Rafa Benitez is still big news in Spain.

Having lifted the La Liga title twice with Valencia and managed around Europe with the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Newcastle no surprise they still take notice of how their countryman is getting on.

Not to mention the small matter of his brief and ultimately disappointing spell at Real Madrid.

The Spanish media were represented at St James Park on Monday night as Newcastle United and Rafa gained promotion and they have some interesting info from their coverage.

Spanish publication AS Sport report Rafa Benitez responding after the game/promotion to claims he wouldn’t be suited to the demands of the Championship:

“I want to congratulate the players, the staff and the fans. We knew this was going to be difficult. Some said: ‘Rafa knows nothing about this league’. It was difficult but the hard work of the players and the support of the fans made it easier.”

As for Real Madrid, Rafa appeared to make a disparaging comparison between managing there and at Newcastle (in England):

“Here you are valued and there is no politics and weird things behind. In England they respect professionalism and work, not like in some places.”

As for moving up to the Premier League, AS Sport report Rafa talking of the difficulties in stepping up:

“This league is difficult. We play two games a week and you have to recover. The Premier is different and you have to change the team. ”

As for financing that change of squad, AS Sport report Rafa Benitez commenting on the budget he will have to prepare for next season:

“We have a 70 million pounds (82 million euros) budget.”

A bit strange if Rafa has shown his hand but we will find out in due course just how well he will be backed by Mike Ashley.



  • Geordie-7676

    £70 Million is a realistic amount in relation to what we will need to spend…..would Rafa disclose this though? The mans professionalism tells me no.

    • Andy Mac

      Agreed ! Makes no sense at all !

  • Jimblag23

    It would be great if it were true. £70m spent wisely on this squad would do nicely.
    Are these quotes real though?

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      of course they are the Mag wouldn`t print lies

      • Jimblag23

        That’s very true MMM, how silly of me!

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    £70m is not to be sniffed at although there`s £40m lying around somewhere.
    so if there is £40m in the till add the parachute payment due in the summer & it`ll be around the 70m mark
    Cos Mike won`t put in a shekel

    • Matt

      You don’t get parachute payments if you return to the premier league the following season!!
      The parachute payments are shared equally the all the teams that remain in the championship.

      • Geordiegiants

        So we must get full money instead of parachute?

      • Andy Mac

        We will get £40m as a parachute payment this season. Its next season we wont get it because we’ll be getting some PL prize money again.

  • Toon fan

    £70 mil? What would Meldrew say again?

  • john ellis

    Oh fatty needs to dig deeper in his tight pockets and hand rafa a war chest of at least 100 mil ..70 mil ! Thats a joke

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      the joke is expecting Fatso to lay out a 100mill

    • Jimblag23

      £70m in the summer plus £30m in Jan if required would be grand.
      We may be dreaming however.

      • love toon despite

        dream on zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • Hughie

    Cobblers– stop speculating

  • 1957

    I’ve seen all the quotes already except the last one on the transfer budget. Did Benitez really say it or is it made up to fill out the story, or perhaps he did, he wants more and it’s an attempt to force MA to increase it.

    If its the latter he might as well pack his bags he has no hope. £70m is more than I ever expected to be spent, unless Spurs have made a stupid bid for SloMo…

  • Lord

    Clickbait from AS Sport.

  • Geordiegiants

    I would be surprised if he is going to get £70m, very surprised.

  • Albert Stubbins

    so many doom mongers on here- all the great business men amongst us and we’re all financial experts too it appears- Rafa will be backed end of- he wouldnt have taken the job just to bail out. Expect some quality signings but not at ridiculous prices or wages- Rafa will build a team we can all be proud of- lets give them (inc. Ashley) a chance before we all start the glass half empty stuff for another 3 months it becoming tedious. We’re Newcastle United- lets start acting like it.

    • Contisertoli

      “Rafa will be backed end of”

      I hope he is but what on earth makes you so sure he will be? He turned a 40m+ profit (read: no backing, did it himself) in the summer and then was given naught to spend in January. I’m glad you’re optimistic but the facts on the ground rightly give one reasons to pause and wonder.

      • Albert Stubbins

        is he stupid? Is Ashley Stupid? there’s your answer. Its simple stuff really- even I can understand it.

        • GToon

          Yes in a football sense Ashley is incredibly stupid. Everybody with any semblance of intelligence would have got rid of Maclaren before the Bournemouth and Stoke games last season to give the new manager a chance with the two week break. Instead they stuck with a failure and we went down. Now that really is stupid.

          • MadMag83

            Anyone with an ounce of intelligence wouldn’t have even employed McLaren in the first place.

          • swoopingmagpie

            well said

          • swoopingmagpie

            he was a good fit though !

          • nevfur

            To be fair I think that decision was down to Charnley.

        • Contisertoli

          I thought of you today Albert, as I read the papers linking us to a tax evasion scheme.

          Yes, Ashley is stupid and greedy. Quite a combo we have there.

          • Albert Stubbins

            see who comes out of it smelling like roses and then think of me again!!

          • Contisertoli

            Albert, you’re remarkable. You somehow gleaned that Rafa will be fully backed by MA even though all available evidence suggests that it’s less than a for sure. I’ll recap for the fantasy lovers amongst us (that’s you): Rafa made the team a PROFIT last summer and then was given naught in January. But you’re positive he’ll be backed. Even though he hasn’t been given a dime by the club. But now will be different.

            Then, less than 48 hours after we are promoted, our club is dragged thru the mud in a tax evasion investigation with our managing director even being arrested in the process.

            But thru all of this you, Sunny Jim, are just sure that Fatso will come out “smelling like roses”. And I haven’t even brought up the fiasco at Rangers, the zero-hour contracts, etc etc.

            You sure have a low bar for MA and how he treats our club. What would it take for you to question him, relegation to League One?

          • Albert Stubbins

            I’m at the Beardsley dinner. I’ll get back to you after I’ve paid homage to the greatest player in our history. Now that’s definitely not fantasy!!!

            Sent from my Samsung device

            ——– Original message ——–

          • Albert Stubbins

            good comment- you have insight thee’s no about that and I respect your opinion. I was at a dinner with Peter Beardsley, mine and manys all time hero Im sure, yesterday evening and I share his views- Rafa will stay, Rafa will be backed and Newcastle will continue to improve. Long gone are the days of finishing third in the fist season- football has evolved to such an extent now that would be impossible (Leicester City??) but we will have big investment this summer- why am I confident- because Ashley has been give n a get out of jail card a chance to almost wipe the slate clean with the arrival of Rafa- listen I hear you I really do- I hate Ashley with a passion but the Gazers arnt exactly popular, Daniel Levy is hardly the most popular man down tottenham court rd but both teams are doing temendously well despite this- the point im trying to make is very few chairman are popular- they rarely are for lots of reason-the main one being they are penny pinching rats in the main but we have spent money in recent times, lot and lots of it- it has been badly invested that’s all. If Ashley does the dirty on Rafa after nearly thirty years of season ticket holder and many years before that- I hand on heart will jack the lot in but I don’t believe that;s gonna happen- more importanty, neither does my Hero, Peter Beardsley. Call me nieve but I’m willing to give Ashley one last throw of the dice- and I believe he will invest – big time. I’m willing to give it a try- why? because I love Newcastle – you do to so lets give him one last chance- it might just be a glorious summer. NUFC/SMB

      • Vodkamagpie

        Didn’t we spend 80Mil last season, which lead to relegation. I don’t understand how fans think it’s ridiculous that a world class manager will be given 70Mil, where last season they spent 80Mil. I said months ago if we get promoted they would give Rafa over 100Mil.

        • Leazes Ender

          Only when it was obvious that the previous underspend had sent us on a course to relegation….it was too little too late…. do try to pay more attention to ongoing strangulation of the club and the criminals running it.

    • love toon despite

      Stop knocking the realists FFS

      • Albert Stubbins

        Realists my backside.  There are people on here who I’m sure would take a greater satisfaction in Ashley reneging on his promise to Rafa just to be able to shout from the roof top that they told us all. People who continually feed us this line are not realists they are pessimists end of. There are plenty of people who could take the precise opposite view and point to all the millions that have been spent over the last few years as well. Just because most of it has been wasted on bad buys doesn’t mean the money wasnt made available to spend ffs. Think about what your saying man.

        Sent from my Samsung device

        ——– Original message ——–

        • Leazes Ender

          Christ you are thick

          • Albert Stubbins

            Whilst you sound remarkably sane for an idiot . I’ve read your comments and your a good cure for insomnia. Keep on hating it’s making me smile. (;

            Sent from my Samsung device

            ——– Original message ——–

    • nevfur

      Well said

    • Leazes Ender

      Didn’t Albert Stubbins b*gger off to Liverpool?

      Already the morons are imbuing Benitez with superhuman powers….

  • Andy Mac

    I find that very hard to believe. Not just because of the Fatman and his reluctance to part with cash but it’s just not something Rafa would do ? Why tell the world what your budget is before you start transfer negotiations with a selling club ? Makes no sense and I know Rafa is smarter than that.

  • Nut

    Taking Newcastle up in 2nd place could well prove to be Rafa’s master stroke.

    He has in doing this put more questions in the mind of the powers that be in regards to transfers.

    If we had finished as champions (we still could) then likely he would not be in as good a position as he is to demand funds to strengthen the side.

    Finishing 2nd he can point out that the side only just got into the premiership and will need major alterations to stay there.

    The powers that be could be in no doubt of this as we finished 2nd.

    Had we/if we finish 1st he wouldn’t have as strong a hand to play.

    I am sure 2nd was Rafa’s aim ever since Christmas.

    • MadMag83

      Rafa’s masterstroke is him playing to the fans to an extent. He could leave now as a hero, he can stand his ground against the board and if he walks due to a disagreement over transfers, it’s Ashley and co that will feel the fans wrath. It’s similar to the Keegan situation in that no fan will criticise him for walking away if the board don’t back him or try and undermine him.

    • love toon despite

      What a naive statement. As Manager do you really risk trying to finish second…………unbelievable

      • Nut

        Yes if you know you can easily take 1st.

        Finishing 2nd gives Rafa the bargaining power he needs with Ashley, because he can point out we were not good enough to win the league in the championship he can suggest we are likely to drop straight down unless major strengthening is done.

        Had we won by a canter then that would be so much harder.

        • Leazes Ender

          Don’t be stupid.

  • MadMag83

    If there is some truth in that figure then it would be interesting to know if that’s £70m plus any money generated from sales or if it includes prospective market values of players expected to be moved on.

  • Desree

    Get cairney and Shawcross as a priority. Other than those players I am not sure what to expect. On the whole, Rafas signings have been poor. Gayle, Ritchie and clark the obviius exceptions. Thats 30m right there on 3 players that will be on the bench in many of the teams we will be playing. We have to accept that our best players are benchwarmers.

    Not sure what to expect next season. But if Boro are a better team than Brighton, then we need more than 70m.

    • Geordie-7676

      Don’t agree with you there. The 3 players you mention would walk into the following teams in the premiership:

      Sunderland; Boro; Swansea; Hull; Burnley; Bournemouth.

      Ritchie would also walk into:

      Leicester; West Ham; Palace; Watford; West Brom;

      Clark would also walk into:

      Palace; Watford; West Brom; Southampton; Palace

      Gayle would strongly compete for places at:

      Palace; Watford; West Brom;

      Don’t confuse our players abilities with the abilities of the top 7.

  • Alreet

    70 mil plus sales. Id be happy with that. He did a restructure job last season on almost the same but generated about 90 in sales.

    Good businessman is rafa. Credit where its due please

  • Toon Army AZ

    We need to be ruthless and raid players from next year’s likely survival rivals. Think about Palace’s Andros Townsend, Burnley’s Andre Gray, or Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson. £70M can go a long way to help us and hurt the competition.

  • Mark Scott

    Rafa has a great record at buying players into clubs for very little who come in and do a job before being sold on for either a profit or at very little loss. I see no reason why he won’t continue to do this. His record at Liverpool was impressive – a lot of ins an doubts but the ones that didn’t work were more than made up for by either low fees, swap deals for better players later on or the fact that he scored some real gems. What would we give for him pulling out another couple of signings like Kuyt, Mascherano, Alonso, Traore and of course Torres. There’s been the Robbie Keanes of his time but show me a manager who has a flawless record – even Ferguson thought it was a good idea to sign Veron!

  • Damon Horner

    Could the question have been “how much do you think you need next season?”

    Not many clubs would have agreed their budgets at this stage.

  • Richard Birs

    Anything less than one hundred million will mean a relegation fight,you can’t buy a decent goal scorer for less than fifteen million.Six more good players ten million plus each,your money’s done.
    We’ve little to sell worth more than tree four million,so we might be back with Sunderland and Middlesbrough.

  • Stephen Paylor

    For me we need to replace Mitrovic, with more of an all rounder. Its a shame as i really like Mitrovic for his fighting spirit and when he first came i seen him becoming a Diego Costa type. His feet aren’t at that level. He has good hold up play and is a hand full but i just dont see him scoring 20 goals a season ever and he doesn’t fit into Rafa’s narrow style of play.
    I would go for all the Chelsea English fringe players that rafa will know quite well. Tammy Abraham, Ruben Loftus Cheek, Dominic Solanke, Nathaniel Chalaboah, Lewis Baker. Maybe 70 million but will be bus set up for years