Former Newcastle United owner Sir John Hall says sacking Steve McClaren was the 'right thing to do'.
McClaren was finally axed as manager on Friday lunchtime, just nine months after taking charge at St James's Park.
With Newcastle deep in relegation trouble and with just 10 games of the Premier League campaign remaining, the club have relieved McClaren of his duties after a long week of uncertainty.
Former Liverpool, Chelsea and Real Madrid manager Rafa Benitez is set to take charge at the club.
And former Magpies owner, Sir John Hall, admits it is a 'gamble' but says the club has no choice but to throw the dice.
Sir John said: "[Mike] Ashley has made his decision and he has got to live with it and I would probably say it is the right thing to do, that he should go.
"It is a bigger gamble bringing someone in but what have we got to lose?
"We have to stay up there.
"We are gambling either way and it was the better thing to do, to bring somebody in to actually try and motivate the players," he told Tyne Tees.
Sir John, whose family home is at Wynyard Hall, on the outskirts of Hartlepool, is best remembered by Newcastle United fans for overseeing Kevin Keegan's reign as manager, when the likes of David Ginola, Alan Shearer and Les Ferdinand helped the club to challenge for the league title.
He also took control of the city's rugby union team, the Falcons, during the mid to late 1990s, seeing them win the Premiership title in 1998.