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Key Toon figures call for a united stance as fans get set to protest

By Staff Reporter

Newcastle have called for a united front amid planned protests over the club's summer transfer business.

In a joint statement issued on behalf of managing director Lee Charnley, manager Rafael Benitez and captain Jamaal Lascelles, the club has defended its recruitment drive, which resulted in seven new signings and a net profit in excess of £20m.

The statement read: "Doing good business in a transfer window is about ending the window clearly stronger than when you started and we believe we have done this."

The move came hours after Benitez had attempted to draw a veil over a frustrating summer, during which owner Mike Ashley had promised he could spend "every last penny" the club generated.

However, targets came and went as the club refused to pay inflated transfer fees.

Angry fans have planned a series of demonstrations around today's opening Premier League fixture against Tottenham at St James' Park, although Charnley, Benitez and Lascelles said: "With the window closed, the focus should be on unity and getting behind efforts on the pitch."

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