Newcastle United fans protest against owner Mike Ashley

Protest Fans expressed anger at issues including a perceived lack of ambition

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Hundreds of Newcastle United fans have marched through the city to protest against the way the club's owner Mike Ashley has been running the club.

Fans group Time 4 Change held the demonstration before the club's 2-2 draw with Liverpool.

One of the issues raised was the club's lack of signings and its sponsorship deal with pay-day loan company Wonga.

The club said "astute financial management" would help it compete with its rivals.

Police described the demonstration as "good natured" and said it passed peacefully.

Mr Ashley took over the club in 2007, but angered fans with his decision to rename the stadium and the controversial sponsorship deal with Wonga.

'Astute management'

The protesters said they were highlighting a perceived lack of ambition by the club which signed only one senior player during the summer transfer window.

However, Director of Football Joe Kinnear said in his programme notes: "Through astute financial management and by maximising every commercial opportunity available to us, we will give ourselves the best possible chance of competing on the field with those whose strength off it makes them, on paper at least, untouchable."

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "As expected, the protest passed safely and peacefully and was good natured with those involved now dispersed.

"Extra police were in the city centre to facilitate the demonstration and rolling road closures, and disruption was kept to a minimum."

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