With four days to go until Newcastle start their Premier League season, Rafa Benitez has made clear where he sees this transfer window to have not lived up to expectations so far.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Rafa says ‘We missed our targets at the beginning and I think we are paying for that’.

The United boss doesn’t name and shame but it has been widely reported that Rafa Benitez had a number of players lined up to sign he believed at the start of the season, only for those players not to be got ‘over the line’.

It being a similar case in January when the United boss expected signings to be made, only for not one to arrive, with Rafa going public on his anger and frustrations.

A number of journalists have claimed in recent days that Benitez is far from happy with what has gone on and yesterday, Martin Hardy of the Sunday Times said Rafa had two signings lined up in January and then four for this current one, only for none of those signings to be made.

Rafa has made clear in a number of other interviews that he desperately wants to bring both a striker and a goalkeeper in, so hard not to look back at the much publicised non-arrivals of both Willy Caballero (or Pepe Reina) and Tammy Abraham, who it looked pretty clear Rafa wanted.

At this moment in time, Rafa Benitez describes his mood as being ‘I am not happy…but at the same time it’s a challenge’.

The manager reiterates that it is a difficult market and Newcastle cannot ‘sign a £25m striker’ but there are certainly players out there who would improve the team/squad and whilst not being cheap, should surely still be within Newcastle’s reach – if willing to pay the transfer fee and wages.

With concerns over Dwight Gayle’s availability in particular, not to bring in another striker would be a massive gamble for everybody connected with Newcastle United.

Rafa Benitez talking to Sky Sports:

“The story is, as I said before, we missed our targets.

“I can read our fans saying ‘We will sign a £25m striker’.

“Listen, we cannot.

“Sometimes they are unavailable and if they are available, sometimes the wages are not the same, the commission is not the same and the wages are huge.

“I think we will try to do our best in our the market.

“I am not happy…but at the same time it’s a challenge.

“It is very hard – the prices are crazy.

We missed some targets at the beginning and I think we are paying for that.

“The Championship – the team, the fans, the city were together and that was crucial for us.

“We had good players and we had fifty two thousand fans every game at home and especially the fans away…everyone was trying to achieve what we wanted to achieve.

“Only 33% of teams go back up first season and if you don’t go up, it’s even more difficult because there is more pressure.”



  • Leazes Ender

    Told you… the wage cap is still in place and Charnley is playing squad builder……

    All of those who said Rafa was in control of things were a bit wide of the mark….. the Rafalution is officially dead!

    • DubaiExpat

      Going slightly over the top there.

      • steve

        No more so than usual.

        • Leazes Ender

          Aren’t you angry about the farce of this club….. you should be you know?

          • Fleckman hoop licker

            Newcastle fans dont get angry, they prefer to hang on for the promise of ‘jam tomorrow’.

          • Leazes Ender

            Old supporters never die they simply fade away…. except me I’m not going quietly without a fight.

          • Damon Horner

            you’re only fighting your fellow fans. You haven’t laid a glove on Ashley so to speak.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            With other people’s money

      • Leazes Ender

        No…. Rafa has lost the fight with Charnley for control of team building.

        • DubaiExpat

          How do you know that? The club has changed dramatically since Rafa took control from grassroots and how the club interacts with the fans and wider community to the first team. To say the Rafalution is dead is ridiculous.

          Clearly the summer rebuild has not gone to plan – whilst there is no denying we haven’t got the funds we thought we had available – we’ve also not been able to shift large chunks of the deadwood which may account for the lack of transfer funds available.

          • Leazes Ender

            It appears to be Charnley’s squad chosen from the lower part of Rafa’s list as opposed to Carr’s list…..

            … Clearly Rafa hasn’t been involved in the negotiations other than to supply the aforementioned list, and it has been left to the accountant to screw things up.

            If there were a prize for the worst chairman of a football club Charnley would be garlanded in the robes of Emperor Penguin.

    • Hughie_Gallacher

      It’s all about appearances. When Pardew was here, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind he was Ashley’s man. Rafa seemed different, hence the ‘Rafalution’ hype.
      Finally, we have been disabused.

      • Leazes Ender

        I bet you anything they have removed all of the ‘Rafalution Marketing’ ploy from the programme and stadium advertising come Sunday.

        • anyobrien

          Do you have a season ticket?

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            😂😂😂😂😂

  • Big shaun

    Nufc is a monster of a club in the biggest league in the world, owned by a billionaire why exactly can’t we spend £25m on a bloody striker??! FFS

    • Leazes Ender

      Someone drew attention to my bio which read…. ‘A lifelong fan of the worst football club in history’, well I didn’t think it needed defining but it is a club that shares a league with some very ambitious teams, it has a captive fan base from birth constantly in Europe’s top earning bracket with some of the highest crowds around, yet stubbornly refuses to compete. The problem has always been lack of ambition and drive.

      We will not entertain the idea of spending to get into a Euro place, instead they turn competition into entertainment and hope not to be relegated. and that is the level of this ‘board’ Charnley and Moncur. £25m buys you a third drawer striker today, the money is there…. the desire isn’t…… Rafa will go, of that I’m sure….

      ……He hasn’t managed to wrestle control from Charnley.

      • Paul Patterson

        Yeah, that was me. So your only turning up to boo and hiss on Sunday then?
        Do everyone a favour and stay outside the ground..

        • Fleckman hoop licker

          Yeah stay outside the ground, leave it to the “real” fans like Patterson here, a man so entrenched in the pursuit of failure he uses it as a badge of honour.

          • Paul Patterson

            You two bang on like nobody else criticises Ashley. However accentuating the negative at every turn and glossing over any positive while not supporting those that stand in the dugout or take to the field is frankly unforgivable.

          • Damon Horner

            Always the same, Ashley is all that matters, it’s bizarre, understandable if there was a plan or a desire for a plan to remove him but there isn’t.

          • Fleckman hoop licker

            Glossing over the positive? Whey lad we’ve been relegated twice in a decade using precisely the same policy as the fat cretin has in place now ? Keep on preening yourself youre an uber fan though, at least Damon seems Impressed.

          • Damon Horner

            Na I just don’t hate Ashley enough to actually hate every body connected to the club and feel contempt to my fellow fan. It’s very obsessive and very unhealthy.

            Fans, the manager and the players we have want to win and it deserves support. Fans like you MMM seem to live in a fantasy world where an empty stadium and unpopularity will make Ashley want to sell.

          • Fleckman hoop licker

            Fair play, not sure about hating everyone connected to the club but you’re bang on about me feeling contempt for the likes of you and your ilk whose passive acceptance of the way mike Ashley has ran the club for a decade has ensured we are literally light years behind clubs like Tottenham now never mind those we were competing with when he bought it.
            At least it’s given you the chance to show how good a fan you are right ?

          • Damon Horner

            What’s the opposite to passive acceptance? Active rebellion? I’ll actively support the “active rebellion” if there is a good idea or good motivation.

            Right now I just see some angry words to a sleeping tyrant. I don’t like Ashley but I’m not going to pass a fan test by moaning on a forum.

            I also don’t think Rafa or the players should be accepted as collateral damage when they actually respect the fans.

          • Fleckman hoop licker

            There has been plenty of attempts to organise protests which have been received by supporters with a mixture of largely ridicule or sneering contempt. Would that be an accurate assessment? Even the symbolic gesture of a walkout in a pretty much meaningless fixture was too much for the majority to take part in, most opting instead to either gaze around to see how many were leaving or choosing to sit out in obstinate defiance…the players deserve their support right ?

          • Damon Horner

            You mean pay for a ticket then walk out as a show of protest? Ashley is like the three wise monkeys. He sees nothing, says nothing and hears nothing. He’d hardly notice a walkout never mind feel pressured to sell.

            Did the walkout at Blackburn work? How about Blackpool? Surely a walkout is not the best idea we have in terms of impact.

          • Fleckman hoop licker

            No matter what suggestion people came up with there’d an overwhelming majority who’d find reason not to support it, just like you have done.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Because it’s meaningless, it doesn’t get you a new owner. If you want new owners, try and find some

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Because it was a meaningless gesture. To what end does waving a bedsheet and pitchfork achieve?

            It just makes the supporters look stupid.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            And sell to who? The idea of an empty stadium makes nufc less attractive to a buyer.

        • X,WHY,Y MAN.

          It’s okay to bang the loyalty drum and have crowds of 52,000 in The Championship but the other side of that is it sends the message to Ashley that he can do as he pleases from here on in.
          As the saying goes : “There’s only a thin line between sanity and insanity.”
          There should be another saying : “There’s only a thin line between loyalty and stupidity” !

          • Damon Horner

            Ashley thinks he can do what he pleases regardless of what the fans say or do. Unless we buy him out the best we can do is back the lads in spite of him.

      • Big shaun

        I totally agree. I can accept being starved of success but to not even try is disgusting and should be investigated by the powers that be. 19 other clubs in this division are striving to be the best they can…

        • Andy Mac

          19 other clubs indeed. They at least know that winning is the key, if not to success thenat least staying in this league. Fatman just keeps on gambling and often losing which is why the “debt” continues to rise ! Either he plsses off or he invests its as simple as that !

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Ok, he leaves, liquidated the assets and takes his money, where does that leave the club? You don’t think things through

          • GToon

            In a better place, able to fulfill our potential etc etc.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            I’m not sure if you’ve considered the real implications of that Glyn, unless you are being ironic

      • Oooh bobbi fleckman

        You support Sunderland, it’s quite clear

      • Oooh bobbi fleckman

        How is the money there? What do you think is a realistic budget?

    • Jezza

      Why exactly have we not even got the spending power of Championship clubs with half our crowds?

      • Damon Horner

        Probably the same reason we outspent them all last year.

        Most clubs invest when they need to and Ashley works on current capital and previous Financial year income.

        • Jezza

          We didn’t outspend anybody last year, we made £40 million profit.

          If Ashley works on “previous Financial year income” where has that £40 million transfer profit from last summer gone?

          • Damon Horner

            Most of it is owed. Not banked.

          • Andy Mac

            Owed to the Fatman that’s all. The reason its “owed” to him is because he keeps fking up and costing the club money.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            He means the transfers out have not been paid and is owed to NUFC.

  • Lhc

    There’s another so called ‘cheaper’ target going to Watford, Andre gray. How Rafa is still there I do not know.

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      £18m+

  • Desree

    Rafas statement – “if you want me, I am open to offers”

    I wish we had signed Townsend in Jan now. I was dead against it because I genuinely expected we would be after better calibre players.

    If it looks like a 💩 and smells like a 💩, it’s a 💩 – debate that Bobbi Fleckman and Leazes!

    • Leazes Ender

      Fleckman is a 💩 he has an advantage.

      • GToon

        Hahaha! Nice one.

  • Jimblag23

    Rafas spoken about China a couple of times but it’s going to be a struggle to persuade many decent players to actually kill their career and go there plus he almost couldn’t get further from Liverpool if he tried.

  • SAMTHECAT

    Are we not in the same market as Swansea,-Abraham, its clear Rafa was not given a transfer or wage budget and told to spend as he see fit, its not even clear that Charnley says to Rafa look this will cost x do you want to go ahead, it will take this chunk of the transfer budget, no Charnley just decides yes or no, nothing has changed, definition of an idiot, you do the same thing and expect a different result.
    So the battle begins to finish 17th.

    • Wor Lass

      It seems to me that Abraham went to Swansea because that was what he wanted – probably all along.

  • East Durham Mag

    Lots said the journalists had it wrong how could they know what Rafa is feeling. Well that’s straight from the horses mouth..

    • nevfur

      The journalists were suggesting he’s ready to walk yet again he says he’s staying.

      • East Durham Mag

        For now. See how much he can stomach. I never said he was leaving either and hope he doesn’t.

  • Wor Lass

    In Rafa`s interview at the PL launch night he seems to be quite clear that he`s staying. He doesn`t like the situation with transfers but regards it as a challenge and is committed to the fans, the club and the city. He seems to be blaming player (and agent) aspirations and demands rather than lack of commitment by the club. That`s twice in pre season that he`s scotched rumours of quitting so maybe now we need to leave him to it and get ready to support the lads – whether that`s from the terraces or via Sky. Personally, I choose not to go to home games any more but I wouldn`t knock those who do.

    • Alreet

      Agreed. He has the mentality of some fans and some pundits where fees and wages are off the cuff. He might be the first to actually coach a team rather than buy one.

    • David2211

      A mature and logical response. Refreshing to read!

    • Down Under Mag

      I think he’s making it clear that he wanted more done but knows the limitations currently in place and is still wanting to stay…not for the owner but the fans! If he keeps us up and then still doesn’t get to spend next season then I can see him havign enough. As long as he is given the chance to progress the club then I think he will see it as a long term project…if we stagnate or go backwards due to financial restrictions from the owner then I think it will be a different matter altogether.

      • Wor Lass

        Exactly.

  • MadMag83

    I wonder if Rafa is suggesting that business should have been done in January rather than waiting for the summer window and getting caught out by the huge increase in prices.

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    there’s no real surprise here and it was always going to happen, It was just a case of when.
    It’s a wonder it didn’t go off big time in January when they mugged him off for signings then.
    He probably should has kicked up more of a fuss then but the scum bags at the top knew he wouldn’t want to rock the promotion boat.
    What is has done though is give Penfold and Co license to think they can pull the same trick on him again.

    The one certain thing about this whole sorry mess is we all know how it ends and it is not good as we’ve had ten years of it now !

  • Andy Mac

    To be truly happy and contented you must let go of what it means to be happy or content Rafa. So in other words tell the Fatman where to go and kick him in the nuts from us !

  • brin mcardle

    Watford bt their Transfer Record,as do Brighton and Huddersfield !! We are being strangled..it is a disgrace..51,000 crowd..the same as 2 of these clubs put together..we have 1 fine but injury prone striker and dont buy another..i’m sorry i see relegation what is Ashley doing..does he care or is this just pure vindictiveness

    • Down Under Mag

      He probably doesn’t care since even if we finish bottom he will still pick up a wadge load of cash at the end of the season so why bother spending??

    • Phil K

      Yes, money keeps coming in if we get relegated and back straight up.
      Ashleys like the Queen uses the media to say he (and she) aren’t as rich as they are – both want others to spend THEIR money assisting them while they hoard theirs

  • Phil K

    Having a handful of Useless French parasites who won’t go because they’re on 4 times the wages that French clubs are willing to pay (which is why they keep turning down transfers) is also screwing up Benitez’s funds