If it is true that Rafa Benitez will stay if he has a free hand….and if it is true that Mike Ashley has given Lee Charnley the tools to negotiate with Rafa in good faith (and in an accommodating manner), then we are quids in.

Rafa Benitez will tie Charnley up in knots because for a pro like Rafa, it will be like negotiating with a Halloween turnip.

Let’s hope Ashley rubber stamps any potential deal that Rafa is happy with, once Charnley crawls back to HQ to report.

After that, let’s have Charnley, Carr and Moncur sacked and get down to the business of re-establishing our club in the Premier League.

The odds of all these things happening are stacked against us but just imagine…

We would have a top class manager, massive loyal support, a great stadium and a billionaire owner.

What the hell could go wrong?

Oh hang on it, is the Toon – never mind after 51 years of support I can still dream can’t I?