The Mike Ashley statement arrived like clockwork, shortly after the final whistle on Sunday.

From his perspective, this season could not have gone any better, safely mid-table with minimum spending.

You might read his statement hoping that he finally understands his mistakes…but pretty much every line of that statement is calculated to offend.

It starts off innocuously enough

“I would like to thank Rafa Benitez for his magnificent achievement this season.

“I would also like to applaud the players, led fantastically by the captain Jamaal Lascelles.”

So far, so good, but he soon outlines his intentions for next season neatly.

“On many occasions throughout the season they have been described as a Championship side, which I personally consider to be derogatory.”

In other words, this squad isn’t as bad as people are saying.

To some extent, he is right, it is derogatory to call them a Championship side when their very endeavour has kept them up. However, the squad had an advantage over other relegation squads. It was managed by Rafa Benitez. The squad itself is very substandard, highlighted by the fact that the best players are on loan.

Stop to think for a second that Elliot and Darlow (no disrespect to either) were starting first choice keepers. Huge respect to both for the effort they did put in this season but they are not good enough to start.

It’s no surprise that Newcastle’s revival this season started with the arrival of a new keeper. And that too, on loan, because Mike Ashley doesn’t see why Rafa needs to spend.

Kennedy, another player on loan, has been a star player since arriving. Shelvey has been transformed by Rafa Benitez into a more mature player. However, the likes of Joselu have tried and tried hard, but for example, his lack of finishing ability is just not acceptable at this level.

So yes, Mike Ashley, the core of this squad is a Championship squad, with some quality players. Loan players aren’t guaranteed to stay at Newcastle. Interestingly, even Merino started off as a loan signing this season.

“Rafa, as always, has my full support, and contrary to some media reports that portray me as a pantomime villain, I will continue to ensure that every penny generated by the club is available to him.”

Rafa Benitez has Ashley’s full support…That’s a shocker. How could a manager who performed a mini miracle and netted Ashley millions, not have the full support of the owner. The true intention is in the second line though. Every penny will be available to Rafa, but this is a continuation of club policy and simply repeating what he has said often before, meaning nothing is really going to change.

The kindest interpretation of this would be that Rafa will now have Premier League money to spend, where previously he didn’t have it. This also ignores Benitez’ main issue, that is, those who close the deals at Newcastle United are nowhere near as competent as needed. It isn’t just that Ashley isn’t spending money, there are quite a few loan signings that Newcastle just could not close, because those negotiating weren’t competent enough. Of course, Ashley won’t address this.

“I hope very much that Rafa will remain at Newcastle United.

“Finally, I would like to thank the fans for their unrivalled support of Rafa and the team throughout the season.”

In other words, please spend on a new season ticket and continue filling the stadium.

It’s also an attempt to put pressure on Rafa, and try to paint him as the villain, who might leave. It won’t work. We all know what a bond he’s managed to form with the fans, and we will support him through thick and thin, regardless of who owns the club.

He’s the only person at a high level inside the club who gets what the club is about. He’s not asking for a lot, but if you really will make every penny available to him, that would be a great start. But that’s not really true, is it? It’s just more of the same.

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  • Paul Patterson

    ‘Rafa, as always, has my full support’ – A shameful rewriting of recent history there. There needs to be a proper structure put in place, meaning Charnley is out on his ear. No statements of false intent. Get the advertising sorted out and build the club.

    • Cockneytrev

      Well said!!👏👏👏

    • Kneebotherm8

      We need the deadwood out of the club……..that’s Ashley and Charnley….

  • TheNutJob

    Fatty tells porkies as a matter of course that`s why i think he won`t give Rafa what he want`s. without Rafa we`re doomed.

    • Peaky

      Good hols Nutty ? Wor Lass was gutted you & Moose didn’t do a detour and call in to his chateau on the way home to the Toon….

      • TheNutJob

        We didn`t have time to visit wor lass, maybe i`ll get an invite later with free board & all i can drink, if not it`s club Tropicana with leazes

  • glassjawsh-got-banned

    Spot on. I find it Impossible to disagree with any of this post’s interpretation of Ashley’s word vomit, but others will still find a way…

    • Big Hairy Man

      Especially Ghostrider, Monkseaton & Co.

      • Jezza

        Ghostbuster and Monkseaton are the same person. He trolls this site under numerous ID’s along with his real life brother who posts as bobbi fleckman among many other ID’s.

        • FatParosite

          If we all blocked them they would go away…. in the same way we have 3 home games with less than half the gate.. Murdock would be on the blower to fat Ash to sort out his desk.

          • Dillon Tovak

            I don’t know why more people haven’t blocked them, they will shut up if no one replies. And it’s obvious when they try a new ID so it’s not hard to keep them blocked.
            This website has been more palatable since the blocks.

          • Geordiegiants

            I agree with the others but I’m not sure about Bobbi, the Mike Adam login is definetly a stooge, he asked me what a heed was one day. 🤔

  • jack

    What Ashley really wants is for Rafa to resign , and he’s trying to force this to happen underhandedly , but everybody sees through it .Same as the fictitious sale of the club , this will never happen

    • Big Hairy Man

      At least I don’t think Rafa will be tempted by Wet Spam. They have equally odious owners.

    • Jezza

      Correct. Ashley is desperate to reinstate his puppet Pardew on a fifth of Rafa’s salary with no complaining about the lack of transfer funds or our best players being sold.

      • FatParosite

        Happy Clappers still turning up to get $hit on….. Full house

        • Mark Davies

          Yeah, includes me Brian Standon and the boycott pretender leazes

      • Dillon Tovak

        I fully expect mike to offer him a job but I don’t think Pardew would take it, just because the backlash would be too many public humiliations in a row.
        Moyes is definitely our new manager, at which point I duck out as fan of football, I’ll be sickened to my core.

        • Jezza

          I understand what you are saying but I find it hard to imagine Pardew turning down the Newcastle job., especially if there’s another 8 year contract on offer. Pardew will know that he will never get another Premiership job or even maybe another Championship job for that matter. We also know from his previous spell at Newcastle that he is very thick skinned and has got no shame whatsoever. He also knows that as NUFC manager under Ashley he would be essentially unsackable. For those reasons, I genuinely believe that if he is offered the job he won’t hesitate to accept it.

      • GC

        If Pardew comes back then they’ll have to make the dugout bulletproof

  • Mike D

    I lost interest at: “This season started with the arrival of a new keeper.” I thought we got a keeper on loan in January.

    • Abdul Basit

      I didn’t write the Headline

      I specifically wrote “revival started this season with the arrival of a new keeper” in the article. Mistakes happen though, chill.

      • Mike D

        I’m pretty chill. Nothing posted on here gets my blood boiling. Thanks for your concern though.

  • Fisherking

    As much as I hate Ashley and wish he was deed this article is s h I t e

    • Lhc

      To strong wishing he was brown breed!

      • Fisherking

        OK my mistake

  • Jimmy_toons

    Two managers who will probably be on the FCB’s radar have both become available today, together with the third who was sacked last month. All three available for nothing.
    So the question is, If and probably when Benitez leaves this summer, which one of the three would you prefer to take over if it had to be 1 of the 3?

    A. Pardew
    B. Moyes
    C. Allardyce

    Very tough call

    • Big Hairy Man

      My guess would be A or B.
      I don’t think Hippo Heed would bend over and take it quite as easily as the aforementioned.

    • FatParosite


    • Paul Patterson

      Coleman is available . .

      • Dillon Tovak


    • Fireman Sam

      I wouldn’t urinate on A, B or C if they were on fire.

      Collectively they are not even good enough to lick Rafa’s boots.

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        I’d have thought you were obliged to in your employment contract.

    • Dillon Tovak

      That would be the FINAL straw and I’d genuinely lose all interest.
      The whole thing will have become a joke and me continuing to follow it will just be the grimmest of punchlines.
      No way.

      • Jezza

        Same here.

      • molend

        Punch lines. As I said yesterday ‘That’s the way to do it’ (when he’s getting rid of everybody in sight)

    • Viru leckworth

      Moyes. No
      Allardyce no
      Pardew. Never
      Try to be positive.If rafa went through Ashley’s indifferent management, I predict a definite walk out and maybe a few smashed windows at certain cheap sports shops. There is only so much we can take, even the sheep could walk away from their club this time.
      But it may not happen.

  • Shipcote Willy

    No intention to sell. The odious owner’s preferred option is Rafa to walk, receive the compen and bring in a much cheaper malleable manager and a few loans signings. The club continues to go backwards as he dumbs down a great institution.

    • Fireman Sam

      No intention to sell as we keep subsiding his business and provide Sports Direct with advertising that he refuses to pay for.

  • 1957

    Ashley can make as many statements as he wants praising Benitez, players and fans but with a few exceptions no one believes any thing he says is genuine. We can’t go on forever with the current level of uncertainty, he needs to sell for the club to move on, but I don’t believe he will…

  • Paul Busby

    at this point, if you still have to dissect what Cashley says to understand his real motives, you should really look into some night classes.

    • molend

      night glasses?

      • Paul Busby

        night classes – school

  • Fireman Sam

    With regards to the following statement from Fat Mike:

    “I will continue to ensure that every penny generated by the club is available to him.”

    Two questions need to be asked.

    1) Does that mean Sports Direct are going to pay for ANY of the advertising around the stadium?

    2) Does that mean that Rafa will get the TV money?

    Come on Mike, where’s all the money gone?

    • Leazes.

      That’s three questions.

      • Fireman Sam

        Well spotted, would you like a star?

      • TheNutJob


    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      It means he gets the profits so that includes media income. How often do you need telling?

      • Danimal

        Until we finally see some evidence of it actually happening.

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          It seemed to happen last season.

          • Danimal

            Is it a coincidence that everyone who works for him and all the fans of “his” football club are constantly confused about his intentions? If his intentions are honourable it should have been fairly easy to explain them to the various managers and then act on them.

  • Leazes.

    Instead of talking to the manager in person Ashley talks to the press. saying No change same again that’s it….. its now up to Benitez!

    The derogatory term ‘Championship side’ was aimed at Alan Shearer who he’s been picking a fight with since Al came off the fence after ten years…..thank god, where have you been hiding!

    The oaf Ashley is delusional if he thinks that this squad would survive at this level without Benitez because its is a Championship squad….. watch! Ashley likes a gamble…he’s played Russian roulette with United since he took over the club, he’ll do it again, that’s how he gets his kicks!

    • LA toon

      Rafa needs to move on and not get embroiled in the constant summer spending fiasco. Plenty of clubs would pay the 5 million to secure the services of Rafa.

      • Leazes.

        see above

  • Leazes.

    Two of the ‘Nationals’ are running the same story ‘West Ham move for Rafa Benitez’…..

    • Mark Davies

      So if true will you stop going?

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        He’s never been.

  • Wbm

    What does everyone expect as when he first took over we thought he was one of the lads drinking a pint at Arsenal? He must have thought this is lush! Then KK is back and we’re all delirious! Then KK sees the future and we hit the reality of it all and start verbally abusing him from the terraces.(seats). So all of a sudden he hates us and we hate him. But he holds the cards. Love Rafa but let him go.

  • TheNutJob

    West Spam to ask permission to talk to St Rafael, the vultures are circling so Fatty better start acting like a real owner instead of a parasite although that`s asking a bit to much.
    Rafa goes, we`re doomed with that squad.

  • Nobody sees and will see Rafa as a villain if he walks. If Rafa doesn’t sign a new contract by end of June we can fear the worst.
    I really don’t see Rafa managing West Ham more like if Chelsea or Arsenal make him an offer he probably wouldn’t say no.

  • Martin Rooney

    David Sullivan and David gold have a net worth of £1.4Bn that includes £400m of West Ham asset and £800m of capital invested in other companies take a lump more for homes etc etc there’s not much at all they can give a manager extra for players than ‘every penny that club makes’. Remove the £9m from their transfer budget for Rafa’s release and Moyes pay off then it reduces further.
    Rafa may well leave for a club which will splash hundreds of millions on a vanity project but I don’t see any of them in this country, maybe Everton, but thats a long shot they have expensive players that need to be gotten off the books first and none of the top six are taking Gylfi, Klasson etc etc.

    It honestly wouldn’t surprise me if the the public displays by the two of them are all a play to get recruitment on the cheap whilst those desired players get the wages they want.

  • Guest 2

    Fatty hasn’t attended a match all season. He has as much interest in NUFC as a football club – and the playing of football – as he does in eating salads, or attempting to be an honest human being.
    He now wants £100 + million profit for an asset which he has constantly and purposefully refused to actually grow the value of. He’s riding the coat tails of Rafa’s success and the pay packet supplied by Sky – as he, personally, hasn’t done a single thing since arriving to improve any area of the club.