As I am writing this at the foot of The Cheviot, Rafa Benitez, the most talented manager Newcastle United have had since Sir Bobby Robson, is still in charge of our team.

I hope when I hit send, and the phone finds a signal, he still is.

Does Mike Ashley hate us, the fans?

He has ended any hope of expanding St James Park (by doing his own personal development on land opposite the Gallowgate, taking advantage of a long lease on the land that was owned by NUFC when he bought it).

Whereas we used to bring players to Tyneside and show them this immense structure constantly being added too, meaning they could sign knowing this club was trying to go places.

Ashley has chased out two club legends in Kevin Keegan and Jonas Gutierrez, being proved in court just what kind of person he is and indeed, the way that his companies operate.

The club’s owner will only spend if disaster is close by…and I fear it is once again.

The two negative arguments I hear the most about Rafa Benitez are that:

He is a CV manager, only interested in feathering his cap and looking good.

The other is that he won’t budge while he is being paid.

Firstly, Rafa Benitez proved the first argument wrong in my eyes by sticking with us when with only 10 matches to go he couldn’t stop the rot and repair the massive damage already done, staying on to manage Newcastle United in the second tier.

Secondly, what if Mike Ashley’s interference means that Rafa can’t realistically do his job, just like Kevin Keegan before him?

As for that second argument/point, maybe it will be a case of (just like Keegan) Rafa detailing all the information he needs, to ensure yet another court defeat (on the grounds of constructive dismissal?) for Mike Ashley.

I hope that Mike Ashley isn’t going to break my heart but the signs don’t look good.

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

  • Steve Pearce

    So you are writing this at the foot of The Cheviot?

    What’s the matter – have you been kicked out of Newcastle for writing such negative and empty shyte? Don’t worrry, you could always land a job at The Chronicle…

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      if there`s any good points about Mike Ashley i`d love for you to tell me them

      • Mr wobert

        He makes a lot of money.

    • Leazes Ender

      Theres a nice pub there.

      • Jamie Smith

        I understand emotions are running high, but I’ll not hear a word said against Wooler

  • Mrkgw

    Have to agree that the signs are not good. I had maintained the hope that the club would kick on from the high of promotion but the balloon has been well and truly popped. I do agree with the line of thought that Rafa will walk and that we will again be relegated. Even that Pardew might well return. But, the heinous act in selling off that piece of land for student development is unforgivable and it’s a clear signal that the club holds no ambition to grow whatsoever.

  • TheNutJob

    Northern echo are reporting an increased bid of £10m for Murphy, take it or leave it

    • Leazes Ender

      What is his Valueation?

    • Mr wobert

      Wow the oracle,if as rumoured the nicked back 8 mill I hope another 2 mill will swing it . Think it may go up a bit more 12mill?.

  • mentalman

    again with MA blowing any chance of expanding St James’, we’ve gone over and over this for years now and everyone who has the maturity to see past their hatred of MA knows why the current owner and our amazing previous owners haven’t expanded into the car park.

    As for Rafa walking, do we really need about the 4th article today about rafa walking on here, if he was going to do it do you not think he would have done it by now? Why not walk away with your head held high now, rather than struggling through the transfer window and losing a few games at the start of the season then quitting damaging your reputation

  • Leazes Ender

    The Chronicle’s Mark Douglas, Lee Ryder, and Chris Waugh have all reassured United’s fans that indeed, Rafa was now in sole charge of transfers…. they have been playing a game as usual….’lets make monkeys out of them’ that is the purpose of the Chronicle.

    Douglas even going as far as publishing a book entitled ‘Inside the Rafalution’….. and it appears to be like many Chronicle headline…. total pants.

    It makes you wonder why they do it because they have fulfilled their remit of selling season tickets for Ashley, so a bit of honesty wouldn’t be amiss.

    For the past few weeks I’ve been showing where Ashley has positioned the club financially in the squad value table, and I’m going to continue up to the close of the window. I’m assuming it will be Tenth, at present we are Fifteenth…. yesterday Douglas took up the challenge of ‘valuing’ the squad and guess what…. his criteria is a valuation based upon Peer-review…. a subjective assessment. Douglas knows that the Rafalution is as flat as a pancake and Charnley is still pulling the strings.

    Yesterday Douglas was more sympathetic to this pipsqueak who has relegated the club twice, given away free advertising, sold the best players and given away land which should have been earmarked for future Club development.

    Douglas like Mick Lowes is in it for himself…. they are betrayers of the fans!

    Ashley Out

    • Mrkgw

      Whatever happened to the so called sale of the club to a Chinese consortium?

      I second it – Ashley Out!

      • Leazes Ender

        I think they bought his Rangers shares.

  • Mr wobert

    Your wrong, the fat bas doesn’t hate you will, he doesn’t like you either,he is totally indifferent to you and fifty thou toon fans it’s about making moolah a lot of it. It’s plain as the nose on your face.he would sell his granny,he’s a fat spiv.

  • TheFatController

    I honestly believe that most buyers would want a new ground anyway. If you had an ambitious owner, they’d want an 80,000 multi purpose stadiums match their ambition. Most investors couldn’t afford that an £400m to Ashley, probably why there’s no serious bidders.

    Given Ashley doesn’t invest in what he can’t recoup, if he thought leaving some ground development would increase the attraction of the club to an investor why would he sell gallowgate land? He desperately wants the club sold. But I think sadly a new investor would be put off by the lack of a new huge stadium, unless they were Qatar-style investors with enough to cover a new stadium…