Former Newcastle United captain Alan Shearer, midfielder Rob Lee and striker Andy Cole have all expressed their concern at Newcastle’s failure to sign players this summer and questioned the thinking behind Ashley’s resistance to improving the squad.Ashley’s apparent reluctance to spend has raised concerns that he is more interested in taking money out of the club and the three feel Newcastle are suffering because of him.
No signings were made but Ashley took £18m out of the club this summer.It was the second successive summer in which manager Alan Pardew’s plea for new players has been ignored and has led to a torrent of criticism for director of football Joe Kinnear, appointed by Ashley in June to take charge of recruitment, but who rarely scouts matches or visits Tyneside.Speaking after former Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper had used his testimonial against AC Milan this week to warn that the “toxic relationship” between the club’s fans and Ashley had “poisoned” the club, Lee offered an equally pessimistic verdict.Rob Lee: “I can see where Steve is coming from.
“The fans want to see the club progressing and they want to see the owner spending some money on the team. That hasn’t happened.“The fans have had a few hard years. They did very, very well a couple of years ago and almost got into the Champions League again, but it has fallen apart since and they are struggling.“If we have a full team out we’re decent, but if a couple are missing, we’re going to be poor. That was the story of last season and nothing has been done to change that.“It is a worry. If you look at the likes of Norwich City, Southampton, Cardiff City and even Crystal Palace, they’ve spent a lot of money and if you stand still in football you tend to go backwards.“Can they be successful under the current regime? That depends on whether Ashley is willing to spend some money or not.“Players don’t want to join Newcastle anymore. Kevin Keegan sold this club to me when I joined. If Joe Kinnear was speaking to you, are you going to join this football club? I’m not so sure.”Andy Cole: “If you’re not going to put finances into the football team and try to improve by buying better players, fans are going to vote with their feet.
“You’ve got to have some sense of ambition.“Decisions are made at the top which throw a spanner in the works. It’s almost as if somebody running the club wants to upset the punters and I find that very strange.”Pardew has tried to protect both Ashley and Kinnear after he was given just one new player, striker Loïc Rémy on loan from QPR, and he was diplomatic in his response to every question about the failure to strengthen at his press conference on Thursday, saying he was “happy with a good squad”.But Shearer is baffled by Pardew’s behaviour as he spent all summer insisting he wanted new players.Alan Shearer: “They needed more players but they did not arrive in the window.
“I was surprised by that because I kept on listening to Alan Pardew saying he wanted some players and the club were confident of bringing some in.
"I haven’t a clue why that didn’t happen.”
Source: Newcastle United Mad