I remember the last time Newcastle were relegated from the Premier League…

A warm summer afternoon and for many I don’t think it had quite sunk in until the first match of the season in the Championship against West Brom.

Fast forward eight years and Newcastle United are back in the second tier and once again, the blame lies at Mike Ashley’s door.

But fans must now ask themselves, is it quite that simple. Mike Ashley’s interview at the end of last season didn’t fill many with hope, just another press pleaser it seemed, but he did cough up during the summer.

The disastrous scouting from Graham Carr (pictured above to the left of Ashley) coupled with the signing of more mercenaries, not to mention the catastrophic appointment of Steve McClaren, seemingly had Newcastle dead and buried after ten games.

Newcastle’s head scout doesn’t get enough stick, aside from Yohan Cabaye and a few others, so many have now failed to set St James Park alight. You only have to look at the likes of N’Golo Kante to realise that you can find players in Ligue 1 that are of great quality, but Carr seems to lack any real nous when it comes to that sort of thing.

Just like the appointment of Shearer back in 2009, Rafa Benitez was too late to rescue the club despite a brave and valiant attempt. Lee Charnley has not only messed up again big time, but his media statement following Sunderland’s win over Everton did very little to appease the fans.

It’s crystal clear now. Rafa must be kept at all costs. And as for the rest, Newcastle need a serious clear out.

Too long have the likes of Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini picked up their pay every week whilst putting in some truly disastrous performances. Moussa Sissoko needs to be shown the door. Jack Colback’s comments have made the club look even more of a laughing stock and he has faded into the background, becoming another that has failed to stand up and rise to the challenge of relegation.

With the mouth-watering prospect of Burton Albion away next season, Newcastle have to consolidate quickly and start preparing fast…as Charnley put it in his statement.

However, what that means is employing a competent manager should Rafa go and players that are proven, albeit if they are from the Championship or foreign leagues.

For now though, as the sun sets on the Premier League once again, you can only look at the club and realise just what a total mess we are in…again.