Former Newcastle chairman Sir John Hall believes the club's managers rather than his successor, Freddy Shepherd, are to blame for United's lack of success.
The unpopular Shepherd came under fire from supporters during Sunday's 1-0 loss at Middlesbrough, but Hall insists a succession of poor transfer decisions by Kenny Dalglish, Ruud Gullit, Sir Bobby Robson and Graeme Souness are the reason for the club's current predicament.
Hall, who is still a major shareholder, told the Daily Mail: "It's clear to me and everyone that some of the players brought by previous managers simply haven't been good enough.
"In fact, our fans must look in amazement at some of the vast sums of money paid out for players who aren't good enough for this club.
"Since the Halls and the Shepherds took over the club we have spent more than £200million on players, as well as making St James' Park into one of the best stadiums in Europe, so none of our managers can say that we have not backed them."
Hall refused to apportion any blame to current manager Glenn Roeder, who he believes is the right man to pull Newcastle clear of the relegation battle.
He added: "I am sure Glenn will get it right, but he needs the strength of the fans to get him through.
"We have also got to look at ourselves and maybe appoint a director of football to take some pressure off the manager and make sure we take advantage of modern technology."