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Opinion

12 days to go until we’ll know more about Newcastle’s chances of staying up…and chances of keeping Rafa beyond May 2019

7 months ago
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It has been a long hot summer.

But the sweltering heat isn’t the only thing to get Newcastle fans hot under the collar.

The transfer window has been an entirely predictable set of events under the regime of Mike Ashley. A regime that excels at neglect. Year 12 of that particular project now in progress.

They have only just about saved face this week with the signings of Fabian Schar and Yoshi Muto. It was on the cusp of meltdown before those deals got over the now infamous line.

Even with that in place, it still has the feel of being at a standstill, punctuated by broken promises and an insatiable desire to avoid spending. Miserly.  Fans, and pundits, are rightly asking where the hell money is going at NUFC.

Covering the club’s running costs? In Mike Ashley’s pocket?

Where the cash certainly isn’t appearing is in the form of 2018 transfer market rates for the type of players needed to really give the Premier League a good go, and in the process give the fans something to get excited about.

The club could easily be in a worse state…but it could be so much better.

Instead we are looking on in envy at other teams throwing their money around. It’s the height of frustration. There are a clutch of football clubs that seem to have owners willing to prime the pump. We have Ashley.

No prospect of the owner selling the club.

No sign of Rafa Benitez inking a new deal.

No sign of really serious investment in the team.

Eleven years and counting of having just the pilot light on. The regime are lucky to have a world class manager in Benitez. He’s keeping the whole ship afloat.

This past week we saw a fans campaign ‘#IfRafaGoesWeGo’. That’s the slogan that’s gained all the traction. Sure, we all support the club but I totally get why some feel the need to walk away if another shafting is to unfold. We have the sight of a local MP delivering a petition to Parliament about Ashley’s cack-handed approach. It’s madness and you couldn’t really make it up.

Since the Keegan implosion in 2008 it all has that sense of fragility.

They have until August 9 to add a few more new faces and then we’ll know more about our chances of staying up…and the chances of keeping Rafa beyond May 2019.

The heat is on.

You can follow the author on Twitter @DavePunton
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