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.

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  • pedrodelgardo

    I like the pilot light analogy, Rafa is the top of the range boiler that Ashley pays for then just has the pilot light on when, with sensible investment (in line with the clubs we are allegedly competing with), he could warm the house a little bit.

  • I’ve got the Ki

    Just used the widget on Chronicle to select my team for opening day and there is not one new signing in it. Says a lot about where we are.

    Got to hope we keep the chemistry in that starting 11 from second half of last season, otherwise we’re in some trouble.

    • Ba ba.

      I do think we will be OK but it will be tight with rafa and the great team spirit it should see us through, but we are only two serious injuries away from disaster.

      • ScreamStevie

        Indeed. Imagine if Lascelles and Shelvey suffer long term injuries. We’ve already Lejeune on the treatment couch and we saw what happened when Lascelles was out last season. Clark isn’t Premiership quality and Schar is as yet unproven.

        • Ben Jones

          I know what you mean mate, imagine if every club lost what many regard as their clubs top 2 players to long term injury, it would be carnage!

    • Ben Jones

      I fully understood what you’ve just written. If I had have written that what I would face is..

      I think what you meant is..

      I* have just used the widget on the* Chronicle to select my team for the* first* fixture* and there is not one new signing in it. That* says a lot about where we are.

      We* have* to hope we keep the chemistry in the starting 11 from the* second half of last season, otherwise we’re in some trouble.

      Like I said though, I perfectly understood the point you were making anyway, I would have had to in order to correct it, so it does beg the questions, why did I bother?, and why didn’t no one else correct you as they would me?

      • TheFatController

        Because you write tosh supporting ashley as being good financially for the club.

        You know, when you point out how he doesn’t run it all that bizarrely and his financial restraints are sensible and ignoring that he is always ruining the relationship with any good manager we have.

        He told us he’s not interested in the club, it’s progress etc, he just wants out – and maybe that line about wanting out is just a lie to keep from investing whilst still supporting his priority business SD.

        So he told us he doesn’t run the club well and will therefore sell it, then you come in here and tell us he does ok actually.

        Even he doesn’t agree with you ! So why would we?

        • Ben Jones

          Right, so correct grammar is only important when you disagree with the person who has written it, meanwhile sloppy grammar from people you agree with you let slide, it’s almost as if grammar isn’t actually important at all and is used as a tool to not have to put up a counter argument, and let’s face it, this place is full of tools .

      • Superdooperhooper

        Clarko is the worst one on here for nitpicking people’s grammar and he’s pro ashley so it works both ways

        • Jezza

          Ben Jones is Clarko.

  • Geordiegiants

    There is 0% chance of Rafa staying if the fatcunt is still here.

  • robbersdog

    The pilot light may be on at the club, but when it comes to Ashley’s mind, the lights are on, but there’s nobody home.

  • skarabrae

    It’s not if it’s when, Rafa will NOT be here next season, people are still clinging to the slightest minuscule piece of hope… & that’s all Ashley needs,,…. next season.. he’ll dangle another little carrot…. & the masses will still fall for it!!!