Nobody said it was going to be easy supporting Newcastle United.

If anyone did, then they are a liar.

Like every other football fan we have our ups and down but these 11 years under Mike Ashley are surely ridiculous beyond words.

To have an owner who has no interest in the club ever achieving anything on the pitch, apart from trying to survive in the Premier League on the lowest budget possible.

Ashley even having a stated club policy at Newcastle United of not trying in the cup competitions for so many years.

The problem is, that even under his ownership, moments have still come along when you have suddenly got hope that things are going to change, that rapid progress is possible once again.

We had it with Kevin Keegan replacing Sam Allardyce, only for Mike Ashley to undermine KK with Dennis Wise and quickly force out the Newcastle United legend.

Chris Hughton working miracles and winning the Championship title on 102 points despite no financial backing and many players sold, then getting into mid-table in the Premier League with once again next to no financial backing from Ashley, only to be sacked mid-season and NUFC’s best player instantly sold and not replaced in January 2011.

Even when by some miracle things came together and Newcastle ended up fifth in 2011/12 under Pardew, Mike Ashley refused to build on that by strengthening the squad, with almost a relegation instantly following that fifth place.

Now we have possibly the biggest one of all.

Despite Newcastle being already all but down, Rafa Benitez arrived in March 2016 as he said he could see the potential longer-term.

Given money to spend (but still making a £40m profit…) in his first transfer window of Summer 2016, Rafa won instant promotion as champions.

The last three transfer windows have seen a laughably low level of ‘support’ for the manager from the owner, yet still Rafa Benitez has ensured Premier League safety with half a dozen or so games still remaining.

What happens next is the big question.

It all seems so straightforward to fans as to what should happen BUT these 11 years of Ashley have shown us how dangerous it is to hope for common sense.

I saw a couple of articles on The Mag about this summer’s transfer window and how tight things are going to be.

It is now only 99 days until the summer transfer window ends and so much to do.

In 43 days the World Cup finals kick off and that is when I am targeting.

My hopes are that by then…

Rafa Benitez will have signed an extended contract.

If that happens, then I am assuming we will also have positive public statements from the manager confirming air tight guarantees that he will be properly backed.

Both Martin Dubravka and Kenedy quickly signed up on permanent deal.

At least two, hopefully three, other new first team players also signed by that point.

That is all I hope, and expect, to happen by the time 14 June comes around and I can then sit back and enjoy the World Cup.

I live in hope.

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  • FatParosite

    ‘Rafa Benitez will have signed an extended contract.

    If that happens, then I am assuming we will also have positive public statements from the manager confirming air tight guarantees that he will be properly backed.’

    I’m not sure if this is hubris or rank naivety.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    that word should never, ever be used as long as the Obese One reigns supreme
    🐖 🐷 🐖

  • Alex

    It’ll either be a sale or more of the same.

    11 years of ‘form’ ain’t going to change between the middle of May and early August.

  • Albert Stubbins

    I used to believe that fatty was waiting for the right moment to really give it a go. We have everything in place just need investment. Three or four players better than we have now and we could really push on. Everyone knows it but alas fatty is in it for one thing only and he has proved this time and time again. I won’t get my hopes up again this close season as we all know what the outcome will be once again. No sale and minimum investment!!

  • Wor Lass

    We`ve got three games left and a World Cup to look forward to but it feels like the close season already. 100 days to the transfer window closing?! I hate this time of the football year. When I think about fatty and what he might decide to do I always think of that old story about the adder wanting to share the rabbit`s boat to get over the river. He promises faithfully not to bite him if he let`s him in but promptly does so as soon as they land on the other side. When asked by the rabbit with his dying breath why he did it, the adder replies, “Because it`s what I am!”.

  • Paul Patterson

    It’s not hard for an even slightly ambitious owner to fund a decent rebuild of this side.
    Dubravka- A no brainer at £4m
    Kenedy- Depends on Chelsea, but surely with the quality they have £20-25m.
    A quality striker- Costs £25m+ these days. They don’t grow on trees either.
    Two full backs- Probably cost £10m each.
    So circa £70m and some of this can be offset with Mitro etc. A spend of £70m shouldn’t be outlandish spending, it could even be as low as £40m depending on sales.
    Sadly, in reality it’ll probably be £20m in total and a couple of loans . .

    • Jezza

      I think they will complete the Dubravka deal for £4 million but I also believe that will be our biggest signing of the summer. I can see Dubravka being signed up very early on as a false gesture of intent, a ploy to take the pressure off and get the fans off Ashley’s back but things will go flat after that. There will be a few fringe and reserve players quietly moved on before a couple of big sales after the World Cup then a couple of desperate and dirt cheap last minute loans coming in.

    • Weyhhadaway

      There should be about 40M -50M+ after overhead, plus sales of about 30-40M. Reality is we will get about what you suggest, probably a bit more.
      It is no coincidence that we have a gambling company as our shirt sponsor.

    • ghostrider

      Why would it probably be only 20 million when he spent a fortune in the championship and then nearly 3 times what you predict, last season.

      It’s not that Ashley doesn’t spend, it’s fans that conveniently forget that he has by using NET

  • kingfisher

    I can’t think of one good reason why His Great Rotundness would change his operating procedure after 11 years. As Wor Lass says below, “he is what he is” and that is a money grabbing con man. Broken promises and a proven liar, it is indeed the hope that kills you, and even if Rafa or Ashley come out with statements about making the necessary funds available, I wouldn’t believe a word.If we are not taken over, then we are doomed !

  • Jimmy_toons

    Only hope to get us through this twelfth season will be Bob Hope.

  • Weyhhadaway

    Dean you talked eloquently and correctly about the last eleven years of let downs then in the last couple of sentences blew it away with the use of the term “air tight guarantees” in the same breath as Mike Ashley, you just have to read your own article to see what I am talking about.