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Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish backs Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley

Parish defends Newcastle owner Mike Ashley
© Reuters
Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish claims that Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is better off investing money in his retail empire rather than his football club.

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish has backed Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley's purchase of House of Fraser, saying that he is right not to "waste" the money on a football club.

Billionaire Ashley forked out £90m to rescue the high street department store from administration last week, which triggered more criticism from Newcastle fans who were already unhappy with what they consider to be the club's lack of activity in the transfer market.

Parish said in a debate on BBC Radio 5 live: "The fact is, Newcastle are a mid-table Premier League team for the turnover they generate. You are doing as well as you can be expected to do - in my opinion. Mike has put in £150m into that club - to my knowledge - and the chances of getting that back are almost...

"For me personally I would much rather invest in the high street and jobs for people than waste his money on Newcastle United Football Club quite frankly.

"I put £5m into my club last year, most owners are writing cheques for their football clubs and the reality of a football club needs to be understood by people who [say] 'write more cheques, write more cheques'. I would put a lot of money on the fact that I am right that he is not taking out any money of Newcastle United Football Club as a profit."

Seven players have arrived at St James' Park this summer, but the Magpies ended the transfer window with a net profit in excess of £20m.

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