On Saturday 7 April, Newcastle United beat Leicester City and reached 38 points, and effectively confirmed there was no chance of relegation.

On Sunday 15 April, NUFC won 2-1 at home against Arsenal and moved onto 41 points, meaning that beyond all reasonable doubt they had reached their safety target.

It was the victory over Manchester United that was the real turning point, that 1-0 win now over 11 weeks ago.

Newcastle never really looking back after that point, with the defeat at Liverpool predictable and not knocking Rafa and his team off their stride.

Consecutive home wins against relegation rivals Southampton and Huddersfield had put United on 35 points with still seven games remaining.

That win against Huddersfield was 31 days ago, a point when certainly Mike Ashley would know where the club was going to be next season and start planning accordingly.

Either get on with selling the club and let somebody else have as much time as possible to prepare for next season, or get on with it yourself.

If we are still going to be stuck with Ashley then one big sign of good intent should have been easy to achieve and quickly be made public.

The fact that there is still no news of a Rafa Benitez extended contract, is not great news.

A club that is hopefully looking to try and make great strides in the right direction, should have had the finger ready on the button, then 100% press it once that victory over Arsenal happened, taking Newcastle beyond that 40 points mark.

Imagine the positivity running through the whole club and fanbase, if in the days after that victory, we had seen a big press conference with a smiling Rafa Benitez talking about his plans for the future and that everything was now agreed and in place, to back him in taking Newcastle back to where the supporters, and Rafa himself, believe the club should be.

Everybody would have been buzzing and the run of positive results would surely have continued.

I’m convinced that it would have been a point at the very least at Everton and definitely a win against West Brom, St James Park would have been rocking. Newcastle would have either been in eighth already or at least still favourites to finish there with a game in hand.

Instead, we had two dismal low key and low energy defeats, without even scoring a goal.

It is like the season has pretty much ground to a halt and along with that, much of the positivity brought by the recent performances and results.

It isn’t that it is impossible for things to still turn out alright but it just feels for me like so many of these years under Mike Ashley and moments when he could have grasped the opportunity to take the club forward.

It now looks like he has once again priced the club way above its real worth, ensuring no sale.

So will he once again risk losing this manager and having a stable club on the up once again?

Could he really be that stupid…?

Under Kevin Keegan and Sir Bobby Robson we saw just how powerful the momentum can be once the club starts moving in the right direction, if left to get on with it and realistic backing, who knows what Rafa could achieve.

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  • Desree

    Ben Kenobi said in Stars Wars who is the greater fool? The fool or the fool who follows.

    Yes Mike Ashley is that stupid because he knows there are 52000 fools who will be there whatever he does.

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      Hi Dexter, do you want to pay by PayPal? Our little bet is mathematically concluded, I just need my winnings.

    • Dingus

      Exactly

    • kingfisher

      Yes,spot on Desree.As long as “The Sheep” follow the shepherd, nothing will ever change because as far as Ashley is concerned, it doesn’t have to as his pockets will continue to overflow with the sheeps money regardless of how he treats them.Ashleys business model is build the plebs up with promises, knock them down,then stick the boot in.
      I used to be taken in by his promises and ( like they say about when Kennedy was shot) I can remember where I was when news broke that he had put nufc up for sale last year. Finally I thought we were to be rid of him, but then once again claims and counter claims and photos in a curry house, blah blah blah, nothing is straight forward as far as he’s concerned, the man couldn’t lie straight in bed.
      Look at the Mackems takeover for instance.Hardly a mention of it, then it’s done, sorted.(subject to EFL approval).He’s an absolute embarassment,a waste of a pair of underpants.

  • Martin

    Well thats because the fat parasite does not want (and never has) wanted to gain momentum. His sole objective in buying NUFC was to open up global markets for his his cheap tatty primary business (Sports Direct). Hence why I also believe our recruitment strategy was heavily influenced in him focusing on the country he wanted to expand Sports Direct in.

    Providing fatty keeps getting global exposure to billions worldwide on live TV games etc. then that is worth hundreds of millions in additional revenue to him from increased sales globally.

    So why would he want to take a loss and sell NUFC for 400 mill.

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      You know sports direct could get that advertising at other conparable clubs for £2-3m a year, tax deductible. It seems a very inefficient way of advertising and tying up £276m

      • TheFatController

        I think that’s too simplistic, I base it on working in media planning and buying for 25 years, where the job is to compare the prices of advertising and promotions. We aren’t comparing hoardings here with hoardings at another location, you must surely agree ?

        based on your logic, who is the owner of Puma Sports? They get similar advertising exposure from us as SD do, the owner should be just as high profile therefore ?

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          Puma get more, they get to sell their kit to a captive audience. I don’t think Mike Ashley wants to be known at all but he’s become infamous.

          As for Puma, I think most are aware of the Dassler name and the connection if that’s what you mean.

          The point really is what are NUFC missing out on? We sell that hoarding space to someone else & we get £2-3m more. Sports Direct Obviously hope to get more value than that, otherwise what is the point?

          • TheFatController

            Well, if he didn’t want to be known at all, maybe don’t buy one of Europe’s top 20 clubs, then hope for maintaining any anonymity that leaves you with by doing high profile interviews that you yourself arrange with one of the World’s biggest broadcasters, and all the time sticking your company’s name all over the stadium, including on the roof.

            Possibly?

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            There is nothing wrong with advertising your wares, perk of the job for most business owners. Jack Walker, Shepherd Offshore, The Metro centre, Stan Seymour Sports.

            I really doubt that he wants his name in lights, he could have done that without buying NUFC. I just think he thought it would be fun.

            Notwithstanding that, value of the lost advertising to NUFC is £2-3m.

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      Your post is a contradiction. He wants to promote Sports Direct in UK & European markets, even oceana and maybe more. If he’s going to do that via exposure at premier league football games, he doesn’t want to be in the Championship or unnoticed in the middle of the table. He will get notoriety by being in with the big boys.

      The problem is, to do that, it’s very difficult to beat everyone.

  • Peter Robson

    Why do people keep saying we are safe ? I know it´s unlikely, but then so was losing at home to West Brom, but there is still a mathematical chance we can be caught !!!
    Look at the table and do the maths: Southampton have 32 points and can (in theory) reach a maximum of 41 points also reducing their goal difference in the process.
    We (Newcastle United) are on 41 points, and if by some chance we lost all our remaining games, and judging by our recent displays, it´s not totally out of the question, we could still be relegated !!!
    Southampton need to drop just 1 point or we need just 1 point to be guaranteed safety !!!

    Once again lazy journalism/research strikes again !!!

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      saints play Swansea, they can’t both win. Bssically, when Swansea did not win, they can’t catch us.

    • Billmag

      Check the fixtures Peter we are as safe as the money in fatso’s pocket.

    • Paul Patterson

      We CAN’T go down.

  • Mike

    Ashley turning his hand to the USA investing in 2 companies over there…no interest in NUFC as long as its making money. dont expect anything

    • Jezza

      Ashley investing in companies in the USA eh? That’s the television money spoken for then.

      • Leazes.

        He can’t do that Jezza its called embezzlement :)

        • Jezza

          I’m sure he’ll find some legal loophole.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    When it comes to positivity under the Pig it is but a mere illusion that soon disappears like a ship in the night.
    🚢 🌌

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      Has Leazes’ just logged out?

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        No idea

        • Leazes.

          You chatting away to the troll just appeared when I logged out of another site, I had no idea he was still about.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            You do because you have your other login

          • Jezza

            The troll will always be about on this site. It’s the only thing in his sad pathetic life that gives him any enjoyment.

  • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

    Dale, we are three days into being safe. He’s named his price, funnily enough, I advertised my car for sale this week, I asked £3,995 and between you and I, I will accept £3,500 or maybe less as I was going to get it serviced first but would knock anothet £100 off for that.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      3 grand i pay that for tyres, you must have a Reliant Robin
      😂😂😂

      • Leazes.

        So what kind of car is that a tractor?

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        Ah, you are making the case that Newcastle United is worth more than £400m?

    • Dillon Tovak

      Cool story bro.

    • Paul Patterson

      Our ‘car’ has a cracking engine and a good badge on the front. Sadly it’s adorned with tacky stickers, the oil needs a change, needs a new radiator, the exhaust sounds a bit noisy and it’s leased from a dodgy dealership.

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        The new owner is able to decide what tacky stickers they want, once it’s out of the hands of the old owner, the new owner can do what they want. That’s actually the beauty of NUFC as a purchase. We may not like to agree but it’s been run very efficiently, they is not a lot of waste, the wages are low, there are no huge commitments.

        i.e. in the car analogy, it’s not got any HP, there is plenty life in the tyres, brakes etc but if the new owner wants to chav it up they can but it’s not like MMM’s, change a tyre, it’s nto going to cost the earth or knock the whole thing out of balance.

  • mactoon

    “Imagine we had seen a big press conference with a smiling Rafa Benitez talking about his plans for the future and that everything was now agreed and in place”…. followed by Ashley going back on his word and failing to back him in the transfer market!

    I would rather Rafa didn’t sign the contract until after the window closes, forcing Ashley to back him in the summer.

    If I was him I would also sign no more than a 2 year deal with a similar clause to the current one which means he could walk in the last year for nothing. That would force Ashley to continue backing him or lose him.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      He has a year left so there`s no reason for him to sign, by not doing so he holds all the cards

      • mactoon

        exactly. If he threatens to leave if Ashley doesn’t back him Ashley will have some tough decisions to make and for the first time Rafa has the advantage.

        • TheFatController

          See my point above about Staveley, the £350m Ashley would have had now had he not sent her packing, and then think ‘how could Rafa have an advantage over a man who will dump anyone who dares to use an advantage over him…?’

    • TheFatController

      I admire your strong belief that Rafa intends to stay, his requirement is he just wants Ashley to back him.

      Given Ashley didn’t go for Staveley’s pressurizing him, what chance does Rafa have?

      Ashley would have had nearly £350m Now had he agreed to the offer that was staggered based on staying up.

      Ashley’s very good at exploiting people with all the power of a zero hours contract, because he doesn’t need each one individually and they’re easily replaced.

      He has no history of making a success out of thinking he doesn’t need Staveley’s money or a decent PL manager at the club… Staveley and Rafa will / are proving very hard to replace. Proof he’s able to put ego ahead of business sense.

      • mactoon

        I have no doubt that Rafa wants to stay, he wouldn’t be having contract talks if he didn’t want to stay. The question is how much does Ashley want him to stay. If he wants to sell the club and thinks there is a better chance of doing so with Rafa as Manager then there is a better chance of getting funds for transfers to keep him here. The problem is we don’t even know if Ashley is serious about selling the club.

        • TheFatController

          I know what you mean, and we can’t know what individuals really think/ want from it all, I just worry Ashley thinks he can gamble on another manager now he has a mid table PL side (in his head, if not on paper without a top top manager coaching them).

          I doubt we’ll enjoy this summer, transfer windows are the worst time for everyone at the club, but maybe just this once we’ll be happy at the end of one…maybe not!

    • Jezza

      The troubleis that Ashley would be delighted if Rafa was to walk.

  • magpiefifer

    Come on Dale,this is Ashley we’re talking about – you remember,the odious one who loves to antagonise we NUFC supporters and gamble on spending as little as possible to stay in the PL – a gamble that has backfired twice! I will be amazed (and delighted) if Rafa is still at SJP next season – Ashley doesn’t deserve a quality manager,but the fans do.
    One thing’s for sure,the rollercoaster ride will go on until we see the back of Ashley.

  • NUFCLX

    I keep hearing about realistic backing but how much is realistic. I would be really happy with 50mil plus what Rafa can raise on transfers. Cannot see the Fatman doing that but I live in hope.

    • Leazes.

      Do you mean £50m more than the other clubs in the league who will all be getting in excess of £120m or £50m more than the three clubs who are promoted?

    • Jezza

      Correct Rafa won’t see a penny of that £50 million and he’ll be bleeding lucky to get what is raised from player sales.

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      £50m plus transfer revenues is pushing it a bit. It’s only a guess but this year we have made around a £30-40m profit after paying the wages etc. Given that Rafa get’s what the club generates, I’d say £30m + transfer revenue.

  • Hughie

    FIRST to all the ultra pessimists on this site– of course they are safe –goal difference ensures that. SECOND– We all know that Ashley is an enigma. Therefore this article is simply repeating the obvious speculation that none of us know what will happen to NUFC over the summer. The below par performances in the last two games were predictable, Season after season clubs with nothing to play for drop their level…eg Crystal Palace 5 Leicester 0. We know that our powder puff attack is our main reason for not doing better this season, so my positive hope is that the club sign a decent right back, No10 and 2 decent strikers this summer. Hopefully we will sell Mitro, Gayle, Saivet, Mbemba, Colback and possibly a few more such as Darlow which will accumulate 15-20 million. 20-30 million from the TV kitty might allow a 50 million budget?

    • Jezza

      Ashley is not an enigma, when it comes to his running of NUFC he is entirely predictable. He never changes. Every transfer window pans out exactly the way many of us on here expect and nothing will be any different this summer. Whether or not Rafa stays I can tell you with absolute certainty that NUFC’s transfer spend this summer will be minimal and it is extremely likely that the club will make a net profit on their summer transfer business.

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        Put a figure on that ‘minimal’ what is minimal? You have a knack of making claims like this and shying away from backing up your weasel words..

  • Paul Patterson

    This ownership never seizes on any momentum that is built up.

    • Coble’s Return

      Correct – Ashley is like a naughty child who no-one bothers to discipline. He has got away with failing to invest time and again (even the relegations were just inconveniences which were quickly rectified by two very competent managers) and therefore he has no reason to do otherwise. To him, NUFC is a great success, just as it is.

      • FatParosite

        Ashley is not a naughty child he is an inveterate gambler with a good idea what sort odds would get him and a spend thrift willing to stake the fans loyalty against any act of vandalism..There is a massive difference.. Cretinous mugs fall for it every time….

        • Danimal

          Spot on. Not sure why I’m now thinking about Monty Python though.

  • Weyhhadaway

    History suggests more of the same. If or when that happens I would like to see Rafa walk, then the club finally sold and the new owner bringing Rafa back, with a wad of cash and the real project could begin.

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      Very strange logic that.

      • Weyhhadaway

        Just throwing ideas around. One step back to then go forward. Any way to get rid of Ashley is the way to go.

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          A Lloyd Cole song comes to mind

  • Albert Stubbins

    Newcastle united: fatally failing to seize the moment for 49 years!!