Official Newcastle United Fans Forum go public and demand Mike Ashley backs Rafa Benitez
The official Newcastle United Fans Forum have made a public statement regarding the lack of backing by Mike Ashley for Rafa Benitez.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Gallowgate End representative on the forum, Kris Woods, says that the group are ‘deeply concerned with events at NUFC.’
Specifically they point to ‘reports that the manager is having his summer budget withheld because he has not committed to signing a contract extension.’
Kris Woods says that the official Newcastle United Fans Forum ‘fully supports Rafael Benitez in his right not to sign an extension until he’s seen sufficient evidence to support his and the Fans’ ambition.’
Throughout last season the club refused to hold any meetings with their own official fans forum, eventually meeting on 25 April 2018, some 10 months since the last previous one in June 2017.
The Newcastle United Fans Forum members pressed the club in April on this lack of respect and willingness to interact, the club reluctantly agreeing to set dates of Tuesday 28th August, Tuesday 12th February 2019, and Tuesday 21st May 2019.
Many supporters quick to notice though that these next two meetings don’t come around until after each of the respective next two transfer windows.
Great to see the Fans Forum members being so proactive with this statement of support for Rafa Benitez and making clear that it is Mike Ashley to blame for this shambles of a transfer window, not the manager.
Having approached their own official fans forum with such a lack of good faith, it is difficult to see the club/Mike Ashley changing their ways now.
The forum members’ statement, even though it doesn’t mention the #IfRafaGoesWeGo initiative, clearly has been prompted by it to act.
It is a very difficult position for those Newcastle fans who are giving their time and energies to be part of the official fans forum. Unless Mike Ashley and his minions are willing to change tack and do things properly, you would have to wonder if the members of the Newcastle United Fans Forum would have little choice but to resign en masse, to make it clear that enough is enough.
Official Newcastle United Fans Forum Gallowgate End representative, Kris Woods via his Twitter account:
“As a group we are deeply concerned with events at NUFC.
“There are reports that the Manager is having his summer budget withheld because he has not committed to signing a contract extension.
“The Fans Forum fully supports Rafael Benitez in his right not to sign an extension until he’s seen sufficient evidence to support his and the Fans’ ambition.
“We also feel that NUFC’s board and ownership need to support him now more than ever to show him that they are ambitious and are willing to be a stable top ten club pushing for European Qualification and for Domestic Cup success.
“We’ve seen Season Ticket prices rise significantly, England’s most expensive replica shirts and little evident appetite to attempt to compete in the transfer market whilst clubs around and below us significantly invest.
“We sincerely hope NUFC can act quickly to ensure the Manager gets the assurances he seeks and feels comfortable enough to commit his long-term future to the club.”
The Newcastle United Fans Forum
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