Monday 13 August 2018 14:55, UK
Dennis Wise has defended Newcastle owner Mike Ashley's running of the club amid continued criticism from supporters.
Since taking control of Newcastle in 2007, Ashley has endured a turbulent relationship with the club's fanbase, often due to a perceived lack of investment on the field.
Ashley's purchase of House of Fraser department store chain for £90m on the eve of the Premier League season did little to appease Newcastle fans, following a transfer window where the club had made a profit.
"Unfortunately whatever he does, he will constantly take stick. It's as simple as that," said Wise, who spent just over a year as an executive director early in Ashley's tenure at St James' Park
"There are a lot of people out there that don't help the situation. They want to bring it onto him.
"People complain about them not spending enough money but if you trade well at a football club and you're able to bring players in and take players out and make money, I don't see what the problem is with that."
Newcastle sold Aleksandar Mitrovic, Mikel Merino and Chancel Mbemba for a combined total of around £40m during the summer, while there were a lack of high-profile arrivals.
Japanese striker Yoshinori Muto was Newcastle's most expensive incoming player, costing £9.5m from Mainz, while Salomon Rondon arrived from West Brom on loan.
Newcastle suffered a narrow defeat to Tottenham in their season opener at St James' Park on Saturday and Wise is confident Benitez's side can build on the performance.
"I thought they competed extremely well against Spurs," Wise told Sky Sports News.
"I look at Newcastle and I think they're a team who will be in a comfortable position by the end of the season.
"I think Rafa's actually turned around and said they have improved their squad so that says it all really doesn't it?"
Newcastle face newly-promoted Cardiff live on Sky Sports on Saturday in their second game of the season.