Interesting to hear on Thursday morning that Mike Ashley has made two different offers to Rafa Benitez to extend the manager’s current contract.

The manager has recently said that he would be prepared to stay at Newcastle United for 10 years or longer BUT only if ambition was shown.

The Chronicle say that their information is that the first offer made was that of a five year new contract, which would have taken the manager up to summer 2023.

When that wasn’t successful, the newspaper say that Mike Ashley then sanctioned the offer of a one year extension to the current deal, which would have tied Rafa Benitez to Newcastle until summer 2020.

As most of you will obviously be aware, neither of these two contract offers have been taken up by the manager.

Instead, Rafa has continued to talk about is lacking at the club, on Tuesday he said (amongst other things…):

Mike Ashley said (on the final day of the season) that  ‘every last penny’ was available…I don’t do the numbers and so I don’t know exactly what it means. We are fine in terms of profit so maybe you have to ask Lee Charnley, he has the numbers.

“I am trying to do my best in these conditions, that is what I can say.

“I don’t think an extension is an excuse for anything…because if you sign a one year extension what does that mean for the players you sign on a five-year contract? This is nothing, it is not an issue. A lot of clubs have managers and they then finish a contract but still they improve the squad to be sure that they (the club/team) are better.

“Still, I don’t think it’s an issue with my contract (as to why the training complex and Academy can’t be invested in now) – I told Mike (Ashley), Lee (Charnley) and Justin (Barnes). They know that if we do the right things (and make proper investment), then I am keen to stay here for five years, or whatever.”

This is the great thing about having somebody like Rafa Benitez, it isn’t money or job security that he wants. He is already financially set up and as for job security, well, he knows he could walk into any number of top jobs if/when he decides he has finally had enough of Mike Ashley.

Instead he simply wants the club to be run on ambitious lines.

Whilst puppets such as Pardew, Carver and McClaren wouldn’t be able to sign quick enough if offered a five year (or eight year…) contract, no matter what other issues there were at the club, Rafa Benitez will only commit if clear written down promises are made with regard to investment in the playing squad, the Academy, and the substandard training complex. He isn’t going to fall once again for Mike Ashley’s verbal ‘You can trust me, every last penny you can have for players…’, these past four transfer windows leading to zero trust from Rafa with anything the owner says.

Kevin Keegan walked away because the club was rotten under Mike Ashley and he’d been repeatedly lied to, unless we see seismic changes in how the club runs, Rafa Benitez will do the same within the next 12 months.

The Chronicle:

‘Newcastle first offered a five-year deal to Benitez but United and the Spaniard’s representatives couldn’t come to an agreement after some requests weren’t granted.

It is believed that a one-year extension – around the time Benitez was offered the caretaker job with Spain at the World Cup – was then pushed the 58-year-old’s way but the Toon boss felt there was little point in a short-term solution at the club.’



  • Paul Patterson

    He’s not after personal gain, just honest and professional assurances to improve the club. He’ll get none of that from Mike and Lee.
    Since relegation, he’s hit every target given to him and operated on a profit in the transfer market.
    Ambition? He’ll get none of that here . .

  • Lord

    I see quite a few people saying that Ashley would love Rafa to walk. I don’t believe that at all, the SD model is to pay big money to a top management layer who keep a lid on the shop floor workers paid a pittance with truly terrible employment rights.

    It’s baffling why Ashley took this long to take the same approach to his football club, employing cut price journeymen like Pardew and McClaren. Maybe Keegan stung him.

    And here we are today; top manager on big wages achieving great results (for Ashley) on minimum staff spend (players). Perfect (for Ashley).

    What appears to be non-negotiable going forward for Ashley is losing control, even though it makes basic business sense with a superb manager in place. And lack of control appears to be a non-negotiable sticking point for Rafa.

    I can’t see any way these guys will sort it out.

    • Ram Kishore

      But rn Rafa is stinging like Keegan ..

  • NUFCDan

    Its statement like that which make you realise how much Rafa cares about the club and the fans. And how much the exact opposite applies to the FCB.

  • Dillon Tovak

    I really don’t understand Mike Ashley’s motives, there is more money to be made through investment.
    It’s not like giving McClaren £80m, Rafa is a seasoned pro with a proven track record.
    Vast amounts of money don’t need to be pumped in every single window but the squad needs a kick start.

  • Mike

    He is one manager who can leave the club with his head held high and always be welcomed back at Newcastle. Not many can do that

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      The only reason KK hasn`t been back is because of the Poisonous Pig.
      i expect him to come to a few games when the Cancer`s gone

      • TheFatController

        Yeah, that would almost be the biggest symbol of the price paid in Ashley’s time and that it was finally over, seeing Keegan watching a home game.

        • MichaelMaximusMoose

          Replace the idiot Penfold with KK under new owners and you`d see the ball rolling Ok

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    He`ll be gone next summer, no if`s or but`s as the Pig will not invest in Newcastle
    it`s as simple as that

  • TheFatController

    I presume Rafa thinks to sign a contract, letting Ashley allow the club drift further, and not improve things other than avoid relegation, would be doing the club a disservice in the long run.

    For Rafa I’d think it’s now either new owner or leave Ashley to sort out the mess in the wake of Rafa’s departure, in the hope that the mess encourages Ashley to sell, even if by then Rafa is long gone.

    I think wherever Rafa ends up, he’d hope any downturn would hasten a sale. And then smile when someone took it off Ashley’s hands.

    I don’t think he’d want to sign contract that simply acts to justify Ashley as owner, when he knows it’s a sticking plaster over a cancer.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Seems to be a stand off between Rafa and Mike which needs to be resolved one way or the other by signing a contract and funds getting released. Think there should be round fifty million to spend plus players sales so if I was Rafa sign the contract as he wants to stay. Last year spent round £60m on loans and transfers so why should this year be any different. Season tickets now on sale of most areas of the ground so get yours now.

    • Wor Lass

      What funds have been released so far? Rafa needs top make a stand at some point. You`re right, I think, he does want to stay but this continuous inaction/failure on the transfer front has to end to prove to him that it`s worth staying.

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Not sure if any funds have been released but there should be round £50m there to spend plus players sales so if the contract situation was resolved think that money would be available to spend.

        • MichaelMaximusMoose

          Did Mike tell you that in the Lift ?

          • Wor Lass

            I must have missed the lift reference.

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            That where he get`s all the inside info from meeting in lifts the guy`s crazy

          • Wor Lass

            He probably has his own special one up to his Bond villain-type lair somewhere up in Level 7.

          • TheFatController

            No, he uses the normal lift. He pushes all the floor buttons all the time.

            “For you, lift user, there is no escape”

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            Actually did see him in the lift once the day Keegan took charge of the Stoke game at short notice when it was announced couple of hours before kick off that he was the new manager. Guess what Mike had a black and white top on with King Kev on the back with a No 1 .

          • KRS1

            No you didnt, you mad fu*king liar!

          • TheFatController

            I guessed mike was wearing a pantomime villain outfit – I guessed wrong, yet again.

          • GlasgowMag

            It must of been a big lift your still a funny guy 😂😂😂

          • Desree

            I can only imagine how you got to read the back of Mike Ashley’s shirt.

        • Gallowgate Dave

          Sounds like you have your excuses already lined up to blame Rafa when Ashley inevitably doesn’t sanction these purchases you’re convinced we’ll make. I wondered how you’d try and worm your way out of it. Dear me.

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            Last year we spent round £60m so why should this year be any different.

          • Gallowgate Dave

            According to transfermarkt £44.3 million spent and £19.4 million recouped so we actually spent approx £25 million net. For weeks I’ve read your posts telling people we’ll spend £50-£60 million net this summer. Now I’m reading that it’s dependent on Rafa signing a new contract. Always somebody else and never your hero Mike’s. Some call you a troll, a Man Utd fan or a Bishop drone. I don’t know if you are paid by The Mag to talk rubbish and spark debate. If you are you have me hook, line and sinker as I frequently bite even though I know I shouldn’t.

          • Geordiegiants

            Ignore him, he is not a Newcastle fan.

          • Danimal

            No we didn’t.

          • I’ve got the Ki

            Wrong. 60m pulled out your A – hole.

            Can’t just make numbers up, unless you are NUFC’s accountant, which it seems increasingly likely you are…

          • Wezza

            Ignore that troll mate he is one of two brothers who are Man Utd season ticket holders. They troll here daily. This one is just trying to make people and angry and get a rise of it to fulfil his sad cravings. His every penny line is more than proof he is a WUM especially since tuesdays revelations.

        • I’ve got the key

          Garbage. The contract excuse is a ruse. Rafa has explained it correctly. Total red herring. Rafa signing a new contract will change nothing.

        • Desree

          Let me get this straight. Ashley was happy to give McLaren 40m to spend and sack him 3 games later.

          But giving Rafa 50m with12 months on his contract is a bad idea.

          I find your constant siding with Ashley no matter what creepy

    • MadMag83

      Nonsense. As Rafa has stated, investment in the squad and facilities needs to be made regardless of the manager, whoever is in charge will face the same problems. So your argument about it being dependent on Benitez signing a contract is tosh.

      • steve

        I can understand both points of view, yes funds need to be released regardless of who is in charge but there is no point in signing players to fit Rafa’s system if he won’t be in charge.

        • Wor Lass

          He`s going to be in charge for the next season.

          • Geordiegiants

            Jabba only plans season by season.

        • MadMag83

          We’ll still need a youth system regardless. Benitez isn’t asking for huge amounts of cash that would destabilise us, just enough to compete. If you took the view that the manager could walk any time then you’d never invest, and never move forward.

        • Danimal

          He would be in charge because he’d have got the players he wanted.

          • steve

            You could also say that if he signs he’ll get the players he wants. We’re talking about two stubborn men and if neither blink the signings won’t be made.

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        The last couple of years Rafa had had every penny so if this year is different the contract must be the reason which is a shame.

        • MadMag83

          Except he hasn’t had every penny….

      • Wezza

        Don’t feed the troll lads, that’s David Lee, Manchester United season ticket holder. Him and his brother troll here daily under different ID’s. Don’t give him the satisfaction of a reply.

        • Gallowgate Dave

          David Lee?

          • Wezza

            Yeah one of the two brothers who troll here daily. Jezza knows more than me about them. They are Man Utd season ticket holders. Just WUM, best to block them.

          • Gallowgate Dave

            I mean maybe you’re right, I don’t know. I just wondered how you’re so specific about who he is?

          • Wezza

            I’m going by what Jezza and Leazes have endured. They’ve trolled for over a decade even getting other NUFC forums shut down. They just thrive on winding people up.

    • TheFatController

      Do you get to call him Mike because you shared a lift with him once …?

      • Kneebotherm8

        Doesn’t call him Mike………..he calls him Sir…

        • drc74

          actually its, ooohhh mike, mmmmmmmmslurp when hes in a lift with him

          • TheFatController

            Ten minutes in the lift with Mugoie and Ashley would be on the phone to Staveley – ‘what have you got down the back of your sofa, I’m selling and selling fast….’

          • Kneebotherm8

            😂😂

    • Down Under Mag

      There must be more to the contract issue than is being reported. I suspect Rafa is wanting reassurances built into the contract, Ashley will no doubt be wanting another non-break clause inserted so that even if he reneges on the funds available Rafa can’t walk and is stuck with no money and trying to scrape the club to safety on a shoestring budget.

    • Ram Kishore

      I don’t see anywhere that we spent 60 million pound ..
      Just a genuine question..
      we have spent 40+

  • Peaky

    If the Fatman stays then Rafa goes……..the Fatman ain’t going anywhere…..

    • Wor Lass

      I think Rafa would stay, Peaky, if the fatman could convince him that he will get sensible backing on the transfer front but it`s always jam tomorrow (and tesco value jam – non of that Bonne Maman stuff!).

      • Peaky

        You may well be right….it’s all personal now imo…..goodie v baddie……a classic Mexican stand off between two stubborn strong characters.

        • Wor Lass

          The Good, the Bad and the Nutjob! lol

          • Peaky

            😂🤣😂

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        You`re wasting your time, Fatso isn`t going to back Rafa or any other manager & if Leazes was here he`d call you a Moron

        • Wor Lass

          I`ve been doing my best to prod him out of retirement.

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            God knows where he is

          • Peaky

            Maybe Rafa is signing Leazes as a new centre half or keeper…..he’d be brilliant……he’d block everything…..

          • Wor Lass

            Moron!
            pp Wor lass (on behalf of Leazes)

          • Peaky

            Thanks I’ve arrived….well maybe…..like getting knighted off Prince Charles instead of The Queen….🤣

          • Wor Lass

            You don`t want him getting his sword out, Peaky. Weapon, that is…

          • Geordiegiants

            Ha ha ha ha that’s a belta that. 🤣😂

  • drc74

    shows the integrity of rafa and the oafishness of the fat cretinous one

  • Tweed Mag

    Perhaps the problem is the lack of face-to-face discussion. Rafa is the one who can bring success (and profit) to NUFC, yet he is given messages by individuals who are not fit to tie his boot laces. NUFC is a sizeable asset to MA, yet he seems intent on making poor decisions. I would not sign a new contract until assurances were in writing. And even then there would be a doubt in the back of your mind.

    • Rafa is too credible to need face to face with Ashley. Rafa knows football inside out and should be left to deal with everything football at the club.
      Ashley needs to only tell him the budget and set a target.

      • Tweed Mag

        Ideally, yes. But at the minute he has to rely on Penfold, Bishop and Barnes to get things done.

      • panther

        he does every year f all

    • FatParosite

      You give the system too much credit. If there is a system. Charnley is a get out clause for Ashley. Nothing more.. If something went wrong the one to take the heat would be the beyond pay grade former secretary. Charnley cuts costs at all costs. Nothing new is spent without Ashley’s name on it. Ashley is also using Charnley as a buffer against Rafa.

      • Tweed Mag

        There is no system as you say, far too many lackies and go-betweens. So the best way to have direct discussion – at least you will hear exactly what is said and not some sort of PR waffle. Of course we all know MA does not have the courage to do things direct.

    • Down Under Mag

      Rafa wants reassurances that the club can and wants to match his own vision… Ashley just wants him to sign and won’t give those assurances (because there will be no investment to the standards Rafa wants). Rafa sees what the club could become, not with Manchester City style spending but just decent investment that a premier league club with 52k home fans every match should be able to provide without jeopardising it’s future stability. Rafa is too good a manager to be looking over his shoulder at relegation every season because of lack of investment. And more over, i’m not sure who Ashley thinks he will get if Rafa does (and increasingly looking likely to) leave…