Interesting to see how Newcastle fans have reacted after suggestions that all might not be in total harmony between Mike Ashley and Rafa Benitez.

Reports from various newspapers have claimed that Rafa isn’t happy that the club haven’t as yet bought any of the transfer targets he’s asked them to go for.

This of course follows the January transfer window when Newcastle signed nobody, with Rafa Benitez making clear how unhappy he was when it ended with nobody signed. The United boss saying he had put forward a list of players he would like to be signed, including loan deals, and didn’t understand why none of them had been signed by NUFC.

Whilst many supporters are looking at Mike Ashley, it is amazing just how many people are still prepared to think that it is the stooges who he employs, that are the reason why players are/aren’t signed.

Recent years have seen Newcastle be one of the top clubs when it comes to paying money to agents, that is when both buying and selling players.

Super agents are increasingly used to get deals done, with it simply coming down to whether Newcastle United or whoever are prepared to pay what is being asked, along with the agent cut as well!

Despite this, I have seen numerous comments today and in the past week or so, blaming Lee Charnley and Graham Carr, amongst others, as the reason the club haven’t got anybody ‘over the line’ (apart from Atsu’s conversion from loan to permanent).

I find it astonishing that Newcastle fans still fall for the line that it is whoever is Mike Ashley’s current scapegoat(s), who is to blame.

I’m not saying that the club should be saying yes to every deal and asking price that comes along – BUT surely it is naive to think that there haven’t been players this summer that Rafa wanted and the only reason they haven’t been signed is Mike Ashley (or faceless people such as Justin Barnes on his behalf) not being prepared to meet the asking price.

The summer and winter transfer windows of the 2013/14 season saw Newcastle not buy a single first team squad player…yet plenty people were prepared to put all the blame on Joe Kinnear rather than Mike Ashley.

To myself and others, it was clear that Joe Kinnear was getting paid a relative fortune to stand there and take the stick for not making signings in place of Mike Ashley, with a significant number of people ready to believe it was purely Kinnear’s incompetence as to why NUFC didn’t buy anybody in a whole year’s worth of business!

Similarly, in summer 2012, Newcastle failed to build on the fifth place finish and only bought Vurnon Anita in that window. Once again failure to get deals done saw the finger pointed by many at Ashley’s minions, rather than the main man.

Yet with relegation threatening, five first team players were signed in rapid succession in only a month, with January 2013 seeing frenzied transfer activity.

Similarly, when relegation threatened in 2015/16, Newcastle spent over £30m on bringing in four players in January 2016.

If Newcastle United don’t do the necessary business this summer, it won’t be Lee Charnley or Graham Carr at fault and certainly not Rafa Benitez, or indeed Joe Kinnear.

Like most/all fans, I believe in Rafa Benitez’ ability to identify the right level of signings, without resorting to trying to pressure the club to bring in unrealistic new players.

If the club don’t make it happen, it will be the doing of Mike Ashley, not anybody else connected with Newcastle United.

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

  • Leicester Mag

    Spot on this particular chubby little emporer has been stark ballcock naked since day one.

    • Leazes Ender

      Buy clothes from SD and they disintegrate first wash.

      • Oooh bobbi fleckman

        Which ones Leazes? It’s just that I put my Muddy fox stuff in the wash 10 minutes ago and you have me worried. I’ve only had the stuff for 2 years though.

        Come on, what was it you bought that disintegrated first wash?

        • Hughie_Gallacher

          If you only wash your clothes once every two years that’s your business.

  • Shipcote Willy

    Good article and I totally agree. It’s amazing how many fans think Ashley has changed. Blaming his minions is ridiculous. They are working to his instructions, he sets the framework and boundaries and ignore them at their peril. Rafa might have full control of who comes in or goes out but he has no control over the cash, so Ashley can effectively veto his signings. Whether this is happening now we will find out in next couple of weeks.

    • Pelican

      Exactly, and having Charnley negotiate the deals, without Benitez present, means that Ashley can veto a signing, by using Charnley to report back that terms could not be agreed. All whilst keeping Benitez in the dark.

      • Damon Horner

        How would it work for a club where Rafa could have a boardroom relationship, somebody he could question about the negotiations? Or lack of?

    • Jimblag23

      What are you talking about, Ashley obviously was visited by the ghost of Christmas past, present and future and decided to be a good guy over night.
      God!! Such a pessimist.


  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    It`s always been Fatso to blame, Penfold cant go for a krap without permission & has fatty on speed dial. Only the Pie Man can sanction the purchase of players or indeed the sale of them
    Ashley`s lied from day one and anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool

    • Jimblag23

      Classic use of a million nicknames there MMM 😂

  • Steve Smith

    Ashley uses scapegoats as a shield and the agents will use articles like this as ammunition… You all cancel each other out.

  • George

    If Rafa walks there is ONLY one person to blame, the penny pinching cockney

  • Geordiegiants

    The cancer is a dispicable excuse for a human being, he has had a slight change in direction, only to try and deflect the negative press and up his profits. He has no interest in doing anything good for anyone but himself.

  • Jezza

    I said throughout last season that those NUFC fans who were expecting the club to spend big this summer were deluding themselves. It’s gives me no satisfaction whatsoever to see this summer window panning out exactly the way I predicted it would. There is only one person to blame for this sorry state of affairs.

  • GToon

    I don’t know why we even have these discussions about Ashley. Just take a look at what he has “achieved” in his time at the club. Have we had a worse owner in our history? I very much doubt it.

  • Down Under Mag

    As I have said time and time again, Ashley has been the cause of failings…Carr being blamed for Riviere when in actual fact the player was about 3rd or 4th choice because all the initial targets were lost to other clubs because we wouldn’t meet fee’s or wage demands, then played in a system that didn’t suit him because the manager wanted a player for that role rather than adapt tactics to the players available. The fact the club is up for sale and now lost it’s chief scout has just muddied the waters even more as Ashley seeks to limit spendign while still using others as blame bait. This summer was an amazing chance to move forward but we are once again floundering due to Ashleys refusal to spend the going rate…

    • Tel Boy Telboy

      I think that sums it up perfectly.

  • Damon Horner

    Rafa’s body language and actions will be what will help me draw conclusions rather than guesswork fueled by hatred of Ashley.