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Rafa Benitez – Even if I sign 20 year deal makes no difference at Newcastle

4 years ago
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Rafa Benitez has once again been quizzed about his relationship with Mike Ashley and whether he will stay at Newcastle long-term.

Claims had appeared in the media that the manager was set to sign a new improved/extended contract supposedly offered by Mike Ashley.

However, Rafa says that signing a 20 year contract at Newcastle wouldn’t make any difference, it wouldn’t change his approach and he wouldn’t feel ‘more comfortable’.

The bottom line is that contracts are all a little bit meaningless, especially for top managers like him.

It is claimed that a club would have to pay £6m to buy Rafa out of his contract, that is no barrier if any club wants him, with average Premier League players going for £20m/£30m or more these days – the manager is your main man and rocketing player fees/wages make what a decent manager costs, ever more attractive.

Also, we saw farcical PR stunts from Mike Ashley with Alan Pardew, Graham Carr and John Carver all announced as having signed new improved and extended eight year contracts,

However, the trio all left way before that eight year point was reached – whether they walked out, were sacked, or it was ‘mutual’. Ashley trying to portray an illusion of stability and the media slavishly portraying the deals that way when announced.

Rafa has no fear/worries about his contract, he could walk into any number of jobs and is already handsomely paid, a longer contract is surely meaningless.

Ashley simply has to back his manager properly in the transfer market.

On that point, Rafa Benitez has said he doesn’t have a problem with Mike Ashley…but that has to be taken in context of what he later said.

The Newcastle manager later adding:

“There will be a time, maybe next month, maybe next week, maybe in two months when we will have another conversation and we will talk about that.

“It is not an issue, at the moment the relationship is fine because we don’t need to talk every day on the phone.

“We don’t need to discuss what will happen in January.”

Which is the bottom line.

Rafa Benitez made clear how angry he was at the end of both the January 2017 window (not a single signing) and summer 2017 window (only an £11.5m net spend), as Ashley failed to allow deals to be done on players Rafa wanted.

However, Rafa also then said after the window closed each time, that nothing could be done now and they had to concentrate on the players he did have…with discussions about issues on (lack of) transfers to be had later.

Rafa Benitez:

“We are not talking about my contract, my only focus now is the next game – that is it.

“I don’t think we have to lose energy with the long-term, it doesn’t change anything.

“Why do we have to create that debate about something which doesn’t have an influence on the next game, or the next six months?

“I think it’s important to continue doing our jobs. I have a contract and it is not an issue now, for me.

“We have had some conversations internally and we will see what we do with them.

“But it is not a big issue, I do not have a problem with Mike (Ashley).

“The question is where we are, where we want to be, and what we have to do to be there.

“The contract is not an issue – it is not something that will change my approach, or that I will be more comfortable if I sign a 20 year contract – it does not change my approach for the next game.

“There will be a time, maybe next month, maybe next week, maybe in two months when we will have another conversation and we will talk about that.

“It is not an issue, at the moment the relationship is fine because we don’t need to talk every day on the phone.

“We don’t need to discuss what will happen in January.”

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