Burnley have proved that Europa League Qualification is not impossible for Newcastle United.

A fantastic rout of Chelsea capped off a tremendous first season back in the Premier League for Newcastle United.

Pegged by many for relegation after spending less than their promoted rivals last summer, Rafa Benitez showed why he’s the best manager outside the top six by dragging a near Championship squad to 10th, and bringing back hope to Newcastle.

On the other side of the picture, Dyche at Burnley showed why he’s rated so highly with a fantastic run in the League, eventually qualifying for the Europa League.

It showed how small the distance between being mid-table and finishing in a Europa League spot truly is. Burnley are not some outstanding team, they are just 10 points ahead of Newcastle. Nor have they spent huge amounts getting there. However, they have shown that the 7th place finish is not beyond a good manager.

It brings us back to Newcastle United.

We do not demand Champions League qualification or titles. We want a club that tries its best. We managed to finish 5th under Pardew but the manager then turned around and acted like the Europa League was impossible to navigate. Rafa Benitez, someone who has won the Europa League, will give it the respect it deserves, should we get there some day.

His stay at the club is dependent on Ashley’s decisions. A takeover does not look like happening, but even without one, Rafa Benitez is not demanding insane sums. He will demand money the club generated, nothing more, nothing less.

What many have always ignored is that it makes perfect financial sense to invest in a club, provided you have faith in your manager. The difference between 10th and 15th was almost £10m. That’s a pretty high sum. The difference between Burnley’s income and Newcastle’s (in terms of money due to league position) will be just under £6m. Arsenal managed to net £40m from this season’s Europa League Run. A good Europa Run, obviously nowhere near Arsenal’s, could still net a team nearly £20m.

When you put that into context, investing some money could net you £40m more in prize money, and that’s ignoring all the benefits you’d get from increased exposure in the Europe League.

In the end, keeping Rafa Benitez and investing some money is likely to be profitable for Ashley in the long run, especially as a stable Europa League club will definitely sell for a lot more than what Staveley is currently rumoured to be offering.

Well done Burnley, and well done Dyche, but this is a tale from which all clubs should be learning from.

Even if breaking into the top six looks impossible, you should still try to finish as high as possible. Just avoiding relegation is no ambition, and it leads to an eventual relegation like Villa, Stoke, West Brom, or in the worst case, as bad as Sunderland.

We may laugh now, but if Ashley doesn’t go, and Rafa does, a relegation back to the Championship might end up just as bad as theirs. It’s this choice that Ashley will face this summer. Sell up, invest, or watch Rafa leave and Newcastle’s value plummet faster than Chelsea’s Champions League hopes.

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  • Paul Patterson

    I can’t see why £80m plus whatever players leave generates, can’t be spent . .

    • If this is coming out of your own money, believe me you will see reasons.
      I get why Mike is not paying 20m for 18-19-year olds and 25m+ for over 28-year olds since one is too much for a unproven player and the other you have decreasing value from the age the player is in.
      I reckon anything between that Mike is willing to pay 20m for, but so far we haven’t identified any target like that or wages are 100,000+ a week which is another huge NO in my books too.
      The market is about taking a chance and with a good manager and coaching staff you can be sure to have a fighting chance of not throwing that money down the drain.

  • Angelswithdirtyfaces

    The point about investment in players is that you spend £50m you have £50m worth of player assets/contracts. The money doesn’t just disappear. Your player assets generate success and increased revenues and then profits. A good manager will increase the value of player assets. Bad luck and injuries may reduce them, so there is risk. The key is the manager. Rafa has proven himself already at his time at the Toon. If players are managed well, and contracts are properly supervised, then the value of your players increases the value of the club.

    • mentalman

      There’s a few players rafa has bought who won’t be worth what he paid for them

      • cc

        totally agree,
        but on the other hand look at what the value of coaching has done to the value of lascelles, dummet,diame,
        I reckon the squad value has increased since raffas arrival
        as has enjoyment and hope.
        sure there will be a sells or a gamez but when you are buying at the lower end of the scale that’s the gamble, but again look at the value of not just those bought but those who have increased due to the quality of coaching.
        a top ten finish and a top 7 defence

        • mentalman

          I don’t think Dummett is much better than he has been for a few seasons now, people are finally removing their blinkers towards him and realising he’s actually really quite good at what he does

      • Nobody is safe from that. Just look at the useless money Man U spent over the past two-three years, Barcelona, PSG and more.
        I trust Rafa to get it right 2/3 times, at this stage this is much more than we deserve.

  • Leazes.

    You have to be kidding!!!

  • Alan Pardew

    I genuinely think that without the Europa League our performances will be a lot stronger.

  • Rich Lawson

    The Europa is a poisoned chalice,you get an early start to the season flying to the back end of the world for your initial games,if you make the league stage you have a succesion of mid- week games (thursday after the champ’s league have played) which ruin your team selection for the weekend unless you gamble and play largely kids and reserves.If you make it to the knockout rounds you suddenly hit top teams from the rest of Europe with much larger (better) squads. Waist of time,I’d rather see us have a proper go at the League and F.A. Cups.

  • Mxpx

    Let’s not get carried away we got 44 points in every other season that would land us bottom half of the table we’ve a long way to go realistically Leicester and Everton are within our sights and with Burnley being in Europe they have to be careful to mind the drop I think we need a bigger squad to play in Europe once you acknowledge all the dead wood in our squad and players not yet ready we have maybe 18 ish players ready to play for us in the championship we had two players in every position of suitable quality we need to get back to that point before we get back to the europa league regular rotation will be important and I for one would rather not see our attacking options rotated when the ones we have aren’t good enough although I’d be happy enough to give em a run out in the early stages of the europa league mind