A journalist loyal to Mike Ashley, has accused Rafa Benitez of creating negative headlines for the club.

Teessider and formerly of Sky Sports, Graeme Bailey has always backed the Ashley regime throughout his shocking reign at the club.

Bailey has constantly backed the disastrous recruitment process at Newcastle and in particular Graham Carr’s role in it, despite a series of terrible signings leading to a number of relegation near misses and then the eventual second demotion in seven years in 2015/16.

Having already written critically about Rafa Benitez since he arrived and rescued Newcastle, Graeme Bailey has now came out with claims of Rafa Benitez using press contacts of his own to push his own agenda, which has upset Mike Ashley/The Club according to the journalist.

The claims surround stories appearing that said Rafa was considering his position due to Newcastle’s failure to bring in any new faces, apart from Atsu’s conversion from loan to permanent.

This follows the January window when Benitez went public and said how disappointed he was that the club had failed to bring in a single transfer target he had asked for, including even loan signings.

With less than 48 hours until the players return for pre-season training, neither fans or Rafa Benitez could have believed that no new signings would have materialised by this point.

There is only 13 days until the first friendly at Hearts and six weeks until the Premier League kicks off, supporters having watched the likes of Bournemouth spending £20m on a player this weekend, as well as giving the go ahead to massive wages/signing on fee for Jermain Defoe.

Graeme Bailey writing in The Gambling Times:

‘Newcastle United have insisted they will back Rafa Benitez in the transfer market but are growing increasingly frustrated with him venting his annoyance through certain sections of the media.

Back page headlines last weekend and subsequent reports suggested that Benitez was considering his future unless he got funds to bolster his squad.

Newcastle sources are now insistent that they are providing funds to bolster the squad – despite the fact they have only brought in Christian Atsu so far this summer.

But Newcastle hierarchy are not happy by what they perceive as Benitez driven reports.

Newcastle have now assured the Spaniard that they are working hard on targets but have also made their feelings known about the recent headlines, which they were far from happy about.

Newcastle, who have also held talks with a Chinese consortium in recent weeks about potential investment which could even lead to a takeover – do not want reports of discontent or even a possible parting of the ways with their manager emerging.

Benitez’s own team, led by his closest confidant Owen Brown, insist that he will not be quitting before the start of the season.’



  • Scooter

    liars

  • Paul Patterson

    Funny, I don’t remember seeing any quotes/video direct from Rafa . .

  • Dutch

    Totally agree. Rafa needs to get on with the job in hand instead of throwing his toys out of the pram all the time. Every time there’s a rejection all you here in these posts is “I’m leaving” so much negativity going on.

    • East Durham Mag

      Perhaps the negativity is justifiable particularly when Ashley lives in an ivory tower and never communicates to the clubs greatest asset ….. its support. We have seen what he is capable of in the last decade. Making Keegans return untenable and the appalling way he treat a man of integrity like Hughton. Then the string of puppets managing the team. Other teams are showing ambition and we are not. Why shouldn’t Rafa be annoyed. Mayby its the only way to communicate his frustrations to Ashley if Penfold and the rest of the Yes men daren’t.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        it`s fully justifiable

      • GToon

        Well said.

      • BadMag

        Ashley starved the club for 5 years then blew the money on some appalling buys like Mitro and co. In his eyes it is save up for 5 years again then spend

    • GToon

      If there were toys Ashley would try and sell them and if there was a pram Ashley would try and rename it.
      Anyway I would have thought getting on with the job would involve preparing a team capable of competing in the premiership. At the moment we don’t have one of those as we don’t have the players. The team return to training on Monday so what do you suggest? Just wait and trust Ashley cos we know he’s a man of his word?

    • BadMag

      Problem is he was promised some “toys” but is now finding out how underhand the regime is

  • East Durham Mag

    As far as i have ever read Benitez has never publicly uttered a word in criticism of the club. I know who i would trust, the toxic reign of Ashley and his minions(brown nosers) or a man of integrity like Rafa.

    • Clarko

      Benitez criticised the club’s January transfer window:

      Benitez said: ‘I can’t change things now. We knew what we needed and we knew what we have.

      ‘I’m disappointed (not to have signed anyone) but I have to concentrate on the players we have.’

      When asked if he was surprised at the club’s lack of signings, he added: ‘Yes.’

      And when questioned if he could reveal what went wrong on deadline day, the former Real Madrid boss said: ‘No, because I don’t know.’

      • East Durham Mag

        Justifiably so then. Its all broken promises and penny pinching with Ashley and co.

        • Clarko

          A comment ago it was, “Benitez has never publicly uttered a word in criticism of the club” and because of that you choose to “trust” Benitez, a “man of integrity”, over Ashley. But now that I have brought it to your attention that he has publicly criticised the club it’s “justifiable”?

          • East Durham Mag

            Why don’t you go forth and multiply you annoying little prat.

          • Clarko

            You have been shown up, again, so it’s time to resort to your witless little insults, again.

          • East Durham Mag

            Yeah yeah you must be a Mackem.

          • Clarko

            That makes sense, labelling me a “Mackem”, for defending the club, the owner and the players, from you, a “Geordie”, who has an obsession with criticising the club, the owner and the players they supposedly “support”.

          • Mack Edwards

            Anyone who defends Ashley and what he has done to this club over the years, wants their head looking at. If you honestly think this man has had NUFC’s interests at heart, you better go and see someone because all is not right in your head!

          • Clarko

            Anyone who believes that a man who payed ~£134m for something, only to not have its “interests at heart” needs their “head” checked.

            I challenge you to find a comment where I have wrongly defended Ashley in order to justify your very general claim, my profile is open to anyone, have a gander. If you do look through my profile, read the whole discussion relating to any comment you believe to be wrong, in order to save any repetitiveness.

          • Guest 2

            Did he have the clubs interest at heart when he gave away free advertising to SD shareholders? Or when he subjected us to his lopsided (SD) merchandising deal? Or when he failed to grow commercial revenue from the level it was at when he arrived?
            Your first paragraph clearly shows your support of and for Ashley.

          • Clarko

            Sports Direct was given free advertising in the stadium as a result of Ashley (and companies under his control) loaning Newcastle ~£129m, again, does a man who provides a loan of that size not care about the club?

            It is also worth noting that free Sports Direct advertising ended in 2014/15 year.

            Do you think Ashley has deliberately decided not to grow commercial revenue? Where is the logic in that?

          • Leazes Ender

            ‘Logic’ and ‘Ashley’ in the same sentence must be a googlewhack

          • Clarko

            Is this 2007?

          • Guest 2

            Why was another company and its shareholders given free advertising at all?
            Can’t say the ‘loans’ were interest free either if someone else, including Ashley himself, gained a benefit from it.
            What’s your explanation for the club – which led Spurs in commercial revenue prior to 2007 – now being below the level it was when Ashley arrived? Some feat that for a genius benevolent businessman, huh?
            Logic, Ashley and this football club have no place in the same sentence.

          • Clarko

            You need to stop ignoring what I am saying and putting words in my mouth it is really, really frustrating. You’re using a straw man.

            Sports Direct was given free advertising in the stadium as a result of Ashley (and companies under his control) loaning Newcastle ~£129m. I never said the loans were “interest free” and I never said Ashley didn’t “benefit” from any arrangement.

            Again, do you think Ashley has deliberately decided not to grow commercial revenue? Where is the logic in that?

            By deliberately damaging, short changing or using the club, Ashley would be deliberately damaging, short changing or using himself. That wouldn’t make sense now would it?

          • Guest 2

            Put some words in your own mouth then and stop prevaricating, or rather, pontificating.
            What explanation do you have for the club, under Ashley, failing to grow its commercial revenue for 10 years?
            Such revenue falls outside of FFP rules – so failing to grow that revenue stream has damaged the club.

          • Clarko

            “Prevaricating” you say? This is the third time I have asked this question. Do you think Ashley has deliberately decided not to grow commercial revenue? Why haven’t you answered it? Is it because you know if you answer it this whole “discussion” ends.

            You’re whole argument has come down to commercial revenue (to which you have provided no figures for), Ashley is a menace to the club because the commercial revenue hasn’t grown. What about the actual turnover, because that is what matters, total revenue.

            Newcastle’s revenue was £87 million in 2007, which has since increased to £126 million in 2016, a 45% (£39 million) increase since Ashley took over. In that time commercial income dropped 10% (£3 million) from £28 million to £25 million, that was largely due to the outsourcing of the club’s catering operation in 2009. The drop in commercial revenue is insignificant when looking at the whole picture, you’re complaining about £3 million.

          • Guest 2

            Answer – YES! The figures prove that fact. Commercial revenue in 2007 was 28 million. However, YOU still fail to give your own answer as to why that is.
            Overall financial growth has more to do with guaranteed tv revenue than Ashley’s so called business acumen.
            I’ll leave the final words to the eminently more qualified than you, Swiss Ramble, as of 2015:
            “Not only is commercial income lower than the £28 million that Ashley inherited eight years ago, but Newcastle are the only top ten Premier League club not to grow commercially in that period, even though the club apparently “continues to focus on maximising commercial revenue”.

            Before Ashley arrived Newcastle’s commercial income was at a similar level to Tottenham, but the North London club has grown this revenue stream by 56% since 2007 while Newcastle have fallen by 10%. In the same period Aston Villa and Everton have overtaken Newcastle, while Liverpool and Arsenal have grown by £73 million and £62 million respectively.”

          • Clarko

            Again you’re arguing about £3 million. You’re comparing Newcastle, a newly promoted club, a club that has been relegated twice in the time frame we are speaking of, to title challengers. You’re absolutley delusional.

            Again, £3 million. Comparing a relegated team to Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal. You have just stated that you believe Ashley is deliberately sabotaging commercial revenue. Ludicrous. Absolute drivel.

          • Guest 2

            Man, you’re a coconut. Why the F do you think we’ve been relegated twice during his ownership and barely survived another 3 times?
            Delusional is yourself – and your worship of the fat mans so called business skills.
            And if you don’t believe he’s purposefully failing to grow commercial revenue – funds which fall outside of FFP and can be used to strengthen the team – do tell why.
            In fact don’t bother. Defending anything about the cretin is nowt I wish to hear from a puffed up bean counter.

          • Clarko

            There is nothing to counter in that comment, just a load of childish insults, name calling and conspiracy theories that Alex Jones would be proud of.

          • GToon

            I despise him as much as you do Mack. I’m interested in how he approaches this season though with the rewards that are now on offer. Perhaps his greed might benefit us for once if he’s too frightened of missing out on the cash to chance it with the squad.

          • Guest 2

            The owner doesn’t deserve to be criticised then? Defending that man says much about your own standpoint.

          • Clarko

            I never said that, you’re putting words in my mouth.

          • East Durham Mag

            Are you happy now?

      • Soldier

        your agenda on here seems to back Ashley at every opportunity, you either work for him or you’re a complete buffoon

        • Clarko

          No, my “agenda” on here is to point out the blatant lies, misinformation and the bias down here in the comments.

          Where in the comment you’re replying to did I mention Ashley? I didn’t did I. See you’re the type of person who spreads blatant lies, misinformation and bias down here in the comments.

          • GToon

            Can I just intervene in between the insults for a sec. The bottom line is that most of us are anxious about our apparent lack of progress in keeping up with the momentum that Rafa has generated. Regardless of what the papers print it is widely acknowledged amongst the fans who actually support this club that we need better players if we are even to survive this season. It makes sense that Rafa would want as much time as possible with any new players. Other teams seem to recognize this and are trying to improve their squads asap. There is an air of anxiety surrounding our transfer window because what we need and want and what me might get are often different things. Most other clubs are not in our position as they are adding or fine tuning their club but all the same seem to be making more progress than us. Now in between all the paper talk and hundreds of players linked there will be an element of truth, the fire to go with the smoke – the players that Rafa has identified as people he wants to bring to the club. So far none of them have arrived apart from Atsu. And by the way I’m originally from County Durham too.

          • Clarko

            Firstly I would like to question why you have chosen to reply to me? As I have not used any “insults” and nothing in your comment relates to in any way what I was discussing.

            Secondly, it’s the 1st of July, the 1st, there is plenty of time.

            Actually, I think that’s it.

          • GToon

            I just hit the reply button that’s all. The insults are aimed at you I think and to be honest I don’t like to see us fans having a go at each other. I think if we were all face to face there would be very little arguing. Anyway lets just see what happens. You are obviously a lot more relaxed than the rest of us. Cheers.

          • Clarko

            Where have I had a go at someone without being provoked first, hell where have I even insulted anyone on this page, quote me?

          • glassjawsh-got-banned

            you’re a plonker, quote me

          • Clarko

            If it isn’t Captain Ahab.

          • GToon

            You haven’t. Like I said it was aimed at you from what I read. I was just trying to stop the slanging match and concentrate on the footy discussion. Ok.

          • Clarko

            Ah, I thought you meant that you aimed the insult comment at me, my apologies.

          • East Durham Mag

            Well put.

      • Guest 2

        So, he should have just said he was delighted then instead? Hardly a criticism to answer truthfully a question asked of you.
        Sounds like you’d be happier with another Pardew who never answered anything truthfully?

        • Clarko

          Again, you’re putting words in my mouth, you have a habit of that, all I did was quote Benitez.

  • TheFatController

    Whenever I see these stories, I find it easier to think about motivation and thus likelihood it is happening as reported

    So, given Rafa has sway because he is so popular due to being better than any other manager we could attract, why would he use the press to voice his dissatisfaction?

    Given he’s no shrinking violet, he could just say ‘we need to sign players, back me or I’ll go somewhere I will be backed’

    He would have no need to threaten Ashley through third parties, he can just do it directly. Using third parties to spread runours is what weak people do. Rafa could walk into another job tomorrow, he’s not in a weak position. I fail to see why he would use a weak person’s tactics therefore.

    • BadMag

      He did it to put pressure on the regime and to let the fans know whats going on. He can hardly just go on TV and say it

      • TheFatController

        Oh, I didn’t know it was confirmed he ‘did it’ as you say? When was this confirmed ?

        My point was it would be surprising that he would do it, but if you are going on the World Wide Web saying he ‘did it’ he must have confined that, yes, he did spread the rumours ?

  • Dutch

    Because the press will spread the word including China. Logic

  • Danny Anderson

    If the toon don,t start recruiting soon we,ll be straight back down to the championship

  • Baffled

    Once again the Ashley’s regime drags nufc through the mire publicly,if Benitez goes the fans will follow Ashley beware you had 50000 crowds in the championship if you and your cronies chase Rafa away you’ll see 10000 crowds in the premiershi

    • Shipcote Willy

      I would love to think you are right but I have serious doubts it would happen

    • Mike

      not if they sell 40k season tickets

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    read his articles on the net he`s a scumbag, end of story

    • Shipcote Willy

      Aye like his mate.

  • Scottpaige

    P**ck

  • Soldier

    if you wanted rid of a manager but didn`t want to pay the compensation how would you go about it

  • Dutch

    I have been a long life supporter of the Toon. Followed them through thick and thin. However three words now spring to mind. China, China, China. MA is in this business to make money and I believe his support of the team is Zero. If he had any love of NUFC he wouldn’t dream of selling. He will get his 400 million and walk away without an ounce of shame. Whilst I read some total sh*t on the web about The Toon. I’m afraid a leopard never changes its spots. I would dearly love to be proved wrong. Let’s see what next week brings. I’m prepared to eat my words but I do not build any hope. Rafa knows the score.

    • Guest 2

      I think that sentiment is self evident in Bailey’s comment:-
      “Newcastle, who have also held talks with a Chinese consortium in recent weeks about potential investment which could even lead to a takeover – do not want reports of discontent or even a possible parting of the ways with their manager emerging.”

  • Andy Mac

    “Graeme Bailey writing in The Gambling Times”

  • Shipcote Willy

    How appropriate the magazine is the Gambling Times as Ashley loves a punt. He is taking another punt now by banking on Rafa keeping quiet whilst spending nothing in the hope he can flog the club to the Chinese. I said before last season that If we got back to the land of milk and honey Ashley would revert to type. Leopards don’t change their spots and the current situation reminds me of just before KK walked, having his tame ‘journalist’ brief against the manager.

  • Gareth Marshall

    2 words: Paper talk.

  • Dutch

    We will see Gareth. You may have to eat that paper.

  • nevfur

    He’s a smoggie probably supports Man U. Ignore him

  • Jimblag23

    Jamie Carragher said a few weeks ago, Newcastle fans…expect some Benitez politics.
    This is lazy journalism, I’m not saying I trust Ashley. Far from it!
    But until I hear it from the great one himself, he’s fine.

    • Clarko

      This isn’t “lazy journalism”, this is the “politics”.

  • Rob Brown

    Its all rather amusing that Jim leaves us in no doubt which side of the fence he sits while slating Ashley and Carr.
    Its fairly obvious that there was nothing wrong with Carr’s choices as many of those that we slagged off went on to other clubs and did well. (Do I hear a Sissoko comment coming over the horizon? Well that’s why I said “many” and not “all”.)
    Our problems were not so much to do with the recruitment side of things as they were management.
    Did I actually read someone complaining that Ashley would walk away if the money was right? You dont hear that often.
    Just another poor article taking advantage of a limited transfer activity to slag off Ashley

    • Geordiegiants

      Let’s all have an Ashley love in then?????
      The man has decimated our club you fool!

      • Damon Horner

        That’s a great idea, we could have “Mike Ashley day!”

        We could have a Red/Blue SD theme.

        • Geordiegiants

          That sounds good, we could also build a statue and have an annual Ashley day just to say thanks to him for all the good he has done!

  • Delashio

    Boring

  • Leazes Ender

    Wouldn’t it be totally opportune for Ashley to sell up now.

    • Geordiegiants

      Fingers crossed!

  • James Mercer

    To be fair Rafa used the media in his quest for a new contract & new players @ Liverpool once he had won the Champions league. He basically held the club to ransom, got a 6yr contract (I believe) and was sacked after quite a short time with a huge payoff !!

  • Leazes Ender

    …..’Anyone who defends Ashley and what he has done to this club over the years, wants their head looking at’……

    You are seriously as thick as a mackem rice pudding