Pardew hails Ashley investment as Newcastle close in on Champions League
09:07 GMT, 22 April 2012
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has hailed the huge personal investment made by owner Mike Ashley as the club move closer to Champions League qualification.
The Magpies' 3-0 win over Stoke on Saturday helped lift them to fourth in the Barclays Premier League as Pardew's team – built around shrewd acquisitions such as Papiss Cisse, Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa – continue to exceed expectations.
On the up: Newcastle surged into the Champions League places on Saturday
Ashley was widely criticised for his decision to sack Chris Hughton and appoint Pardew in December 2010, and for allowing Andy Carroll to leave the club on January transfer deadline day the following month.
However, the club's policy of scouring Europe for under-the-radar talent has paid dividends and Pardew believes Ashley and managing director Derek Llambias must take some of the credit.
'Mike's put something like 273m into the club and he's not taken anything back,' Pardew told the Sunday Times.
Main man: Mike Ashley hasn't been given an easy ride by Newcastle fans
'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.'