Mike Ashley has blocked Rafa Benitez buying any players unless he sells some of his current squad first, according to a new exclusive.

It is 18 days ago (22 December 2017) now when Rafa said (see below) that he wanted all signings in ideally by 15 January (six days time…), or 20 January at the very latest ‘to be sure that we have time to work with the new players’.

Instead, up to now all the messages via the media have indicated that no signings are imminent, whereas it was anticipated that just like in the summer, the Newcastle Manager would have targets identified for the very start of the transfer window. Which of course is what Rafa had in place in the summer, only for deals to be blocked by Mike Ashley.

Now in this latest exclusive carried by The Sun, they report that Rafa Benitez has been told by Ashley that he can’t buy anybody, unless he sells somebody first.

The newspaper says that they understand Rafa is more than prepared to sell players but wants to get his signing(s) in as early as possible regardless of that, wanting the club/ Mike Ashley to support him and then recoup money through sales.

The indication is that Rafa Benitez is wary of selling any players of any value because then he fears he will be let down by Mike Ashley.

No surprise really after Benitez was let down by the owner despite the ‘promises’ made before the summer window. The manager repeatedly saying in public that he hoped Ashley would keep those promises.

After being promised ‘every penny’ to support him in that summer market, instead the United boss was only allowed a net spend of around £11.5m, whilst both Huddersfield and Brighton had net spends of over £40m each. This being despite Rafa Benitez making a £40m transfer surplus for Newcastle United in the summer 2016 transfer window.

Yet another reason for Rafa Benitez to be wary of selling any player who may be of use to him, is that if Mike Ashley is sticking to his previous sales policy, then Rafa could only get a fraction of any sale price. The Newcastle owner having in the past been happy for other clubs to pay in instalments, so potentially Newcastle could sell say Jonjo Shelvey for £12m but if they were to take payment in four instalments, then the initial £3m might be all that Rafa was allocated towards any replacement/new signing.

As always we are in the dark as to what is going on, apart from when Rafa Benitez enlightens us, but the one thing we do know is that the manager said he was desperate to get new much needed players in as soon as possible and nine days in, there is still no new signings on the horizon.

The Sun exclusive also reports that just as in the summer, Mike Ashley doesn’t like the fact that Rafa Benitez has felt he has no option but to go public with his transfer window expectations.

You hope for the best but with Ashley’s past record you can’t help but have the feeling this is not going to end well.

Rafa Benitez – 22 December 2017:

“I have confidence that Mike Ashley will deliver what we need to stay in the Premier League before January 20, to be sure that we have time to work with the new players.

“I don’t know the budget that I have, so we don’t know how much we can spend…

“It will depend on the value of the players, the players who are available or not, and we may have to move players out to bring others in.

“It’s really important to do that.

“We haven’t received any offers for any of our players at this stage but we have to do things as quickly as possible.

“I have the belief and the confidence in Mike Ashley, that by January 15 or 20, we have to be there with everything done.”



  • TheNutJob

    I`m truly shocked, that was totally unexpected
    😂😂😂

    • Peaky Magpie

      Truly taken aback myself 😂😂😂 Hows The Moose ?

      • TheNutJob

        Back in the Rvi, he`ll be out on Thursday & fit about a week later

        • Peaky Magpie

          Pass on my best & hope he’s well soon,we need him back and fit for the crucial run in ! 😁🤞

          • TheNutJob

            Ok will do, he said from day 1, no takeover & the evil one won`t spend a penny, looks like he`s right

    • Wor Lass

      Would you Adam and Eve it?

  • Christopher Rannigan

    The sun, say no more.

    • TheNutJob

      so you don`t believe it ? you musn`t know Fatty then

  • Dutch

    Well Ashley did say on Sky Sports during his interview that he was not prepared to put one more penny into buying players. looks like he really could’nt care less now. Amanda would be better paying the 300M and taking over completely hoping that Rafa can pull this one off. At least Ashley would be gone.

  • anyobrien

    If I was rafa I’d walk Ashley is a total utter bell end I wish he would do one.

    • TheNutJob

      he`ll walk, but it will be in May as he knows if he leaves now we`re Doomed

      • mentalman

        He’ll not walk, he knows he’s in the top 10 paid managers in europe and has the least expected of him of them all

        • Kneebotherm8

          He’s top paid because Ashley knew at the end of the relegation season that to ditch him would have resulted in massively reduced season ticket sales etc costing him multi millions in lost revenue.
          At the end of the day Rafa’s CV demands a top wage,Ashley ain’t stupid………to ditch him would have hit him where it hurts most……his pocket.

  • anyobrien

    Can you imagine Amanda trying to deal with this fat useless cretin of a man… If I was here and pcp I’d tell him to stuff it…..

  • Sid James

    another right Carry On this is

  • Michael Smith

    there`s another report in the Express saying Shelvey`s going to West Ham for around £12m

  • IAmYTM

    For someone who is supposedly got a great business mind he’s not taking much care with his asset

    • HarryHype59

      He is gambling there are three worse teams than NUFC! That maybe true at present, but won’t be if other sides strengthen in this window!

  • Nik

    The Sun? Why even entertain exclusives from The Sun when other people want to shun it completely

    • TheNutJob

      you only have to read what it says to know that`s Fatty`s MO, always has been

  • Alex

    This is a huge club, playing in the most lucrative league in the world, and with small overheads when compared with others.

    Just wtf is this fat knut playing at?

  • shurbz

    no he did not. stop lying man. all u
    do is print bad fake news.

  • Carlo Ancelotti

    The bad buys are sapping the club dry, we have a myriad of players on the books that we can`t give away never mind sell. there are at least 6 to 8 players surplus to requirements & the club can`t sustain adding to the wage bill without some of them leaving. i have no time for Ashley but he isn`t going to add to the wage bill in the hope of players going out

    • HarryHype59

      The weekly wage bill for Saivet, Colbeck and Mitro is reputed to be around £160k a week or £8m a year!

      • Paul Patterson

        I can’t see any of them being on 50k plus . .

        • Damon Horner

          not sure how we could find out but with Colback signing under freedom of contract and Mitrovic bought as a potential future star, I can see those two being on £50k+.

        • HarryHype59

          According to the Chronicle (I know) Ginger Jack is on £70k a week and Mitro is on £60k! Saivet is on €40k a week!

    • Leazes

      Why did Rafa buy Joselu?

  • Toonrobbybobson

    Looks like Ashley is selling assets or taking TV money to pay down his loan I reckon. He will still expect the same offer at minimum from Staveley but less of her money goes on the debt to him so he comes out ahead.

    Horrid horrid man.

    He’ll think if club gets relegated he’ll just pump that money back in at championship level and come back up. His logic is stupid.

    • John

      “Horrid” man. Look at the state of our rivals. That’s a horrid owner.

      • TheFatController

        A bit harsh, our rivals’ owners wanted their clubs to have football success, not promote their retail chain whilst keeping the club at the minimum sustainable level for PL status.

        Yes, rival club owners were rubbish, but don’t tar them with the brush of using a club for their own business purposes …

        • Damon Horner

          Agreed, Feels like Ashley is working against the club and those associated with it, our rivals owners are just very bad at it.

        • Aaron

          Their owner has driven a premier league club into the possibility of league one. They sold a player for £30m and reinvested just 1/30th of it, and loan out their best players. We have it nowhere near as bad, get out of rafas a***.

  • Mike

    Hate to say i told you so…….mugs all of us. If Rafa left then i wouldnt be surprised. total shambles of a club with Perdo making headline news too. What next?

    • Aaron

      Why would he leave when he won’t get paid off? That’s the only reason he’s still here

  • Desree

    Mike Ashley has done to NuFC what Rian Johnson has done to Star Wars

  • Peaky Magpie

    The “official” withdrawal of the sale of the club will be imminent.If only Fatty’s fatha had withdrawn a minute earlier how different things would have been !

  • HTL

    Yet another episode from what is becoming the soap opera that is Newcastle United.
    This does not make sense though, If this sun “exclusive” is true, then why was Rafa not told this well in advance? (allowing him to make plans for the transfer window).

    Unless the club was expecting a cash injection to fund player transfers that has not materialized (from whatever source) taking us to the fall back position of sell before you buy?
    HTL

    • Kneebotherm8

      Rafa has been kept in the dark from the day he was appointed.

      • Leazes

        Rafa might be part of a sales plan.

      • Mark Potter

        Yet Rafa was trying to sell players right up to deadline day in August. He’s not started Mitro in a single Prem game, and even the low level of sub appearances shows that despite his squad number he is a waste of a place in the squad. While I personally think he has something to offer, Rafa doesn’t. It’s his team, if he wants to sell Mitro and anyone else to bring in other players, then what’s the issue? It’s not just financial madness to keep players you don’t want and have no place for in the squad, but the wages and the income from their sale can go elsewhere. I’m sure if Mitro had gone in the summer, Rafa would have brought in better than Joselu.

        And the idea that Rafa somehow didn’t know about this! Wow, you think we have such short memories that we can’t remember the TV interview that Rafa gave less than 2 weeks ago, when he basically agreed that Mitro was going to be sold to bring in a new centre forward. And that some other players also had to go so he could improve the squad.

        What has this got to do with Ashley? It’s Premiership rules that you can only have 25 over 21s in your squad. And we’ve already got 25.

        25+1 not allowed. 25-1+1 is OK. Or better still 25-4+4 And – a ginger back to the Mackems.

        • Kneebotherm8

          You say Rafa was trying to sell players right up to deadline day?….

          Did you read the reporter John Richardson report pre season?

          Sports correspondent (and Newcastle fan) John Richardson:
          “Been saying all summer that Rafa Benitez has become increasingly frustrated at Newcastle United over the transfer policy. He is now at breaking point.
          “Ready to walk…unless he brings in the players he wants.
          “Spoke to him at length after the recent Preston friendly.
          “Rafa can’t believe Mitro is still there.”

          Doesn’t sound like a man in control of transfers does it?

          Nowt to do with Ashley?…………must be Penfold then..

  • Mitros gotta start

    Seems to me we have a mexican standoff….rafa doesnt want to sell anyone incase the fat slug pockets the money and wont bring a replacement in but fatty wont bring anyone in unless rafa sells someone 1st…..i wonder how this is gonna end?
    Yawn….

    • TheNutJob

      In tears

  • Mrkgw

    If true, then thats heinous. Where is the flow of cash from the Sissoko deal season before our year in the Championship? The Wijnaldum and Townsend money? Rafa has spent next to nothing and selling players sees none of them adequately replaced. He should think again before letting Mitro go.

    • Paul Patterson

      We still haven’t spent the Andy Carroll money from 2011.

      • Mrkgw

        Highly likely to be the case! This ownership really is the worst imaginable. Ashley out!

      • YoureAclown

        Have we not? Pretty sure our net spend over the last 3 years is £70m. That’s a LOSS of £70m. so enlighten me?

    • HarryHype59

      I suspect Ashley sells players on staggered payments, whilst insisting that the club pays the whole fee for new signings upfront!

      The manager is operating under huge restrictions because of this! It would explain why players are signed on an ad hoc piece meal basis and the transfer record has stood for over a decade!

  • HarryHype59

    According to Chronicle (I know) the club gets a lump sum of TV cash in January. There is money there. Fatman simply won’t spend it!

    • mactoon

      I have looked everywhere and can’t see any reference to money paid in January as part of the TV deal, do you have a link?

      The deal is made of 3 elements:

      Money for playing in the Premiership
      Money for final league placing
      Money for total TV appearances.

      As far as I am aware it is paid in one sum at the end of the season when they know the league placings and amount of games televised for each team, and if this is the case there is nothing available for the January window.

      • HarryHype59

        The Chronicle claimed in the summer that this seasons TV cash is divided as follows;

        July lump sum
        Jan lump sum
        June lump sum factoring in final league position money

        The club also receives smaller monthly TV money payments!

        If this is true Fatso has already pocketed a sizeable wedge of the TV money!

        • mactoon

          If it is true he can still get around it by saying the July payment was received last financial year and the January payment isn’t due until after the window has closed hence no profit for this year that can be used for the current window

          • HarryHype59

            The Chronicle stated the Jan payment is made at the beginning of the month to enable signings.

      • Mike D

        I do recall the Chronicle claiming this. Perhaps the TV money earned thus far.

      • Damon Horner

        you’re probably right but the first option will not be league placing/appearances dependent and can be paid in instalments depending on the agreements has been put in place through the Premier League. I highly doubt they would agree one whole lump sum because the TV companies can go bankrupt before then.

  • mactoon

    This is hardly news. Ashley has stated he won’t put any more money into the club so will only sanction deals within the transfer pot which is made up of profit made by the club currently held for this financial period, or profit from player sales.

    Another point is that the 25 man squad is currently registered with the Premiership and if a new player is bought, one of the 25 man squad needs to go to make way. Otherwise they can’t play.

    Rafa knew all of this.

    • Paul Patterson

      One of the 25 man squad doesn’t have to ‘go’, he just needs to be de-registered. Saivet would be prime candidate.

      • mactoon

        True but the point is Ashley wouldn’t want a player to be on the wage bill if he can’t play so he will want them out of the door

  • TheFatController

    Of course we won’t be spending, the club is up for sale. We’ve had plenty of people who’ve been involved in sales of clubs confirm months ago that they wouldn’t expect any player purchases whilst a club is up for sale given it has no money…

  • Hughie

    We already knew this. Just repetitious rubbish–a non-story. I will be amazed if Rafa is still here on 31-1-18

    • Mitros gotta start

      I hope he goes…..his treatment of krul mitro and mbemba has been disgusting…..if he thinks hart is the answer then the sooner he goes the better

      • Steve

        Berk

      • Leazes

        Mitro’s gotta be sold.

      • glassjawsh-got-banned

        I can’t (and won’t) defend the treatment of Mitro, but did you see Krul flapping about for BHA yesterday? He is completely shot.

      • 1957

        The comments by Krul in yesterday’s Chronicle over his treatment by Benitez was telling. A long serving player who wanted to try to get his career back on track at NUFC being told in essence no matter how hard he trains or performs in any game he gets he is out and is unceremoniously dumped in the u23’s.

        Not the actions of a good man manager for me

        • hetonmag

          He was tried and tested in Holland but unfortunately he didn’t pass the test, I don’t like ex player’s who leave the club and tell tales about the manager he’s left behind he would be more thought of if he left and said nowt.

          • 1957

            We’ve had a lot of it over the years, Shay Given was the last, someone who wanted to leave the club because his agent told him Man City wanted him and is now claiming he was forced out.

            It would be better as you say if players kept quiet like Ferdinand, but they don’t and I have some sympathy for Tim, for me the situation could have been handled better by Benitez just as the club could have treated Taylor(R) and Jonas with more respect.

          • hetonmag

            Jonas and Taylor I agree with you, at least Rafa didn’t tell Krul by telephone and maybe it could have been handled differently, but we have only heard one side of it.

      • Blackburn1066

        Hart said the F word in the tunnel when he had a little boy holding his hand, what kind of Tw-t is he.

        • Mitros gotta start

          He probably heard Rafa was after him

  • TheNutJob

    Media reports that Mbemba will leave for around £8m, so we sell him & keep Lejeune who has failed to impress, cost £8.5m. just read another report that talks for Shelvey to West ham are in an advanced state.
    just who`s in charge of transfers at the club, it doesn`t seem to be the manager.

  • Blackburn1066

    I,We just need the little fat man out of the door pronto!

  • Leicester Mag

    This headline, these concerns could and have been printed ad nausuem over the last 11 years. Sadly I fear they’ll be repeated for a good few years to come when the takeover falls flat on its face, again for the umpteenth time. The club, irrespective of the manager cannot progress with Ashley as owner. Selling players to generate money, when has that worked? £12M for Shelvey, £8M for Mbemba either that money will drain into the MASH swamp or get wasted on 3-4 £5M ‘bargains’.
    Won’t get fooled again? Sadly we will be.

    • Leazes

      Of course everyone will be fooled again…. our champion is Lee Ryder.

      • Blackburn1066

        Not in my book.

    • HarryHype59

      You can count on it! The gullibility of huge swathes of our supporters never ceases to astound me! The so called Rafalution was proof of of this!

    • nufcslf

      Bloody incredible isn’t it. Just glad that this time it is known around the world what a piece of sh*t he is. Very difficult to be a fan when the football is what matters the least. Only in the world of fat Mike Cashley.

  • TheTradge

    The fat man never learns, he’ll never sell the club if there’s any danger they’ll be relegated, and Rafa WILL resign if he isn’t allowed to sign any players, we’ll never find anyone as good, results will continue to suffer, and if all that happens, we will go down, and the club will lose about half of it’s value! Surely it’s in Ashley’s best interest to put in £30m or so to ensure Rafa gets the players he needs, meaning he’ll stay at the club, guaranteeing PL safety, and ensuring he’ll be able to get the amount he wants for a sale! He’s terrible at business, I don’t know how he managed to get to where he is!

  • S.G.M.

    You don’t need to read beyond the words “Exclusive” and “The Sun” to know that this is complete and utter Tosh.

  • robbersdog

    It’s all doom I tell ye!

  • HarryHype59

    Whilst we are out of the bottom three Fatty won’t spend in this window! A defeat to Swansea could see us back in the relegation spots, so Ashley may be panicked into sanctioning a loan deal!

    • Paul Patterson

      I’ve been saying all week, the win against Stoke was bad for the window. A bit perverse but true.

      • HarryHype59

        He has always been obsessed with meeting short term budget constraints. at NUFC! In that respect the club is no different to a SD shop!

    • Blackburn1066

      Fatty is a corner shop keeper in todays footy he needs to F–K OFF and find some other sh-t to sell

  • Rich Lawson

    This is the squad for the rest of the season,no one in ,no one out,3 points against Swansea an absolute must.

  • Leazes

    We were told constantly by the Chronicle that Rafa was in charge of the transfers…. we were tod by Ashley in his interview that he doesn’t interfere and when he has made suggestions to Charnley he’s rebutted…. batted away and told to keep out of the running.

    None of it is true.

    This is a club which has been surrounded by a wall of silence…. a wall built by people who tell lies, and guarded by Centurions the fake news hacks.

    • Blackburn1066

      Spot on Leazes the club NUFC is in a mess

    • nufcslf

      It is plain and simply Sports Direct United = total f** king joke……

  • HarryHype59

    Does any one know if the great Fat one is allowing players to be signed using staggered payments? I know he accepts staggered payments for players sold eg. Sissoko! If he still insists on paying the whole fee upfront, Rafa will only be able to sign Hoss level players for £5m a pop, as the club will always have cash flow issues that prevent us paying big money for players!

    • Mark Potter

      Nearly all clubs stagger the payments. But it was particularly noticeable for Wijnaldum and Sissoko. Spurs wanted Sissoko, but they clearly didn’t have £30m in loose change on the last day of the transfer window. He was sold on staggered terms and the club are still getting regular payments from Liverpool and Spurs.

      It was noticeable that after supposedly having always bought players with cash upfront, Rafa was looking to stagger deals in the summer. This was supposed to be the reason for the delay in signing Lejeune, because the selling club wanted cash.

      • HarryHype59

        The Chronicle (I know) reported it was Eibor, who wanted to sell Lejeune on staggered payments to reduce tax on the transfer fee! Ashley wanted to pay it all up front! Don’t know how true this is!

        If Ashley is allowing staggered payments for players sold and not doing the same for new players, it explains why this club cannot compete even with our newly promoted rivals in the transfer market!

        • Mark Potter

          Yes, in the short-term this could be an issue. But the situation with Wijnaldum and Sissoko was clearly unusual, because the club referred to it specifically in the company accounts. They sold them for something like £50m, but only received a small amount in cash at the time. The accounts said one of the deals (They didn’t specify byut probably Sissoko) was being paid over 4 years. So even now the club may only have had half the fee to spend on replacements. Given the silly money Spurs were prepared to pay they probably reckoned this was OK, they were hardly likely to immediately spend it all on a Championship player.

          It’s an illuminating incident, that makes me wonder how many of these big transfer deals happen like this. Then clubs owe each other huge sums that have to be paid for years. It perhaps answers the age old question about the Andy Carroll deal, if Liverpool didn’t actually pay the full money for 2-4 years.

          The company accounts for any club never usually reveal these details. They simply say they made or spent such and such on transfers, with an overall figure. Because this £50m incoming didn’t appear in the accounts, and that’s such a huge amount of our turn over that year, the accountants must have advised Charnley that he had to explain it, and therefore it got revealed. We’ll never know for NUFC or other clubs how often this happens. But I suspect alot, and it explains why transfer deals, especially international ones, can be so complicated. There could be disputes for example whether to pay in Euros or Pounds. Because of currency rate changes this could cost a club millions depending on whether the market goes up or down. Rafa did make one cryptic remark about Brexit affecting what he could do in the summer, and exchange rate doubts of what will happen over the next few years probably did impact certain deals. It might explain why they were so keen to get the Merino deal done as soon as he’d passed the number of games, rather than pay the transfer fee next year. And because I’m sure Rafa had money left over at the end of the transfer window, so they may as well spend it while rates were decent, than wait.

          So often it might not be about whether to pay £10m for a player, but whether to pay EU6 this year and EU6 plus interest next year, while every selling club would like the money up front.

          We all make judgements like this to some extent, with cars etc. Do you pay upfront, pay over 3 or 5 years. Do you pay the full amount so It’s your car at the end, or reduce the payment and It’s not yours… But most of the people only deal in one currency. Imagine if you had to do all of the negotiations with a garage in France, where the paperwork is in French, different tax rules apply and they want you to pay in Euros.

  • That is fair, we have at least 3-4 players we want to sell. If we can get 15-20m for them that would mean 15-20m for 1-2 decent players + potential loan deals.

    • GToon

      True. The problem is getting them sold quickly or before we buy.

    • GeordieZebra

      If they’re not good enough for our limited squad, they won’t have many takers – particularly at the prices we’ll stubbornly hold out for!! Problems ahead…