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One thing that still remains to be sorted between Rafa Benitez and Mike Ashley

3 years ago

After securing Rafa Benitez as manager, everyone agrees it gives us a great chance to rebuild as a club and put a lot of wrongs right.

I can see both sides in that some people may say Ashley has such an extensive history he’ll mess things up. Can a long-term successful NUFC and Mike Ashley co-exist?

You hope so, considering that if he doesn’t wake up to what’s been going wrong now, then he really never will.

It’s great to hear Benitez talking about the training ground, academy and the community, looking to bring schools closer to the club for example. His detailed work ethic and determination to maximise the club’s potential is superb and there is a lot of talk from the club about reconnecting with the fans.

Yet there is one issue that remains unresolved; St James Park.

It’s still a sight to behold but after years of SD signage build-up, it has been stripped of some of its prestige.

Look, I appreciate Mike Ashley owns the club and wants to advertise his company, fine. But this can and should be done in a much classier and respectful way. It does not have to be in your face every two seconds, trampling over everything else. It’s NUFC’s home of football – this should hit you first and foremost.

I’d say at the very least put the club crest on display more (which is magnificent and should never be changed). It used to be an iconic shot when the players came out of the tunnel at St James Park, with the crest above, between the two dugouts. Why not simply put the crest there again? It’s just a blank space, it is ridiculous really, just place the club crest there!

This may seem trivial but it’s little things like this which also make you proud of the club.

As a football man I implore Rafa Benitez to enquire about this and as someone who is trying to rectify what’s went wrong and back up his words with actions, I also implore Lee Charnley to take the common sense steps to put such a simple thing in place.



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