Rafa Benitez has plenty of experience when it comes to dealing with difficult owners and the politics inside football clubs where he has managed in the past.

However, he is faced with a truly unique challenge at Newcastle United.

A club which has been run for the last decade under Mike Ashley, as one that simply tries to cling onto Premier League status with the minimum amount spent.

So how does Rafa Benitez handle a club that simply wants to exist?

One thing is for sure, the Newcastle manager didn’t come to the club on that understanding, now stating: ‘I did not come here after so many games, so many titles, just to say, ‘OK, we will see what happens.’

The former Liverpool and Real Madrid boss said when he arrived at St James Park, that he had come here because he could see the potential of Newcastle, not somewhere that he was planning on being a semi-retirement home with no intention/expectation of competing:  ‘When I say I have ambition and I want to win something, it is because the fans also have this ambition to win something.’

Rafa has shown at both Newcastle and previous, that he can work with existing players and improve them, but he states categorically that this can only take you so far, that ‘…what you need is more quality in the squad.’

With only one year left on his Newcastle contract, there is clearly zero chance of Rafa Benitez agreeing to any extension unless Mike Ashley moves at least some way to matching the ambitions of manager and fans.

The fact Newcastle were safe from relegation weeks ago and there has been no quick resolution, tells you that Ashley certainly isn’t 100% willing to do what needs to be done.

So now we are left with hoping for two things.

Firstly, the owner eventually accepts that he has to back Rafa Benitez.

Secondly, this happens in a timely manner that doesn’t affect too badly the work, especially transfers in and out, that needs to be done this summer.

Rafa Benitez asked if he wants to stay at Newcastle United:

“That is a tricky question.

“I said in an interview the other day, that I decided to stay because of the potential, the fans and the city…then we have to do what we have to do.

“Sometimes people think that [bargaining hard with an owner like Mike Ashley to get the backing you want/need] is negative…but I think it is a positive because it means you care.

“I am not thinking about myself…if you want to go to another level, you need more quality.

“When you have experience you try to do your best for your team, for your club, for your fans.

“At Valencia, they said, ‘We will give you this player and you can make him into a proper player’, so sometimes it is a negative against me because I can work with players to improve them and they think you do not need to spend too much money.

“I don’t really enjoy this negotiating and I would be happier just thinking about my team, my players, tactics, analysing opposition teams and improving players – but in modern football, especially in the Premier League, the budget is crucial.

“You see Manchester City, amazing coach and amazing team, [but] they could not win [the Premier League] last year.

“They had to spend a lot of money to win and the reality is with the prices in the market now, you need the money to compete.

 “When I say I have ambition and I want to win something, it is because the fans also have this ambition to win something.

“I did not come to Newcastle after so many games, so many titles, just to say, ‘OK, we will see what happens.’

“I want to compete, to try to win, everyone has the same feeling.

“We have the potential to do that and so I fight to do the right things…what you need is more quality in the squad.”



  • Damon Horner

    Like the fans he doesn’t just want to understandably go through the motions. The club is a competitive sports outfit before it’s a business. Back the man Ashley!

    • TheNutJob

      no chance i`m afraid

      • Kneebotherm8

        Two hopes with the fat twt………Bob Hope and no hope………Fckn Ashley out##

  • nufcslf

    The bright side of all of this being, even a thick skinned dumb c**t like Cashley has to sh*t himself on what would hapoen if he lets Rafa walk.

    • Jezza

      I don’t think he is. I genuinely believe Ashley would be happy to see he back of Rafa and replace him with a puppet on a fifth of the salary.

      • FatParosite

        Bang on the money again Jezza

    • TheNutJob

      read this carefully “he doesn`t care”

      • Alex

        He cares not a jot for the club, but he cares a great deal about his God, ‘money’.

        He’ll be aware of how much he’ll lose with a Rafa-less Newcastle. In fact, Ellis Short’s losses could be peanuts to what Ashley might lose.

        I’m sure he still sleeps at night, but make no mistake, Ashley is in an awkward position.

        • Cockneytrev

          Ashley has made money, Ellis short lost money,, if Ashley walked away now he’s had a good deal off his purchase of NUFC…

  • Paul Patterson

    I thought that at the very least, we would have heard an announcement that Dubravka had been signed up.
    A minimum of five players are required this summer (Personally a striker, Kenedy or equivalent, a right back, a no10 and the goalkeeper. Anything less and the owner is seriously underplaying the potential of the club. But then again, ten years of history have shown that muddling through seasons and gambling on avoiding disaster (failing twice and three or four near misses) doesn’t make some people learn.
    The window is a short one and the first game of next season will come quick, if Rafa isn’t in charge for it, then we all know who will have under performed and gambled again . .

    • Jezza

      I fully expect Dubravka will be signed up for £4 million in the first week of thw window but it will be a ploy to take the pressure off the Ashley regime, a false gesture of intent if you like. Things will go flat after that. Over the course of the window there will be more money coming in than going out and when it’s all over, Dubravka at £4 million will remain our biggest signing of the summer.

      • TheNutJob

        😂😂😂

      • thewildchimp

        There will be another striker coming in, so I think we’ll spend more than that, but the rest is 100% accurate.

        • Albert Stubbins

          On loan maybe. No way it will be salami and you need twenty million plus for anyone decent. On that basis Toney and Armstrong will be spearheading the attack next season imo. I hope I’m wrong but if past performance is anything to go by then it’s not looking good.

          • Jezza

            Yes and the chances are that Pardew will be back to tell us that Toney and Armstrong are the proverbial “just like two new signings”.

          • thewildchimp

            Yeah, we still need a forward, a CAM and a winger, just like two seasons ago… Actually, make that three forwards…

        • Jezza

          Well Peter Crouch is looking for a new club now Stoke are relegated. He’s 37 so only a one year contract and no transfer fee. Job done for Ashley and the Chronicle can talk it up about the club signing a proven Premiership striker and England international.

          • thewildchimp

            Oh, God… You know, signing him as a backup wouldn’t be bad, actually, but if they do – it’s gonna be as the first choice…

      • Kneebotherm8

        A very likely scenario……..

    • FatParosite

      The Comical is doing a service in reducing expectation at Bishop’s behest at the moment. They are currently skewing Benitez to the tune of ‘quality not quantity’ in a ‘wipe it’s own nose’ rhetoric style. Expect painful hope shattering silences while the World Cup acts as some sort of shiny shiny to the hard of thinking.

  • Peaky

    The rival PR machines are well and truly fired up now and all raring to go….

  • Albert Stubbins

    Copy and pasted from northern echo?

  • TheNutJob

    No Mas Fatty i`ve had enough, back me or it`s Adios to the Toon
    😠

    • Peaky

      Is your real identity Enrique Iglesias ???
      😂😂

      • TheNutJob

        😂, it`s handy speaking Spanish, i`m going to larn French next have a freebie with wor lass in France
        😂😂😂

        • Peaky

          🇫🇷🇫🇷🇫🇷
          🇪🇸 🇪🇸 🇪🇸

        • Peaky

          I’m foreign down here….they say things like “eey up me duck”..got nee idea what tha taaking aboot half the time….I just agree with them…

          • TheNutJob

            3 days to go
            😎😎
            🍹🍹 🍷🍷 🍺🍺
            😂😂

          • Rich Lawson

            You should have listened more closely,you’ve now agreed to be part of the potteries cycling team !

          • Peaky

            🚴‍♂️🚴‍♂️🚴‍♂️

        • Peaky

          Does he know or are you just going to turn up on his le doorstep ??

  • Arty Hume

    JMHO the club is at a crossroads now. If Rafa goes I would quite happily see the club go the way of those webbed feet mob down the road, at least there would be a way back then. Under TFCB I cannot see anything other than frustration from the club, for me its been painful to endure the last 10 years and I’m sick of it. Something has to give and I believe Rafa is the catalyst one way or the other. If you are happy with mediocrity and TFCB raiding your bank accounts every year, crack on mate but I’m out. For me the only way is for a take over to be successful and fumigation to take place at St.James Park, get rid of the stink and start over. Rant over!

    • FatParosite

      I’m afraid the ‘Host’ will keep the ‘Parasite’ alive…

      • Arty Hume

        You may unfortunately be correct!

  • ghostrider

    There is absolutely nothing to suggest that Ashley will not back Rafa, assuming Ashley is staying on as owner.
    We know Rafa has been backed since he came to the club, so, assuming Ashley stays it’s a fair bet that Rafa (assuming he stays) will get funds from the kitty and what he generates himself with sales.

    Also do not forget that this is a new chapter for the club in terms of a near complete overhaul of players in terms of Rafa’s own build and also on the understanding that we aren’t in any position to just jump on the so called super ambition wagon in terms of spend.
    It has to be done carefully and also done with the emphasis on keeping a structure in place to build on it rather than try to stack it up on a hurried whim.

    As I said before, it’s fine for Rafa to say he’s ambitious and wants this and that, as well as the fans. Of course anyone would say that.
    No manager is going to say any different if asked about ambition….but most managers will use realism of where they’re at or managing.

    Rafa has to do the same and he also has to put more emphasis on nurturing the youngsters and identifying potential and making that potential into a realisation of quality.
    This is how you build whilst you’re adding a few quality players to your first team.

    Some fans just go blinkered when transfers are concerned, as if Ashley doesn’t spend. He does…..he literally does… but because he’s hated by the bullies and bandwagon jumpers, it is made to appear like he spends nothing and in fact he’s literally tearing the club apart, to some.
    Many can supposedly see it and yet the stadium is a full house nearly every game.

    Maybe those people can really see that… although Ashley isn’t acting like king Midas…. he’s also not playing Scrooge, either.

    I’ll tell you what the real problem is. It’s certain fans and even know it all pundits that look at the big sleeping giant that is Newcastle United, run by a cockney chancer (apparently) who’s real love is Tottenham or Chelsea or (name another London club) who just doesn’t care because it suits their agenda.

    For 11 years he just doesn’t care, even though he’s only got one life and 11 years of it has been invested in Newcastle United.
    That’s the prime of his life and it’s been spent having bile thrown his way by all and sundry because it’s fitting until some other pantomime villain comes along who’s worthy of more of it.

    “But, but, but……but he never spends in January and that’s why he’s a miser”, says some.
    “He’s trousering all the profit and that’s why we’ll never be at the top” says others.
    “He hasn’t spent much money, it’s all minor net spends” say many bandwagon jumpers of the hate train.

    Let’s look at this.
    Rafa seems to say a lot and imply he’s not being backed or it’s being misconstrued as that by the certain fans/media/pundits.
    But Rafa is inside the club. He’s in contract with Charnley and Ashley and whoever else is part of the financial background of the club.

    He seems to have some kind of high status as manager….more so than most managers, so surely he must know what’s on offer for him….right?

    So what can this be?

    He either knows he’s getting money plus whatever sales money comes his way and is staying and willing to sign a new contract but only willing to divulge cryptic snippets to the media for them to create their own storylines that the fans read and take all avenues as to what the real story could be..

    OR

    He doesn’t know what he’s getting because there’s no contract negotiations until the season’s over and then he’ll know either way as in:

    1. He gets told X amount is there for him plus sales and his contract (however long) is all readied up to be signed on the basis of the promises.

    Or.

    2. He gets told nothing and gets disillusioned and walks away, leaving the door open for a new manager.
    In this case we’ll see him walk out of the door after the last game. If not then something has to be ongoing.

    The other option is Rafa being told that the club is in the process of being sold and there’s no new contract on offer until the new owners take control.
    If the new owners (speculation) want Rafa to continue as manager then they will offer him whatever contract and whatever funds, right away.

    Who really knows what will happen?
    All we can do is speculate but speculating hatred on Ashley will not make what anyone says, correct, nor will my speculating make me correct until the proof is in the pudding and in the eating of it.

    • Toon Arnie

      ghost rider – where have you been for the last 11 years ?!! There is EVERYTHING to suggest Ashley won’t back Rafa. The man is a compulsive liar with endless false promises. He was exposed as a liar in a cour of law. I really hope i’m wrong but I also think there is little to zero chance of him selling. Rafa will leave if he’s not backed this time and i’ll be interested to see how you and your fellow apologist Monkwearmouth Mackem look paper over those cracks.

      • FatParosite

        Just block ghostrider & don’t give IT airtime…

      • ghostrider

        1. All businessmen are liars. ALL. You stating Ashley is a compulsive liar is based on absolutely nothing concerning the club, unless you’d like to tell me about all these compulsive lies he’s told, throughout his 11 years.
        I don’t mean potential lies or perceived lies or a mass opinion backed idea of what lies are when attributed to him….I want to know the FACTS.

        2.There’s everything to suggest Ashley will do what he’s done since Rafa arrived and that’s back him with cash plus player sales.

        3. I hope he doesn’t sell, because I know where we are with him in charge and I can hope he gets it right.
        After all he employed Rafa on 6 million a year so it appears he wants to do something other than fester, like people think he does.

        4. As for being an apologist of Ashley’s, you can stamp me down with absolutely anything you feel fits your agenda but it won’t change my opinion unless I see facts to make me do that.

        All I tend to see are assumptions based on Chinese whispers and build up hatred and bandwagon jumping….started by nasties.

    • Mike

      TOSH

    • GlasgowMag

      You lost my attention in the 1st sentence “there is absolutely nothing to suggest that Ashley will not back Rafa” Peter Kay is back now time for you to retire 😂😂😂

      • ghostrider

        You should have saved yourself more time and paid zero attention to me.

        • Kneebotherm8

          Most pay zero attention to you………

          • ghostrider

            Maybe you should follow suit.

          • Kneebotherm8

            Suits me……😂😂😂

    • Deman Sdrawkcab

      A perfect lesson into how to Cherry Pick!

      So blinkered beyond belief, why, is he Ashley’s PR right man? Disgraceful.

      Sadly, forgetting to update setting on my new device, I got to witness this utter nonsense once more, before blocking – yet again. In 99.9999% of supporters eyes; you are one very sad individual!!

    • thewildchimp

      I think that Rafa knows we generate enough money to be able to spend more and he demands it. He doesn’t want another Joselu this summer, he didn’t want the original one in the first place! Did he make mistakes in the man-management department? I think so, yes. But at this point he wants somewhat better than what we already have and who can argue that we do need permanent reinforcements?

      • ghostrider

        Yes he wants better. I agree he should get better. This is his third season as manager, with his first only 10 games long, then a championship clear out and buy in with big money = backed, then a premier league new boys season where he also got backed with enough cash to keep us stable, regardless of whether people want to call him a genius for working with championship players.
        Last season people were saying we were at the top of the championship because we were a premier league side in the championship.
        It’s strange how circumstances can dictate a mindset, isn’t it?

        The money Rafa got last summer wasn’t a kings ransom but it also wasn’t a paupers gruel, either.
        Him buying Joselu was his choice, regardless of him missing out on his priority strikers of which nobody seems to know who they were.

        He bought players that’s rarely played. People can argue they were for the future but that’s absolutely nonsense when you’re trying to solidify your presence back into the premier league.
        He could have put the money together and easily had enough to buy the striker and number 10 or whatever he was after.
        Add into that, Mitrovic who we all thought would be part of the plans and we would have been fairly sorted.

        So who’s fault?
        As it stands right now, there isn’t a fault. The faults were only evident when it was all going pear shaped…but those faults have mostly been rectified.

        As it stands now and assuming Ashley stays, I’m 100% confident that Rafa (assuming he stays) will get enough funds from player sales and cash from the kitty to sensibly add to the squad and make it much more in his image.

        I absolutely and firmly believe it will happen if both parties stay.
        There is no reason not to believe it, because Ashley has always stumped up the cash, unless people want to live on January sales which everyone knows is a panic buy month for mugs to pay inflated prices for someone else’s trouble/underachievers/mistake in 90% of cases.

        • Toon Arnie

          Naive at best. Attention seeking drivel at worst. Come on Mr Ryder, sorry Rider, this is becoming a bit of a drainer now.
          Rafa will eventually tire of Ashley’s lies and leave then when another yes man is appointed and we go down again we may not be lucky enough to have gems like Hughton or Rafa to get us out of his self created mess.

          • ghostrider

            I don’t want a manager who calls the shots over a club.
            I want a manager that calls the shots over what he’s brought into to do., which is manage and coach the players he’s allowed to buy.

            And for 5/6 million a year I expect him to be a yes man and not a troublesome manager.
            If he’s good at his job then his wages are reflected in that premise and he’s expected to perform that job with whatever funds are made available…and to manage them and what he gains from them.

            If he signs the contract then I assume he’s happy with what’s on offer and can leave with full payment for breach of it.
            It doesn’t appear there’s breaches, but maybe there could be issues with what money he wants and what he actually needs.

            Simple as that.

            Any manager can assemble quality with constant cash on the hip to right wrongs, as and when, if an owner is stupid enough or rich enough to keep throwing it.

            The problem is, it depends on the club that’s throwing the cash at a manager and how far the quality will take that club before greed and loss of appetite kicks in.
            Thankfully we don’t have an owner like that which is why Sunderland are where they are and why we are where we are…regardless of what people argue.

    • Billmag

      Yet another long-winded load of 💩 11 years of no direction, how long does it take for you to accept we are nothing more than an advertising arm for 💩 Direct.

      • ghostrider

        I’m not interested what we advertise and I’m not interested if Ashloey wants to fly a big airship with sports direct all over it , above the stadium, or whether he comes out with a painted face in sports direct name and colours.
        I’m a Newcastle United fan and supporter and I don’t come to stare at advertising from start to finish…I come to stare at the players performing on the pitch and those subs coming off the bench onto it, plus seeing the manager orchestrating and what not.

        As long as I have a well run club that is not in any difficulties then what Ashley does with his other interests or whether he uses his ownership of the club to better them, then he can do what he wants with my blessing, because the man has my respect for dragging this club from the depths of hell, not hatred.

        • Billmag

          You idiot it isn’t a well run club 2 relegations and 3 near misses proves that.

          • ghostrider

            Two relegations and two immediate titles from them.
            The near misses can be attributed to many many clubs. Are they all badly run or is it just Ashley?
            This club is well run.
            Don’t get it mixed up with having to have some kind of champions league team or FA cup final regulars.

          • Billmag

            I despair at you so you’re getting the bullet.

          • ghostrider

            Bang.

          • Toon Arnie

            Two immediate titles yes – then he sacked Hughton for daring to ask for funds and has consistently failed to back Rafa. The mention of not being able to compete with Man City in his pitiful staged Sky interview was a smokescreen for not allowing Rafa to compete with the likes of Huddersfield, Brighton and Burnley in the same transfer market. He also effectively blocked the transfer of Mitro by inflating the transfer fee. I love Mitro but Rafa knows more about the game than any of us ever will and if he play him then he must be allowed to sell him.

          • ghostrider

            Yes he sacked Hughton and for that I gave him his pedigree in terms of talking about it.
            He was wrong to do that, no doubt about it. I loved Hughton and still do.

            The man has my utmost respect and I would take him back tomorrow.
            Ashley made some monumental mistakes because he was too interfering and stubborn.
            It’s about trusting your own instincts when you’re dealing money. He obviously thought the premier was too big for Hughton (my guess) and believed a man with more experience would be needed (my guess) and Pardew obviously fitted his criteria for whatever reasons people want to cite.

            You could argue that he was correct in the early stages and in the latter stages it all went pear shaped.
            The truth is it’s a fine line between getting respect and losing it and it’s extremely hard to gain it but extremely easy to lose it. It’s all down to appeasement…..or not.

            Keeping Hughton on might have backfired… and his cooking on gas, all go, no stop backing of the players could have waned and become more of a ‘them’ managing him rather than ‘him’ being their manager…and to be fair, if I recall rightly, it did appear to me that this seemed to be the case with Hughton earlier on….but maybe that was just me seeing too much into it.

            I suppose we have to all be thrown into a position of holding the purse strings of our own expensive business and being able to trust someone who asks for a workforce that come with massive recruitment fees and overall long term wages.
            It’s easy for us all to mentally spend the funds we think is available and it’s easy for us all to spend Ashley’s personal wealth…and choose our own set up.
            The reality would be extremely daunting to say the least.

            As for not being able to compete with Man City, he’s basically saying that he’s Mike Ashley and not a blank cheque, Sheikh.
            He’s correct in what he says.
            He cannot just bankroll the club from his own personal fortune, because his own personal fortune is tied up in his business interests.

            He said the manager can have everything the club generates for players, basically after bills are paid, etc. But he also said that if the pot gets emptied then don’t come crying to him for extras.
            Basically wait till the pot replenishes. Be patient and build and wheel and deal.
            Nothing wrong with that either. It’s called making sure the in house management is exactly that… Managed.

            As for not being able to keep up with Huddersfield and Brighton etc, take a look at what they bought and then check out the transfer fees and wages of them.
            The feeble attempts to say we spend next to nothing is based on using a net spend as some kind of reason for no spend.

            If we bought 11 players for 100 million we would have spent 100 million on players.
            If we sell 11 players for 100 million, then all teams who buy them will pay a total of 100 million combined for our players, meaning we get a new team that cost the same as the old team…but potentially better if the management deals correctly.

            Net spend equalling zero means nothing. It’s a transfer change of personnel.
            In all fairness, it should be applauded rather than demeaned, because it means the club deals well.

            Make no mistake at all. No team can literally shell out 50/60/70/80…….180 million on players from the hip, unless that money is from a personal fortune or a wheeling and dealing of high transfer return is in operation.

            Everton are a classic example of a club that appears to spend big but actually does not…if we want to argue net spends.

            It’s all a big charade and is really just a game of I’ll buy so and so for 140 million but you buy our player for 135 million. It makes us appear like we’re being ultra ambitious.

            Take a look at it all. It’s a clever little ploy that is getting rife.
            And as for Mitro. Rafa messed up… but it’s spilt milk now and not worth crying over, so I’ll just wish Mitro the best and feel happy for him that he managed to get a club that appreciates him and a manager that could see his worth.

        • Sdrawkcab Deman

          Lol, perfect – keep it up, you Ashley apologist!

          No one is listening 🤗

          🐸 <- look its Kermit The Frog.

          Now he also believed in what he said, but alas not many folk know that he's actually a Muppet 😘

          Say no more!

          • ghostrider

            I’ll keep it up, don’t fret.

    • Sdrawkcab Deman

      A perfect lesson into how to cherry pick!

      Blinkered beyond belief, why, are you Ashley’s PR man? The energy you seem to put into his defence is disgraceful, and deplorable!

      Sadly, I forgot to update settings on a new device, and got to witness this nonsense once more, before blocking, yet again.
      In 99.9999% of supporters eyes, you are one sad individual!

      (mmm… no idea why my post was deleted!)

    • pedrodelgardo

      You protesteth too much mate, is there something you want to come out and tell us?

      • ghostrider

        Only what you’ve been told but be sure that I’ll tell you more as and when
        it’s required.

      • Jezza

        He’s a troll and not a Newcastle supporter. He is an Old Trafford season ticket holder, works in a S****s D****t shop, votes Tory and is heavily into the world of fantasy warcraft games. He posts on this site under multiple IDs including Clarko and Monkseaton Magpies for the sole purpose of winding up Newcastle fans and provoking a reaction because he has got nothing else going on in his sad little life. Don’t give him the satisfaction. Just block him.

    • Albert Stubbins

      Ashley should sack Keith bishop. He’s clearly got the wrong man!!

    • Angelswithdirtyfaces

      Another long winded apology for an uncommitted owner.

    • mactoon

      A lot of peoples speculation that something is not right in the negotiations is fuelled by the fact that Rafa constantly comes out with quotes like “To do the right things, as I have said many times before”, “to clarify our ambitions going forward”, “I’d like to compete for something”, “It’s not, if we lose 1-0 we can protect our goal difference”, “I want to know we can win.”

      Those quotes indicate to me that talks are miles apart.

      • ghostrider

        Those talks indicate to me that he’s blagging his way forward.

        • mactoon

          Let’s hope they can meet halfway and some money is released by Ashley as well as any money created by player sales. Ashley just needs to tell him how much he can spend on transfers and wagebill

          • ghostrider

            I wouldn’t tell him how much. It’s a classic potential for a sting on a contract.

            Imagine Rafa asking Ashley to put it down on paper and sign it, stating he can have 100 million or he can walk with a paid up contract?

            Imagine Rafa only gets 90 million but wants a player for 11 million and Ashley says no?

            You’ve breached my contract, Mike.

            Ok I’m maybe going overboard here but what I’m saying is, if Ashley tells Rafa there’s money available but there’s a ceiling on singular fees and wages, then it’s up to Rafa to go out and buy or identify and say ” am I ok to go in for him?”
            The financial people look at it all and say, “yes Rafa” or “no Rafa”…

          • mactoon

            For accounting purposes Ashley will have to set a wages bill and an amount for transfer funds. If Rafa is made aware of this and free reign on how to spend it as long as he stays within the budget allowed he will know the type of players he can go for and everyone is happy. He shouldn’t need to go to anyone for permission once he has identified who he wants provided he stays within the overall budget he is given.

          • ghostrider

            That would be the ideal situation. Maybe that is the situation, which makes what Ashley says, valid in terms of the money being there and once it’s gone for that particular time, don’t come crying to him for personal pocket money, kind of thing.

            The thing is we don’t know what Rafa is saying. rafa could be using his stance as loved world class manager as a bargaining stick to be asking for more than the club is willing to give.

            I’m merely best guessing, obviously….but aren’t we all?

          • mactoon

            yup. I’ve no doubt there is an element of putting pressure on Ashley to try and get more out of him, most Managers would. I just have a feeling Ashley doesn’t make good his promises.

            July 2017 summer window: “Rafa can have every last penny that the club generates through player sales” and “I asked the question to Mike if I can spend all the money on one player or if I must spend it on many players. He said that the budget is mine and I can do what I want with the numbers he has given me. It is the same with wages”.

            That’s the ideal scenario I’m referring to and if Ashley kept that promise that’s fine but the net spend was around £16 million as we sold £14 million and freed up the wages of 9 players. I’m not convinced that was made available to Rafa and if it was, he could have used that as part of his budget and we could have got the striker he wanted instead of Joselu.

            I think this grey area is why Rafa wants everything set out in his contract.

          • ghostrider

            There’s no chance in hell that Ashley would let a manager spew all available money on one player and especially on wages as well.
            It’s just not going to happen and if Rafa thinks it will he needs to get his walking shoes on.
            Ashley’s not stupid and is not the naive excited football fan he was when he took over.
            Rafa is a manager and coach, he’s not a financial whizz kid and should not be allowed to gamble the clubs money on what he wants.
            It’s what he genuinely needs within the reality of what the club can afford, is where he needs to be focused.

            We aren’t at any stage to play Russian roulette with the clubs future sustenance.

          • mactoon

            I don’t think he ever had the intention to spend it all on one player I think it was more him getting a feel of how much control he had over the funds Ashley showed him.

          • ghostrider

            Whatever Rafa feels he wants to try out he should be under absolutely no illusions whatsoever who he’s dealing with.
            He knows Ashley’s no mug and he knows he doesn’t get played for the fool like earlier in his tenure.
            Rafa is getting paid a fortune and has also been given a fortune for players, so there’s no reason for anyone to think he won’t get more.

            People’s heads are so blinkered with the silly money bandied about with other clubs that they feel we have to spend massive because we’re a big club with big crowds as one club in a city.

            Let’s look at the reality of it all.
            Rafa’s done his homework on this club.
            He’s seen the ups and downs and the turmoil and potential.
            He knew what he was walking into.
            He spent long enough debating with his lawyer on his contract to obviously fine tune everything.
            Would you agree this was possibly the case?

            He’s still here and he’s moaning a bit. He moans at all his clubs because he doesn’t feel he gets fully backed how he sees fit.
            Tough.
            If he’s clever he’ll play the hands he’s dealt or walk away from a contract citing a breach…..if it’s been breached.

          • mactoon

            If he’s clever he’ll put ashley in the position where he has to honour his promises or face another keegan type case

          • ghostrider

            The biggest mistake for anyone to do, including fans, is to place Ashley in a position like that.
            Mark my words it will not work in anyone’s favour.

            If Rafa is clever he’ll shut up and get on with what he’s got to work with and secure a new mammoth yearly contract to use his expertise in moving the club forward and to stop putting down his own players.

          • mactoon

            Not suggesting put him in a corner. Merely get him to sign up to his promises which is what he’s trying to do.

          • ghostrider

            What promises do you know for sure he’s made?

          • mactoon

            We can only go by the ones ashley is on film saying and that included the one where he said rafa could have every penny made from player sales and I have doubts he honoured that. I can only assume from what rafa is saying now that he wants written assurances is because he has been let down in previous windows.

          • ghostrider

            But look at the player sales.
            Very few for little money.
            He could have sold Mitrovic and what not but chose not to…or maybe the bids were too low, I’m not sure.
            The issue is, Rafa didn’t appear to want to shift players until he added them and naturally that does not bode well for the wage structure if you do it that way.

            That’s why when we seen movement out of players, even for minimal fees and loans, it paved the way for signings.
            It’s not Ashley’s fault that rafa chose to buy in pacey wingers and defensive players leaving little scope for buying a decent striker, so takes a chance on a Spanish cheap striker because he saw a GRAFTER who just might score goals.
            A gamble that backfired but was buried in the mud because Rafa had a get out of jail free striker card by saying Joselu was something like 4th or 5th choice after missing out on targets that none of us know who they were.

            Rafa is getting away with little criticism and every credit because Ashley and Charnley are ripe for picking at every available opportunity.

  • GlasgowMag

    I think probably one of the key dates within Rafas mind this year will be the season ticket renewals. If Rafa is going to call fat boys hand this is the period when he is most vulnerable. I think at the very least securing Kenedy’s signature and a striker before the renewal would secure Rafas signature. If not then he should inform Ashley his intentions to leave during this period with the potential of Cashley’s PR machine going into a tailspin!!!

  • Mike

    Thanks Rafa good luck with your next club

  • FatParosite

    It’s funny but the Comical is putting out almost entirely the opposite message to the one conveyed in this article…. I wonder if someone is in the back pulling their strings? Just a thought.

  • Lhc

    Chronicle live , Sunderland fan jack smith banned 4 years for yelling paedos at boro fans, he was previously banned in 2013 when he was a Hartlepool fan, fml😂 fold the club top to bottom a joke.

    • Leazes.

      Oh god he’s heading north.

    • Albert Stubbins

      Sounds like a lovely man. The fact he’s already changed alliegences tells me all I need to know.

  • Rich Lawson

    ”Squeaky b#m” time.The manager has ambition,we have ambition,Ashley,sell up or put up !

    • Kneebotherm8

      He’ll neither sell nor put up…….over to you Rafa…………..adios amigo…….

      • pedrodelgardo

        I want to put the lottery on tonight, can I borrow your crystal ball please mate?

        • Albert Stubbins

          You don’t need a crystal ball just a modicum of common sense and the ability to read. Fatso is not selling NUFC. He has no intention of doing so. Never has never will. Put it another way, if you were a greedy so and so and someone offered you what you had paid for your mars bar even though you were really hungry and the nearest sweet shop was two hours away would you sell it?

        • Kneebotherm8

          It’s pretty obvious to anybody he’s not selling………can you not see that?………….who’s going to buy the club at his latest inflated price?………….was anybody ever interested?……….his advertising hoarding is far too valuable for his 💩Direct company..