Get your daily update and weekly newsletter by signing up today!


Embarrassing that Newcastle fans believe Rafa £500m war chest story – Look who wrote it

4 years ago

Newcastle fans are no difference to supporters of other clubs.

They constantly slag off the media for just how bad the newspapers have got in inventing stuff, then many of them suddenly believe something that they read because they want to believe it.

An exclusive on Sunday has ‘reported’ that Rafa Benitez is set to have £500m to spend if the Amanda Staveley takeover happens.

The back page story is carried by The Express and goes like this:



RAFA BENITEZ will finally get what he has wanted all along, a free reign in the transfer market if British businesswoman Amanda Staveley is successful in buying Newcastle United.


During the last transfer window Benitez openly questioned Ashley about what he thought were false promises over what funds would be available to him.

The Spaniard who has mainly had to shop in the bargain basement was ordered to keep quiet by the Newcastle hierarchy on the orders of Ashley but that could be around to change.

Staveley is lining up a £300m bid for the Magpies which is some £100 million short of Ashley’s valuation of the club but talks are set to continue in a bid to agree a deal.

Rafa Benitez could be given as much as £500m over two seasons

While  Staveley  who controls around £30 billion of capital through her PCP Capital Partners firm also advised a group Dubai-based investors during a bid to buy Liverpool.

And Benitez will be given substantial funds on new players as much as £500 million in the next two transfer windows to turn Newcastle into title contenders.

It could mean that a deal to take Andros Townsend who is rated at around £30 million back to the North East from Crystal Palace could be revived after stalling in the summer.

While French midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa who has dropped down the pecking order at Paris Saint-Germain and is keen to leave the French capital in the New Year’

Predictably, loads of the other newspapers have repeated this Express ‘exclusive’, as have many Newcastle fans on social media, without giving it any proper scrutiny.

The story is simply embarrassingly bad and clearly totally made up, the journalist doesn’t even pretend to know how he would have access to information on budgets or funds that would be available.

Then he adds to it by just picking two names out of the air who used to play for Newcastle as January targets – so Rafa Benitez’ priorities in the next transfer window, with or without £500m to spend, would be two wingers, rather than the striker, number 10, left-back, and goalkeeper that he was desperate to sign in the summer?

Not sure why bothering to even discuss the ins and outs of the content because just one look at the identity of the journalist is all you need to know.

Only on Wednesday we highlighted a quite ridiculous article (see below) that he had written slagging Newcastle fans off, summing up his ignorance and trashy journalism.

Neil Fissler specialises in writing about rugby and is a Millwall fan, his other interests include writing rubbish about Newcastle United…

The Mag – 18 October 2017:

When it comes to Newcastle United, one thing is sure.

All journalists from outside the area, believe that they have the right and the knowledge to write about our football club.

There is an arrogance and a condescension that abounds.

The only ones that have any kind of a handle on Newcastle United, are almost always the ones, surprise surprise, who have actually visited Tyneside/St James Park, especially the odd ones who have spent a decent amount of time working/studying up here in the past.

If somebody said to me for example, I’ll give you a few quid if you write an article about fans of Harlequins rugby club, I would say thanks but no thanks.

I don’t know anything about rugby, I don’t even know where Harlequins are (in London apparently), and I certainly don’t know all the ins and outs of what it is to be a fan of them there Harlequins.

When it comes though to clueless idiots writing about NUFC and Newcastle fans in particular, they wear their ignorance as a badge of honour.

Just look at this pile of steaming nonsense that has been published by the Express.

The journalist is called Neil Fissler, his specialist subject is writing about Rugby and he claims to be a Millwall fan when it comes to football…

‘Mike Ashley never should have bothered investing in Newcastle United’

‘MIKE ASHLEY must wonder why in the earth he bothered investing in Newcastle United for all the grief that it has brought him.

He has never really been appreciated by Newcastle fans almost ever since he stepped through the front doors at St James Park.

Although when he first arrived, he did sit and drink with the fans, famously dropping £2,500 on a round of drinks for 500 of them in the Blu Bambu nightclub.

But the honeymoon period was over pretty quickly, well as soon as Kevin Keegan who has god like status among the Geordies departed as manager.

Ashley almost since then has been the target of many years of protests from the Toon Army foot soldiers.

And admittedly two relegations from the Premier League haven’t helped his cause but at least the funds were provided for them to bounce straight back up.

Ashley, who founded Sports Direct, a business which has made him a billionaire, realised one thing very quickly after taking over.

He knew they were never going to compete with the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, even Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham.

Why? Because he doesn’t have enough money in the bank despite being one of the richest men in the country.

Newcastle fans need to remember a few things, the last proper cup they won was the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1969.

I am not counting the Texaco Cup, Anglo-Italian or Inter Two-Bob because they are an after-thought in anybody’s trophy cabinet.

I agree, Newcastle sell out nearly every home game but they are based in a city where they have no serious competition for season ticket money.

In my book that makes them a well supported club rather than a big club and I have my doubts that anybody will be able to realise the unrealistic expectations up there.

Ashley says that he wants to sell Newcastle by Christmas, if he does I reckon it will see him throwing the best Christmas party in town.’

Does the Express not employ anybody at all with a vague knowledge of Newcastle Upon Tyne and/or Newcastle United?

I’ll leave you to count up all the nonsense points he makes but I will make a few comments.

How can you ignore the massive benefit Ashley and Sports Direct have had from their free promotion via Newcastle United? Mike Ashley is now far far richer than when he took over NUFC, the club playing a key part in that.

Yes, we all know that the trophy cabinet has been bare for a long long time but then if we are’t allowed to count ‘ancient’ history, then what about the Premier League era?

Before Mike Ashley came along, Newcastle United had never been outside of the Deloitte Top 20 biggest revenue clubs in the world, in fact at one time Newcastle were in the top half dozen when it came to generating money.

Before Mike Ashley came along, in their first 11 Premier League seasons, in seven of them Newcastle never finished lower than sixth, indeed in five of those first 11 seasons, Newcastle finished in the top four – what is now commonly called the ‘Champions League places’.

Newcastle averaged over 51,000 in the second tier!!! That is quite incredible and indicative of what is a massive fanbase (just ask Sky Sports!!!), a fanbase that can help generate far far bigger revenues than the club currently do, due mainly to a combination of employing no proper team of off-pitch professionals to generate commercial income AND most importantly, Mike Ashley wanting the club just to be pushing Sports Direct (and related brands).

This idiot dismisses Newcastle’s support as the result simply of being the only club in the city. Obviously it helps to have one club and not two or more but Newcastle Upon Tyne hasn’t got the biggest population. Down in South London I hear there are a few people live there and Millwall’s main competition for fans is those megaclubs Charlton and Palace, yet Millwall had only 10,399 when they played Reading at the end of September…

Not having a go at Millwall, just at this knacker’s nonsense. I don’t care about Millwall, or Rugby, I care about what I know about – Newcastle United.

Maybe Neil Fissler should stick to Rugby and Millwall.

Some Newcastle fans have already responded to his nonsense article via Twitter:

‘What are these unrealistic expectations that you speak of?’

‘Quite. It’s the usual hackneyed view rolled out when an nufc story makes the nationals. Not sure why editors pay for the same old garbage.’

‘Did you write this in the pub based upon opinions you’ve picked up from callers to talksport?’

‘What a load of guff.’

‘R u paid for this drivel u call your opinion… Unrealistic expectation?? Do us a favour,write something original based on fact, I dare you!

‘Is this a wind up ? You clearly have no clue what you are writing about. Unbelievable article.’

‘Also he brought nufc to boast the profile of sport direct he’s had free advertising for the last 10 years. No mention of that, poor article.’


If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]

Have your say

© 2021 The Mag. All Rights Reserved. Design & Build by Mediaworks