As the dust settles on Tyneside after yet another disastrous transfer window, the Mike Ashley ploy to hoodwink a city, a club and Rafa Benitez, now becomes clearer than ever.

After ten long years of Mike Ashley on Tyneside, we thought we’d just about seen it all. Abhorrent management, star players sold, club legends treated with disdain and even Joseph F Kinnear!

Yet when the club turned to Rafael Benitez in the spring of 2016, at long last, it really did feel like the tide was turning at the club. Like the penny had dropped, and that Mike Ashley had finally realised that to succeed, he needs to entrust someone more capable that just another Pardew-esque lackey.

Over the last few years, being a Newcastle fan under the current regime was something akin to being stuck in a self-created hamster wheel of mediocrity. Year after year we’d go nowhere, we’d achieve nothing but survival – but significantly and gallingly, that was the club’s target.

The arrival of Benitez finally felt like the release that we’d all craved. Finally, the hope that the club could at last start to fulfil its potential, be realised.

Relegation may have been unavoidable due to years of hideous mismanagement of the club – but that did not stop the ‘Rafalution’ from growing. After years of footballing purgatory, finally the fans could see that the club had a direction, a purpose, and incredibly, were now led by one the best managers in world football.

What has now become clear is that the vision sold to Rafa Benitez, and sold to the people of Newcastle, was a lie. This time last year Newcastle United had fallen from the Premier League gravy train – just as the really big bucks began to kick in. Ashley knew he had to get us back up at the first attempt, so he sold us ALL a lie to get it.

The lie: That this was a ‘new’ Newcastle United. That Benitez was now calling the shots and that he would be in full control. And whilst this may well be true, Rafa may well be in charge of the football, that control only goes so far. We all know there is only one man who really calls the shots at Newcastle United.

The clues were there in January. When the club failed to strengthen its position at the top of The Championship, Ashley was once again gambling with the club’s future to save a few quid. This summer, a return to the penny-pinching ways of the past has returned and Mike Ashley’s mask has well and truly slipped.

Newcastle United has not changed. Their goal has been achieved. They’re back on the gravy train and now once again Ashley gambles by spending the bare minimum to keep them there. Hell, if Pardew could keep them up on a shoestring, a manager of Rafa’s calibre definitely can!

However, Ashley now has a problem with his plan. Unlike Alan Pardew in the past, Rafael Benitez actually has some self-respect and more importantly, has a spine. He will not apologise for the regime. He will not churn out soundbites about the club keeping their ‘powder dry’ or not being able to get players ‘over the line’.

He will rightly point the finger back at the club.

Placing one of the most meticulous and well prepared managers in European football, under the direct employment of one of Europe’s most incompetent and inept clubs, was always asking for trouble.

Make no mistake here, regardless of promotion, it’s perfectly clear that Newcastle United still needs Rafael Benitez far more than Benitez needs Newcastle – so why bother appointing a manager of the calibre of Benitez and then refuse to back him!? It really does beggar belief.

Given Benitez’s imperturbable nature, I do not believe that he will take his ball and go home in a Kevin Keegan style. He is mindful enough to know just what he means to the city and the fans; and acutely aware that a majority of players that the club did manage to bring in, signed on the basis of playing for him.

The major worry for us Newcastle fans now is, just what this whole episode has done to Benitez’s psyche and attitude toward the club. What motivation does he have for staying and to plan for the future when the owner has no long-term ambition to achieve anything!?

When another club with just one shred of ambition comes a calling for Benitez, who amongst us could blame him for going? I certainly wouldn’t.

In a stark contrast to this time last year, all optimism and positivity generated by the ‘Rafalution’ has completely ebbed away. In the space of one transfer window, Mike Ashley has shown the manager that he gave so many promises too, his true colours. They are colours we fans know only too well.

The long con that Mike Ashley has pulled on Benitez, the club and its fans in order to return to the footballing holy land may well have worked in the short-term, but in the long-term, the damage could be far more disastrous.

If Benitez was to walk away, it may well be the final straw for many and there is a good chance that after ten long years of Ashley’s antics, many fans will follow Rafa.

After a decade of benign emptiness at Ashley’s Newcastle United, Rafael Benitez is more than just a manager for the fans – he is the last hope.

After Ashley’s latest act of deception, the ‘Rafalution’ and Newcastle’s last hope now hang by a thread.

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



  • Kneebotherm8

    Ashley appointed Rafa to placate the fans who were in uproar over Mclarens ineptitude. A financially good move by Ashley,guaranteeing season ticket sales for the following season and beyond. He fooled us into thinking he’d turned a new leaf and would actually match Rafa’s ambition. He is what he is and it’s now obvious he’s never gonna change his money grabbing ways. Footballing reputations do not,have not,and never will mean a thing to him. He’ll continue to manipulate and lie to all to achieve his financial objectives.

  • George Topping

    Ashley stole my shares undar false pretences.He’s just like a cockney spiv

    • NoelBlack

      He’s not a cockney. He’s definitely a spiv.

  • Alex

    SD and Ashley even got mentions in today’s PMQ’s. His reputation stinks at the highest levels these days.

  • Martin Rooney

    What a load of tosh as Rafa knows he has the power to do what he wants with the cash the club generates the blame for any inadequacies lies with him. He could have bought differently, Wilfried Bony for example could have been bought for the same money as Jacob Murphy.

    The irony is that Rafa was happy with having the money to spend but hasn’t done a good job based on the changes in fortune. Of course we all remember him coming to Newcastle when they were fourth bottom and him being unable to keep them in that position. ( i will concede that poor ref decisions actually cost him that spot).

    Rafa needs to think about his own ability to get good results from the players he has and must recognise the need for players to be in a good frame of mind when working. It is his responsibility to ensure as many of them are and pick the ones who are going to do the best for him/club.
    He is failing miserably in that point, as Rafa has said nothing other than he is unhappy, it could be one of a hundred scenarios.
    Imagine the issue is the not signing of a goalkeeper and the reason he is upset is that the club said no you cannot have Krul Sels Darlow Elliot Woodman and Reina at the club, it would just be wasting money, get rid of two up to you loan or whatever and well sign Pepe, that would be entirely reasonable don’t you think. He failed to get two off the books until the last minute so he lost out. (his fault nowt to do with mike)The other missed target we about Tammy Abraham serious surely he is not upset at losing out someone miles behind Dwight Gayle and who would only be coming on loan.

    Some people are putting 2 and 2 together and coming up with Mike’s a %&^%,, given he has been on T.V. saying rafa has final say and that is it not the other way round that would give rafa the ability to sue if that was not the case he hasn’t he is still here and still raking 100K per week.

    theres something fishy about his protests.

    • Guest 2

      You must Bahhhhhhhhh yourself to sleep every night. Another of the Ashley sheeple.

    • hetonmag

      Gayle is an injury prone player that’s why Rafa wanted Abraham, and by the way would you like (I’ve dedicated this win to Mike) Pardew back that’s probably your stamp of manager.

      • Guest 2

        Bony wouldn’t leave City and take a pay cut from his 120k a week. They dropped the price so Swansea could then afford his wages (after Sanches was signed).
        “Rafa needs to think about his own ability” LOL! He is the only manager in history to have won the UEFA Europa League, UEFA Super Cup, UEFA Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup.
        Mike Ashey has brought two relegations, 3 near misses and a boatload of morons into the club as well as being so miserly that Scrooge would be impressed..
        Who wins on the ability front?

    • magpiefifer

      Idiocy – that’s rich after your defence of Ashley!!
      You are basing so much of your opinion on assumption and unknown facts,while at the same time fully accepting what Ashley says is true – an owner who is a proven liar!
      You believe what you want,but the comments from people like Jonathan and Paul Nicholson are more likely to be reflective of the vast majority of NUFC fans.

    • Tom page

      Thank you, Mr Charnley, for your words of ‘wisdom’!!!

    • Tom page

      What a load of sh*te.

    • Lord

      I think you’re right to say it’s more complicated than simply Mike Ashley being a chancer. Unexpected market conditions and agent fees, inability to shift unwanted players, players themselves refusing wage step downs; players rejecting loan moves and so on.

      I also think Rafa was misguided to give out the quote about him “signing players he can rather than wants”. That can’t do anything but deflate the entire squad.

      However, I very much doubt Mike Ashley sat down with Rafa in May and said

      ‘You can have £11m to spend plus whatever you make out of player sales. And you can’t buy before you sell or loan because our squad is too big”.

      Do you think Rafa would have forgone his summer holiday based on that ‘promise’?

      Something has changed in between that meeting in May and August 31st and whoever’s fault it is, Rafa no longer sees his medium or long term future with our club.

      You might not rate Rafa but you’re in the minority. I personally think it’s a crying shame as he is the best chance we’ve had of breaking a 10 year cycle of mediocrity.

      Until we know any better about what’s gone on, the buck stops with the owner.

    • NoelBlack

      Mike’s a %&^%

  • Guest 2

    Biggest development last January was Justin Barnes being installed. Unaccountable to anyone but fatty and doing his bidding.

    • NoelBlack

      Isn’t he just loitering in the hope of an offer coming in for the club, though (please God)? Obviously Rafa doesn’t answer to him.

      • Guest 2

        Barnes doesn’t seem the type to go and loiter anywhere. As well as being a former SD crony, he also set up the transportation company which moves some of SD’s gear – No surprise to learn it’s owned by fatty’s brother.
        He’s also a Director of Barlin Investments – the company through which fatty is developing the former club owned Gallowgate land.
        He was involved in the closure (and repurchase debt free) of USC as well as the RFC fiasco.
        Reports have stated he’s the ‘guy who puts the boot in’ for Ashley.

  • Buck Blacket

    Is THE MAG going to spend the rest of the season moaning? It is getting tiresome and we are only three games in, one of which we won comfortably. Yes, we are all disappointed with fatso’s duplicity but let’s get behind Rafa and the team now!

    • Leazes Ender

      Idiot

      • Buck Blacket

        Given that you are obviously a sock puppet account for THE MAG, I’ll try not to be too offended. That’s why your profile is closed and mine isn’t because unlike you I have nothing to hide.

        • Leazes Ender

          You hide your intelligence well.

          • Buck Blacket

            Not as well as you hide your profile. What are you afraid of apart from the fact it would become obvious you are involved with this website?

          • Leazes Ender

            Nowt to do with me muggins.

          • NoelBlack

            lol. If he’s involved with this website it’s because they let him sweep the floor.

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            😂😂😂😂😂

      • NoelBlack

        Wow. If ever the old adage of ‘takes one to know one’ needed proof…

    • Guest 2

      You can do both you know. Protest the owner but support the team/Rafa.

      • Buck Blacket

        How does that work then when most people are calling for an empty stadium most of whom have probably never been to a game in their life! Lol

        • Guest 2

          It can be argued that a lot of the so called support these days can’t bring themselves to open their mouths for any reason!
          Chants, signs etc against Ashley while supporting Rafa / team is posible.
          LFC and RFC have shown what can be done. All it takes is some organisation and effort instead of doing nowt.

          • Buck Blacket

            I understand what you are saying and that is more realistic than calling for a complete boycott.

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            the only way to get rid of Fatty IS a complete boycott

    • Georgia Peter

      Porciestreet;
      Don’t read it then….simples.

  • Leazes Ender

    It hasn’t suddenly become clear at all……

    ….. its LONG been clear since Ashley, Llambias, Wise (all Chelsea fans)…. slated Keegan in a public bar……. and at that point embarked on a mission to show United’s fans……’Just how ******* horrible we can be’……

    • Guest 2

      Amen to that.
      Bishop and Barnes, two unaccountable Ashley men who have more say than the Manager – and the pathetic excuse for a Club Board (Charnley and Moncur).
      Another two in the ever growing list of parasites which fatty thrusts on the club.

    • Kneebotherm8

      The penny takes longer to drop for some than others. For one or two on this site the penny will never drop.

    • East Durham Mag

      Some supporters seem happy to have the SD logo plastered all over SJP and the club to be nothing more than a subsidiary of MASH Holdings and SD. Just turn up and be happy with the way it’s going and don’t have the cheek to show unrest at the lies told by Fatty and his minions. Accept relegation and a total lack of ambition. Meanwhile Fatty bleeds the club dry and sticks two fingers up at us all.

  • Toonsmudge

    Lets get this clear, many fans WILL NOT follow Rafa out of the door. They can’t help themselves but turn up at the ground every other week, buy shirts, pints and pies where all the dosh goes straight to SD. Nothing will change until the supporters force change. A article hit the nail on the head the other day,when it spoke about why Ashley bought the club, because the fans will through thick and thin, support the club. We will be having the same conversations in 1, 2 and 3 years time, just with different managers. As they say, wake up and smell the coffee people.

    • ghostrider

      What do you mean by “all the dosh goes to SD” ?
      Wake up and smell what coffee?
      Has the club folded?

      • NoelBlack

        Give it up. You aren’t a toon fan.

        And you clearly aren’t a mackem either which makes your commenting here as sickeningly cynical as it’s stupidly obvious.

        • ghostrider

          Me being a Newcastle fan does not hinge on what you say, so you’re wasting your time coming out with that.
          I stand by what I say and I don’t just follow popular opinion just for the hell of it.

          • NoelBlack

            Maybe you follow un-popular opinion just for the hell of it.

            I’m tempted to think you’re some kind of weird chub-loving fanboy, but a look at your posting history shows something a little more cynical, I’d say.

          • Guest 2

            Ok, tell us where the merchandising money goes then? Tell us why we aren’t seeing any SD money for all the advertising – when Ashley stated earlier last year they would start doing so?
            Tell us why this multi billionaire has failed to grow commercial revenue since he took over a decade ago (he has in fact decreased it!).

          • ghostrider

            What kind of money do you think you should see for the advertising on HIS club?
            What about the interest free loans he gave?
            Was he not entitled to charge interest if he wanted to?
            Offset that against his SD revenue that you think he should pay.

            Let’s put this in simple terms.
            If you owned two businesses…let’s say, a bus company and also a bakers.
            Are you telling me that you would not take advantage of having your bakery touted about on your buses?

          • Guest 2

            He doesn’t OWN SD. It’s a PLC and all of it’s shareholders have therefore benefited as a result of the advertising without contributing a single penny to the club.
            As for interest, if he had charged it then the club would have paid some of the debt off by now instead of it reaching 144 million – despite the fact he’s repaid himself 29 million along the way.
            You are simply displaying your ignorance of the facts, mate.

          • ghostrider

            He owns part of it and the issue still stands in what I said about him loaning the club interest free money from his own pocket.
            If he’d went to the bank, this club would be on a huge mortgage.
            Think about that.

          • Guest 2

            Giving away advertising and benefiting from that and the merchandising doesn’t equal nor amount to the money being ‘interest free’ Derek Llambias said as much in 2009. Think about that.
            A mortgage gets paid down – think about that.
            Fatty loaned another 33 million in December via St james Holdings (another 100% owned company and the clubs parent). He paid himself back 18 million of it.
            Think about that.
            He paid himself back 11 million in 2012. Think about that.
            Actyally, crawl back into your cupboard and think in private.

          • ghostrider

            He’s giving away no advertising.
            He’s using his own club to promote his other interests like any normal person would…including yourself, no matter what you argue.
            I can guarantee you right now that if we were getting to cup finals and into the champions league, you wouldn’t give the advertising a second thought.

            This isn’t about funds taken from the club, this is about your hatred for Ashley and co and nothing more, to be fair.

          • Guest 2

            Nah, this is about your sycophantic defence of a man largely despised by all, from MP’s to his own workers.
            If we were getting into the CL (again) then that would suggest that Ashley was doing something right – which a decade of his ownership has convincingly proven otherwise.
            The advertising, in his own words “has been greatly beneficial to SD and its shareholders” It hasn’t however brought a single benefit to the football club.

          • ghostrider

            I’m counter-arguing to what I feel is worth counter-arguing, whether you like it or not.
            Ashley has done many things right and an equal amount wrong.
            This would not change attitudes from people like yourself against him if we were to get into the champions league.
            It would be in spite of him.
            Just like Pardew got us to 5th in spite of Ashley and not because of him.

            Answer me these two question.
            If Ashley allows Rafa to spend what the club generates as profit on top of player sales and it all goes wrong, who’s fault is it?

            If Ashley allows Rafa to spend what the club generates as profit on top of player sales and it all goes right, who gets the credit?

          • Guest 2

            You are in the minority, clearly, if you feel Ashley has done ‘many things’ right. The only argument you have is a financial one – yet we are club who supposedly buys for cash, but is happy to sell in installments.
            No point using hypothetical arguments when a decade of his ownership has proven otherwise. That’s the only argument your likes has – pretend ones.

          • ghostrider

            Where should we always be under his ownership when you consider he’s made it basically plain that the club has to run from within?
            I’m well aware of his appointments as managers and such but I’m asking you what you expected of him and why you expect what you do, or what would have pacified you..

          • NoelBlack

            I’d give up if I were you.

            The fukka’s a posterboy for cognitive dissonance ;-)

          • Paul Patterson

            Your customers would soon get sick if the driver wasn’t putting he right fuel into the bus, the bus repeatedly broke down and the owner back at the depot slagged off the passengers.

          • ghostrider

            What kind of fuel do you want in the bus?
            What do you expect from the club?
            And Ashley isn’t slagging off the passengers, that was Hall and Shepherd iirc.
            So tell me what you expect from Ashley and what you think he should do to pacify you?

          • Paul Patterson

            A few more million gallons more than is currently going in.
            Give the driver a chance to reach his destination without risking running out of fuel and if you think the owner back at the depot hasn’t took the p**s out of the passengers then you need help.
            The owner of our bus company cares more about the advertising on the side of the bus than if the bus runs or not.

          • ghostrider

            How much is enough fuel?
            You tell me right now, what Ashley needed to hand to Rafa in this window that Rafa didn’t seem to have?
            You saw us buying players.
            Murphy for 12 million, etc, so what’s the issue. Come out with it and answer that.

  • ghostrider

    Imagine spending 10 years of your life trying to hoodwink all managers and a football club, as well as the entire city.
    The hatred for Ashley goes way beyond reasonable and actually appears to be approaching a frenzied epidemic.
    Why?
    Why after a season where his name was hardly mentioned does it all of a sudden come back round to the bile?

    I seriously do not understand the issue with him.
    It’s not as if we’re fielding non-league players brought in, in the transfer market.

    If Ashley is running about on the pitch in games, then slaughter him. If 11 players are doing it and you’ve paid to see them, whether it’s on TV or at the game itself, or even streaming it, then try and enjoy it instead of worrying about what’s being said behind the scenes…or done.

    • Leazes Ender

      He’s positioned the club tenth in the squad value table for the last nine years…. this year its a bit different…. he’s positioned his club fifteenth.

      • ghostrider

        I’m not quite sure what you’re getting at.
        Who’s positioned the team 15th?
        We’ve just been promoted from the championship. What’s to be expected at this moment in time?

    • NoelBlack

      Absolute b*ll*cks that completely ignores the loads of valid points raised in not only THIS article, but by just about every toon fan I’ve ever come across.

      Go to the top of the page and READ THE ARTICLE, ffs! Then come back and address some of the points made.

      • ghostrider

        I’ve read it and I stand by what I said, regardless of you believing every toon fan thinks the same.
        I’ve been a Newcastle fan for a long long time and always will be.
        I’ve see n the good the bad and the real ugly of what this club has produced from the pitch and behind the scenes.

        Ashley’s messed up on many occasions and even spat out his dummy, I believe.
        I’ve seen a hell of a lot worse in all ways and means compared to him.
        I’m not happy about a lot of things right now but I understand many of the issues.

        Hit me with any points and I’ll give you my genuine thoughts, or just accept that I’m not going to crucify Ashley and co just because it seems to be the in thing again.

        Nobody was moaning when we were aiming to win the championship.
        Let me guess. He done that because he knew there was money to be made in the premier league and that’s why he allowed Rafa to spend spend spend.

        The same reason why Villa are still struggling in the championship and all the other wannabe clubs spending on a whim to try and have a slice of the premier league.

        Ashley is no saint but he’s also no devil and fans better know whats on the other side when he does leave, because it isn’t always greener.

        • NoelBlack

          “Hit me with any points and I’ll give you my genuine thoughts”

          ANY of the points raised in the above article. ALL of the points raised in the above article (you did know this is a comments section for the purpose of discussing the above article?).

          Talk about ANYTHING other than what a great guy Chubs is – which you’ve never done once in anything you’ve ever posted, and anyone can check that out just by clicking your username.

          I’d finish by telling you to take your tongue out of Ashley’s CRACK long enough to sound like a football fan let alone a toon fan. But there’d be no point in that because you’re a fake, pal. All anyone needs to do is to click on your username and the evidence is there.

        • Guest 2

          Spend, spend spend? LOL! Rafa made a net profit of 40 million last season on sales. He was given nothing in the January window and the Summer has seen only a net spend of 11.5 mil..
          I sure do wonder how bad an owner has to be before so called ‘supporters’ like you finally say enough is enough. I suspect you haven’t protested against anything in your entire life.

          • ghostrider

            Why did he require funds in the January transfer window?
            We won the championship, so why buy more players to add to a squad that was already good enough to win it and then have to ship them out?
            Think about it.

          • Guest 2

            We didn’t win anything in January bonny lad.
            Pretty sure Rafa knew why he needed players and they wouldn’t have been for just the remainder of the season.

          • ghostrider

            End of season proved we didn’t need to add more championship players to an already top heavy squad, don’t you think?
            Here’s a clue.
            Look at what we had to ship out once we got promoted.
            How about you tell me what players we could or should have added to that squad in January.

          • Guest 2

            End of last season ptroved we needed some PL quality. Don’t you think?
            Don’t you think Rafa Benitez had already thought of that?
            I suspect neither I nor anyone else can tell you anything. Coconut.

          • ghostrider

            End of last season we won the championship and needed players added to ensure we can compete in the premier league.
            Correct.
            We bought 6 players.
            Rafa bought 6 players to add to the already premier league quality we have.
            So what is the major issue at this particular time? Because I seriously don’t see any MAJOR issues as of yet.

          • Georgia Peter

            Porciestreet;
            To begin getting the squad up to standard for the Premier league you numpty. Do you understand anything about running a team successfully.
            Obviously not.

          • ghostrider

            Do you understand that to run a team on a more successful note you have to BUILD from the bottom up?
            I’ll capitalise this.
            WE HAVE JUST CAME FROM THE CHAMPIONSHIP.
            Tell me what we should have bought as opposed to what we have bought?
            Tell me the prices and wages we should have went for to give us a competitive squad, because West Ham have bought a lot of players who’s wages dwarf the wages of most, if not all of our players and yet we despatched them with ease…3-0.

            Was that luck?
            What about matching last seasons title contenders, Tottenham until Shelvey got sent off?
            Is that lucky we matched them or unlucky we lost?

            So come on tell me what we should have at this present time that’s galling you so much.

          • Georgia Peter

            Porciestreet;
            The difference and the end product would have been a serious upgrade in quality as has been shown in our requirements to BETTER compete with Premiershipstandard sides.
            Firstly, Spuds were caught cold (first game of the season) and we would probably be facing a much tougher sid if we played them after this break.
            Wet Spam were atrocious, start to finish and even 5under1and would have turned them over.
            Yes, we have a quality set of Championship players but that is just what they are and Rafa was trying to pre-empt the situation arising when the premiership “shockwave” hits the club and we couldn’t cope. He above all managers is acutely aware of what we reqiure as a basic need and the Fatmn decided to keep his powder dry. Very foolish , but it shows how “Not in the game” Ashley truely is. His forte is as a retailer which is vastly out of reach for him as a major player in Premiership football. He is simply not in the game and inflicting his ineptitude on our once proud club and its adoring followers.
            Ther are none so blind as them who refuse to see.
            Howaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa the Lads.

          • ghostrider

            Powder dry?
            Money was available and Rafa was spending it?
            How is that Ashley’s fault?
            How about telling me what players Rafa wanted and also tell me if you know he was refused funding?

          • mactoon

            I would have been happier if rafa had got some of his first choice transfers in. Even he said he got the players he could not the players he wanted.

          • ghostrider

            I don’t recall him saying that about players.
            Imagine the players he bought knowing they weren’t his real wants and would have to make do.
            Can you link me to his quotes of him saying anything like this?
            I’ve no doubt he’s missed out on players but for what reason?
            Just because its Rafa Benitez doesn’t guarantee a buy.
            Just because its Newcastle United doesn’t guarantee the pull of the player.

            Also it’s possible that the players Rafa wanted were out of our price range, either transfer wise or wages, or both.
            I’d still like to know what players we were after though, as first choice over the one’s we have brought in.

          • mactoon

            It was during Benitez pre-match Press conference Friday, August 25, ahead of the West Ham game. Just google the following cos I can’t post links. The Guardian: newcastle-united-rafael-benitez-mike-ashley-signings
            and The Chronicle: hopefully-mike-can-keep-word-13557306
            “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.”
            By deadline day, not only had Benitez failed to even sign the players he wanted, he couldn’t even convince the club to bring in any further reinforcements

          • ghostrider

            That statement can be read into in a few ways.
            Of course Rafa won’t be over the moon about constraints on transfers and missing out on targets, but he’s got a budget to work with and he clearly seems to know this.
            This doesn’t appear to be any major fault of anyone to be fair. It basically is what it is and I would imagine certain targets were a bridge too far.

            Him saying he’s signing players that he can can also be construed as him saying that he’d love to sign the top players but he knows he can only sign the players within the means of what the club has at its disposal, so he’s signing the players that he can with what he has

            If anyone doesn’t think this is the case then tell me what Rafa SHOULD have been able to buy that would be realistic to where we are right now? .

          • mactoon

            Having spent $40 million I would have expected him to be able to get at least two or three of his first choice players unless restrictions were put on him (When Ashley promised he could spend the money how he wanted). Add to this that he was also told if he sold players surplus to his plans he could use the funds to get additional players, he did so and reduced the wage bill by some £200,000 a week by offloading Emmanuel Riviere, Siem de Jong, Grant Hanley, Krull and Lazaar, yet he was not allowed to spend it as after a half hour meeting with Charnley, Charnley left the club at 5:30pm. on deadline day. That doesn’t sound right to me.

          • ghostrider

            Yes we sold players and reduced the wage bill and it might have given Rafa extra leg room to barter had it been done earlier, rather than later in the window.
            Now, what we have to figure out is, who were his top 3 players and how realistic were their transfer fees to wages ratio, because we all know that high end players always command mammoth wages on top of high end transfers.
            All you have to think of, is this: Ashley came out and spoke to David Craig and told us that Rafa can have what the club generates as profit.
            He also said that Charnley answers to Rafa over players.

            This may seem cut and dried in that Rafa has the upper hand, so why can’t he have the spoils of the kitty… but there’s much more to a transfer kitty than just shelling out on a transfer price and this could have scuppered any potential deals in terms of going too far over the wage threshold or whatever.

            I really don’t know the entire truth and all we can do is speculate.
            I prefer to speculate it by not having to think of the worst from the hierarchy, until I know for sure if anything extremely untoward has been done or common sense has been used…etc.

          • mactoon

            Yes I understand the bigger picture needs to be taken into consideration in terms of wages, agents fees, length of contract and so on and this may have been contributory to not getting the desired players but the fact remains Charnley shut up shop at 5:30pm with no intention of even trying to get a player in on deadline day. No wonder Rafa was frustrated after working so hard to move players on.

          • ghostrider

            I would imagine Rafa was frustrated. I would be.
            Rafa is our manager and he wants the best possible set up that he can muster.
            Charnley shutting up shop could mean anything though.
            It might be that certain targets were a bridge too far with Rafa’s knowledge of it but nonetheless frustrating for Rafa.

            I was still hanging on to the last seconds even though I had a feeling we might not do anything.
            Take a look at the clubs that actually done last minute deals or the last hours.
            Very few clubs were active, because the market went cash mental with average players being touted like seasoned prolific superstars with wage demands to match.

            So yeah, I imagine Rafa was fuming. I imagine man y managers were less than happy.
            The major issue against us is the media stirring the pot and telling us all that Huddersfield and Brighton eclipsed us in spending, yet used our net spend to muddy the waters, when the reality of the spends were much different.

            The issue was in their player OUTS were peanuts and our player OUTS brought in a decent revenue that offset our spend.

            It’s never ideal at Newcastle United…or rarely, no matter who’s in charge.
            We’re a feast and a famine club in uneven percentages with famine holding the most.

            Rafa must know the score. He’s still here. He didn’t come here with his eyes and ears glued shut.
            He’s shaping a team which is as close to his rather than anyone else’s.
            He has the opportunity to net spend a hell of a lot more next season.

            There’s literally no way out for Ashley after this season. He’s placed his cards firmly on the table with promised funds that the club generates as profit.
            We need to see Rafa holding it and using it along with a wage ceiling, assuming we have one in place.

            This is when we will actually see just what’s on offer for us..but in the meantime this team/squad needs to be enjoyed and backed vocally by the fans at the very least and Ashley and co need to take a back seat in the minds of those that are acting like they’re waiting for their last meal before they walk the green mile.

    • hetonmag

      You’ve obviously been in hibernation for the last ten year.

    • Georgia Peter

      Porciestreet;
      Seriously mate, if you can’t or won’t accept the shyte that Fatty is responsible for, then you’re blind, deaf, dumb and completely stupid….as well as a mackem.
      I would have thought that 10 years of Nikey Mikey would be enough for anyone.

      • Georgia Peter

        Porciestreet;
        Actually thought that even mackems had more sense than that.

  • Steve Pearce

    Rafa will stay as we will never attract new owners without him. The fat stinking bag of southern pus should realise that he, like all dictators, we be eventually overthrown – in his case by a huge sum of cash dangled in front of his greedy face and he will be free to weave his malice somewhere else. I actually think that Rafa would be the first point of contact for prospective buyers as they would seek assurances of his continuing presence at our club. He would be sworn to silence and as a deeply honourable man that silence would be total. I firmly believe that come the next transfer window we will be in new hands and take heart and hope from this.

    • Lhc

      Rafa won’t stay he’s going to end up at West Ham, it’s a certainty.

      • Georgia Peter

        Porciestreet;
        No its not. There are no certainties in this game, and even less involving Newcastle.
        Wet Spam have the same problems as us so Rafa won’t be so daft.

        • Lhc

          Delusional

      • Steve Pearce

        Today there was news that he was going nowhere, which backs up mine and George’s comments.

        • Lhc

          Keep kidding yourselves

    • Georgia Peter

      Porciestreet:
      This has long been my belief. I believe that Rafa is staying because because hes aware of future plans and wether Fatty is part of the game or not, Rafa is keeping stum.

  • Mike

    goin down…….again

  • Mrkgw

    We need Rafa more than he needs us. For supporters, he is one of few positives at the club keeping us going. Long last the Rafalution. If the regime refuse to back him – Ashley out!

  • Rob Brown

    “The clues were there in January. When the club failed to strengthen its position at the top of The Championship, Ashley was once again gambling with the club’s future to save a few quid.”

    This is funny stuff.

    When the January window closed we were, what, 2nd and streets ahead of third?
    And Ashley failed to strengthen our team, and we finished Champions.

    What a tosser the man obviously is!