When I think about where Newcastle United will be as a club come the end of this season and going into the next, there are plenty of potential scenarios and issues that need to be resolved.

However, if you break it down, when you think about the future of the club in the near term, there are three key outcomes that need to be determined:

Will Rafa still be manager?

Will Mike Ashley still own the club?

Will the club still be in the Premier League?

At first pass, my preference for a positive outcome for each of these (i.e. yes / no / yes) runs in the order I’ve set out above – i.e. I would rather the club were in the Championship again, and even under the ownership of Mike Ashley, if it was guaranteed that Rafa would still be managing the club.

This is on the basis that Rafa is the key to the longer term progression of the club, and the alternative is to stay in the Premier League under Ashley, but with one of the managers from usual suspects (Pulis, Moyes, Pardew et al!?).

Similarly, whilst we now understand the damage financially that relegation has caused, in my mind it would still be preferable to be in the Championship next season, as long as there were new forward looking owners in place, building for the future with Rafa still at the helm.

However, if you think through the logic, the you realise that the manner in which these outcomes all link together and impact each other is key, and that avoiding relegation this term underpins the future for a number of reasons:

Were Newcastle to be relegated this season it is hard to see Rafa staying to mastermind another return to the Premier League, as much as he loves the club and can see its potential. Furthermore, Rafa leaving has a knock-on impact on the saleability of the club as it has become clear that he is regarded as a key asset to Amanda Staveley & co.

Perhaps more importantly, while there will still be parties interested in taking ownership should the club be relegated, in my opinion the probability of a sale this summer reduces significantly. There will be increased risk to a prospective new owner, the potential will still be there, and the market value will undoubtedly decrease significantly.

This could make it an even brighter prospect from point of view of a buyer, but would give Ashley no chance of getting the minimum he wants back, plus I doubt that his ego will let this happen.

He is more likely to gamble on (yet again) returning to the top division at the first time of asking and attempt a sale once this has been achieved.

The knock on effect of this will be that Rafa is even more unlikely to want to stay for a Championship season if Ashley is still in charge.

Therefore, whilst talk of the long term management and ownership of the club might seem far more important than the potential for another (hopefully) short term stint in the Championship – it becomes obvious that the key to making the long term bright is to still be in the Premier League come August this year.

So the best thing we can be doing as fans is to get behind the team and positively support them over the line to get enough points to make that happen – although a little bit of love for Rafa and sending the appropriate signals to Ashley can’t hurt either!

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  • Rich Lawson

    We stay up,Rafa stays,Ashley sells,new owner gives some half way decent funds to buy with.That’s the only acceptable scenario.

    • Wor Lass

      The key word there`s “acceptable”.

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        There is never an acceptable owner in most fan’s minds.

        • Ram Kishore

          You are right about that

          • Coach Clagnut

            Ashley’s hands are as dirty as anyone else whose exploited a rigged system to accrue capital. At least the owners of the clubs the troll mentioned have gave their fans trophies, good football and hope for the future.
            Fatty gives us nothing, takes as much as he can and wallows in it.

        • pedrodelgardo

          Most of these “owners” get their money by doing the right thing and looking out for other people – exploitation isn’t a word they recognise.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            I’m not sure Mike Ashley exploits anyone beyond that of anyone else. The City owners, Man Yoo owners, Chelsea owner and Leicester owners have dirtier hands imho.

      • Rich Lawson

        Yes,I was being selfish there,acceptable to me.

  • Paul Patterson

    9 points and the three questions will be easily answered.

  • TheNutJob

    wor kids putting a wad on Pardiola if Rafa walks
    😂😂😂😂😂

  • pedrodelgardo

    Just because we have bounced back at the first attempt the last two times doesn’t mean it will happen again – a downward spiral is easily possible with just a handful of mistakes – staying up is vital to everything.

    • Peaky Magpie

      Yes and surely our illustrious neighbours down the A19 serve as a perfect example as to what could happen !!??

    • Jezza

      Too true. We got very lucky in our two previous promotion seasons under Ashley. In 09/10 we had by far the two best players in the Championship, both of them light years ahead of any other player in that division and last time round we had the best manager by a mile. If we go down this year it’s likely be very different indeed. Just look at what has happened to Sunderland since relegation last May. That could easily be us this time next year.

  • mactoon

    I just don’t get this idea that it would be good for us to be relegated, it would be disastrous. Rafa would no doubt leave given that Ashley will not fund incoming transfers, we would be left with a paper thin squad not capable of getting promoted and an owner who would again want to trim the wage bill by selling our best players/big earners. With regards to any chance of a sale, the value would be slashed and Ashley would still want to recoup his outlay of over ££260 million. No deal.

  • Leazes.

    Even Ashley understands the damage financially that relegation has caused, yet strangely positioned the club at fifteenth (squad value wise) knowing it meant a relegation struggle.

    The only reason he would have done this is the thought that a top manager could elevate a poor squad to the safety zone. The rewards of his management for results emulate the Shirebrook structure where only management gain bonuses, Charnley for reducing wage bills by perversely damaging the squad, and Benitez for keeping the club in the Premiership, essentially fighting each other, He does this throughout his empire, its not a new management technique…. Hitler did it with rewards for his high command, he set a duplication of responsibilities and watched as they competed against each other.

    Ashley is disliked by almost everyone, and you might ask why he operates everything on a shoestring budget,and in such an antisocial manner, is it because he’s actually wanting to be disliked…no! Its to do with power and control and wealth…..

    … How United do is of little consequence, he’s not interested, he said so, but wielding power is the stage of a theatre for him, making people jump and wielding the power that wealth has given him is more important than putting another nought onto his MASH account.

    United died when this creature took over, he could easily have upgraded the squad year on year and had an enjoyable tenure as owner…he chose this outcome make no mistake there were no accidents in the frugal approach.

    ‘Cheering the team not the regime’ only plays into his sense of omnipotence, and a lot of our own fans keep feeding this beast because they don’t know any different.

    Porter, Smithfield, Jensen, Ryder et al….you’ve done your job very well…. for Ashley!

    • TheNutJob

      He`s the son of Satan ok.

      • Leazes.

        Him bad man in the words of Trump.

        • Peaky Magpie

          Him fat bas*ard in the words of Peaky…..thinking about dropping the Magpie bit from my moniker….one word has IMPACT like Seal,Prince,Cher,Lulu,Cheryl or indeed Leazes…going to sleep on it….

          • Coach Clagnut

            Prince is his actual first name. Followed by Roger Nelson if memory serves. You can understand why he chose to use just one of them.
            No disrespect to any Roger Nelsons out there but in at No.5 with a bullet is Roger Nelsons’ Little Red Courgette. Not much of a ring to it really.

          • Peaky Magpie

            😂😂😂
            “Roger Nelson’s Little Red Courgette”….I’m sure I’ve seen that in a shop in Amsterdam…😳

        • Coach Clagnut

          Biggly Bad.

      • Peaky Magpie

        Haway Nut….. bit harsh on Satan there bonny lad….👹👹👹

  • kingfisher

    Ashley selling up and Rafa remaining is the only way staying in the Prem would be an advantage. If Ashley stays, no money will be spent, Rafa will go and there would be absolutely no point or advantage staying in the Prem. Much better being in the Championship, more games to watch, and competing on a level playing field.
    At the end of the day, all we want is to watch our football team play football, win some games and enjoy the experience, so it really doesn’t matter what league we are in !

    • mactoon

      I disagree. I want the team and it’s performance to improve on a season by season basis. The very point of a football club is to compete and reach the highest level they can and it is the responsibility of the owner to make sure that is a possibility.

      • kingfisher

        Yes mactoon, I agree that a team should try to improve every season, but surely there comes a point when you’ve got to say enough is enough ? It’s all very well trying to compete with the mega rich clubs and staying in the Prem,but at what cost? A lot of clubs are so obsessed with staying in the Prem that they have clearly overspent ( i.e Sunderland) and consequently have nearly been ruined and what for?

        Working on the principle that if you don’t spend millions every transfer window, you not only stand still but in fact you fall behind the clubs that do invest millions, then as Ashley said, you need the wealth of a country behind you if you are going to be successful.
        Lots of fans enjoyed the times we’ve been in the Championship because they knew we had a chance of being successful.
        The way things are going, I really think that at this minute in time, we have a Premier League Manager but a Championship team and a Championship owner, therefore our level is the Championship, we canot aspire to anything else whilst Ashley is the owner !

        • mactoon

          The point is, the size of this club, the fanbase and the money it can generate means it should be competing in the Premiership with most of the other teams (with the possible exception of the top 6 at present but we should always aspire to improve from our current position, that doesn’t mean trying to compete with the mega rich clubs at this moment in time)

          It is only the owners refusal to run it as a football club that prevents this but that doesn’t mean I will just accept it and settle for Championship football just because we will win more games. That doesn’t address the problem.

          The problem is Ashley, and the solution is not settling for a level of football I think is less than we should have.

          • kingfisher

            Fair comment mactoon.Of course we deserve better, but after supporting Newcastle for 57 years, the hope, dreams and positivity just get gradually worn away and you feel that we will never achieve the heights that this great club and supporters deserve.
            I firmly believe that we are at a crossroads at nufc.Take the right turn i.e we stay up, Ashley sells up and Rafa stays then we may, just may (eventually) achieve our dreams, but take the wrong turn and we get relegated,Ashley stays and Rafa leaves then it really will be goodnight Vienna 😁

        • Jezza

          I agree with Premier League Manager and Championship team but as for a Championship owner, you must be joking. He’s not even fit to run a Sunday morning pub team.

    • Jezza

      To be truthfull I can’t get away with this notion that it is either enjoyable or acceptable to be watching a winning Newcastle team in the Championship. 20 years ago we were beating Barcelona in the Champions League now beating Burton and Rotherham in the second division is as good as it gets. That is how much Ashley has lowered standards at this once proud club.

      • kingfisher

        I’ve just posted a reply to mactoon on the same subject Jezz.Yes, how the mighty have fallen ! I would love it if we were able to compete financially with the big boys, but it would take absolutely millions of pounds and at the end of the day would it be worth it, would we really want to be like Man City?
        Surely this level of spending cannot continue and sooner or later the Premier League will implode when Sky, BT etc eventually pull the plug.

        As you will know the price that these companies pay for the rights to televise the Prem for the next three years has actually fallen so I think this proves that it’s not sustainable in the long term.

        • Jezza

          I agree that competing with the big spenders is entirely unrealistic and unsustainable and deep down I don’t think any of us want NUFC to go the way of Man City and Chelsea. The problem is that under this owner NUFC are not competeting financially with a single club in the Premiership or even half the clubs in the Championship for that matter. There is no reason for this age of desperate financial stringency at NUFC. The club is raking in more money now than at any time in our history and yet our transfer spending is at an all time low. This is what has come of having an owner who is hell bent on pocketing every last penny of the substantial profit the club is now generating.

          • Coach Clagnut

            Asset stripping through financial skulduggery.
            Que the usual suspects lining up to defend Fatty.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Jezza is making it all up

          • Coach Clagnut

            And here’s the first one, like clockwork.

          • Geordiegiants

            Bobbi you can be such a nobby.

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          Not so sure KF. Ashley’s view may well be that of yours in that TV rights will fall away and the money will be sunk.

          I tend to think the media rights have not even got going. The real money is when Amazon and the online providers really find a way of creating big revenues, the limiting factor is band width in some overseas territories but that will change.

      • Mrkgw

        Have to agree Jezza, relegation would spell unquestionable disaster for our club. You only have to look at the likes of Leeds and Notts Forest to see how difficult it is to return to the big time. You can bet that they would swap positions with us in a heartbeat. To suggest otherwise is lunacy in my view.

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        Yes, and 10 years before that we were getting beat off Wimbledon. You Johnny come lately types thought it was all European adventures, supporting NUFC is not like that.

        • Coach Clagnut

          Then along came Pardnocchio and all was well with the world. You’re a mancwank so why do you keep posting on here?

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Of course, Jezza must be right, he’s right about everything else, he’s never been found to be lying or making anything up. It’s definitely worth accepting Jezza’s word on live and the universe and we’ll all be winners…….

          • Albert Stubbins

            He’s not always right but you can’t accuse him of lying or making things up. To be fair his assessment of all the goings on at Newcastle are on the nail as most on here will attest to.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            I can, I show him as wring on many occasions, instead of accepting his mistake, correcting his error or retracting, he blocks the person correcting him, waits a few weeks and repeats his lies over and over.

            I accept mistakes, misunderstanding etc. To repeatedly make claims in the knowledge that’s it’s untrue is a lie.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    You forgot to mention that no one wants to buy the club. Amanda’s backers have admitted they have no interest in buying the club and there is no one else.
    You are stuck with Ashley like it or not he is the only person willing to back Newcastle financially so please wake up and smell the coffee

    • Paul Patterson

      ‘You are stuck with Ashley’
      A very telling choice of term from yourself.

      • Jezza

        Yes every so often he slips up and gives away the fact that he is not a Newcastle supporter.

      • Geordiegiants

        Just block it.

        • Coach Clagnut

          I did. It’s an imbecile pretending to be an idiot.

  • Down Under Mag

    If Ashley is still the owner at the end of the season then it’s hard to see rafa hanging around. We all know Ashley won’t spend anything so we face yet another season of uncertainty and a relegation scrap. Rafa will not want that. If we do stay up and the club is sold then Rafa may stay on as long as he gets some money to spend on strengthening the club. I honestly think Rafa sees the potential here and wants to etch his name in history here alongside Sir Bobby as a club legend. He just isn’t being able to do his job properly because of constraints put in place by the owner. If we go down and/or if Ashley stays then I dread to think which cart-horse manager will be rolled off the football scrapheap…