When The Mag polled Newcastle fans this past week, the results were overwhelming when it came to the future for Mike Ashley and Rafa Benitez.
A number of scenarios were put forward and only 5% of supporters thought that if Premier League safety was secured this season, that both Mike Ashley and Rafa Benitez would still be at St James Park next season.
The bottom line being, if Mike Ashley still owns the club then Rafa Benitez will be off.
However, Newcastle fans were confident that Rafa will be staying even if another relegation happened, just so long as new owners were in place.
On Sunday morning, a report from The Mail claims that their information very much backs up what the fans are thinking.
Both Mike Ashley and any prospective new owners will find out this coming week what the UK TV Premier League rights will be worth for three seasons starting 2019/20.
The Mail say that with this knowledge on board, they understand another bid will quickly follow from the Amanda Staveley led bidders once Premier League safety is ensured.
The newspaper reports that Rafa Benitez will wait to see whether that next bid to buy the club is successful, and if it isn’t, then he will leave.
After being messed around for a third transfer window in a row (no buys in both January 2017 and January 2018, plus a minimal net spend in Summer 2017), The Mail say that Rafa is not prepared to put himself through another one under Mike Ashley.
If/when safety is secured and another bid comes in, then surely we can expect a deal to be reached quickly or not at all. New owners would need to get to work as soon as possible and be in a position to help Rafa Benitez prepare properly for what would be a vital transfer window this coming Summer, especially with the World Cup finals another factor to contend with when buying players.
Rafa Benitez has appeared to be speaking positively about being at Newcastle long-term in recent press conferences and interviews. The overwhelming feeling from supporters is that he does very much want to do this, having come to love the city and the fans – however, he speaks positively only with the unspoken condition that this can only be possible with Mike Ashley selling up.
(These were the headline results when we asked Newcastle fans this past week about what they expect to be the case at the club come September)
Who will own Newcastle United in September?
76% Mike Ashley
24% New owner(s)
Who will be managing Newcastle United in September?
29% Rafa Benitez
71% New Manager
Which division will Newcastle United be in come September?
36% Premier League