By Russell Edge

Former Celtic striker John Hartson has said that he feels as though Newcastle United fans have underappreciated what owner Mike Ashley has done for the club.

The Sports Direct supremo was confirmed to have put the Magpies up for sale after the club released an official statement on Monday made by St James Holdings Limited, the company which owns Newcastle and Ashley fronts.

The statement, which went out on Newcastle’s official website and their official Twitter account, confirms that potential investors have been welcomed to demonstrate their interest, with Ashley allowing parties to defer “substantial payments” in the interest of the club.

However Hartson, who made 400 senior appearances throughout his career as well as 51 caps for Wales, said on his personal Twitter account on Monday that Newcastle fans should have shown the businessman more respect and appreciation for helping the club reach financial stability.

Ashley and the Toon Army have had a frayed relationship during his 10 years at the helm of the Tyneside giants, with several decisions made which infuriated the Geordie faithful.

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From the public fallout between Ashley and Kevin Keegan to the renaming of St James’ Park to the Sports Direct Arena – which was reversed a year later by then-chief sponsors Wonga – there has been animosity between both parties.

As a result, fans were ecstatic on social media when the statement broke.

In other Newcastle United news, Alan Pardew has lashed out at this Magpie for his antics against Southampton.

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