Late on Wednesday night there was an ‘exclusive’ about Rafa Benitez.

The story is, that West Ham are making a move for him as their new manager, confident they can attract him due to the way Mike Ashley is treating him etc etc.

However, what was a little bit different was that all of the various media outlets put the story/exclusive out at the same time.

Not a case of one putting the story out and the others copying, instead it was obviously coordinated for maximum effect to get the story/message out there.

So, it was obviously a case of the various media being briefed and agreeing to the story not going out until a certain time.

You can see below three of the media outlets who put the story out, all very similar.

The question is…who was briefing the media?

The most obvious would be West Ham themselves:

Numerous reasons why they would, top of which of course is to tell Rafa Benitez that they do want him, something which is pretty obvious as he would be a cut above anybody else they would potentially get. 

The story could also be seen as an attempt by West Ham to placate their fans and try to convince them that they are showing ambition in their new manager search.

Rafa Benitez:

After being messed about these past three transfer windows and with progress on agreement with Mike Ashley seemingly almost non-existent, despite Premier League safety achieved around five weeks ago, it would also be no surprise if Rafa’s people are the ones happy to put this story out.

Sunday saw Mike Ashley yet again suggest he has no intention of doing things properly now. Instead of dealing professionally in a direct way with Rafa Benitez, he chose to put out another ridiculous statement only minutes after the win over Chelsea, claiming yet again he was fully behind Rafa and would once again give him ‘every penny’.

With the Premier League transfer window now officially open, Rafa Benitez will be desperate to get moving in preparation for next season but if he is still in the dark as to what he has to spend, he may see he has to force the issue somehow.

Mike Ashley:

I would never put anything past Mike Ashley. He bought Newcastle United because he knew how much coverage the club attracts and the Sports Direct association with the club has been a key factor in helping to make him ever richer.

Ashley is of course close to Sky Sports with them regularly scratching each other’s backs, every time a Newcastle United story goes out there, where Mike Ashley will be mentioned, he knows it will go around the world and Sports Direct also gets a massive number of mentions. 

I think he very much buys into the idea of there’s no such thing as bad publicity when it comes to any story that gets Sports Direct mentioned via Newcastle United.

One thing is for sure.

This media circus is certain to run and run, whether it is stories involving West Ham or whoever, until Rafa Benitez is convinced to sign an extended contract with Newcastle United.

Here’s hoping that is very soon.

The Sky Sports last night:

‘West Ham are planning on making a move for Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez, according to Sky sources.

The Spaniard almost became Hammers boss in the summer of 2015 before they were gazumped by Real Madrid.

West Ham co-owner David Sullivan remains on good terms with Benitez.’

The Mail last night:

‘West Ham will move to lure Rafa Benitez from Newcastle after confirming on Wednesday that the tenure of David Moyes as manager was over.

Sensing they might be able to get Benitez from Newcastle as relations appear to be difficult between him and owner Mike Ashley over spending, West Ham now look certain to try again.

Sullivan is known to be an admirer having revealed in December 2015 that they were ‘two hours from getting Benitez’ when he received the offer from the Bernabeu.

‘He is a top manager and I think he’d have done a wonderful job for us,’ Sullivan said at the time.’

The Mirror last night:

‘West Ham will make an approach for Rafa Benitez after finally showing David Moyes the door.

The Hammers have Newcastle boss Benitez at the top of a four-man shortlist, and hope to make an appointment by the end of next week.

The Spaniard has just a year left on his contract at St James’ Park, where his future remains in doubt as owner Mike Ashley has yet to guarantee him the improved transfer kitty he wants after keeping the club safe from relegation after promotion a year ago.

West Ham’s new chief is set to be backed with substantial funds, with the board determined not to endure any more scraps to survive the drop.’



  • Leazes.

    Lee Ryder : …..’I never liked the Rafa Bus anyway, he was always going to leave, we are far better off with ‘insert name here’ who was a better fit than the ‘ambitious’ type managers’…. and Shelvey he doesn’t track back you know’

    Vote in my self important poll for the next manager…..who do you the fans want from my selection….

    A. Allardyce
    B. Moyes
    C. Pardew

    • Paul Patterson

      The fantasist, the deluded and the ego.
      I’ll let you decide who’s who . .

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        The Pig will settle for any of those 3
        🐖🐖🐖

        • Leazes.

          I won’t ….I’m off….. finito.

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            Me as well

        • Jezza

          …but preferably the one who will accept the lowest salary and do the least complaining about the lack of transfer funds.

    • Peaky

      I personally couldn’t see Pardew back but frighteningly the other two are real possibilities….

      • Leazes.

        Ryder probably can…. they’re good mates 95% of the time.

      • HarryHype59

        Allardyce now fits the Ashley model perfectly. He would keep us up in 16th and wouldn’t spend much!

    • Jezza

      “Colback set to enjoy a new lease of life at United under Pardew” etc etc.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    West Ham are no great shakes but once one club starts the ball rolling God knows how many will be after him.
    give him the money & you`re practically guaranteed success,
    the Pig isn`t going to do that so this summer will end in tears.
    The Rafalution may start next season, It won`t be at Newcastle United

  • Paul Patterson

    Just West Ham sounding him out. Nowt to worry about . . .yet!

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      I`ve been worried since last August

      • Paul Patterson

        I honestly believe even Ashley will want to keep Rafa, as the club is far more saleable with him on board, but he won’t want to give him more than the absolute minimum.
        It’ll be a case of what interests him more- saving the multi millions of transfer spend or the mega money from a sale.

        • MichaelMaximusMoose

          No movement on Rafa`s contract or money for players after a months negotiation, not looking good, is it

          • Paul Patterson

            No. This ownership doesn’t do ‘quick’ or ‘sensible’ or ‘logic’. .

        • East Durham Mag

          I could quite believe Fatty will offer Benitez a handsome contract but think if he isn’t given the money to progress the team into a top 6 club thats when Benitez will consider his options.I don’t think its about Rafas own income he wants to progress.Over to you Mr.Ashley.

        • Peaco

          That assumes he actually wants to sell.

        • Fireman Sam

          Ashley doesn’t want to sell. He wants his free advertising, all the club shop money and no doubt he has found a way to pocket the TV cash too.

          • Jezza

            Spot on. The club was never up for sale and never will be as long as Fatso is making huge amounts of money out of bleeding us dry.

    • Fireman Sam

      As long as Ashley has the final say, everything is to worry about.

  • Liam Hogg

    This & shelvey not making the England squad has been greeted on wearside like a trophy victory.

    • Leazes.

      Everything is relative.

      • TheNutJob

        like me uncle
        😂

        • Peaky

          🤣😂🤣😂🤣

    • Fireman Sam

      They are praying to God for our downfall. But there is nothing new in that, that is what mackems do!

      • Liam Hogg

        I swear a thought they’d been promoted or something. Shelvey out banner on penshaw monument

    • TheFatController

      Bad news for Shelvey personally yes, but why would we be upset, he’ll be fresh and motivated come August.

      Mind, I’m questioning their logic. When we all know the answer to that !

  • Mal

    Bookies are saying Pellegrini

    • TheNutJob

      he`s on £10m a year in China

  • TheNutJob

    Jabba, jabba, jabba, oot, oot, oot, sack the board, if you can find him

    • Billmag

      He’s gone on holiday till the end of August.

    • Kneebotherm8

      😂😂….you can’t sack him….he’s sackless..🤓🤓🤓

  • Elsa

    At any other club you could just laugh it off as tabloid speculation but you never know with NUFC, there could be a real danger of it actually happening…

  • Guest 2

    Well, Sky and The Mirror, both ‘preferred’ media partners (i.e. they pay for access) of the club.

  • Patrick Church

    a very good friend of mine who is also a member of several West Ham ‘fan’ groups (with rather dubious past) was part of the delegation that spoke with the West Ham board last month re the protest marches. He has confirmed that it was West Ham press who put this story to SSN and that there has been no statement from anyone on the West Ham board – he believes this is an attempt to stall the unrest in the Hammers fan base and to ensure their season ticket renewals – they are desperate for the advance money from renewals before they can afford to buy any new players but also know their fans will not commit whilst there is so much despondency – as for the usual tripe that ‘Rafa feels he owes them’ – if he is a man of such integrity then why would he sully his reputation by walking away from his current club when he has spent all season putting things in place for success ?

    • Paul Patterson

      I wouldn’t believe the bit about waiting for season ticket renewals so they can buy players. The days of ticket sales effecting that kind of business is long gone . .

      • TheNutJob

        they certainly have, it`s tv dosh they want

        • Lhc

          But clubs still don’t want empty seats, every penny counts to a football club/ business

      • Patrick Church

        very true, although if a club can lead its fans to believe this then it could prompt early renewals – it’s not that long ago that some clubs used advance season ticket projections to secure loans

    • Lhc

      I did notice yesterday on West hams Twitter that they had posted to fans about methods to pay for season tkts, so this makes sense

    • TheNutJob

      he won`t have success at Newcastle, Fatty won`t fund him to do so

    • Andy Mac

      If Gold and Brady are desperate for season ticket money having just pocketed £110m from the PL and considering they only rent their ground for a few bob each season then things must be bad ?

      • HarryHype59

        You can also include the cash from selling the Boleyn ground.

  • HarryHype59

    I have no doubt WHU will try to get Rafa. However, the move would soon turn sour. Their fans wouldn’t like the Benetiz style of play as it is the antithesis of the called West Ham way. There is something toxic about that club, as shown by the disgraceful pitch invasions.

    I have a feeling he is more likely to end up at Everton.

    • Billmag

      Harry, he would never ever go to Everton or that toxic club Wet Spam, if he went anywhere it would be the Gunners I think, let’s hope he stays with us though.

      • Andy Mac

        That would be like SBR moving to the makes, never gonna happen

    • Jezza

      Disgraceful pitch invasions? Literally thee or four protesters on the pitch at separate times. You’re obviously too young to have gone to St James’s Park in the 70’s if you think that’s a disgraceful pitch invasion.

      • Rich Lawson

        ”3-0 down,4-3 up” !

        • Jezza

          I could be wrong but think it was 3-1 down then back to 3-3 before we won the replay but I know exactly what you’re talking about. Should’ve been there back in 74 ha ha.

          • Dave H Leazes

            Nah mate, we won 4-3 but the FA ordered the game to be replayed at a neutral venue (Goodison Park) after Forest protested about the result

          • nevfur

            3-1 down to 4-3 up but result expunged and replay at neutral ground ordered. We won second replay. Great game, I was there.

          • Jezza

            Fair enough, marra. It was a long time ago and I was only a kid at the time. Looks like my memories of the game have become blurred over the years.

          • nevfur

            Think I was 12 lol Great game

          • Rich Lawson

            Your right it was 3-1,happy days

      • HarryHype59

        Young WHU fans had to shelter in the Burnley dug out due to disturbances in the ground. Some of the protesters were trying to target Gold and Sullivan physically. It may not have been as extreme as 1970s type hooligans, but for the modern era it was bad! That club is not stable and there is a toxic element within the fanbase.

        • Jezza

          Fair enough, in the modern context it’s unusual. I didn’t realise it was nasty I just thought it was a couple of lads on the pitch and a demo in front of the owners. West Ham have always had a lunatic fringe within their fanbase, remember the ICF in the 80’s.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            West Ham remain a 1980’s throwback, it’s still a —-hole and a good number of the fans are ill-educated a—holes.

          • HarryHype59

            They still have. I used to work and live in Thurrock…very edgy place.

        • The Dystopian

          It’s nothing to do with the club, it’s the location. London is now more crime ridden than New York, that’s bound to reflect on a small section of fans We have some of the best travelling supporters in the country, I make no excuse for the bad ones but it does not reflect on the club as a whole.

          • HarryHype59

            I agree with you 100% regarding London. However, don’t most WHU fans live in Essex? There are now almost no white working class WHU fans in East London due to demographic changes in that area.

    • East Durham Mag

      Everton is a no go. Rafa still has a massive affinity with Liverpool FC and thats the only club in Merseyside he would go too.

      • HarryHype59

        He still has a house in that area and Everton would back his ambition!

        • East Durham Mag

          Yeah i see your point but still doubt very much he would go to Everton and doubt that the Everton supporters would accept him. It would be like Peter Reid getting the Newcastle job.

  • Peaky

    I don’t think there’ll be just West Ham & Everton looking for new managers….Leicester & Southampton might come into the frame yet…..

  • NUFCDan

    I don’t think he’d go to West Ham. Once the manager merry go round starts I think he’d be tempted by another big job like Juve or PSG.

  • Andy Mac

    In the same “newspaper” article stating that Wet Spam want Rafa there’s a poll showing Pellagrini and Fonseca as favourites for the job.

    Maybe it’s Rafa’s people behind the headline trying to shift Fatman off his fat R’s ?

    • nufcslf

      Hopefully…..

  • Tweed Mag

    It seems everything has to be done through the press and social media in the world of football. Why not make official approaches, be business minded and get the job done? If WHU want Rafa, then they should simply ask. Everything turns in to a saga at the hands of unimportant PR ‘consultants’ and second rate journalists who make up more than they know. Fans of all teams just want a professional, competent management team who want the same as they do – success on the pitch and a team that tries it’s best week in, week out.

    • NUFCDan

      Its just the media reporting rumours, and people assuming said rumours are facts.

    • nufcslf

      Welcome to modern world. Sh*t, isn’t it.

      • Tweed Mag

        It is.

  • Alreet

    Yea coz working for mr gold and the cronies is any better than working for Jabba the hut.

    Rafa has been to london and got sounded out within 6 months.

  • Rich Lawson

    Karen Brady perhaps ?

  • MadMag83

    How come my post about it being the work of Ashley got deleted? I wonder….

  • Coach Clagnut

    Rafa was 4th favourite at 8-1 2 days ago. You ever seen a poor bookie?

  • jonas

    I don’t know what’s to be done about getting rid of Ashley but the current manager and his contact with Amanda Staveley and the player’s together with organised fans is our last shot.
    only relegation and staying down will.get shot of him after that

    for when Moyes is manager next season he will tow the line and there’l be no chance of this power returning.

  • nufcslf

    Might be shyt, but wouldn’t be sirptised if it happens. Still the sheep would be at matches all the same.

  • Berkshire Mag

    Not helped by so called media outlets like TalkSport going on and on about it this morning, Alan Brazil continually bigging up Everton as his next destination and various “pundits” saying “what a big club West Ham are”, because they play in a ground paid for by the taxpayers that’s bigger than ours! Haddaway and shyte, bunch of barstewards!

  • Paul Patterson

    West Ham will appoint Pellegrini.

    • Mrkgw

      Hope that you’re correct Paul. If Rafa goes the club will implode.

  • Dave1992

    WHU statement

    The statement read: “I would like to reassure our supporters that we have left no stone unturned in selecting the individual we believe is the right man to take West Ham United forward.

    “We have followed a process that is progressing entirely to plan and are now very close to reaching an agreement.

    – Surely that means it’s not Rafa. There’s been no time to get that close to an agreement, and no time for him to try and get his guarantee from ashley. I reckon it’s not him.

  • The Dystopian

    I’ve no idea who we are going to end up signing but I don’t agree that there is any logic in West Ham leaking this to the press, We gain nothing from the story, the only bit that made sense as a motive is that it would give Benitez a better bargaining chip at Newcastle and that certainly would help us prize him away, if you assume that that is what we’re aiming at.

    Personally, I don’t really see Benitez as a West Ham manager, that’s not to say that he’s isn’t a good manager but I just don’t think we are a good fit.