We have had 28 months of Rafa Benitez at Newcastle United.

Having left Real Madrid only weeks earlier, the Spaniard could see the potential that existed at St James Park, despite relegation looking all but certain.

Mike Ashley had left it far too late to appoint a manager, having put yet another puppet in Steve McClaren in place, after Pardew and Caver.

Even Rafa couldn’t save the team despite three wins and three draws in final half dozen matches.

However, since then:

Promotion as Champions after totally overhauling the squad, as the rats fled and players not good enough cleared out.

Safety achieved with over a month to go and a top half of the Premier League table finish.

A profit in the transfer market.

Rafa Benitez has opened up to the media today about Newcastle United’s farcical approach to transfers under Mike Ashley this summer.

Having already told Sky Sports that he has to sell before he can buy players this summer, Rafa as now talked to Matthew Raisbeck of BBC Newcastle.

The NUFC manager explaining that due to not moving quickly enough to land their top targets, you end up with players who ‘maybe aren’t as good’.’

Rafa Benitez adding that you then have to go ‘deeper and deeper’ down your list of targets, having missed out on first choice, second choice…

This is a total joke and only Mike Ashley is laughing.

Matthew Raisbeck from BBC Newcastle talking to Rafa Benitez:

Rafa on signings:

“It depends on the movements; we’ll see how quick the others can go.

“Always in the window, you have to do things quickly; if not, you’re losing targets & then you go later on to players who maybe aren’t as good as you’re expecting in different positions.”

More from Rafa on transfers:

“If you go early, you can sign the first or second choice. If not, you go deeper and deeper (down the list of targets). We will try to sign the right players with the characteristics that we will need for the games.

 “The fans need to understand these players here are giving everything, so we have to support them.

“We cannot say ‘oh, he is not good enough’ because, sometimes, you cannot sign the players you want but the players that are good for you and the squad.”

Rafa on transfers:

“We have some enquiries about some of our players and Lee Charnley is working on that. We will see if we have any news in the next few days. Obviously, we need to move players if we want to have money to spend on players.”

That last line – essentially, ‘we have to sell to buy’ – doesn’t make great reading. Rafa only has a modest budget, so needs to bring money in by moving on fringe players, and in doing so, reduce the wage bill to accommodate the salaries of potential new signings.

Rafa on Isaac Hayden:

“We will try to help him because he said he has personal problems… At the same time, I have to protect the team and the club. We will see if we can find the best solution possible but we want to keep him because he’s an important player for us.”

Rafa on being short of central midfielders if Hayden was to leave:

“Yes, but not thinking too much about that. We have to think about him and his situation, and if we can help. I told already him he can take extra days off, so it’s not an issue.”

More from Rafa on Isaac Hayden:

“It’s just to manage and be sure he has the motivation we need from everyone. When we signed him, he was at Hull, so we gave him the opportunity to stay in the Premier League, and we are trying to support him now.”

Rafa on tonight’s match:

“We have two or three injury problems we have to manage: Dummett will not be available and Murphy, the same – little things that we don’t want to take any risk with. We have five ‘keepers, so we will play two and three will be waiting.”

Rafa on young players Fernandez, Yarney, Longstaff and Roberts:

“All of them will play because the idea is for almost everyone to play 45 minutes.”



  • Paul Patterson

    The worrying quote is ‘.. Lee Charnley is working on that.’

    • Wezza

      Exactly what I thought although he seems good at selling.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    The bottom line is the only people who care about Nufc is Rafa & his staff
    the players & the fans.
    End of Story

    • FatParosite

      Are your expectations lowered…???

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        i never have any expectations when it comes to Newcastle as we`re going nowhere

        • Oval85

          I know about one direction we might go… and it’s not up.

        • FatParosite

          Then you need to take Rafa off your list because he is doing a job for Ashley in keeping your expectations where they are.

  • Hughie

    Ashley’s stated policy is every penny generated is available. What he has meant it seems is restrcted to funds generated by transfers out alone. So 18 million in season tickets and 30 million plus in TV money are not available it appears?. 10 million for Morino- so- salary stopped. Salaries for Gamez, and Haidara stopped. Salary and fee for Dubravka, loan fee for Kenedy and salary for Ki paid. So only 6 million available now. Has Ashley called in some or all of his 139 million loan – that might explain the policy? Surely that is the only reason for the failure to spend on PL class players? If Mitrovic and Ritchie go there could be another 30 million available . Will Benitez stay- yes but only this season.

    • FatParosite

      Rafa was only ever going to be staying this season. By January he can talk to anyone. We WILL be deep in the $hit by that time.

      • Toonrobbybobson

        Rafa will try his best to keep us up. Hes honourable. It will be his final gift to the fans. He will walk and the crown jewels of Lascelles and Shelvey sold.

        We are in for tough times ahead.

        That legal contract of every penny the club generates can be manipulated. All he needs to do Ashley is call in a huge chunk of his loan and no money is left for Rafa legally so he is not breaching contract.

        Feel for fans and Rafa for being stitched up.

        Not sure if it would be good news or bad news but if that is the case hopefully the loan to Ashley being gone helps rid us of him but it might actually strengten his position😩

  • Oval85

    Every time Rafa talks about transfers, it’s like he is trying to communicate with Mike Ashley… Not a good sign at all.

  • jack

    Been saying this since start of window , never had any budget , and Rafa would have to create one with sales

  • Megatron1505

    I’m relieved that the charade is over. This “emperors new clothes” mindset regarding transfers after the last 11 years is nothing short of ridiculous.

    • Leicester Mag

      The only clothes this emporar has came from a sweat shop in Bangladesh pity those at the bottom end of Mr Creosote’s food chain

    • Toonrobbybobson

      Was he wearing Donnay socks

  • Jezza

    I think the situation is even worse than having to sell to buy. In reality between now and the deadline I expect the club to sell players and not buy any.

    • TheFatController

      Maybe he’s going to take chunks out of the £120m debt he created whilst failing to reduce the existing, despite this being football’s boom time…?

      • Down Under Mag

        Haahahahahaha – that is hillarious. That debt is his nest egg, his insurance against selling the club on the cheap, to ensure he can milk the club for everything he can and still justify that somehow he saved the club and he is not to blame for the state we are in. If he gets rid of the debt then his “selling” stance to justify lack of transfers won’ tbe as solid because he won’t be able to ask for over the market value for the club and he might actually HAVE to sell and lose his free publicity and cash cow. Have you noticed that no matter how much profit we make in a season the debt never reduces and yet the moment we get relegated suddenly the debt is increased because he had to prop the club up…

  • Leicester Mag

    Rafa may have his pride and I’m sure that pride says I’m not paying that odious shytebucket compensation. Wait till January. Ahead of this warn and warn again of the outcome. Twice we have been relegated and bounced back it will be different next time and maybe better it is. Much as it tears at me we may need to sink taking this cancer down before we can ever thrive

    • Toonrobbybobson

      Feel we missed our chance with the first relegation. To rid him now will seriously hurt the club but at least it would be our club again with a direction and purpose.

  • magpiefifer

    I know that Rafa hasn’t agreed to a new contract, but the fact that he is still here really astounds me.Rafa doesn’t need any more evidence to prove that the club in Ashley’s paws has no ambition whatsoever,and that’s what Rafa in his own words was wanting.
    So why has Rafa stayed!?

    • Peaky

      £6m and working his notice period in all essence…

      • magpiefifer

        I’m surprised that the £6m hasn’t been offered by Spain/another club.

    • Jate Legend

      I think he is having a hard time dumping the toon. Ok the money but also proximity to the family and the fans. These things also make a difference. He’s won everything gan and he wants a project where he can see his kids more but still compete. Toon could still be that if a couple of things change, maybe he feels like its worth staying on in case it does change.

      • magpiefifer

        Only one thing Jate – Ashley disappearing!!

    • Toonrobbybobson

      Legal ramifications if he breaks contract. Just imagine how bad Ashley will be to deal with legally. Rafa is a man of honour and will see out his contract with his head held high. His gift to fans will be trying to keep us up.

  • Pc07

    Couple of reasons rafa is still with Newcastle, he’s a professional who will see out his contract, and of course his reporter £6m a year no doubt helps him swallow his pride.

  • GToon

    Why are we the only club in the EPL that has to sell before it can buy? So before the season actually starts we are already playing catch up with the other 19 clubs who are ambitious. If it wasn’t for Rafa relegation would almost be guaranteed.

  • Wezza

    We knew it would be like this… having to sell to buy with 126M TV money is a total farce. We all know where the TV money is. Notice the trolls are all quiet here.
    What a disgrace this regime is.
    Get out of our club.

    • Down Under Mag

      And i’m sure that this money that wasn’t spent will be suddenly very scarce when it comes time to make the loan deals permanent…

  • Toonrobbybobson

    Our club has become a joke which just isnt funny to anyone else anymore.

    Pleased I did not renew.

    I will be back once we help cut out the cancer to but renewing I feel does not help anymore.

    Mike Ashley will never change. EVER.

    How many more windows of underinvestment will we take as fans before finally changing our stance ourselves.

    For me I felt that I could not stand by and continue to watch what hes doing to our once great club. Its a sick joke our club.

    What is the point in being a club with no ambition and just existing to promote Mike Ashleys agenda.

    Hes a hideous person.