Rafa Benitez declared ‘I wish fans an enjoyable summer’.

The date was 10 May 2017 and in a statement released by the club, Mike Ashley pledged that Rafa would have ‘every penny’ to spend in the transfer market, whilst the manager said ‘I’m pleased with how the meeting went and the positive approach we are all taking to build on what we have started this season’.

Strangely/worryingly, there was nothing from Rafa for weeks and then months, only in early July when in Ireland for the pre-season training camp, did the United boss comment on how things were going transfer-wise.

That was the start of the negativity/reality for most Newcastle fans.

Yesterday, on the eve of the second home Premier League match of the season, 107 days after Rafa Benitez wished us ‘an enjoyable summer’, we had perhaps the grimmest update so far.

The Newcastle manager (see below) seeming to indicate that NUFC that was no longer a long-term project for him, with it being a case of when, not if, he leaves.

Circumstances can always change and we can hope for events/matches/players to change the course of future history BUT comparing/contrasting these two sets of quotes below, can only lead you to that sinking feeling we have all experienced over the course of this anything but ‘enjoyable’ summer.

Maybe the most frustrating thing is that it would only need one person to change their mind, unfortunately that person is Mike Ashley.

Rafa Benitez – 10 May 2017:

“I’m pleased with how the meeting went and the positive approach we are all taking together to build on what we have started this season.

“There will be challenges ahead of course, the summer will not be easy, but the hard work has been going on for some time and we can now continue positively with the development of the squad ahead of the start of the new season.

“I wish fans an enjoyable summer!”

Rafa Benitez – 25 August 2017:

“My aim is trying to improve things…so that when I leave, whenever it is, I would like to be sure that the team and the football club will be better.

“Normally, managers talk about projects saying they need four or five years…

“I’m not talking about that, because you never know in football, but when we came here we knew there were some issues and we had to improve things.

“I am sure we have improved some things but we need to improve more.

“The reality is that Mike Ashley was very clear in his Sky Sports interview. We are where we are.

“If you cannot pay £25 million and the commission and the wages for a top quality player, then you have to go to another kind of player.

“I could do two things.

“One, stay here and say ‘listen, we were not spending, doing this or that’, or take the risk. I will sign this player that I know is not in the 11 starters, but maybe will give us a back-up which we didn’t have last year.

“I am signing the players that I can, not the players that I want.

“The market is the market and the money available is the money available.”

  • Anita kick up the Hoop

    He’s gone .. he will use the international break to resign
    He has no long term belief in Ashley’s version of Newcastle United.. sad times ahead

    • Paul Patterson

      That’s the impression I get as well..

    • Jezza

      Agreed, he is gone. He will resign on 1st September.

      • Soldier

        my thoughts exactly, the guy`s had enough

    • anyobrien

      Think your right gone during the break.

    • Humble

      Ooohh he’s gone you idiots have been saying that since we got relegated and guess what he’s still here all the negativity is pethetic there’s a long way to go this season get over it and support raffa and the team HWTL

      • Anita kick up the Hoop

        Read the writing on the wall

  • Phildene

    Oh dear, that doesn’t sound too good,does it? All it needs is fatso to give him some of the money which we’ll get at end of this season, but no. We feel sorry for Rafa being put through all of this scenario unnecessarily by Ashley. It’s certainly no way to treat such a highly respected football manager and makes you wonder why Ashley told Charnley to do everything it takes to get him here, when he’s treating him so shabbily. We worry about the stress Rafa’s going through mainly caused by Ashley’s meanness. Just give him the money Ashley!
    Let’s hope Rafa works wonders this season and stays.

  • Clarko

    I am sick to death of his negativity.

    • Guest 2

      Oh the irony of your comment

  • Paul Patterson

    Probably not the best thing to actually come out and say. As honest as it is..

    • Clarko

      He’s talking as if he isn’t the one who brought the players in, if you didn’t want them don’t buy them you moron.

      • Paul Patterson

        No, I think you’ve misunderstood him. I’m sure he means he’s buying the players he ‘wants’ but only on the budget he has. Not the players he actually wants.. Either way, trouble Ahead.

        • Clarko

          “I am signing the players that I can, not the players that I want”

          • Paul Patterson

            Same difference.

      • Humble

        If you read the article he didn’t buy them you IDIOT

        • Clarko

          When your IQ hits 25, sell.

  • ToonNL

    Guessing the terms of his contract regarding control of transfers weren’t so iron clad or he would have gone already at this rate.

    Still, he’s being cryptic but he’s clearly upset about the situation

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      No good being in charge of transfers if the Fat Lad caps the expentiture

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    About time a manager told the truth instead of Shyte from the likes of Parspew, Geordie John & McFool.
    chances are he`ll be gone next month & the Silver Scumbag will be back

  • HappyToons

    His own enthusiasm is becoming like the majority of fans as he has almost been Ashley’ed (Like Keegan). But why should he stay quiet and submit as Keegan had to wait until after the court case and everything he said was true? The best Rafa can do is keep us up with the present squad; a couple of decent signings (the ones that cost a few million) then mid-table; maybe if he got the money he thought was coming then he would have us all enthusiastic as we try for a top 8. and looked to build next season with a lot more money coming in. Ashley needs to waken up as it will be difficult to recover if we go down yet again. I am still enthusiastic whilst we have Rafa but he needs to get some creativity in midfield and another proven striker, at the very least.

    • Guest 2

      You don’t get it do you? The only money which will be made available by Ashley will be a % from whatever club profit is made and player sales.

  • DP3

    NUFC was bought to make money and promote SD.Ashleys pitiful Sky soapbox just underlined that he takes the fans for fools,which any of you reading this who failed to take the several opportunities to stay away,certainly are.

  • Soldier

    He`s hit the wall, he knows Newcastle is a lost cause & not what he expected.
    once again the Owner shows complete contempt for his manager & fans.
    today’s match could well be his last at Newcastle Ltd & if it is we’ll be back in the championship next season

  • Amir

    What’s going on with this club? I think you deserve better. I think the club management stayed still at the nineties.

    • Guest 2

      Jeez. I see NUFC in the 90’s totally passed you by?

  • Cuh

    I find it quite relieving to have such clarity from the manager. I like that he hasn’t taken a swipe at Mike, keep that story down for now. Admitting he has bought players to beef up the team, well, that’s just the truth.

    Now let’s see this team get to their full potential, and then hopefully attract bigger players. Performances on the pitch are our best bet at attracting players now, as against last season when only the managers name was enough. Full potential I think is a 14th place finish, and perhaps F.A cup round 5 depending on the luck of the draw

    • Guest 2

      Anyone who calls the owner ‘Mike’ like he’s his mate has no opinion I wish to listen to.
      What’s the level of potential we have ever been under the fat sack of [email protected]?

      • Jimblag23

        Get a life.

        • Guest 2

          Got one – not that Ashley provides any additional joy in it like.

  • Anni Selby

    Well if Rafa says the players he want,s tell the story when our past managers wanted the players he wanted is almost same old story for you mags.We mackems feel the same as you do,the truth hurts,it,s Ashley and Short are costing cutting our teams,our clubs have no aimbtion right now.Well it,s a joke with likes of Watford,Huddersfield and Southampton,West Brom and a course Stoke,Bounremouth,we both honsetly do not oject ,how they run their clubs,they run them better ours,no qarms against these club,yes do have bigger fanbase,big fanbase,s do not count,what counts good quailty counts on the field for fans on match days.

  • GToon

    If we have sold Rivierre for say 2m and his wages were 3m a year with two years left does that mean Rafa now has 8m to spend or just 2m?

    • mactoon

      It means we don’t have to pay his wages and depending on whether the buying club paid the £2 million in one go or in instalments we could have £2 million if they paid it all in one go or the amount they paid for the first instalment available for the transfer budget

  • paul mclaughlan

    Everyone got so very excited when Rafa stated the meeting went well and would be given every available penny. Me? I knew it would be peanuts… Optimistic ain’t my middle name.

  • heretickle

    It sounds as if he has had enough. However, given the circumstances and what we know about MA, if he stays and steers us to survival or even mid-table success, hia reputation as one of the world’s top five managers will be cemented. It is a huge gamble, but he has always stated that he relishes a real challenge.