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.
‘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.’