An interesting, but worrying, update on the situation regarding Mike Ashley and Rafa Benitez.

As it stands..

Rafa Benitez has so far refused to sign an extension to his three year contract which has only one more year left to run.

Exactly three weeks into the transfer window and with only three and a half weeks to go until pre-season training begins, the only signing Newcastle have made is Martin Dubravka, a deal that only had a very limited time limit (like Christian Atsu a year earlier), whereby the agreed £4m buying figure that was part of the loan arrangement, had to be triggered by a certain date.

Taking those two things into consideration, The Chronicle have given us a worrying update.

They say a stand-off has developed between Mike Ashley and Rafa Benitez.

The report says that the owner is refusing to give the manager a transfer budget this summer, until Rafa signs a contract extension.

Meanwhile, the local newspaper says that the manager is refusing to sign any new contract, until he sees ‘evidence’ that Mike Ashley shows the ‘desire’ to back his manager with what needs to be done.

A classic Catch 22 situation but one where everything should point at Mike Ashley, as to the one who needs to shift.

Rafa Benitez has achieved everything asked of him.

The manager delivering instant promotion, 10th place in the Premier League, and even a profit in the transfer market in his five transfer windows so far.

Rafa has an established record of bringing success to football clubs, the plan that needs to be put in place, as shown when taking Valencia to two La Liga titles and Liverpool to two Champions League finals, winning one of them.

When it comes to football, Mike Ashley has been proven to be a total failure, with two relegations and a few near misses already.

What needs to happen is common sense for anybody to see.

It was the luckiest day of Mike Ashley’s football life when after sacking Steve McClaren belatedly, Rafa Benitez approached NUFC offering his services.

Even Ashley wasn’t foolish enough to turn that one down but will he prove foolish enough now to not back the best manager he will ever have?



  • Andynufc

    Why would Rafa sign up? Ashley needs Rafa more than Rafa needs Ashley. Rafa has only enhanced his reputation since being here and would now have a host of suitors elsewhere, willing to give him what he wants.

    • mactoon

      Remember that Rafa approached Newcastle not the other way round. He did that because he sees this as a project he wants to take on and carry on through and he wants to continue with it. That’s why he WANTS to sign on but I agree that at the moment there is no reason he SHOULD.

      • Andynufc

        Yeah I did word the first bit wrong. Me saying “why would Rafa sign up” was in relation to the way Ashley is acting towards him and not that he doesn’t want to stay. Think everyone can see that Rafa wants to stay and make nufc a success. Rafa can see the potential of the club and seems to generally love everything about it. He would have left after relegation if he didn’t. He’s an ambitions manager who wants to at least try to make an effort to win something. Unfortunately for him and nufc fans, we are stuck with a owner who has 0 interest and ambition in the club other than to use it to promote his tacky second hand sports shops.

  • Paul Patterson

    Any contract Rafa signs will have written assurances that he has sufficient money to spend and he controls how its spent, or it won’t be signed.
    However I treat the Chronicle like I have my chips, with a pinch of salt ..

    • MadMag83

      I prefer more salt than vinegar myself. Oh and put the vinegar on first.

    • Sickandtired

      Used to be in our bog when i was a kid, used for wiping your backside. I think I may return the ‘paper to that function.

      • Paul Patterson

        The only strange thing to turn up in our toilets at school was Claire from the other form group. Filthy girl. 😮

        • Sickandtired

          Sounds like a better deal than I had!

  • panther

    Well thanks for all you done Rafa, but this is yet another middle finger straight in your face, Ashley has no intention of doing anything that doesn’t immediately make him richer, time to go, you’re wasting your time here, and that’s to Lascelles, Shelvey and Dabruvka must think he’s in some kind of twilight zone episode

  • Mike

    What transfer fund? he has no intention of giving Rafa cash. Only money will be from flogging players. Just seen one of Cashleys fingers in pies company Findel has made 20m profit…is there no end of this mans greed. u cant take it with u. he could have been remembered as a hero instead of just a greedy owner who is hated

  • Beaudan

    IF this is true – and I’m very much like Paul Patterson (below) when it comes to the s****y Chronicle – I would say the following to Rafa. “Mr Benitez, thanks for everything you’ve done but rest assured you have the blessing of pretty much every Newcastle supporter to move on and receive the sort of support you should be receiving from any decent owner. Not one of us would blame you in the slightest”.

  • Beaudan

    Better still, tell the fat cockney t**t to stick his job up his fat hairy a**e and give him a f’**n good smack in his ghastly fat face!

    • Peaky

      😂😂😂
      Don’t hold anything back there….let it all out….

    • TheNutJob

      😂😂

  • mactoon

    I could see this one coming a mile off to be honest, it was just waiting to happen. Why would Ashley spend on players when the manager could walk away after one season. The new manager may not want the players and he would be stuck with players and wages surplus to requirements.

    Now we have a stand off, Ashley holding the carrot of transfer funds and Rafa holding the threat of walking away unless he gets the assurances he wants. I don’t think ‘legal’ teams can get much further, time for a face to face meeting I think.

    • MadMag83

      A punch up would be better!

      • Sickandtired

        A race around the pitch…

    • Sickandtired

      Any employer cannot demand you sign a new contract, by denying you the tools necessary to do your job. The Club is on record in stating they will back Rafa ‘with every penny the club generates’. Evidence enough for any tribunal I would imagine.

      • Wezza147

        Spot on!

    • Damon Horner

      The clubs always had a policy where somebody else signs the players for a manager anyway and after Rafa it’ll likely to go down that root again. It’s has to be games or a question of professional integrity to deny funds.

  • MadMag83

    And if Rafa does sign an extension, Ashley will promptly go back on his part of the deal. Don’t trust the obese snake, walk away with your head held high and your morals in tact.

    More Russian roulette from Ashley, if Rafa walks, his £400m price tag will look even more ridiculous.

    • Arty Hume

      Indeed! Rafa is the reason TFCB can make such an outrageous valuation ( his valuation, no one else’s, which was engineered to repel any buyer, and blow smoke up every fans jacksey ). Mexixan standoff if this is true. I back Rafa in this one, he’s had to put up with too much for too long, and does not want to be another Pardumbo or the like.

  • Peaky

    There’s a ‘poor little old me pantomime villain’ interview just around the corner heading this way on Sky….

    • Paul Patterson

      Mark August 9th in your diaries, a tv interview will appear in and around that date.

      • Peaky

        Bound to…

    • TheNutJob

      Doomed
      👺👺

    • East Durham Mag

      Boo hoo everyone thinks i’m a [email protected] That’s because you are Mike.

  • Sickandtired

    Oh well, another Tribunal on the way then!

  • 5floorshigh

    media scoundrels spreading nonsense at a guess

  • Kneebotherm8

    He’ll not sign….he’ll accept a minimal transfer budget…..and he’ll walk at the end of the season…

    • JonMag

      or before & drop the Pie Man right in it

      • Kneebotherm8

        The sht will hit the fan for the fatman when it happens…

        • TheNutJob

          😂😂
          💩💩

          • Kneebotherm8

            Hopefully he’s directly in front of the fan when the 💩 hits..

          • Peaky

            Should be made a public event like hangings of years gone by…..put his head and hands in stocks,right in the middle of Northumberland Street and let every fan worth their salt 💩bomb the fat bas*ard…..

          • Kneebotherm8

            😂😂😂…mebbees set a stall up selling sht bombs……could be a nice little earner….it should be a yearly public event as long as he’s the owner/pantomime villain….

          • Billmag

            He would probably swallow all the rotten fruit & veg.

        • pedrodelgardo

          Gallowgate Pitchforks.

          • Big Hairy Man

            And burning torches.

    • Peaky

      Really looking that way now I reckon.

      • Kneebotherm8

        A very likely scenario…

  • JonMag

    He won`t sign & if he has to go with what he`s got he will, the Fat [email protected]@ker has everything to lose because even Rafa may not save Newcastle a second time with that squad & if someone triggers his clause in the meantime he`ll just walk away.

    • hook_menu_alter

      I agree with most of that, but I think he’s too honourable to walk away. Will simply see out contract and pick up something else when it comes along.

  • Dillon Tovak

    If this is true and Rafa leaves, are people/the media really dumb enough to buy Ashley’s spin when he gives his excuses saying it was unreasonable to financially back a manager without a long contract?

    • TheNutJob

      the script has already been written

      • Dillon Tovak

        🤢🤮 really makes me sick!

  • Leazes.

    Get a feeling everyone isn’t singing from the same songbook?

    • TheNutJob

      Doomed

  • Arty Hume

    Its quite simple really and it plays into Rafa’s hands and depicts to the world the disaster state of NUFC! All Rafa has to do is say all transfers are in the hands of the management, they have my list of recommendations, I will work with what they give me. It is sad that the management have tried to manipulate my contract with the buying and selling of players, this will NOT happen next year for obvious reasons.
    That would firmly put the ball into the Ashley/Charnley court for them to deal with.

    • TheNutJob

      i think that`s been the situation for over a year, he doesn`t seem to have control of the transfers, you just need to look at the players listed to come here

      • Arty Hume

        ” Its not like it said in the brochure ” springs to mind! How many more times must the fans have to put up with this nonsense?? Surely this year has to be the one where everyone has had enough of TFCB and takes a stance to get rid of it. After the KK debacle I swore never to set foot in the ground until TFCB had left, and still feel the same way, but more so now.

  • Desree

    When we are bottom 3 in Jan twice as much will have to be spent.

  • TheTradge

    Ashley is walking a tightrope here if this is true, the prospect of giving a manager financial backing seems so alien to him, yet not having done so in the past has landed him in hot water multiple times! It seems like he’ll never learn his lesson, can’t teach old dogs new tricks sadly, and if he does ever realise this then it’ll likely be too late, Rafa will leave and take a job at Everton, Spurs or Arsenal, leaving us to re-sign Fat Sam, and we’ll finish 17th again! I want to believe that Rafa will be able to spend, however given Ashley’s track record, it’ll likely be January by the time he realises that clubs need money to stay afloat, and he’ll need to spend double just to keep us in the PL. Honestly, it angers me so much just how stupid the fat c**t can be at times!

    • Dillon Tovak

      That rope must be pretty strong.

      • TheTradge

        Pahahahahaha, true that!

  • Billmag

    If this is true then there is no future for this club, Rafa is the best thing to ever happen to this club since SBR but he is banging his head against a brick wall. Would I blame him if he walked away absolutely not, but what he should say to fatty before he leaves is just remember the financial gap between the Premier and the Championship is getting ever bigger.

  • ghostrider

    If this media stuff is the truth then Ashley is 100% bang on.
    I’d do exactly the same.
    Let’s get something into real perspective.

    We have a manager on 5 million a year who has 1 year left on his contract but will not sign another until he gets the funds he desires.

    We have an owner who says ” sign a contract and show your intentions and then I’ll hand you funds for transfers.”

    Why would any right minded person hand a manager a fortune when that manager has only 1 year left of a contract and could make a right mess then walk away…plus not be able to sign the players he wants with players knowing he has not signed an extension.

    You can argue both ways in this stand off but the truth is nobody would be arguing if they were holding the cash and owning the club.
    It’s easy for anyone to demand that Ashley backs down and hands Rafa whatever he wants, but not so easy if they were in the shoes of the man.

    My simple scenario is this:
    If Rafa refuses to sign an extension on his 5 million a year contract, then give him nothing or sack him.

    The man has not done enough to start dictating at Newcastle United.
    He’s an employee on a mammoth wage who’s done fairly well without being anything special.
    Only pundits and bandwagon jumpers think he’s some kind of genius.

    I wouldn’t bat an eyelid if he walked tomorrow, seriously.
    Nothing will ever be good enough for him and the whining will never stop.

    • pedrodelgardo

      Trolltastic comments mate, the cheque will be in the post.

      • ghostrider

        That’s my opinion no matter what.

        • cmrowley

          I think this comment sums up the problem with this site and society in general at the minute. Opinions are there to be changed and informed based on information. If it’s your opinion no matter what, I.e. you (not you specifically) will not budge regardless of any evidence or information presented to you then you’re a close minded fool.

          Is that what you meant?

          • ghostrider

            No.
            My opinion stays amid people trying to use put down posts and strawman arguments in order for me to back down and take their stance.
            I simply won’t back down unless I agree that I am wrong.

            Nobody else appears to back down on their stance but many use mass opinion as their bargaining tool and the comfort of being backed up in their posts.
            It doesn’t make them correct.

          • TheFatController

            Isn’t ‘I won’t back down’ by Travelling Willburys ? Or just Tom Petty and his Heartbreakers?

            Maybe go and find out and give us all a break?

          • cmrowley

            Put down posts and straw man arguments? Where? You’re the one making things up and advocating sacking a man for doing his job.
            There are so many assumptions, denials of reality and incorrect assertions scattered through all of your posts above you are clearly to far down the rabbit hole to even see it. I’ll leave you to it. howl at the moon while thinking that you’re the Galileo of football blogs.
            I’ll just point out though that you have been demonstrably shown to be wrong and you have not changed your tune. So you are a close minded fool.

          • ghostrider

            Nobody’s proved I’m wrong.
            Mass opinion via bandwagon jumping is not admissible as factual evidence.

    • Big Hairy Man

      If he’s going to walk he should wait for his contract to expire to ensure that the fat one doesn’t profit from his leaving.

      • ghostrider

        Or be sacked and simply paid up.
        I certainly wouldn’t hand transfer money to a manager who won’t commit.

        • Big Hairy Man

          Who would commit without cast iron guarantees written into contract? Do you think he should take Ashley at his word? The man’s a deceiving snake.

          • ghostrider

            Rafa had a lawyer at his contract signing first time. He basically covered everything, so he could have walked at any time if Ashley had scuppered it.
            He could do so this time with an extension and if the negotiations are not to his liking he can simply walk away.

            If Fans thinking him seeing out a year of his contract and then walking away as being “good on you Rafa” then fair enough but I’m not blowing smoke up this mans aris.

            I’ll tell you what Ashley is.
            He’s a well bitten snake.
            He’s untrusting because of that.

            He’s making sure that he’s covered in all aspects just as much as Rafa is.
            the difference is, it’s Ashley’s club and our club to support…..not Rafa’s.

            If Rafa’s the genius many fans have him down as and he apparently done genius things with this supposed championship squad, then he’d sign an extension and add to it and build, no matter what.
            He’s on massive wages to do so.

            He wants the club to match his ambition as long as his ambition costs him nothing.

          • Big Hairy Man

            Ashley is no “well bitten snake”. He’s the one doing the biting. Ask the poor workforce at the Shirebrook workhouse or at the Asian sweatshops that supply it.

          • ghostrider

            I think it’s a large portion of each.
            No smoke without fire.
            The issue is, once you become a sort of public enemy, you’re vilified.
            Nothing you say will be construed as genuine yet people will demand you talk.
            Once the new kid at school stops handing out the choccy bars in order to fit in, he becomes the outcast.

          • Chuck D

            He’s become a public enemy for good reason. He is well known for both being a liar and a vindictive person.

            He’s just as unpopular in the world of business as he is as the owner of Newcastle United.

            He’s the epitomy of the 19th century factory owner. Just a greedy fat little man with little ethics.

            I suggest you take a trip to Shirebrook, he’s hated more there than up here!

          • ghostrider

            I don’t need to take a trip to anywhere.
            Any excuse to hate the man based on bandwagon jumping of trivialities.

          • cmrowley

            Denial of reality can be a commitable condition….

          • ghostrider

            So is being a minority.
            The nature of the beasts that are humans beings.

            Pray to a god in a church among the masses and you are all the good things and the pillars of society.
            Talk to your own invisible friend and you’re classed as a complete nutter.
            Can you see where I’m coming from?

    • cmrowley

      Hang on.

      Sack an employee for not signing an extension?
      Terminate a legally binding contract because the employee is seeking assurances about the company he works for matching his own ambition?
      Are you 6 years old, from a different planet or just an idiot?

      • Kneebotherm8

        He’s the latter….

      • ghostrider

        Go into your work and tell your manager that you believe you can do better in your department because you’re ambitious enough to have a go. then ask him/her for the required funds to do it…and then tell him/her that you’ll refuse to a sign your contract if he/she doesn’t comply.
        And just in case you run your own company, imagine someone putting that to you.
        It’s easy to be ambitious on someone else’s risk and money.

        • Viru leckworth

          Are you Lee Charnley?

          • Big Hairy Man

            I think it’s Bishop

          • ghostrider

            No.

        • cmrowley

          He’s in contract now, negotiating for another contract. He’s asking (as I did/would) in his interview what are the ambitions of the club/company. If they don’t match his he’ll not sign another. He can see out his remaining year and work as best he can under the club’s rules then leave. He can’t be fired for not signing another contract, regardless of his reasons why he doesn’t want to sign.

          For the owner to try and black mail him into signing (If the article is true) and not release funds unless an extension is signed is tantamount to constructive dismissal. If he’d promised funds and it’s documented, then does not deliver then we could have another KK situation.

          • ghostrider

            Ashley doesn’t have to blackmail him. It appears like a stand off rather than anything else.
            Why have a manager refuse to sign a 5 million extension and yet hand him money for his final year?
            It makes no sense, as I said earlier.

            Simple solution.
            If Rafa refuses then Newcastle United have to move on. Sack him and appoint a manager who can work within the clubs means, without whining when he’s spent all of that seasons money.
            Get in a manager that spends the money on the right players for the right positions and play those that are good enough to be catered for.

            Just sack him, because we don’t want any manager holding this club to ranson, no matter who owns it.

          • Damon Horner

            If it goes pear shaped with a questionable appointment and we end up relegated would you then blame selfish Rafa for not being grateful for what he was given and signing a new contract? His responsibility for upsetting the stability.

          • Damon Horner

            No idea what hes on about. Must be just me who can be open with the management about what can be achieved with given resource! Unless he thinks Rafa will intentionally sabotage (which he won’t because if proven it kills his career) then any money spent will be on players here next season.

        • Lord

          I run my own company and prior to that had years of experience dealing with people on short term contracts who would go into negotiations to extend.

          I’m afraid you’re misguided.

          I don’t believe the article by the way.

    • jack

      Idiot

    • robbersdog

      That doesn’t make any sense; whoever is the manager at NUFC, we need to invest in the playing squad.

      If Rafa signs two or three decent players now, and then leaves at the end of next season, so what? The next manager will still have the benefit of the players which Rafa signs.

      This is about our club staying in the Premier League, it’s not some f*cking stupid game of ‘who’ll blink first’.

      BTW…if you don’t want people to realise that you’re one of Ashley’s paid PR shills, try making your posts sound less like professionally written articles or press releases.

      • ghostrider

        What wouldn’t make sense is for players to come to Newcastle and play under a manager that has no interest in staying unless his every whim is catered for.

        No person in their right mind would allow a manager to carry on a squad build when their squad build will cease within one year.
        Come on for crying out loud…anyone can see why this is counter-productive.

        If people didn’t blow so much smoke up Rafa’s aris then we would see the real true colours of what we’re dealing with.
        As it stands, Rafa is riding along on fan idolisation and he knows it and so does Ashley…to the point of Ashley knowing he is being backed into a corner with little room to manoeuvre.

        Luckily Ashley’s no mug and he won’t be dictated to, even from a so called genius that plays dire football.

        • panther

          But it’s not every whim, it’s what every manager at every other club gets, why should it be so different here?

          • ghostrider

            That’s the thing, it isn’t any different, it’s just made out to be different because it’s Newcastle United, the big club run by multi billionaire Ashley, so give a so called world class manager more money when he asks for it even if he’s raided the coffers for that period on unneeded buys leaving himself short of a decent striker and yet still sends a decent striker to the dogs.

            Madness at it finest and yet he whines about not getting funds.

        • Viru leckworth

          If Ashley is as smart as you make out, how come he signs a useless twit like Kinnear?

          • Big Hairy Man
          • ghostrider

            Smart and naive do not generally have to be separated from one person.
            You could argue that all owners are not smart if you think like this.
            Look through the league table at all clubs and see their managers and ask yourself why those clubs brought them in when it appears all and sundry could see they were useless….and yet many go on to do decent jobs…but many don’t.

            Let’s see how this works though.
            Ashley is a clown for signing Kinnear and all the dummies you want to name.
            Who is responsible for the decent ones?
            Would that be anyone but Ashley?

          • Viru leckworth

            The only decent one was Keegan and he constructively dismissed him.

          • ghostrider

            I’d argue that Ashley was super naive when he appointed Keegan…who wasn’t really a good manager.

          • Toon Arnie

            Appointing Rafa – good move. Not backing him – gross stupidity.

        • robbersdog

          Rafa’s record in management, the trophies he has won and the eulogies from the players he has coached, eg, Danny Murphy and Jamie Carragher, speak volumes about his abilities as a manager.

          Under Mike Ashley’s ownership, we have been relegated twice and been humiliated by a series of dire decisions like appointing John Carver and Joe Kinnear as managers and driving Kevin Keegan out of the club. Our commercial income is hampered by the fact that NUFC is a marketing vehicle for Sports Direct and he actually instigated a policy of buying players that could be sold on soon afterwards for a profit.

          Ashley has no affinity for our club, he’s a terrible owner and the best thing to happen to us under his tenure has been Rafa Benitez.

          • ghostrider

            People spoke highly of McClaren and his record is pretty decent overall…but to us he was a disaster. I detested him yet I understand he was a decent coach and manager at certain clubs.

            Many pundits and ex players, as well as players today speak highly of him.
            Not every person dislikes the person that’s trod on our toes, kind of thing.

            Affinity with the club?
            Are you kidding me?

        • Toon Arnie

          Yawn

    • Toon Arnie

      …..aaaaaaand sleep !!

    • TheFatController

      Aren’t you the tough one mentally with that’s last comment.

      Not worth the pixels it’s tyoed in though, is it?

  • hook_menu_alter

    Yeah, because investing in players is purely for the manager’s benefit, and is simply charity from the owner. WTF.

  • Charles Forster

    I understand Mike’s point, as he’s not going to have players signed By Rafa who then walks away.
    I believe he and Rafa will already have agreed the budget.
    Whats of concern is is that enough to match Rafa’s ambition.

    M A isn’t going to throw money at NUFC unless it has a return, That’s just business

    • Billmag

      And that sort of business has got us relegated twice.

      • panther

        And should have been more

  • Dingus

    Yet people still go to games. Still buy the shirt. Even when Rafa does go, nothing will change. Those that go to games are proponents of Mike Ashley’s subterfuge.

    • Kneebotherm8

      A vindication of all his actions…..that’s the way he’ll be looking at it..

      • Dingus

        Exactly

  • Charles Forster

    He want’s Rafa to stay, but he can’t be blackmailed either.
    Rafa has the easier of it as he can blame a lack of support or finance even if that’s not true?

  • Tweed Mag

    Load of nonsense. Ashley wants to risk losing Rafa? There is no pressure to sign a contract at all. Rafa he can stay for another season – transfer funds or not. Ashley runs a massive risk of another relegation and all the losses that come with it. He maybe trying to insure any investment by tying Rafa down (who wouln’t?). As usual the papers wind things up.

  • Alreet

    Too many on here have got their “i know business” hat on.

    Look at it this way. The manager is wanting to know how much he will have to spend. Hes not asking to spend it without signing up first. How many of you going into a job where you are a purchaser would jump at the chance to sign a contract if you didnt know your budget before starting.

    How many people worknlike that. Here sign this then we can tell you what you have to work with. Or give me a ball park of what i can spend then i can sign or sod off.

    Why does it have to be so complicated.

    He isnt asking to spend before he signs. Hes asking how much will he get.

    This doesnt happen anywhere else in football. Ash is being the tool to a guy who has met all targets and supassed some. Give him some bloody respect.

    • Danimal

      It’s complicated because one man chooses to make it complicated. Smoke and mirrors don’t usually share a room with honesty and decency.

  • Septic pg the football psychic

    This article is completely made up.

    There is zero proof of anything said in it.

    Mike ashley isnt as stupid as people think, lets face it the guy made billions selling puma and dunlop factory seconds then bought into failing businesses and made them turn a profit in a short space of time.

    He knows that relegation will cost him because even tho his “investments” are added to the debt of he can never sell the club he will never get it back.

    Rafa will get an amount for transfers that will be enough to move on up this year not a lot just enough

    Rafa will sign in February once investments been shown.

    Next season 19/20 will be even bigger investment as the books are back in line remember this comment, it will come to fruition.

    • Wezza147

      Fleckman? Blocked.

      • Septic pg the football psychic

        Eh? I have no idea what that is

    • FatParosite

      This club is going the way of the unwashed down the road. One relegation too many will leave the fat gambler with dust. No amount of stag/hen giveaways on match day will cover the empty seats he will have inherited from his ‘intelligent’ stewardship of the carcass he will have left. It might be 2 seasons to get there…. but get there he will…

    • Danimal

      Is it part of his 13 year plan?

  • Wezza147

    Ashley: “I will let you spend when you sign new contract”
    Rafa: “After the last few windows you have lied to me… what assurances do you give me that you will change this time?”
    Ashley: “What? I gave you every last penny!!!”
    Rafa: “mentiroso”
    Ashley: “what?”
    Ashley:”I will let you spend when you sign new contract”

    Imaginary scenario:
    Rafa signs new 4 year Toon deal

    Ashley: “Haha, fooled you and the Geordies again.”

  • Alreet

    Keep playing the game rafa. It will be mikes loss if you decide to go. All the mess will be on his hands and he wont be able to hide anymore

    • panther

      He’ll just get pardew back to continually lie for him again

  • FatParosite

    Solid grounds for constructive dismissal. I don’t believe a word written by those botty sore hacks….

  • Dave1992

    The solution, if this really is a problem, is obvious.
    Just write the funds into the contract extension, with binding financial penalties if the funds aren’t provided.

  • Donald Dong

    Rafa will not sign, knowing what happens this season. He is not going to get cross again. The Owner can do whateve he wants, because he is the boss, but for this business, he is not good at it, actually pretty bad at it. If he is this good, he wouldn’t need Rafa to come in the first place, he should be able to find a better manager, or perhaps able to do it himself. Good management looks for proven Managers, not yes men. He got lucky, he has Benitez, but instead of appreciating of how well Rafa has done with such limited resources, he turns the gun at him again after Benitez has gotten Newcastle the Championship trophy, along with top 10 finish in PL . Well, if thats his intention, I am sure Rafa will leave, and Big Mike will go back to his old ways. Its not sad, its just embarrassing that a club as big as Newcastle will be run by such a clown.

    • TheFatController

      Yes. Watch the Sir Bobby film. Barca fans and press turned on him and he wanted nothing but the best for them and gave everything, delivering the Cup and a Euro trophy and ronaldo scoring 49 goals.

      Yet we’re fickle because we don’t appreciate Ashley, they tell us?

      You’re right, it’s totally embarrassing he should own a world famous football club that has had Workd Cuo winners as managers, had the world record transfer fee record etc.

      Ashley has no shame. And it’s a trait that’s increasingly likely to ruin our club.

  • Donald Dong

    Rafa now fully understood the meaning of every penny, that Big Mike promises him for. He understands now why his boss believes he has given him a big budget, because the amount is really supposed to be in decimal places.

  • Toontone100

    Quote from above “A classic Catch 22 situation but one where everything should point at Mike Ashley, as to the one who needs to shift.”
    Absolutely correct…. though I’m not holding my breath. I certainly hope Rafa doesn’t cave in.

  • S.G.M.

    This article is absolute bollox

  • Jate Legend

    He should just sign the contract. If Ashley then doesn’t follow through with his side of the bargain its constructive dismissal and Rafa could take him to the cleaners for the entire contract value. So, I don’t believe this is happening.

    • mactoon

      as long as ‘the contract’ (which has not been agreed yet) contains legally binding clauses that Rafa can use in a court of law if Ashley reneges on them.

  • Oldgeordie

    Although it would not benefit the club, if I were Rafa I would tell Ashley I am not prepared to sign an extension. I would then tell my agent to quietly look for another club and when the time was right walk away. This would give Ashley a taste of his own medicine.

    • Dutch

      Totally agree. It’s imperative that Ashley sells up now. I can see another relegation coming our way if Rafa goes. Mind you I would accept that to see Ashley gone forever.

      • mactoon

        If we are relegated you won’t see Ashley gone forever. He could not afford to sell the club for anything less than the money he paid for it and that certainly won’t happen if we were in the Championship.

  • John Marshall

    what everyone has to realise is that ashley doesn’t give two hoots for newcastle united football club and he acts accordingly.

    • FatParosite

      You need to shout that on the PA system on matchday…. because there are some 50,000 who have no idea of the power they wield or are willing accomplices to Ashley’s murder of NUFC

      • Lostprofit DBC

        I really don’t think he’s bothered whether the fans like him or not. I would go as far as to say, he wouldn’t be bothered if nobody attended. He may even see that as a victory, mission achieved. It’s the Sky money that makes him tick. Mediocrity on the cheap please!

        • Damon Horner

          Yep. Match day revenues don’t matter us as much these days in the Premier League. He’ll just shrug and reduce the transfer budget again.

          • TheFatController

            Nope. We’d be relegated instantly.

            Therefore, he doesn’t fear no one would turn up. He knows He’ll have 50k followers of his club turning up Rafa or no.

            As they say, let Ashley fool you once, shame on him, let him fool you repeatedly, shame on the 50k

          • Damon Horner

            Low crowds don’t relegate clubs? If we did get relegated the attendance would take much more importance because it becomes a higher % of revenue and boycotts would have more impact.

          • TheFatController

            I didn’t say low crowds would relegate a club. I said if we had a boycott and empty stadium it’d lead to relegation because we always get relegated when the fans have turned on the club.

            Why? Because it becomes toxic and impossible for the players to play in.

            We finished 10th but only a few points off relegation trouble this year. And that was with players manager and fans 200% committed.

            Therefore, explain how we could hope to stay up with an empty stadium ?

          • Billmag

            Damon could you see Ashley putting £5-£6ml per month over 2 year to keep us going in the Championship, because that’s what the Villa owner has done and that’s why they are in such deep💩.

          • Damon Horner

            Which is why a low crowd after relegation would hurt us, you’re right. I just think any theory about a low crowd or toxic crowd causing a relegation is just too speculative otherwise all clubs fans would stamp their feet when it doesn’t go their way. We filled the stadium last season on the back of Rafa’s leadership without that and back in the tier below it can hurt the club to stay away but while we exist in the top flight Ashley won’t care a jot in my view.

  • Peaco

    Commit your future or you won’t get resources to do your job…..surely grounds for constructive dismissal by virtue of coercion? Why would he sign? What guarantees would he have that he would get any cash anyway given Mr Blobby is a proven liar.

    • FatParosite

      Exactly my point further down…V This has Comical Bishop fed BS written all over it.

  • Lostprofit DBC

    It’s becoming clear that Ashley wants rid of him. He is too popular and far too expensive for his ‘simply stay up’ strategy. As for the fans, he couldn’t give a monkeys chuff. As Shay Given said, he loves to wind the fans up, even if it costs him money. That is why he took on Joe Kinnear. This is a vindictive human being not a pantomime villain.

    • Milo79

      The ‘simply stay up’ strategy is fatally flawed. The struggle to stay afloat is energy-sapping and eventually the players simply lose the will.

  • Mrkgw

    ASHLEY OUT!

  • Vodkamagpie

    How can anyone possibly know what relationship rafa and ashley have, media just blows/creates stories

    • TheFatController

      Call me a wild optimist, but I suspect there is no trust in him from Rafa at all…

      And if I was a pessimist, I’d say Rafa knows he’ll never be signing a new contract for Ashley, and Ashley knows that also …

      • Vodkamagpie

        Rafa is building a team, he is enjoying improving Newcastle, and the more he improves the team, the more money he gets to spend. I think Rafa understands how this works, and I can see him here for over 10years, with or without ashley.

        • TheFatController

          Ah, so that’s why he’s signed that new contract? Oh, hang on, my mistake ….

          • Vodkamagpie

            Contracts, does it really mean anything in football now a days

          • Danimal

            Refusing to sign one probably means something.

    • Donald Dong

      Very simple:
      1. Pre-Season is approaching fast, Rafa didn’t sign
      2. No known acquisitions besides the one we know
      3. Similar to winning Championship last season, front-office went to sleep

      • Vodkamagpie

        Every pre season fans expect , want, demand….. Transfers transfers transfers. Want to see the club spend money, and it’s vitally important to fans that it’s net spent. We sign a player, who realistically can be a solid first teamer for the next 5 years, and what do we talk about, complain about how fast we buying players

        • Donald Dong

          Well, after winning Championship last season, Benitez didn’t stop working, he wants to build up United to be Premier League ready, but everyone knows, the front office did almost nothing, as if Summer holiday starts out early, and this goes on even when pre-season starts. Even, when United were sitting 8 on the PL table, the management still didn’t see the urgency to act, but the warning signs are all here, the Captain was the highest scorer, and what position did he play up front, sorry, not up front but at the back. Only when shxt starts hitting everywhere, then Mr. Ashley decided to bring his wallet but instead of getting the team what it needs, he plays hardball on negotiating until the window almost close. Everyone knows, the loan market is ridiculous, thats why unless its an emergency, pre-season acquisition and readiness makes much more dollars and sense, so isn’t this episode a strong reminder of getting ready is important than playing chicken with Benitez. Action speaks louder than words, that why people love Rafa Benitez, but for the owner, all circus show, until he is out of tricks, then ask his sidekick tor rescue him. If Big Mike mentality is with United, he would have position the pre-season seriously immediately after promotion, not just try to do stop-gaps, just to barely get out of troubles. If its too much for Mike, just sell up and let someone else with more financial ammuniton to run it, because this is not the way to go forward

          • Vodkamagpie

            Summer holiday, I doubt that. I’m sure behind the scenes everyone is working hard to strengthen the squad, that includes all other teams in England. Leading goalscorer was perez, 8 goals I believe , lascelles 3?. Anyway, Newcastle spent 217mil last 4 years, so I don’t agree with anyone saying ashley doesn’t spend money, only get in free transfers, loans etc. It’s all bull, 217Mil Mil spent

          • Toon Arnie

            That’s not net spend. You’re cherry picking again.

          • Andy Mac

            It is said vodka is colourless, tasteless and odourless but I smell Clarko ?

          • Donald Dong

            You mention the 217M figure for the last 4 years, he made unwise decisions on how he spends, thats his business, he can toss 2 billion as I care, but that shows how little he knows of what it needs to succeed in this business, just tossing freebies doesn’t equate to profit and or success, you have to know what you are buying. He knew crystal clear United will need at least 60 mill to be a PL ready team, because the spine is not quite there, he choose to ignore it, until its really critical then scramble to tap into the ridiculous high loan market. Didn’t you see what Rafa has to work with, I am sure he wasn’t expecting Martin Skrtel, Torres, or Stevie G, but come on, Joselu, Murphy, Lejeune, Manquillo, these players are not bad, but really low key acquisitions, only Atsu stands out from this crowd, you can’t be serious, this is Premier League, the remaining ones that landed eventually except Kenedy wasn’t exactly world beaters either, but they landed on much higher premium, these late minute saviours can be avoided if the front office gave them these equivalents or most likely better players in the beginning.

          • Vodkamagpie

            Every season a team has to improve, needs to improve, even man city will buy to improve. Question is, do we have the opportunity to improve ?. Squad still contains deadwood which the club is struggling to clear, that deadwood we still paying wages for.

        • Milo79

          What are you talking about? We’ve got glaring weaknesses throughout the whole team, and we survived last season largely because of the arrival of one loan player (Kenedy) who transformed the side and the style of play, and has now moved back to his parent club. We’re already a weaker side tham we were at the end of the season. Only incoming players can remedy that and perhaps move us forward. Is that so very unreasonable?

          • Vodkamagpie

            Not unreasonable, how about we spend 51Mil on transfers this season?, would that be reasonable for you?

          • Toon Arnie

            £51m net ?

          • Vodkamagpie

            Shouldn’t matter if it’s net spent or not. Money is not the problem, it’s the wages, or shall I say it’s paying players who aren’t playing the problem .

          • Donald Dong

            Oh please, don’t juggle with the numbers, unless the spine is at least adequate. Newcastle United does not have a Premier League Calibre spine. Get real, those funds that was spend on preseason, the 35mil, is really nothing in PL these days, & I am surprised that Rafa did such a great job of fishing, that he manages to sign 5 players, but please be realistic, these ones are work in progress at best, pretty short of what he needs, only when Conte finally allows Kenedy to leave, did we finally see a possibility of navigating out of the relegation roller coaster.

          • Milo79

            You do know that fairly average players can change hands for £20m these days, don’t you?

          • Vodkamagpie

            That’s right, hard to find good players for cheaper, very fortunate to bring in lejeune, merino, dubravka. Combined fee around 22mil, reasonable wages, fantastic business from Newcastle

  • Andy Mac

    If I was Rafa I’d sit tight, do nothing and see out my contract and watch NUFC plummet back down to the Championship again, and possibly do a Villa, as the owner finally gets his just desserts ?

    If we’re talking of fit and proper individuals how is this fat piece of excrement judged to be responsible for running a club he invests almost nothing in and that he cares so little about ?

    The only way this club can extract itself from this miserable regime is to follow the makems down into the depths of the football basement and then, and only then, will the Fat Oaf take a hit and plss off.

    • mactoon

      Because the fit and proper person test contains nothing appertaining to how an owner runs the club. It merely covers rules relating to the legality of the funds used to acquire the club and the financial stature of the person trying to buy it in terms of has he been bankrupt, is he laundering money has he been disqualified from being a company director and so on

      • Andy Mac

        I knew that Mac its just strange how potential owners are scrutinised (allegedly) before buying into a club yet after they’re in place nothing is ever done to monitor the performances while in place ? Not just us but Blackpool, Coventry, Charlton who have all suffered from owners with more interest in making money than running a professional football outfit.

  • Mr wobert

    Funny thing, I was thinking that fatty would do something along the line like sell Lascelles and fund transfers that way.i think Rafa would walk then,
    I mean what’s the point of selling one of your best to be replaced by a penfold choice, wtf you couldn’t make it up??? Hmmmmm

    • Fireman Sam

      Lascelles could be worth 75 mil in 12 months time playing in a successfull team. Now is the time to invest or sell up. Ashleys penny pinching will not serve anyone well.

  • Mr wobert

    The mind games begin.

  • Fireman Sam

    Any excuse for Fat Mike to not spend any money on NUFC

    • Donald Dong

      He doesn’t need excuse, he never brings his wallet, just a coin box

  • Down Under Mag

    Chicken and Egg scenario as the mind games begin…

  • nufcslf

    What a stupid fat ignorant c**t. F**k off and die will you…….

  • Donald Dong

    The most likely outcome is that no contracts will be signed by Rafa, but he will stay because he will honour the existing one, and the Captain, and a few others will be sold to raise critical funds. Big Mike will release just a few more quids, not to please Rafa but ensure United will not head back to Championship. It’s quite clear that the Boss wants to be the boss all along, he will only step back when he crash into a tree then he will seek help from the higher power to save him but Jesus wouldn’t answer this cxn man, then his sidekick will do whatever necessary to land him the best doctor. Once the cure has been found, and he finally recovers, he restores back to his old antics, he will exercise his mad dog approach once more after Rafa finally finish his contract, and when things go wrong again in the future, this cycle will repeat, the only difference is that Rafa won’t answer his future calls again.

  • Tadger45

    Rafa’s in the pound seats all he has to do is say sure I will sign just put into my contract the next 3 years projected minimum agreed spend on transfers. (not negotiable unless I mutually agree with changes)

  • Milo79

    When negotiations give way to threats and ultimatums, I tend to think this is the beginning of the end of Rafa’s time at Newcastle. So far only Dubravaka has been signed, which was both a bargain and a fait accompli. Any outside chance of us signing Kenedy seems to have evaporated, and Benitez is now told that unless he signs – and if he’s inclined to do that, then he really needs to do it right away – then his plans for next season will be on hold, as we drift towards the start of the World Cup. Ashley is actually threatening to damage the club, his own football club, unless the manager unquestioningly puts pen to paper. I thought Rafa would see out the final year of his contract and then be gone. Under these terms, he won’t be here in August.

    • Geordieguy

      He’s playing Russian roulette and still expects someone to pay 400 million ! What planet is he from ?

  • Blackburn1066

    The Mag and the Chron don’t have a clue what is going on inside SJP

  • Mr wobert

    Let mind games begin ,like every megalomaniac it’s about control..
    Fatty has it and isn’t going to give Rafa what he needs to progress the team.
    He hates rafas popularity and would sink this club rather than admit he’s wrong so wrong.

    • Geordieguy

      Absolutely agree it’s all about power with ashley nothing else matters

  • Peter C

    This guy’s stupidity knows no bounds. Benitez is the best thing to happen to Newcastle in an awful long time.

    With a bit of common sense and Benitez’s ability to get the most of OK players, not world beaters mind, we could have a club worth supporting, and Mike Ashley could have a bigger gold mine to plunder.

    Newcastle United need Benitez, more than Benitez needs Newcastle United. He will have plenty of offers, if or when he departs, change that to when he departs.

    Mike Ashley really knows how to kill the golden goose, and the hopes and aspirations of the fans.

    • Donald Dong

      Mike doesn’t need a gold mine, all he wants is a yes man to keep United afloat. Rafa thinks too much.

  • Paul Smith

    Hopefully this is just paper talk but it doesn’t sound entirely far fetched when Mike Ashley is involved.

  • Dingus

    It has become pretty clear that Mike Ashley runs the club the way he does to hit out at the fans. Simple as. He’s just a big kid.

  • Joe g

    Guess what micky moooose owns the CLUB we as mere mortals, do I need 2 say anymore. Ps sorry SIR DIC.HEAD sold us Down the rivertyne.