England cricket star Graeme Swann has slammed Newcastle United over the sacking of Chris Hughton.
In his column for The Sun, Swann wrote: "I could maybe understand if the owners had fired Hughton and brought in one of the world's great mangers - someone like Mourinho or Ferguson.
"But Alan Pardew? It's at best a sideways move and maybe even a backwards one. Pardew has certainly done well to be sacked by a League One club - Southampton - then hired by a Premier League club in the same season.
"And he's hit the jackpot with his 5½-year contract - it's incredible. Newcastle normally get through half-a-dozen managers in that time!
"And Pardew hardly has a string of European trophies to his name, has he? I think he might be about as popular with our fans as Margaret Thatcher would be as boss of the miners' union.
"It would be wrong to blame Pardew for his contract or even accepting the job in the first place. But I'm sure he will have a tough job winning over the Toon Army.
"OK, he led West Ham to promotion and they reached the FA Cup final.