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Page last updated at 14:01 GMT, Saturday, 6 March 2010

Ashley saved Newcastle from administration - Llambias

Mike Ashley
Ashley has been a target for fans angry at his running of the club

Newcastle director Derek Llambias has pleaded with fans to end their abuse of Mike Ashley, claiming the owner has saved the club from administration.

Ashley, who has twice tried and failed to sell the club, remains a target for fans angry at the way he has run United since staging his takeover in 2007.

But Llambias revealed Ashley has pumped £36m into the club this season alone.

"If it wasn't for Mike's continued input... we would be in a similar position to Portsmouth," he said.

Portsmouth entered administration last week after racking up debts of £60-£70m.

And Llambias, writing in his programme notes ahead of Saturday's Championship clash with Barnsley, aimed a broadside at "a small and very negative group that, despite all our efforts on and off the pitch, still insist on chanting ugly and abusive comments" about Ashley.

"Let me set the record straight about Mike's commitment to Newcastle United," he wrote.

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"Since the beginning of the season, he has pumped £25.5m into this football club and this week, a further £5m was needed. In addition to these amounts, Mike, realising the need to bring in new faces and back his manager's request, spent £5.5m in the January transfer window.

"This cash, as with all the funds that Mike has put into the club, is interest-free.

"This money is critical and is needed to cover the shortfall between what we bring in as a football club (income) and what we pay out (costs).

"As you will have read in the press, not all football clubs have such a benefactor and some are on the verge of bankruptcy or have already gone into administration.

"There are clubs from across the board that are struggling financially at this moment in time, and if it wasn't for Mike's continued input, I genuinely think we would be in a similar position to the one Portsmouth find themselves in at this moment."

Newcastle currently top the Championship table and remain favourites to earn promotion back to the Premier League this campaign.



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see also
Newcastle 6-1 Barnsley
06 Mar 10 |  Championship
BBC investigates Mike Ashley's business
31 Jan 10 |  Newcastle
Newcastle reveal new stadium name
04 Nov 09 |  Newcastle
Ashley puts Newcastle up for sale
14 Sep 08 |  Newcastle
Magpies fans protest over Ashley
13 Sep 08 |  Tyne
Keegan resigns as Newcastle boss
04 Sep 08 |  Newcastle
Newcastle get 133m buyout offer
23 May 07 |  Business


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