This week’s collective quotes from Mike Ashley and Rafa Benitez has led to a complete and utter open range of opinions.

The questions and opinions being thrown about on the back of them are coming thick and fast, with everybody having their own take on what the statements actually mean.

Are they genuine, do they have an underlying context that due to the vagueness are too difficult to disseminate?

The important thing right now is not the statements themselves, but the future intent that can be drawn from them, that is what is important.

Mike Ashley quoted in the official club statement:

“I’ve confirmed to Rafa and Lee that they can have every last penny that the club generates through promotion, player sales and other means in order to build for next season.”

Is that vague? Not really.

Do we honestly expect Ashley to say the above, then continue to clarify where each and every penny will come from, what it equates to in regards to the pot available to Rafa, and how any player purchases will be established in a monetary sense? Not very likely is it?

The statement is of course pretty ambiguous but that is what should be expected. The market prices continue to soar every season with the continuous roll out of ludicrous TV deals; the moment you tell the world how much money you have to play with, every single player becomes that little bit more expensive the moment you approach the selling clubs.

Where, realistically, will the pennies come from?

We already know that any promotion money and anything generated through player sales will be made available.

Then you have sponsorships – SD don’t pay, of course they should, but they don’t, it is what it is.

There are other club sponsors that DO pay into the kitty – value unknown. Shirt sponsorship will be announced shortly, and with it coming from China, you can expect it to be a healthy sum. We aren’t talking ridiculous sums of money, somewhere in the region of 6-10 Million a year I imagine.

Ticket sales, TV revenues and shirt sales then become the main streams. There is a pot there, how big nobody really knows, but it is there, and the truth will come out soon enough.

The second person to make a statement however, is what was important. Rafa Benitez stating:

“I’m pleased with how the meeting went and the positive approach we are all taking together to build on what we have started this season.”

Here’s the thing folks. If Rafa was not 100% confident that Mike Ashley’s statement was genuine and matched his objectives, no statement would have been released, and in the not too distant future we would once again be looking for a new manager, probably one destined to lead us into obscurity.

The fact that this is not the case confirms that whatever the budget, wherever the money is coming from, Rafa is satisfied. Whatever is to be spent, Rafa feels that his objectives will be met.

Nothing more needs to be said. Speculation is pointless.

The man that matters believes that he has been given the tools he needs to get the job done. Leave it at that.

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])



  • Paul Patterson

    Well bloody said!
    It’s about time we left that one man to do his job, building a side to survive comfortably (or better) to not raise expectation before we achieve survival and then plot a course to the overall goal of actually winning something.
    To put a dampener on a promotion, a positive end of season statement that gives hope for the future and adding in a mackem relegation and I can’t see why the negativity is present . .

  • Mayor Vaughn

    I said the other day when the statement was released, if Rafa wasn’t happy with anything he would walk away.
    Rafa still here so he must have got the answers he was looking for, end of story.
    Now time will tell if promises are kept but second guessing and reading between the lines of brief statements is a complete waste of everyone’s time.
    Do i trust Ashley? not really, do i think he can’t afford anymore catastrophic mistakes? absolutely.
    And i’m not talking top six or champions league thats a pipe dream, i’d be happy kicking around mid table for a few years with no drama’s. In fact that would do nicely.

    • Paul Patterson

      The trouble is, there are some supporters that won’t be happy plodding through mid table for a couple of years. Some want top 6 NOW and anything else then it’s failure and ultimately Ashleys fault.
      I too will be happy to build for a season or two and maybe have a couple of cup runs, see where we go before looking at the European places.

      • Albert Stubbins

        well then they should pack their collective bags- anyone who spits the dummy out cos we’re not top 6 after a couple of years should go and support Man utd not Newcastle United simple as.

        • Damon Horner

          I say the same thing about entertaining football, we wanted Rafa and he plays efficiently not fluently, it would be nice but this is the course we’re on.

    • Damon Horner

      Agree. Rafa has a good record of bringing success to the clubs he manages so the logic is if we back the team, take what comes, keep our cool then the odds are he can deliver something based on his history.

  • Hughie

    7 million for the championship; 9 million for thauvin; 15 million for season ticket sales (does this count??); 20 million for Mitrovic, Hanley,Lazaar, Murphy, Gamez, Haidara, De Jong, Krul–thats 51m for a kick off.
    Actions speak louder than words………….fascinating summer in prospect!!

    • HarryHype59

      Are the players not getting paid then? The operating costs were 96m last year.

      • Hughie

        Thats the TV money Harry

        • HarryHype59

          Which is needed to cover the players wages and other overheads.

  • Doug Dacre

    Part of me says I just want to go to the match and see a team who plays for the shirt and city, but in a little dark corner of my being I ask, do we not deserve a bit of success, wouldn’t it be nice to be like Citeh and Chelski with unlimited funds and world class players wearing black n white of the Toon…..

  • Albert Stubbins

    great article- sums the job up perfectly- if Rafa’s happy then so should we be!!

  • Damon Horner

    I back Rafa and I back his judgement, the promises are there and like you say Geordie, Rafa must be happy with what he has heard, if promises are broken we will find out but please, we can’t assume if a transfer fails then Ashley influenced the failure, this Ashley insecurity is very counter-productive, we don’t like him and don’t trust him but the right noises are coming from the man we do trust.

  • HarryHype59

    The financial results ending 2016 shows the club had operating costs of 96m. That sum has to be covered despite the TV parachute money due being approx 30m less than the amount received last year. Rafa is going to have to use all his wheeling and dealing skills to overcome this problem.

  • Down Under Mag

    There is a tendency for fans to overcomplicate things every time there is a club announcement, for them to start second guessing and question everything, for them to constantly look for the worst in everything that is said analysing every word in infinite detail to ponder what is going to go wrong. And given the history of Mike Ashley’s reign here who can blame them. This I feel is no more than a guarded statement of intent with closely watching potential selling clubs and Ashley giving them little to base hiking of prices on. The only thing we as fans really need to worry about is that Rafa has said he is happy and he is staying. If he is happy then we should be too!

  • Leazes Ender

    From the author who brought us ‘Time to Stop hating Mike Ashley’….

    Fool you is…. fool you be… a fool forever…..