Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher both had their say on the Newcastle ownership situation ahead of the team's clash with Leeds United on Friday.

The former Premier League defenders were speaking pre-match as part of the Sky Sports broadcast team and were analysing the reasons for the ongoing discontent at St James' Park.

Mike Ashley took ownership of Newcastle back in 2007 and has largely been deeply unpopular with supporters.

Under his tenure, Newcastle have changed managers frequently, spent little compared to their rivals and struggled in all domestic competitions.

While some stories have surfaced about possible takeover bids in recent years, none of those have come off, meaning Ashley remains on the throne in the north-east.

After eventually avoiding relegation last season, the club's only major summer signing was Joe Willock, who was on loan at Newcastle from Arsenal for the second half of the previous campaign.

The lack of activity and the poor start to the season - the Magpies were winless in their first four Premier League games of the campaign - have triggered further toxicity around St James' Park, with ire aimed towards the manager Steve Bruce as well as Ashley.

Neville said he believes it would be in the best interests of all parties if Ashley opted to sell the club as soon as possible.

"This club has got to be sold quickly, this club has got to change hands, it has to, it’s one of the great clubs in this country and Mike Ashley has got to dispose of it," said the former Manchester United full-back.

"If that means, it’s easy to say drop the price a bit, but he has to do the right thing at some point, he has got a lot of money, it isn’t going to change his life if he loses a bit more money, he’s just got to dispose of the club and do the right thing because there’s real damage being done here."

"...These Newcastle supporters have become accustomed to average, to poor, to accepting it and listening to the fans it’s really depressing because you’ve got people who are passionate and love the club, love the city.

"They are spending money obviously to see the team then they haven’t got the thing one football club should have and that’s hope. You have to have hope and they haven’t."

Carragher also had his say on the current owner, commenting on the duration of the dissatisfaction that's been endured by the Toon Army.

"It all boils down to the owner and the reason I feel so sorry for these supporters, there’s clubs up and down the country who don’t like their manager or feel like it’s going anywhere, this has been going on for 14 years," said the ex-Liverpool man.

"It’s an unbelievable amount of time, will Mike Ashley just sell, give these people some hope, some belief that something can happen. They just want that hope that something might happen one day for them and right now they have no hope with the current structure of the club."