Page last updated at 10:03 GMT, Sunday, 14 September 2008 11:03 UK

Police praise Ashley protesters

Fans protesting
Owner Mike Ashley did not attend the game

Police have praised the behaviour of thousands of Newcastle United fans who staged protests in the city against club owner Mike Ashley.

Supporters held demonstrations against the billionaire businessman before, during and after the team's 2-1 loss to Hull City on Saturday.

Fans are angry over the claims that manager Kevin Keegan was undermined leading to his resignation.

A total of 14 arrests were made for public order offences.

Ch Supt Paul Weir, Northumbria Police's match commander, said none of the arrests were in connection with the protests.

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He said: "I was satisfied that the arrangements made by police to facilitate lawful protest were successful.

"A number of groups came to the ground to carry out their lawful protest and I would like to praise those fans for the way in which they behaved."

Thousands of fans thronged outside the stadium's Milburn Stand directors' entrance to chant "sack the board" and "Ashley out" before and after the game.

Banners were displayed urging fans to boycott Ashley's businesses.

One fans' group led a march of hundreds of people through the city as the game kicked-off.

Owner Ashley, who bought the club in May last year, and his heavily criticised director of football Dennis Wise did not attend the match.

Keegan ended his second spell as Newcastle manager on 4 September citing interference in transfer policy.

Newcastle United has previously stated that Keegan was "allowed to manage his duties without any interference".

Newcastle 1-2 Hull
13 Sep 08 |  Premier League
Keegan & Ashley in surprise talks
12 Sep 08 |  Newcastle
Magpies hit back at Keegan claims
06 Sep 08 |  Newcastle
Keegan resigns as Newcastle boss
04 Sep 08 |  Newcastle

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