Mike Ashley

Mike Ashley has admitted that Newcastle United cannot compete with the Premier League’s big guns.

The Magpies are back in the Premier League after a one-year exile but have been one of the least active teams in the summer transfer window.

Only £30million has been spent on four players, with Rafa Benitez struggling to get deals over the line ahead of the big kick-off.

Billionaire owner Ashley insists that he is not wealthy enough to fund Newcastle outside of their means.

He claims that he does not have the power to sign off a £200m cheque for players, insisting that he would have to sell off all of shares in Sports Direct to be able to do so.

But he says that Benitez will receive every possible penny to help build his squad.

“Every penny the club generates he can have, but it won’t generate enough. Newcastle United does not have a £40m-a-year stadium naming rights deal,” Ashley told Sky Sports.

“I don’t want the fans to watch this interview and think ‘that’s great Rafa is getting £150m in the morning’ – he’s not.

“Rafa has [managing director] Lee Charnley’s help. And Lee Charnley answers to Rafa and not the other way around, let’s make that crystal clear. Rafa makes all the final decisions on players out and players in but he has to do it with the money the club has.”

mirror.co.uk

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