After a season that ended on such a high, Rob Lee feels that Newcastle United are in danger of throwing that momentum away.

The former Newcastle star points to Rafa Benitez giving up his summer holidays in order to devote time to sorting the Newcastle squad for the new season.

However, he thinks that Mike Ashley won’t give Rafa the cash he needs (deserves?) and this will mean the club/manager missing out on their ‘top targets’.

With only five days to go until pre-season training begins, Rob Lee thinks that Mike Ashley has once again created uncertainty at the club, with no signings being made and no reassurance from the club that things are running smoothly.

Rob Lee talking to The Star:

“Optimism has been replaced by a lot of anxiety – just last month Newcastle was in a very good place.

“Talks between Ashley and Rafa had gone well and it was all systems go but the club has lost a bit of momentum, everything seems to be cloaked in uncertainty.

“I don’t know if talk of this Chinese consortium is a smokescreen or not but suddenly no one knows what is happening anymore.

“Is Ashley looking to leave?

“How disillusioned is Rafa?

“Why haven’t we signed anyone yet?

“Questions, questions when what the fans want – and deserve – is answers, a bit of clarity from the top. The longer this goes on, the more worried I’m getting.

“We have got a world class manager in Rafa who gets the club and gets the area just like Kevin (Keegan) did, but so far he has been unable to sign the players he wanted.

“The man even cancelled his summer holidays because he was so keen to hit the ground running.

“For one reason or another, no one’s coming in. No disrespect to Tammy Abraham, who’s a good young player, but when he goes to Swansea instead of Newcastle it does not really bode well – maybe the pull is not as big as we think it is.”

“It always seems to be one step forward, another one back, call me a cynic but I always suspected Rafa wouldn’t get the players he wanted.

“He will get some funds but not as much as he wants and in today’s market, that means missing out on top targets, players required just to stay up.proving 

“I’m not asking him (Mike Ashley) to spill any state secrets, just let the fans know if he is staying or going and why player recruitment so difficult.

“This should be a great time for my former club. I’m praying they don’t blow this opportunity.”



  • Paul Patterson

    Respect you for your time as a player Rob, but the time for this sort of talk is a month away..

  • 1957

    A top player for us but I wish, as along with many of his peers, he had avoided turning into a ‘rentaquote’. No one has a clue what is going on in the club, Ashley might be blocking transfers, we may be waiting until July 1 or perhaps players identified by Benitez simply don’t want to play for us.

    The one thing I think Rob has right is the pull of the the club, and Benitez, might not be as big as some think. That’s the price you pay for being newly promoted and 10 years of mismanagement…

    • Delashio

      At last! Someone talking sense!

  • Geordiegiants

    Honestly! This shyte (Players spouting their mouths off) is more frustrating than not having anyone in yet. He is as clueless as everyone else.

  • Wor Lass

    This sort of speculation is more like the Chron than the Mag – or it should be, anyway. Rob doesn`t know any more than you or me about what`s happening. Surely, Penfold and Rafa communicate – Rafa knows what`s going on behind the scenes and how much is lined up for the new FFP year. Virtually every PL club is waiting for the weekend then we`ll see the market go crazy. Hopefully, we`ll be part of that. Until then all the rent-a-gobs need to keep it shtum.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      players are being signed left right & centre, with effect 1st July. so why cant Newcastle do the same
      i`ll tell you why, the club policy is to offload 1st

      • HarryHype59

        The club will struggle to offload the “deadwood” due to comparatively high wages and long term contracts. There are several “albatross” players around this clubs neck.

        The “Rafalution” is apparently self funding according to the Ashley statement. That explains why they’re has been no incoming players.

  • Doug Dacre

    We have always had to pay a little more to get people away from the bright lights of London. I am surprised they have not attempted to take the best northerners, and from the Championship and there is also some real talent in Div 1………Everyone is looking for big foreign names who in our past experience never deliver and end up as a very expensive failure.

  • Down Under Mag

    Speculation, that’s all it is. Rob has no more insight into the inner workings of the club these days than any of us. But it isn’t like he’s shouting this around, some lazy journo is just askign ex players their 2p worth to try and fill column inches in the absence of any real news to report – and if it involves a negative spin on what is happening then all the better isn’t it!?!?! I do agree with @MichaelMaximusMoose1:disqus in that we could be (and possibly should be) signing up who we want with effect from the opening of the transfer window, but as long as we get some business done when it does open then all good. I just think Ashley will be putting the breaks on deals until the pre-season has well and truly started so he can save on some cash on wages when they aren’t playing, at least that’s what it seems like at the moment.

  • Billy Ellwood

    The club is giving out no information about anything. Rob’s right about that. Zilch communication with fans.

  • Peter Stabler

    My postman reckons it is page 4 paragraph 6 regarding which parking space Lejeune wants that is the sticking point.

  • Stephen Paylor

    so tired of this, waiting for the financial year to change July 1st. This can not be announced as creative accounting is illegal but is the reality. Wait until next week and all will be moving, trust me