This is my first contribution to The Mag, I am a fan of Newcastle United for about 20 years now and Alan Shearer was my introduction to football as a teenager in India.

Over the years I have shared many an emotion with all of you – be it excitement, joy, despair, frustration, anger and sometimes hopelessness.

However, during all these years I never lost my positivity – I always felt Rafa would stay and we would be fine and win the Championship. In fact, until yesterday I thought we would finish around 12th this season, progress from where we currently are and a platform to kick on next year.

But then I saw the news that Watford had signed Andre Gray for 18.5 million quid. This happened on the same day that Rafa vented in the most passive aggressive manner.

I am scared – I now really fear that Rafa will walk!

Not because he isn’t happy or that the potential isn’t there at Newcastle but quite simply because his ambitions don’t match that of Ashley – it’s an inconvenient marriage.

Mike Ashley wants to stay in the league whereas Rafa wants to do ‘something’ in the league which isn’t finishing 17th.

I bet Rafa is now even more livid! Gray ticks every box – 26, English, blistering pace on the break, goal scorer – I could go on. Just imagine Gray, Atsu, Aarons and Yedlin tearing it on the break.

Andre Gray is the striker Rafa wanted and he was just 18.5 million. That is chump change these days when full-backs are going for 50+.

It just goes to show what a politician Ashley is.

Sure, he’s going to give Rafa every pound the club generates but we don’t get our PL payments in till November – the coffers are dry now. So we are screwed until the January window unless we can sell Riviere, Saivet and other priceless artifacts who no one else will buy for even their reserve team because of the poisonous influence they have.

Clearly not a position a Champions League winning manager who could walk into any top club in the world wants to be in.

Again, how on earth are we not be able to outbid Watford for Gray – messrs Charnley and co. clearly don’t know how to negotiate.

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

  • Jimblag23

    Personally I’m glad we didn’t get him. I don’t care about the price I just don’t think he’s good enough.
    Plus he’s a scum bag.
    Perez on the other hand, he’s the striker to make our team.
    I was reading Arsenal fans comments and they were saying Wenger is an idiot for letting him go as he’s always done something when called upon.

    • Steve Smith

      It’s looking like the team he was heading to has already signed another striker as well. So Perez very much still on the table (maybe not Ashley’s chip board table with the wobbly leg)

  • mentalman

    How is it a failed signing? Have we actually bid for him and lost out to Watford, I’ve not seen anything in the news

    For less than that we could sign the actual syriker rafa seems to be keen on

  • Kev-82

    Sorry but Gray is awful, bit of pace and that’s it.

  • Phill Osborne

    As far as I’m concerned at £18.5m with one year left on his contract Burnley have done well out of this deal.

  • TheFatController

    Surely Perez is the one Rafa wants ?

  • Big Al 1967

    Gray scored only 9 goals last year, and 4 of those came against the scum and the smoggies. £18.5 million is a lot to pay even in this market for a forward would will not guarantee you the 10-15 goals needed

  • Wor Lass

    Gray is absolutely not a Rafa type of player. He`s quick (at running) and that`s about it. Noone at Burnley`s crying that he`s goone for 18.5 mill.

  • Toonarden

    Methinks you should take some medication to calm you down mate. Losing Gray is not a catastrophe. On the other hand, losing Perez…..

  • Leazes Ender

    Uday….. Let me congratulate you on your mastery of colloquial contemporary English, you put a lot of people to shame including Mark Jensen.

  • Anita kick up the Hoop

    What a bizarre post .. Why the clamour to spend 18 million on a player who’s goal scoring record in the Premiership isn’t as good as Mitrovic’s ..

    • Clarko

      I’m going on the word of someone who’s worked as a scout for Burnley and after speaking to people at the club they have told me Gray looks to be maturing into a top class forward like Henry, Aguero and Lacazette.

      • Anita kick up the Hoop

        But that’s a lie .. you are lost without your stats from the internet

        • Clarko

          So when I tell a story it’s a lie, but when you tell a story it’s fact, that’s convenient.

          • Anita kick up the Hoop

            Here’s a story .. Steve Howey.. centre forward .. converted to centre half .. England recognition.. he’d still a striker in your book.

          • Clarko

            That’s a nice story, I don’t see how it’s relevant, but it’s a nice story. What about the other 225,000 registered professionals? How many of those players convert positions?

          • Anita kick up the Hoop

            It wouldn’t matter would it .. if he started as a winger he’d always be a winger or if he started as a striker he’d always be a striker .. in your stat obsessed brain … another story for you .. Malcom MacDonald.. full back .. converts to striker .. becomes icon .. still full back in clarko world.

          • Clarko

            So two players? Anyways, we digress, back to the original post, your post about goal scoring records is meaningless as I have been in contact with a scout who worked for Burnley, they seem to think as he’s matured, gotten stronger and that he will go on to become one of the all time great strikers.

          • Anita kick up the Hoop

            But we know that’s a lie don’t we .. because you don’t live and converse in the real world with real people .. if it didn’t come off some stat page in internet land it didn’t happen .. but never mind .. Haidara and Lazaar are still more viable options at left back than Kennedy in that world so you just get all snuggled up and comfy there.

          • Clarko

            Speaking of Haidara, I see he has been given the number 25 today.

          • Anita kick up the Hoop

            And Colback has been given the 4 … but he’s training on his own .. there’s another left back option .. wonder if Chelsea want him?

          • Clarko

            I have spoken to a former scout of Newcastle, the scout states they see Colback as a central midfielder therefore you’re wrong.

          • Anita kick up the Hoop

            Again .. you don’t speak to humans .. just web pages.

          • Clarko

            You’re floundering, it’s embarrassing.

          • Anita kick up the Hoop

            You’re showing the hurt

  • 1957

    Burnley won’t be able to believe their luck at Watford buying Gray for £18.5m, an average player, not a regular goalscorer and one year left on his contract. If we have £18m to £20m to spend there are better ways of using it, Wenger only wants £13.5 for Perez

  • Tim Boddy

    Gray is a homophobic thug. I’m happy he’s not coming to us.

    • Jezza

      For that reason alone I wouldn’t have wanted him either. Nevertheless there is something wrong when a club like Watford have got far more spending power than Newcastle United. I never thought I’d see the day.

  • Tony Mann

    £18.5m is a joke – Burnley will be laughing their heads off – same as we did with Sissoko and Carroll. Gray was (is) a decent player in a very average side but that’s all. The big question for me apart from the stupid price tag would be his temperament – do we want another Bowyer / Dyer / Barton character around?

  • Keeganontherebound

    Gray scored 9 goals last season which is what Mitro managed in his first season here as a 20 year old in a team that was relegated so can’t see how gray would be an upgrade. He also comes with question marks about his character. Who knows whether we were ever genuinely interested in him or if it was just agent-fuelled paper talk.We need a good experienced striker yes, but as others have said, Perez would make a lot more sense at that sort of price.

  • Cuh736

    Definitely feels like we dodged a bullet with Gray

  • Alan Hilly Hill

    Get a grip man

  • Oooh bobbi fleckman

    Why the Mag hasn’t bothered with this is a bit strange:

    Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has admitted he is unable to compete financially with clubs like Manchester City, meaning Rafa Benitez does not have enough money to spend in the transfer window.

    Newcastle boss Benitez has cited his frustration at the club’s transfer dealings, despite assurances from Ashley that he can spend every penny the club generates from returning to the Premier League this season.

    Ashley – speaking in a rare and exclusive interview with Sky Sports that will air on Sunday – understands the Spaniard’s unhappiness at not being able to land his preferred targets this summer, but says he is simply not able to compete financially with the biggest clubs in the Premier League.

    “If you said to me I am wealthy – in theory I am a billionaire or maybe a multi-billionaire – but in reality my wealth is all in Sports Direct shares,” Ashley said.

    “As I said the other day, it is like wallpaper. I don’t have that cash in the bank so I don’t have the ability to write a cheque for £200m. I don’t have it, it’s simple.

    “I would have to sell the Sports Direct shares to fund that. The way it is sometimes portrayed in wealth terms is as though it is in the bank, it’s not.

    “And I have to make it clear that I am nowhere near wealthy enough in football now to compete with the likes of Man City and others where it is a wealthy individual taking on what is the equivalent of countries. I cannot and I will not.”

    Ashley would like to give his manager more funds to strengthen his squad, but says the club does not generate enough money at present, meaning Benitez has to spend within Newcastle’s means.

    Asked whether Benitez has enough funds this summer, Ashley said: “Not enough, it’s very simple, it’s not enough. Rafa knows that and it’s not a secret.

    “Every penny the club generates he can have, but it won’t generate enough. Newcastle United does not have a £40m-a-year stadium naming rights deal.

    “I don’t want the fans to watch this interview and think ‘that’s great Rafa is getting £150m in the morning’ – he’s not.

    “Rafa has [managing director] Lee Charnley’s help. And Lee Charnley answers to Rafa and not the other way around, let’s make that crystal clear. Rafa makes all the final decisions on players out and players in but he has to do it with the money the club has.”

    • Biggs Darklighter

      It’s the last paragraph that gives it away. Ashley is making 4 statements here:

      1) Newcastle don’t make enough money.

      2) Ashley is being as supportive as he can

      3) Newcastle supporters are deluded

      4) it’s not charnleys fault.


  • Hughie_Gallacher

    Andre Gray may not have been the player we wanted. Just as well, we couldn’t have completed with Watford anyway.

    • Watford actually have Prem Money from the seasons spent in the Prem, so they are spending those money we ain’t got.
      Ashley can splash 20m without issues, but perhaps he’s looking to sell the club and make the books look superb.

  • Geordiegiants

    We should go for Deeney.