Pardew praises Ashley input

Magpies boss grateful for owner's financial support

Mike Ashley: Alan Pardew says he has pumped £273m of his personal fortune into Newcastle

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Alan Pardew has hailed Newcastle owner Mike Ashley for having the faith to pour his personal fortune into the club and aid their top-four challenge.

A 3-0 victory over Stoke on Saturday lifted the Magpies into the UEFA Champions League places, and they now hold a three-point lead over Tottenham in the battle for fourth spot.

Shrewd transfer business has helped the North East outfit to exceed all expectations and rejoin the Premier League elite, with money spent in the right areas.

The likes of Hatem Ben Arfa, Papiss Cisse and Yohan Cabaye have been drafted in to provide a goal threat and added creativity, and all have hit the ground running.

Ashley has helped to bankroll those deals, while the sale of Andy Carroll to Liverpool for some £35million has also allowed the club to dip into the transfer market on a regular basis.

Investment

Pardew believes the Newcastle board, who have not always been the most popular on Tyneside, deserve immense credit for providing him with the tools he needs to do his job.

"Mike's put something like £273m into the club and he's not taken anything back," Pardew told the Sunday Times.

"Since I've been here I have not really shouted his corner. Politically for me it's a minefield.

"I want to keep the fans in a good place but I would say to them, before they get emotional about it, that Mike has invested something like 25 per cent of his personal wealth in this football club.

"Ask me for 25 per cent of my money and you've got no chance. I don't care how good your idea is."