The perception of many/most Newcastle fans is that Mike Ashley has a close relationship with Sky Sports which leads to them failing to properly criticise the club owner, for the shocking way he runs the club and especially the failure to back Rafa Benitez.

With Mike Ashley allowed an unchallenged platform by Sky Sports when giving interviews, it is difficult to see how the broadcaster has a leg to stand on.

Then when the Kevin Keegan quote flags were unveiled at the Burnley home match after yet another joke of a transfer window, many Newcastle fans were quick to point out that Sky Sports were the only major media to fail to mention the anti-Ashley huge banner in their match report.

Whilst some individuals who work for Sky Sports have attempted to defend their employer and deny there is any special treatment/protection from negative exposure, we have seen little of substance to suggest otherwise.

However, one Sky Sports presenter, with no connection to Newcastle United, has now come out in support of Rafa Benitez and criticised the lack of backing from Mike Ashley for his manager.

In a column for West Midlands newspaper The Express and Star, Johnny Phillips says that a lack of investment in players ‘continually tests his [Rafa’s] patience at a club he has grown immensely fond of.’

Phillips states ‘Benitez has every right to feel aggrieved at the [January] transfer activity, especially as targets were identified months in advance of the deadline.’

The Sky Sports man adds that it will be a massive achievement if Rafa keeps Newcastle in the Premier League but nobody will be surprised if he then walks away, due to Ashley’s failure to back/support him.

Johnny Phillips ending with a statement that Newcastle fans repeatedly utter: ‘It is just a pity the club’s owners don’t seem to realise what an asset they have in the manager’s seat.’

Sky Sports presenter Johnny Phillips writing in his column for the Express and Star:

‘Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez masterminded another of those big game wins that have become a trademark during his outstanding coaching career.

Last Sunday’s win over Manchester United was a much-needed one for the Spaniard, who has dedicated his all to keeping Newcastle in the Premier League.

His time at Newcastle has been dogged by battles with the owners, but the fans worship the ground he walks on. Rightly so. Benitez stayed with the club during their season in The Championship, spurning opportunities elsewhere in favour of overseeing a return to the Premier League.

He is one of those managers who develops a real bond with supporters, and it was their affection for the manager that helped persuade him to stay on. Now he has a harder job keeping Newcastle in the top flight.

It was such underwhelming business (in January), it would have been little surprise had he thrown in the towel once the window closed.

Earlier this month I was able to spend some time in Benitez’s company at the club’s training ground. He spoke with passion and common sense and retained an admirable dignity despite the line of questioning offering him an opportunity to come out fighting at the failures from above.

Benitez has every right to feel aggrieved at the transfer activity, especially as targets were identified months in advance of the deadline. None of his first choice targets were captured. Yet there was no swipe at Mike Ashley, despite increasing hostility towards the owner from the fans.

The long-term growth of the team goes back to the issue of investment. Something that continually tests his patience at a club he has grown immensely fond of.

If Benitez does keep Newcastle in the Premier League it will be some achievement. Few would be surprised to see him walk at the end of the season. The supporters would be devastated.

They know that such an elite manager as Benitez is unlikely to walk through the training ground gates again. It is just a pity the club’s owners don’t seem to realise what an asset they have in the manager’s seat.’



  • TheNutJob

    1 of them will leave in the summer, let`s hope it`s Fatty but the blonde will have to meet his £300m price or it`s no go & the son of Satan will stay, even worse he may
    welcome back Pards & Geordie John
    Doomed !

    😂😂😂

    • Jezza

      It seems all to sadly inevitible doesn’t it.

      • TheNutJob

        could well happen

        • Jezza

          If it does then I swear that really will be the end for me. I just won’t be able to take it. I won’t even look for Newcastle’s results any more. Ashley will have achieved something I long believed to be impossible. He will have killed my love for Newcastle United.

          • nufcslf

            I’m sadly in the same boat.

          • Phildene

            To be honest I think if Ashley stays, then Rafa, bless him, will walk and our club will be no more. We’ve already had 2 relegations and a 3rd could be on the cards. We’ve all had enough of lies and broken promises so we also should walk away as there’ll be nothing to stay for.

            Lets pray it doesn’t come to this though-we stay up, Ashley goes, we have new owners and Rafa stays…….just seen that pink pigs flying past……

          • Ben Jones

            He’s doing this for us you know , Rafa , standing up to that big bully , the stress he must be under is unreal , he’ll definitely walk 100% at end of the season just as we get a big chunk of the increased revenues from staying up this season , he’ll take the 6m he will owe the club and ram it in Ashley’s face like the back pocket change it is , it’s untenable and inevitable

          • Kev Newcastle England

            Did it to me years ago,killed my passion

      • Lhc

        This summer will shape the long term future of our club, massive summer ahead! (Understatement)

        • Jezza

          The long term future of our club has been being shaped for a number of years already.

          • nufcslf

            Too true

          • Lhc

            True we’ve been held back but this summer to me feels like the last chance saloon for a better future, if Ashley stays I think we have more of the same for years to come.

  • Wor Monga

    …It’s taken a long time for that penny to drop…Rafa hasn’t been backed in any of his windows here despite words from Ashley to the contrary…he sold the big-time charlies Sissoko, Gini etc for massive amounts, and got a relative pittance back, then after winning promotion he got well and truly shafted in both windows…

    …but it’s not his style to walk away because he builds a club from the material he has available, and if he’s anything…he’s loyal…We’re seeing it now like we did last year only this time at a much advanced level of opposition, it’s taken a lot longer to come together…last season with a new group of players who weren’t established playing regular first team football they struggled over the first 2 months to gel, and this season with crucial injuries, lack of strength up front and all the off field distractions they’ve struggled to find any confidence to take into matches…

    …but that’s behind us now, and all systems are in place and ready to go…we know what the TV rights will be, and we’ll know what money the club will have, and the ball will then be firmly back in Ashley’s court…but Rafa will not go before the next window shuts, and it will be at his choosing… whereas Pardew will yet again, probably have another taxi waiting for him, next week!!!

    • GToon

      Aye, driven for him by the club captain. Hahahaha.

    • Rich Lawson

      Quite right,the media just want to see him go ‘cos it’s another good story to sell papers etc.I think he’s playing the long game here and wants to stay and see Ashley off.

    • kingfisher

      Fully agree Wor. I believe (hope) that Rafa is not only staying because of loyalty, but also because he knows that the takeover will happen in the summer. 🤞🤞🤞

  • Paul Patterson

    I’m pleased some pundits are finally seeing this, but the time for criticism and inquests is after we get safe, not before . .

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Yet more negative stuff from the Mag. If Rafa wanted to walk he would off. We have three great signings two of which are all ready proven. Gayle and Perez played great against Man Utd and the future is bright. This site hates Newcastle we have just beaten the second top team and Rafa has asked for the backing of the fans.
    The negative people on this site and the parents of the people who made that banner are a disgrace and have no place at our football club.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      IDIOT

    • justchampion

      if you don’t like it why do you read it and post your anti nufc fan vitriol? I guess your paid to spin Ashley propaganda or you’re just a prized plum. Either way do one…

    • Paul Patterson

      Or, maybe they deserve credit. Since that banner we’ve picked up 4 points out of six at home..

      • Ben Jones

        Is that the last 2 games? 1 point against Burnley with the banner and 3 points against Man Utd without it?

        • Big Al 1967

          So the reason we beat Man Utd according to your logic is there was no banner. Really??? No credit to the manager or players?? Get real!!

          • Ben Jones

            Hold on , I thought I was doing the same to the person I responded to that you’re doing to me?

          • Big Al 1967

            No I don’t think it’s misguided at all.

          • Ben Jones

            Fair enough , you basically picked my comment apart despite me agreeing with you by pointing out something in another posters comment that we both didn’t agree with.

            Very fair minded and mature of you

          • Big Al 1967

            Read back your own post, you clearly imply that points were dropped against Burnley because of the banner which is just foolish

          • Ben Jones

            Read back yours , you clearly said that I wasn’t giving credit to the manager or players , I was giving all the credit to them by demonstrating that it wasn’t the banner that affected the result , it was the original poster who said that the credit should be given to the banner guys for the results , this is what you had an issue with , giving credit in the right places

            Was it not?

          • Big Al 1967

            Where do you give credit in your original post.Where do you mention the Manager or Players?

          • Ben Jones

            I didn’t need too , it was obvious by what I was saying surely? I was saying the banner not being at the Man Utd game was not responsible for the result (by stating we won without it) , it therefore had to be the players and manager that were responsible as if it wasn’t , then who was it?

            The other poster was saying that the banners played a part , and therefore lessened the impact the manager and team had in the game .

            But you chose to respond to my comment instead of his , even though I’ve shown you he was your actual target based on what you said .

            Rather unfair but I’ll live

          • Big Al 1967

            Instead of giving the politicians reply, answer the question where in your original post do you give credit to or even mention the players or the manager

          • Ben Jones

            Where does the original poster? Why was my comment worthy of a scoffing reply whereas his was not? Are you saying you agree with what he said then?

          • Big Al 1967

            I am saying the banner could and should have been there last Sunday and 3 points would have been picked up regardless.
            However YOU have clearly implied that points were dropped because of it against Burnley. Again though please indicate in your original post where you mention the players or the manager

          • Ben Jones

            I can’t because we both know I did not , but you never put the specific words ‘I love NUFC’ in your post but im hardly going to take from that omission that you must not love the toon , this is ridiculous , I was clearly saying that the banners are not responsible for the results by what I was saying(giving the points won based on banner displayed breakdown for both teams) I was saying ‘hey mr original poster , the banners don’t actually make a difference as look at the points we won without them’

            I am saying the banner could and should have been there last Sunday and 3 points would have been picked up regardless.

            ^^^^^^ look we agree(we always have on this subject) , the points would have been won regardless…

            It was the ORIGINAL poster who said the banners DID make the difference by stating vvvvvv

            Or, maybe they deserve credit. Since that banner we’ve picked up 4 points out of six at home..

            ^^^^^^that , by him saying that it directly implies that the banners made a difference ie , lessening the impact that the manager and team made in the 2 games on their own merit….

            This is what you and I both disagree with , we must because it was that exact point you had a go at ME for by saying vvvvvv

            No credit to the manager or players?? Get real!!

            He is your target not me , to be clear I agree with you and I always have , on this subject of the impact and credit that should go to the players and manager for the last 2 games

          • Big Al 1967

            Have you read what Paul was replying to. One of the many TROLLS on here was saying the fans who displayed the banner were a disgrace and he was defending them. If you agree with me why have you inferred that points were dropped because of it?

          • Ben Jones

            I didn’t , I stated points were won either way , more without banner less with banner , its a true fact isn’t it?

            There’s nothing in my post that suggests I didn’t give full or enough credit to the players and manager for either result regardless of what it was and whether a banner was present or not(if so show me where I didnt)

            Whereas the original poster did state that the banners may have played a part , which means in his eyes the part the manager and players made was less than the full credit I gave them.

            But as I say you chose to ‘come at me’ bizarrely despite your issue being with the original poster who gave the team and players less credit (that was your issue right)

            And I’ve spent a long time now showing you , your bias towards me , it’s ok , I’ll live

          • Big Al 1967

            I will never have an issue with someone who defends our fanbase against an obvious TROLL which is what Paul was doing. Others on here say that you are too but I have yet to make my own mind up yet. So instead of being rhetorical, come on then, tell me why I am jumping on you then?

          • Ben Jones

            I’m not convinced this discussion will ever end fella , the best thing at this point is for me to just reassure you that I give a lot of credit to the manager and players for the last 2 home results , your initial comment to me was suggesting I didn’t give enough(or any) , I hope this clears up your doubt sufficiently

          • Big Al 1967

            So not actually answering the question I asked, but whatever TIme to put the thing to bed

          • Paul Patterson

            He’s failed to pick up simple common sense- ‘SINCE the banner’ . . we’ve picked up 4 points out of 6 at home.
            Can’t get simpler than that . .

          • Ben Jones

            I’m sorry , I give the manager and team more credit than than you , but that’s fine , I’ve not got a problem with you thinking otherwise , the other guy has….

          • Westdentoon

            just agree with her mate, she’s only a schoolgirl

          • Ben Jones

            Oh that’s a new one , I’m a girl , so girls are not allowed to post in the mag according to you , or is it just this girl?

          • Westdentoon

            Where did I say girls are not allowed to post on the mag?? Show me where I say the girl that is you can’t post on the Mag?? I was referring to your school girl mentality. He said, she said blah blah blah…Read your post man (sorry girl). We all know what you are saying regardless of what you are now claiming. Now go dry your eyes 😪

          • Ben Jones

            Just sounds awfully disrespectful to women that’s all , why couldn’t I be a schoolboy? My name is after all Ben , is it not?

            So calling me a schoolgirl is surely in your eyes a worse slur than calling me a schoolboy (otherwise why did you say it?)

            So now we have established that you view one as lesser than the other , now what is the difference between the words schoolgirl and schoolboy? Girl and boy obviously , so you’re saying girls are lesser than boys .

            At best it is misogynistic behaviour and I for one believe it does not belong here in the mag and would respectfully ask you to stop this behaviour

            Thank you in advance

          • Westdentoon

            You have established nothing about me you numpty. In that above statement you have backed up my point to a tee.

            As a father of 3 girls I can certainly say your assumptions are wide of the mark at best! However, due to this I am privy to the politics of schoolgirl behaviour and can say that you come across very similar in your actions here on the Mag…if you would prefer to be called a schoolboy, Ben, then so be it….Schoolboy!

            You make statements claiming one thing, then try to say you were saying the complete opposite? Am I the only person seeing this and disagreeing with you? Nope.

            So do yourself a favour and stop manipulating comments.

            Also as asked previously, where do I state girls cant post on the mag?…..I’m waiting.

          • Ben Jones

            This is not true , I make statements and people ASSUME my meaning from them , they accuse me FIRST rather than ask me to clarify , why should I , when being faced with this then make it easy for them? Why is it even worth it?(minds have already been made up anyway)

            If you notice all the petty arguments always start after assumptions have been made or childish names such as ‘schoolgirl’ and ‘numpty’ to name but a few of many , yet , you say it is I who act like a ‘schoolgirl’ as you say……

            Perhaps you’ve been hanging around with too many and they’ve rubbed off on you (I’m saying you’re being drawn into you’re own children’s childish behaviour patterns that you have alluded too)….you know that ‘schoolgirl’ attitude as you put it

            I’m happy to accept you are not misogynistic as you’ve said you’re not , but I must add that misogynistic people have kids too

            I don’t feel this conversation needs to continue as it adds no value to the mag

          • Westdentoon

            Don’t worry Ben we all know what you meant to say. Silly us we should have asked you to clarify first.

            Im also extremely pleased that your happy to accept i am not misogynistic and will now be able to sleep soundly this evening.

            In the interest of bringing added value to the mag, I would suggest you clarify your posts prior to publishing them to avoid future confusion and conflict possibly? I doubt you will agree with that point though, people who have trouble making friends such as yourself rarely do agree with differing opinions.

            Now jog on schoolgirl numpty I have had enough of your patter..

          • Ben Jones

            You just had to get the last word didn’t you

          • Westdentoon

            yep

          • Ben Jones

            Lolz

          • Westdentoon

            Anyway, been nice talking with you but its time to get my girls out of their cage to make my tea..

          • Ben Jones

            Enjoy!

          • Westdentoon

            Bet you were as bad at that game as me …

          • Ben Jones

            More often than not yes you’re right!

          • Wor Lass

            Definitely!

          • Ben Jones

            .
            .not!

          • Wor Lass

            You guys should just use one moniker and be satisfied with that.

          • Ben Jones

            Hold on…..That’s something Jezza would say…

            Is that you Jezza?

            Cheeky!

          • Wor Lass

            Pathetic.

          • Ben Jones

            I’m glad you’re realising how pathetic that tactic is when it’s used in the same way against you as you use it against me

          • Wor Lass

            Yep, Clarko.

          • Ben Jones

            He won’t appreciate that . Trust me!

        • Wor Lass

          You`re Clarko – I claim my £5.

          • Ben Jones

            I don’t think Clarko would appreciate you saying that!…

          • Wor Lass

            Where`s my fiver?

          • Ben Jones

            Ask Clarko for it , tell him you won it as you know he’s me , see what he says

          • Wor Lass

            Oh, why didn`t I think of that?

          • Ben Jones

            I’ve got an idea why ….

    • Westdentoon

      Well do us all a favour and jog on you plum…

      • Ben Jones

        You don’t deny it then? *rhetorical

        • Westdentoon

          Nope…son of Mong

          • Cockneytrev

            ignore him mate,, he’s just a troll,,,

    • Kev Newcastle England

      Your the biggest clown ever

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        You are or you’re.

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      Spot on, 3 seemingly good additions and players stepping up to the plate. A good performance next week and we’re sailing.

      Rafa simply would not get the control anywhere else and by the end of the summer he’ll have his side

  • nufcslf

    They’ve got some bright repoter’s at Sky mind. I’m surprised any of us hadn’t had that cross our minds. Why anybody in the right mind would want to to work for fat Cash in the first place is beyond me. If everybody did just up and quit, maybe then the world would see the fat c**t for what he really is.

  • TheNutJob

    Hasta la vista lads.
    dos cerveza, por favor 😛🍺 🍺
    adios
    😎😎😎

    • Geordiegiants

      Enjoy Nutty 🍻🍺

    • Peaky Magpie

      Enjoy yourselves lads,you haven’t forgot to pack The Hoss and take him home I hope ???

  • Vepr – 12

    I bet FCB is on the phone to Pardew lining him up for a triumphal return. With MM and Ghostrider signing on as cheerleaders.

    • Jezza

      Cheerleading brothers ha ha.

  • Simon Ritter

    Am I the only Newcastle United fan utterly fed up with so-called experts (mainly rentaquotes) predicting the imminent departure of our manager? When McClaren was sacked, the pundits were quick to rubbish any suggestion that Benitez would take the job. When we were relegated, they nearly all said he would quit. When he was probably the biggest factor in our immediate return to the Premier League, they said he could walk away with his head held high. For the past six months we have listened to these distinctly dodgy soothsayers predicting he was on his way. I can only hope they put their money where their stupid mouths were and lumped loads on him to be the next manager to depart; at least then they would be out of pocket. Meanwhile, I’m just enjoying his stay at St James’ Park and hoping he realises how much he is appreciated by most of the supporters, the people who Sir Bobby Robson pointed out are what make a club.

    • Ben Jones

      Well said . Too much stirring , I think it’s a game

    • thewildchimp

      Must agree. In-between every transfer period the same dross. From the pundits and from the fans. But this time he actually said he will quit, if Ashley doesn’t change the tune.

    • Leazes.

      His presence here is intriguing and utterly perplexing to everyone.

      • Simon Ritter

        Never realised until that comment you spoke for everyone, Leazes.