Ian Wright says he can’t defend fellow pundit Rio Ferdinand for his recent comments about how Mike Ashley runs Newcastle United.
Ferdinand strongly defended Magpies owner Ashley while working for BT Sport during the Chelsea v Newcastle United game on January 12th, going as far as saying the fans should thank Ashley for the job he has done.
Since taking over the club in 2008, Newcastle have suffered relegation twice and are in danger of enduring a third this season, hovering two points above the drop zone after 25 games.
When asked about his thoughts on the rant, former Arsenal striker Ian Wright came short of laying the boot into his colleague, but did find it “surprising” that Ferdinand made the comments in the first place.
“With the incident, it was factually wrong,” Wright told The True Geordie podcast.
“And so unfortunately for Rio, whether he’s got the right people around him to say ‘Ease off because that’s not factually right’.
“I remember when I had a go at Newcastle fans about Andre Marriner getting so much stick and that it was unfair for them to put him under so much pressure. They came for me!
“I cannot sit here and defend what happened because it was factually wrong but what I was surprised was that he continued it with the fishing rod and that’s maybe something that – in hindsight – he wouldn’t do.”
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) January 14, 2019
“It’s very surprising because I’ve worked with him and I know he’s very meticulous in what he’s doing.
“I’m not going to make excuses for him, he’s just come back from the Maldives and maybe his head is in the clouds. I don’t know what happened.
“The only thing for me is that once it started to get into the realms of people questioning his credibility he should (have stopped).”