Rio Ferdinand can expect a hostile reception the next time he steps foot inside St James’ Park - actually, make that the entire city of Newcastle - after his controversial comments about Mike Ashley on BT Sport this weekend.
The former Manchester United star vehemently defended Newcastle’s unpopular owner, claiming he deserves to be thanked by the club’s fans for spending “his own money” to get them promoted, and for securing the services of manager Rafael Benitez.
BT Sport host Jake Humphrey fired over a series of probing questions towards Ferdinand, who wouldn’t back down over his belief that Ashley is actually doing a decent job for the Magpies.
Unsurprisingly, Newcastle fans slammed Ferdinand on social media, outraged over his pro-Ashley comments.
That Ashley’s Sports Direct exclusively stock Ferdinand’s ‘FIVE’ clothing brand made his comments all the more eyebrow-raising.
You can watch Ferdinand’s comments in full here…
The BT Sport pundit then further antagonised Newcastle supporters by posting the following tweet on Sunday: “@NUFC fans good morning to you all!! Ya clubs turning a profit, no debt, oh & playing in the PL! Terrible!”
Again, this sparked a backlash from infuriated Newcastle fans, baffled as to why Ferdinand was defending the man they desperately want to leave their club.
Step forward, Alan Shearer, who put Ferdinand in his place - and delighted the Newcastle fans who already adore him - by pointing out the inaccuracies of his tweet.
The Premier League’s all-time leading goalscorer tweeted: “The last club accounts tell you they are over £140 million in debt!!🤔”
After Ferdinand said Newcastle were debt-free, Shearer simply couldn’t let it slide.
Shearer’s response has been ‘liked’ over 10,000 times already, and received over 1,000 retweets.
Here’s how Shearers followers have reacted to his latest tweet…
It will be interesting to see whether or not Ferdinand reacts to Shearer’s tweet.
But unless he apologises for his comments, it’s fair to say Newcastle fans’ opinion of the ex-England international will be left permanently tarnished.
Newcastle, who haven’t broken their transfer record since spending £17 million on Michael Owen back in August 2005, currently sit 18th in the Premier League table.