Claims in early June that Mike Ashley wouldn’t give Rafa Benitez any transfer funds unless he signed a contract extension first, were seen at the time as just further invented media speculation.
However, with only 18 days to go until transfer deadline day, and Newcastle currently showing a profit in the transfer window, fans are thinking now that maybe this was one press story with a grain of truth in it.
Rafa Benitez has went public in the last week in seeming to back up this story further, confirming there is no money available to him to buy his targets unless some of his current players are sold first.
The launch of the #IfRafaGoesWeGo Newcastle fans protest campaign has only intensified the spotlight on the (lack of) transfer action and on the NUFC owner’s ridiculous approach to (mis)managing the running of a football club.
Little surprise then to see this ‘exclusive’ appear on Sunday morning, with many Newcastle fans already putting it down as the work of Ashley’s PR man Keith Bishop.
The Sun are the ones with this ‘exclusive’, claiming that all Rafa Benitez needs to do to get a “£100m war chest” is to sign a new three year contract.
The thing is, even if this ‘exclusive’ had/has some substance, when you actually read the story, it doesn’t even add up to a major leap in ambition.
The report doesn’t claim Rafa would get £100m to strengthen the squad now if he agrees a contract extension, instead Mike Ashley would supposedly allow him to spend £100m over the course of the next three years.
So that would amount to an average of £33m per season, or £16.6m per transfer window, plus whatever he raises through sales of players.
The ‘exclusive’ conveniently leaving out the fact that even player sales don’t see Mike Ashley playing fair with his managers, the owner insisting on other clubs paying in instalments over a period of years when they buy a player from NUFC, meaning only a fraction of the money is paid up front and would be available to Rafa for instant team strengthening.
Only yesterday The Chronicle reported that Ashley had no intention of changing that stance and when Mitrovic leaves for £20m or so, the transfer fee will as usual be paid instalments, leaving Rafa Benitez with only a small part of that £20m fee to reinvest.
Rafa Benitez has been at Newcastle United for 28 months now and in that period of time the outside (football) world has seen an unprecedented increase in the level of transfer fees, despite this Rafa has delivered a profit on transfer fees in and out for Mike Ashley.
Yet still he isn’t willing to allow the manager to spend any money unless raising even more first.
RAFA WAR CHEST Newcastle to give Rafa Benitez £100m transfer kitty and three-year deal if owner Mike Ashley persuades him to stay
Spaniard is being pressed to sign after a summer stand-off that saw him work under severe cash restraints
MIKE ASHLEY will offer Rafa Benitez a three-year contract and a transfer war chest of more than £100million.
The Newcastle owner is pressing his manager to sign after a summer stand-off that has seen Benitez work under severe cash restraints.
Ashley is keen to end the dispute by getting the Spaniard to sign a fresh deal through until 2021.
And he is sweetening the offer with the promise of a major spend over the length of that contract.
Suspicion is so high on the Benitez side that he is yet to commit — despite the current state where Ashley will let him spend money only from sales.
If he does not sign this summer, it will leave him in a position where he is likely to run down his deal and get no further cash injections.