Rafa Benitez has been speaking to the media on Friday afternoon.

The manager preparing for the game at Everton which is still three days away.

The Newcastle boss having accomplished phase two, ensuring Premier League safety.

With 41 points and 10th position with five games to play, Rafa Bentez is in an incredibly strong position in terms of knowing his own worth.

Whilst he talked about the Everton match, it was his quotes about next season and what needs to happen before that, which dominated what he said.

Yet again, Rafa admitted he is still waiting to find out what ambitions Mike Ashley has for the club this summer/next season (including no doubt whether the club is likely to be sold), plus once more, the Newcastle Manager points to the difficulties of planning for transfers when he has no idea of what transfer budget there will be.

With it only being 23 days until the season ends, Rafa Benitez clearly deserves to have those answers ASAP.

Rafa Benitez:

“When I came, I could see the potential of this massive club and the passion of the fans.

“After two successful seasons, I can feel this passion, the ambitions of the fans.

“My idea now is to sit down with the club and see if the club has these same ambitions.

“Do they share the same vision (as me)?

“I hope to do it (talk and find out Mike Ashley’s position) soon.

“We have to talk about (which) players (to target as soon as possible) but that is difficult to know…if you don’t know how much you have to spend.

“That depends on the ambitions of the board (Mike Ashley).

“I want to be at least in the top 10 (with Newcastle) and then win trophies…be it FA Cup, League Cup, or Europa League.

“There is so much money in football now.

“Everyone wants to win quickly and with no patience.

“You have to have a plan and stick with it – you will have more chance to do well.

“My position now is the same.”


We have games to play and I want to make sure we have a good team to play against Everton.

“We try to win every game – to get three points in every game.

“Leicester was an example and we knew it would be a difficult day.

“But if we do things in the right way, we can beat anyone.

“Everything is fine apart from Atsu has a little problem with his knee, we don’t want to take any risk with any player.

“It is the time to make sure everybody is fit for now and next season.

“Everton will be a tough game with a difficult team.

“They have some good players and in front of their fans, they will want to give everything.

“It is important to stay calm and no complacency.

We go to Everton with respect and will try to get three points again.”

Arsene Wenger:

“I have been talking well about him for a while.

“To do things in the way that he has done and win the way he was winning, for so many years… we are talking about one of the best managers in football history.

(Being linked with Arsenal job) “It is a massive club but my position is that we have games to play and I concentrate on them.

“It is not time to talk about that (Arsenal job).”

Jonjo Shelvey:

“He has been doing really well in the last month.

“He still has room to improve but he has the potential, the quality to be consistent on and off the pitch.

“I don’t want to put the England manager under pressure.

Jonjo is doing well and for me, as his manager, yes – he could be there (in Russia).

“If they need to talk with me, they can do it, but I think they know Jonjo really well.”

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    He`s going to get shafted again by the Great Fat One.
    Oh the promises will come but they`ll never come to fruition, add to that he`s trying to flog the club it & doesn`t bode well for transfers.
    Last but not least you have the Minion Penfold doing the biz.
    Oh dear, i can only see tears

    • Leazes.

      I must admit I was wrong about Rafa…. I thought he had principles and would walk.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        He may walk yet

        • Toonrobbybobson

          Enjoy it while it lasts then I guess.

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            that`s about the bottom line

        • Shipcote Willy

          He may indeed, especially if another club comes in for him. Most know the value of Rafa except our odious owner.

        • Jezza

          True. How much longer is Rafa going to put up with the cycle of negligible summer spend, relegation trouble by Christmas and short term loans in January to get us out of danger when better, more ambitious clubs will be queuing up to match his current salary and give him a substantial transfer budget.

      • glassjawsh-got-banned

        how is walking away from a job you were contracted to do more honorable than sticking it through despite the obstacles? If I didn’t already know how borked your world view is…

        • MichaelMaximusMoose

          Fatso broke his end of the bargain in Jan 2017
          His Rafa is in charge of all transfers went down the
          Shitta big time & the embargo carries on until this day

      • Blackburn1066

        Rafa has a plan but the little fat c-nt has not.

    • Wezza147

      Ashley will almost certainly shaft Rafa again and will no doubt use the media and his spin doctors to spout the “couldn’t spend until takeover” line even though it is the clubs money!

    • Guest 2

      If the club is for sale, or gets sold, Penfold will disappear like the bad smell he is.

      • Fireman Sam

        Or go back to making the tea or working in the ticket office

  • magpiefifer

    It is a straightforward situation – Ashley has to sell up or Rafa will go to a club with ambition.Ashley will never invest to the level that the fans and Rafa deserve – the odious one will NEVER change,so, unless he disappears, Rafa – and many fans – will!

  • ghostrider

    Rafa has a contract. He must know what’s in that contract, so therefore he must also know what guarantees he’s got in it for that duration and he did take a long time to draw it out to suit him and Ashley and co… would people agree on that?

    Assuming you do, then it stands to reason that he will not sign another contract of any length, extra to the remaining one if everything isn’t met.
    If he does sign one and then whines about low funds or not knowing what’s what, then he’s obviously got no guarantees but can walk without payment of contract.

    If he signs a new contract with his meticulous attention to detail as we are all told, then we can all assume he would ensure he gets required funds of immediate cash and player sales money.
    If he doesn’t, he can walk on a larger contract and Ashley is not that stupid to do what he did when Keegan spat his dummy.


    Ashley is ready for the off and PCP or other are ready to take over and Rafa will then get dealt whatever they deal him.

    Who knows what will happen.
    Football is not only a funny old game but it’s a mish mash of dodgy dealing and surprise surprise shocks throughout the summer.

    Rafa could end up at Arsenal or another top club.
    It all depends on what happens as soon as the season finishes as to what Ashley decides to do in all counts and also how strong Rafa is in wanting to see his efforts come to fruition in a constant build with a fair kitty.

    My guess…and bear in mind it is a guess…..is….Ashley will sell up and we will be taken over by big wealth who will hand Rafa a massive kitty after paying Ashley what he wants for the club.

    I think Ashley is busting a gut to get out because he knows he’s only a hair breadth away from more bile and hatred if he stays and something doesn’t sit right with certain fans.

    I just hope our potential new owners are long term strategists and not all smiles and one pocket of loose change to rattle, then silence.

    • Fireman Sam

      “Keegan spat his dummy”

      That was not the court verdict you fool

      • Blackburn1066

        Don’t bring King Kev into this ( he gave us great football, no cups or the number one spot, but my god we had a good time.

      • ghostrider

        It doesn’t matter what the verdict was. He spat his dummy right out like he always has done.
        I’ll never forget him trying to take this club to the cleaners…and yes the club” not Ashley.

      • Jezza

        Don’t feed the troll, marra. He is not a Newcastle fan and he knows that slagging off our legends like Keegan and Shearer is guaranteed to wind us up and provoke a reaction. Don’t give him the satisfaction. Just block him.

  • Rich Lawson

    Beautifully played Rafa’,No pressure,but over to you Mr Ashley ?

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Come on, you know by now he couldn`t give a Flying F about Newcastle.
      there`s no pressure on Ashley,
      he`ll do what he wants to do, always has done

      • Rich Lawson

        I know,but I just think it’s a really canny statement by Rafa’,no foot stamping or dummy flinging.Classy as always.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    The point people miss is that there is only so much money in the club. The last accounts published we only had £1.75m left in the bank. This season we have spent £60m on transfers and loans and that is probably all the money available. Hopefully this year there might be £100m available after player sales but not much more.
    Unless a buyer comes in Rafa will have to work with a budget in the range of £60m to £100m depending on player sales. Where are the buyers now we are safe, sun bathing in the middle east.

    • HarryHype59

      The club is on course to collect around £130m in TV money in addition to money owed for Wynaldum and Sissoko.

      • Wezza147

        Which will be pocketed and disappear! Even the shills won’t be posting any more after the summer!

        • Fireman Sam

          This summer he can’t hide. If the money that should have been there last summer or in January this time, there is an obvious hole in the clubs finances.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        That`s good news for someone, it`ll go the same way as the money
        Nufc got for Carroll & Cabaye

      • mactoon

        That does not mean Ashley will make it all available for transfers. He will look at the accounts and decide how much is financially viable to release and it won’t be anywhere near the figures being quoted on here.

        • Fireman Sam

          Rubbish, he will look at how much he can take and leave us with the peanuts.

        • HarryHype59

          The club can afford to bring in an EPL quality no 9. The fee doesn’t have to be paid up front.

          • mactoon

            Ashley doesn’t do business that way. He pays transfer fees for incoming players up front. He always has and he only spends money the club has, not money anticipated from finance not yet received

          • HarryHype59

            In that case I expect this club to struggle again next season and Rafa to walk.

            If staggered payments are accepted for players that are sold, Rafa should be allowed to buy £30m plus players using the same payments methods.

            That is what other clubs do.

          • mactoon

            I agree totally. A good example was the alleged attempt to buy Jorgensen last window. We offered an up front payment of £15 million but the year before that we sold Sissons for £30 million which Tottenham are paying £6 million a year over 5 years. It just don’t make sense.

          • HarryHype59

            It also explains why the transfer record has been unbroken since Owen. The club could have used the four £6m payments owed on Sissoko to finance buying a £24m striker. Instead Rafa was given only what was in the kitty.

            I don’t think Rafa will accept this practice any longer as he has ambition.

          • mactoon

            And I don’t think Ashley will change this practice or demonstrate the ambition Rafa has. He will SAY the right things but will revert to type once it’s time to put up the money.

    • Lord

      I note the FY2017 accounts still aren’t published and are now 3 weeks overdue, so most recent figures are now almost 2 years ago.

      Any insight into why the club is so sloppy in submitting accounts?

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        I`m sure HMRC will want a copy,
        they don`t arrest you at dawn for nothing

      • Fireman Sam

        We would start asking questions, like where has the money gone? Has Ashley took it?

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Not sure what is going on but previous Finance Directors have been spot on. Could be more work to do re this enquiry is my guess.
        However expect the accounts to be poor to be honest. Without Ashley’s help we would be in trouble. Where are all the other buyers.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      If Fatso spends £60m i`ll revise my opinion of you being as mad as a
      Schitt house Rat

      • Leicester Mag

        More chance the Archbishop of Canterbury bearing his @r$e in Fenwick’s window as this year’s Christmas decs.than him spending that amount.

    • Guest 2

      Which part of ‘spend’ don’t you comprehend? You always fail to count the money that was brought in, in this case by Rafa’s transfer profits. We had a net spend of 11.5 million before the 3 loan signings.

    • Fireman Sam

      Are you completely mad? We did not “spend” £60m and Rafa will not be given £60-£100m this time around.

      Ashley will be eying up and extra few million from Rafa’s release clause, to add to the £100m tv money he has pocketed.

      One way or another Ashley pockets the cash and off we go again. Survival or relegation, he always makes a few quid.

    • Mirandinha9

      Do list which players make up the £60 Million

      • Jezza

        Don’t feed the troll, marra.

  • Toonrobbybobson

    Personally believe if a takeover is to happen it will come out of nowhere this time likely very quiet. Even if Staveley is serious and comes back a second time it will be done in private after the last lot of outbursts. Most takeovers happen out of nowhere as well.

  • Stephen Paylor

    With the Wenger announcement to leave Arsenal, Rafa wants to discuss the clubs intentions asap. If he does not get the right answers and soon he will be off to Arsenal this summer. The budget should be a 70 million net spend assuming Ashley stands by his pledge for the club to have every last penny it generates. Might that be enough to keep Rafa in light of the Arsenal job being available? Im not so sure. 70 million is one player at their level, Aubameyang, Lacazette, Ozil etc are way ahead of anything we have. Rafa doesn’t want to survive every year looking for mid table finishes, he wants to be challenging and with Arsenal he knows he can do that. Would be sad to see him leave but i will fully understand if he is not given the right assurances from Ashley and very soon.

    • mactoon

      Don’t forget the ‘every last penny’ comment was for the January window knowing full well it was only around £7 million from promotion. With the TV money coming in the summer he will not repeat that pledge. We will be lucky to get the three loan deals on permanent deals and that will only be possible if we offload existing players.

      • Nart

        Gotta love how you make stuff up and present them as facts

        • mactoon

          I don’t understand. What part have I made up? That’s exactly what happened. He said that just before the January transfer window and he was referring to that window only.
          He has said nothing about the summer window and there is no way he will make all of the TV money available for transfers

          • Guest 2

            He said it last Summer when declaring the club was for sale. Rafa made a 30 million transfer profit and got none of it.

          • Nart

            He said it about the summer window… Also you saying what WILL happen this summer… Presenting your predictions as fact…. You’re talking about the future, which means it hasn’t happened yet.

          • mactoon

            It’s my opinion based on Ashley’s history. Hypothetically, If the club made £100 million profit from TV money Ashley would not make that amount available. He would decide how much would be made available and it would be nowhere near the amount of profit the club made.

          • Fireman Sam

            We would be lucky to get half.

          • Jezza

            The club is making more profit than at any time in our history yet our transfer spending is at an all time low. Ashley is pocketing all the profits and that will never change. We will be lucky if he allows 10% of the tranfer profits to go back into the team. As for the television money you can forget it. That all goes into his pocket.

          • Fireman Sam

            But that is what Ashley always does. If you expect him to suddenly do something different you are the one making stuff up.

      • Fireman Sam

        I agree. I’d imagine Ashley might be stretched to getting the three loan players in and making one signing in the £10-15m bracket.

        But the TV money is all his.

        • Monkseaton Magpies

          Pathetic at the last year end we only had £1.75m in the bank everything went to Rafa so why tell lies.

          • Nut

            Because they are all working to an organised agenda aiming tof shout down anyone that says anything remotely supporting what Ashley has done, it’s their way or the highway and if you don’t support them and their views then you are “not a real fan” in their eyes, they are a pathetic group of wining misfits who have nothing better to do in their lives than moan and annoy other people.

  • TheFatController

    Look at the first line quoted from Rafa.

    He’s not talking to Ashley. He’s talking to wealthy football investors.

    “You get me and the huge support, and they’ll be onside from the start”

    There cannot be a club in the world more ripe for buyout than a top 10 PL club with a top manager, stadium and attendances, where you’d be seen as a messiah just for seeing if the SD man and his tatty ad hoardings.

    Add to that the chance to bring some success and be a hero.

  • Shipcote Willy

    Ashley will be totally unmoved by anything Rafa says, (unless he is criticising him) and is banking on the managers loyalty to the fans whilst he no doubt prevaricates, makes misleading statements and generally ignores the club and fans. I am sure Rafa knows exactly what Ashley is like by now and expects the worst. We need to spend substantial sums just to standstill, by signing our loan players, while all our rivals will be investing to move forward. I don’t believe Ashley wants to sell the club unless he gets an offer way above market value. I read some fans talking about a 70-100m transfer budget, despite the past history, but I believe it will be a fraction of that. Rafa has worked wonders this season on a minimal budget and this will have been noted by clubs throughout Europe. He will be in demand and his loyalty will be surely tested to the limit.

    • Dingus

      Excellent summary

    • Guest 2

      Aye, but there was nowt misleading in Ashley stating publicly he won’t invest more money, he can’t take the club forward and he can’t compete. He wants to sell – so let’s see him held to account if he backtracks yet again.
      Oh aye, let’s not forget the £800k a month wages that were saved also…

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Only £1.75m left in the bank the last Financial year end so yes Ashley did give Rafa all the money the club had. Where are the new buyers with all the money answer none . Without Ashley we would be just like Sunderland.

        • Mirandinha9

          You’re dead right Monkseaton Magpies, we really ought to spend more time revering Cashley for the success he has brought to this club. Where would we be without him? You only need to look around the country and see the envy from the fans of other clubs. I know they’ll come a day when the likes of Shearer, Keegan, Hughton, Gutierrez, Bobby Lee, Joey Barton, Mickey Quinn, etc, will all realise that the negative impression they have had of him is unjustified. As you so often indicate, we should see the merits in him – he’s one of us, a man of integrity, who has always had the club service best interests at heart.

          • Vito Genovese

            Just ask him if he’s happy with what he has seen on the pitch over the last 10 years and 10ish months. He’ll not answer.
            Fatty might have balanced the books but we’d never ever ever be sunderland ffs. How could we ?? They just can’t be compared, it’s not even apples and Oranges it’s prime rib and westler burgers.

        • Guest 2

          Oh sure. Of the 33 million he (through St James Holdings) loaned in Dec ’16, 18 million was used to repay himself! The reason why the club made a profit of ‘only’ £1.75 mil (aye a profit)? Well, that will be because of the second relegation under Ashley, would it not? Those figures also don’t take into account the summer trading where Rafa made a £30 mil profit and outgoing players further reduced the payroll by £800k a month.
          Without Rafa we would look more like Sunderland as the owner keeps screwing the club up.

        • PhilK

          What tripe. You are believing the Ashley PR department
          How much has Ashley TAKEN OUT of the club, never mind put in ?

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            The only Chairman not to take a penny out of the club please look at the facts.

    • Monkseaton Magpies

      The worst being spending every penny we have. So tell me where the extra money is going to come from. Since we have stopped Amanda seems to have gone back home to the Middle East.

  • jonas

    Everything’s going nicely – cue Mike ‘buzz kill’ Ashley.
    the boards ambition is zero at best Rafa, its usually minus that.

  • GlasgowMag

    Even if Ashley agrees to finance Rafa and a business plan is agreed within a short period of time he will renege on the agreement its in his dna. The only way forward for this club is for the fat man to sell up otherwise more of the same, no investment/selling our best players/relegation battles=no Rafa/no ambition/no future!!

  • PhilK

    This worries me. If we lose Rafa, the clubs progress will come to a screeching halt and start yet another slide into oblivion.
    And no, Ashley won’t see the blinginly obvious and do the same again. A leopard does not change his spots and Fagin Ashley doesn’t either

  • Mike

    Thanks Rafa …………bye bye here we go down the league