2007, the Magpies have twice been relegated from the top flight before returning at the first attempt.


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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool22183150104057
2Manchester CityMan City22172359174253
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs22160646222448
4Chelsea22145340172347
5Arsenal22125546321441
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd22125544321241
7Watford229583232032
8Leicester CityLeicester229492625131
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham229493032-231
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11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves228592328-529
12Bournemouth2283113142-1127
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2275102430-626
14Crystal Palace2264122028-822
15Burnley2263132343-2021
16Southampton2247112339-1619
17Cardiff CityCardiff2254131941-2219
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2246121631-1518
19Fulham2235142049-2914
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2225151337-2411

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