Rafa Benitez is once again making daily headlines.

After a summer of disappointment in the transfer market, the United boss broke his silence this week.

Just as was the case a year ago, Rafa waited until the training camp in Ireland to expose just how badly he had been let down.

Last summer it was Mike Ashley’s broken promises that the manager repeatedly referred to, as days and weeks went by without any ambition shown on transfers.

This time Rafa is making clear that there hasn’t even been any promises made, no suggestion from the NUFC owner that he is going to support his manager in any way.

So why is Rafa Benitez still here then?

Well, this summer’s transfer window isn’t exactly a new experience.

Back in summer 2016, Rafa’s opening transfer window at St James Park, there was relative harmony. The manager allowed to spend over £50m on players and Mike Ashley seeing Benitez produce a £40m profit on transfers in and out.

Whilst there was that large profit in the transfer market, it was still a significant and realistic amount of spending that the NUFC owner allowed. However, there were special circumstances, for the second time in seven Premier League seasons, Ashley had brought about a relegation, he was desperate. He needed the club to be back in the Premier League for the worldwide TV exposure for Sports Direct and the rest of his business empire, as well of course to see the return of PL level revenues.

Once though Rafa Benitez had built a squad that looked capable of getting promotion back to the promised land, that was that.

January 2017, Rafa was blocked from making any signings whatsoever. Not a penny allowed to help make sure of promotion, or to start building towards life back in the Premier League.

Summer 2017, Rafa Benitez ended the window by declaring that he couldn’t even compete with Huddersfield and Brighton for new signings on either wages or transfer fees. The other two promoted clubs with net spending at least three times higher than Newcastle.

January 2018, Newcastle United deep in relegation trouble. Despite that, the manager wasn’t allowed to buy a single player. Instead, Rafa Benitez had to battle on with only loan signings and having desperately wanted a new striker, he had to settle for a last day of the window deal for Islam Slimani who Rafa knew was already injured when he arrived.

Summer 2018, just hit the repeat button. With now three weeks to go until transfer deadline day, Newcastle United are in profit on transfers having signed a free transfer, a loan player, and £4m Martin Dubravka. Even Ashley didn’t go so far as to block the agreed £4m price tag signing of a keeper who already is worth X number of times what NUFC paid for him.

Rafa Benitez laid it on the line this week, saying that to buy players he has to first sell others. Quite literally he has been allowed nothing to spend.

Once again many ask the question…So why is Rafa Benitez still here then?

The follow up to that being, when you are treated so badly and undermined by the club’s owner, why would you  stick around? Rafa could allegedly have taken the West Ham job, Pellegrini has gone in and already has an £85m net spend so far.

Well, I think it is a number of factors.

Rafa has repeatedly said how he loves the fans, the city, the coaching staff, the playing squad. Basically he likes the people and what the club is really all about, a bit like Liverpool with the working class roots and so on.

No doubt a small part of him also thinks that just maybe there will be a miracle and somebody with offer £100m+ more than the club is worth, new owners unleashing that potential which will always be there and which the manager often talks about.

However, the biggest reason why Rafa Benitez hasn’t walked away is that he takes a pride in his job.

To take on an all but certain to be relegated Newcastle United only two months after leaving Real Madrid, was seen by most as the equivalent of putting your head in the lion’s mouth. It might have a positive outcome but more than likely you could lose everything.

Rafa Benitez keeps fighting and saying what should happen to make Newcastle a normal club but I think from some way out he has accepted that with Mike Ashley here, he is wasting his time really.

However, he is not going to walk away because when he walks away next summer, he wants to look back and say that he has done everything he can, in all but impossible circumstances.

He wants to be able to look the fans in the eye and say he gave it everything he had.

Mike Ashley would absolutely love it if Rafa walked away, straight away getting his PR goons to feed their friends at Sky Sports and elsewhere in the media with insiduous suggestions that the manager had betrayed the fans and club.

The same happened with Kevin Keegan but he proved when winning his £2m constructive dismissal claim that Mike Ashley and his minions had lied to him.

Mike Ashley isn’t even making promises now with fingers crossed behind his back and Rafa knows the score, but he will give it everything for these next 10 months and then walk away with his conscience clear.

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  • steve

    Simple answer, money.

    • Wor Lass

      He could get that money at numerous other clubs – and they would pay any release clause as well. To me, it`s a combination of him being a man of honour, loving the club/town/fans and wanting to stick it up the fat man.

      • mentalman

        There’s lots of clubs in england and throughout europe who have changed manager recently and have chose against rafa or been put off by the buy out clause

        • Wor Lass

          He doesn`t want to go – that`s what`s put people off.

    • Iam Me

      He’d get thrice the money if he went to China…

  • kingfisher

    Headline from the Chronic : “I have no faith in the club anymore’ – Newcastle fans react after Benitez transfer admission.The Magpies boss says Newcastle will have to ‘wheel and deal’ in the transfer market and the fans are not happy with owner Mike Ashley”
    Did anyone really expect anything different this time around? All those so called “fans” who support this joke of an owner by renewing their season tickets should hang their heads in shame !

    • JonMag

      Even the dimmest could see what was coming in this window.
      i won`t go again until the scumbags gone

      • kingfisher

        Spot on JonMag 👍👍👍

        • Lostprofit DBC

          I stopped going in 2008 but don’t think it matters. Someone will take your seat. Everyone refusing to get SKY or fill the pubs to watch it would be more effective. Even if the fans who choose to go, missed a televised game would cause waves on the news. Would he care though?

          • kingfisher

            Good point Lostprofit.They could still have “The Matchday ” experience but instead of going into SJP they could just stay outside and make their presence felt! As you say empty seats would cause waves.
            Sadly the people who go regardless are so determined to show their support regardless of Ashley, that no matter what Ashley does to our beloved club, they will still keep on going which obviously is their choice, but at what stage do these people say ” enough’s enough” and stop going?. What will it take ?

  • JonMag

    Rafa is a man with honour, the Fat [email protected] isn`t

  • Lostprofit DBC

    VG article, I agree that Ashley would like him to walk. Aside from his minimal input for maximum return, I honestly believe that he hates the fans. There is a mutual dislike for different reasons. Money aside I really think that he is trying to run the club down. I would go as far as to say that he will be disappointed that the fans still go and Benitez has been relatively successful. Yes this could go further than money, hence his risky gambles. Has anyone considered that Rafa is persevering to the annoyance of Ashley? Is his grand plan to destroy NUFC?

    • Geordiegiants

      No he wants the fans to go, he wants them supporting the club, the longer that happens the the longer and more he can extract from the club.

      • Lostprofit DBC

        Gate money is washers these days, most tickets are bought anyway. Without the fans we would be very ordinary, Rafa wouldn’t be here. Tradition and fans make this club special. An empty stadium with SD posters and news coverage would do Ashley just champion. It’s SKY that real fans should boycott, if you want to be effective.

        • Geordiegiants

          That is definetly another angle I agree 100%. Do not fall into the trap of thinking gate revenue is not worth anything it’s around £40m a year.

          • Wezza

            I’ll second that – and we still can’t compete with club with less than half or in some cases a third of our attendances.

  • Lostprofit DBC

    ACTION not words!

  • Paul Patterson

    Rest assured, he will walk in May 2019.

  • TheFatController

    Rafa is aware that for many people, anger against Ashley soon weakens because Ashley can’t be hurt/affected, and part of getting rid of angry feelings Is seeing the person making you angry hurt/affected – justice reduces anger obviously.

    It’s human nature that anger not replaced with justice gets displaced, finds other targets. So it moves from Ashley, finding a home in the following:-
    – players not good enough for the level we’re at
    – a manager not playing favoured players/ not making the most of the squad/ not getting on with it without moaning
    – other fans who don’t share your opinion on the above criticisms of player/ manager

    So Rafa battles with this genius of Ashley, that if Ashley remains unmoved by angry criticism, it’ll soon end up in in-fighting, as the anger must have an outlet.

    That for me is Rafa’s greatest talent as a manager, guiding fans away from dumping their anger on players and him.

    Notice how often he says ‘our fans are intelligent, they know what goes on’ – that’s Rafa saying ‘don’t take out anger on the wrong people…’

    • Jate Legend

      Excellent point.

  • BillytheFish

    In defense of the club, you cannot just keep buying and collecting players or you end up with a hundred players and a £300m wage bill, you must trade some out, and replace with better which is what Rafa is trying to do.
    However the question of Rafa’s contract is:
    1. If he signs a contract Ashley will increase the price of the club again.
    2. He likely wants to discuss investment with any potential new owners before signing.
    3. He still has a year left which is a long time in football.
    4. The only bargaining chip for the squad Rafa has is his contract.
    5. The club is still for sale, and Ashley’s actions are unpredictable and unstable.
    Rafa is doing the right thing by himself, and us….If he stays it is because there is a bright future, and if he leaves, then good luck to him for trying.

    • Icky (Heaton)

      I for one have never believed the club is truly up for sale.

      • Peaky

        I’ll 2nd that Icky…

        • Jate Legend

          Didn’t she show up unannounced when Ashley was having a curry though

          • Peaky

            With Richard Desmond also there…..something not right.

  • TeessideMag

    The premier league TV money bubble will burst eventually, and when it does, I believe that is when Ashley will leave. Every year more and more people stream matches online illegally. Figures released this week show that more people now prefer services like Netflix over Sky… The next generation does not want to pay £80 per month for Sky to dictate what and when they watch. The tide is turning, and the money will dry up. As soon as this happens I think he will go.

  • FatParosite

    Oh yeah and 6 Million a year isn’t bad pay.

    • Pozz Mozz

      Not bad but he could have a bigget paycheck elsewhere if it’s only about money

      • mentalman

        where? There’s only the very elite clubs in europe paying their managers more than rafa gets and his ship has sailed on those

        • Kneebotherm8

          Why hasn’t he signed a new contract then?………if it’s only about the money?……..unless the offer is on a reduced wage packet…….which is unlikely…..

        • TheFatController

          I think you’ll find the ship might be back in port on that one fairly soon…

  • Elvin Burdon

    Just a thought outside the box but maybe, just maybe, Rafa knows something we don’t and is still in touch with Amanda.

    • Paul Patterson

      That’s possible. A Newcastle United with Rafa on a long contract will be worth much more than a Newcastle United with a Rafa on the verge of walking out.

    • I Think Therefore I Am – Will

      🤞
      Would be great.

  • ghostrider

    Mike Ashley will do what is required to run Newcastle United, efficiently.
    Mike Ashley will take calculated risks if it benefits himself and the club and the club to go alongside his other business.
    That’s business….. They go hand in hand, him being the owner.

    What Mike Ashley won’t do is hand out presents to appease fans. He tried that and got badly stung on a few occasions and is paying the price for it every single day with hatred and bile…yet fans still expect him to deal higher than the club can feasibly go.

    To run a football club as a fans football club…in terms of the word CLUB, takes passion. Ashley tried to add that to his business plan at first but now it’s basically just business of him and his ownership of Newcastle United.

    He’s not a giving Sheikh or a giving passionate football fan who loves Newcastle United first and foremost. He could have done. He could have fell in love with this club but his own naiveness and shenanigans on top of the over expectancy and hatred of a portion of fans, seen to it that this will likely never be the case.

    In a nutshell, it’s a marriage made in hell for fans and owner in terms of football, because Ashley will not be dictated to, even by a manager that seems to whinge and whine at every turn whether he gets money or doesn’t, because it will never be enough for a manager of Rafa’s working.

    The best thing for all is for Rafa to leave and Ashley to follow, then restart with new owners who are passionate about the CLUB and are willing to spend to achieve an aim for themselves, football wise, not monetary wise.

    Does anyone know of any that will do this?
    If not then accept that Newcastle United is run on a safe basis with a safe owner who will not kill it, even if he doesn’t bow down to so called world class managers or hand out trophy signings to excite the fans whilst he deals with the aftermath of the dummy spitting mercenaries that those players generally turn into in short order…especially at clubs like Newcastle United.

    Just remember one thing. Newcastle United is a special club…..to us fans. To us fans. It is not a special club….get it?

    Any fan who’s lived and breathed the distant past to present day and is still an ardent Newcastle United fan, does it…not because of Ashley, of course… and not because we will win anything…and not because we will spend big. It’s because those fans (including myself) chose to do it for life, UNCONDITIONALLY.
    Anyone know what that means?

    It means that no man or group of people who are employed by the club or who are custodians of it, become it. They only become part of it until they depart, living or dead.
    Newcastle United football club gets unconditional support throughout it’s existence as a football club, until it ceases to be a football club.

    Under Ashley we will always be a football club, whether we spend 10 pence or X amount of millions, because we’ll always have a football team/squad to support.
    We are not forced to play in the premier league and we are not required to.
    We can be a non league team striving to leap frog a league on a budget.

    However, we are in the premier league knowing we cannot win it because we are part of about 12/13/14 teams that are basically playing also-ran each season, until 3 fall out to be replaced by so called ambitious newbies who are on a roll until they are eventually squashed into monetary oblivion and into realism.

    Nobody has to like Ashley. Most never like the boards of football clubs, anyway.
    Nobody has to like sports direct signs and nobody has to buy his merchandise.

    But seriously think of this.
    If you love Newcastle United and bleed black and white, thick and thin for life, then carry on doing so, but do not mention any of this if you put one condition on your support or being a fan of the football club…just take a back seat and let everyone else get on with supporting the club if you feel you can’t do it under Ashley or whoever…then come back when everything is right for you…..but remember….what does that make you?

    When I was a kid I used to resent other kids getting big bags of sweets whilst my mother would tell me that I could have a treat every now and then if she could stretch to it. But in the meantime I wouldn’t go hungry because she was a good home manager who cooked and fed us all with the foreseeable future in terms of monetary economy, in mind, whilst ensuring that we continued to be clothed, washed and comforted as best we could to ensure continuity of it.

    I still used to get envious of the better off kids but I learned to appreciate what I was given and I learned not to expect anything other than the basics in life, with a hope for some perks along the way every now and again.

    These days it’s different. Most people expect and will tantrum if what they expect is not placed before them.
    That’s what football is being turned into and has been for a while. Except it’s cranked up to extremes, now when a fan can complain that a club is stingy because they won’t stretch to 20 million for a player and break a record or pay a player £100,000 a week, because TV money dictates it should be the case.

    What a sickening world this sport is turning into….but you know what?
    If Newcastle United end up in the non league, I’ll still buy a shirt and support the club, whether it’s owned by Ashley or Freddie Bloggs the second hand car owner who is known as dodgy Bloggy, or even old Eva who’s took it on and still makes the tea, because she had spare pension money.

    Why?
    Because I chose to be a fan for life and life it will be, whether that’s my life till I expire or the life of Newcastle United until it expires. Hopefully me first.

    • Jate Legend

      Your objective explanations of Ashley are controversial and will provoke a backlash on here, but they do make sense. I agree with what you’ve said on unconditional support for the club. In a way that’s the hardest thing for a lot of people. Ashley knows that we won’t stop supporting something we’ve cared about since we were born, so people are forced to fund someone they hate for all the many things he’s done that weren’t just straight business – treatment of keegan, shearer, hughton, renaming the stadium etc etc. It’s a horrendous situation for NUFC fans who just want the feelgood factor back.

      • ghostrider

        We all want that feel good factor, but the major argument has to be in what constitutes that feel good factor overall, longer term rather than just a quick potential fix, whether it be an owner change or a team/squad rise in overall quality.
        Naturally it appears that everything would be rosy if Ashley simply went, no matter what with some fans…but would that be correct or would/could it be cutting off the nose to spite the face, regardless.

        I can take Ashley leaving tomorrow. No….in fact right now….but I don’t want him gone if we can’t better him.

        • TheFatController

          Given the transfer spends at other PL clubs, and their respect for their managers, and feel good factor at their clubs, what makes you think there are a larger share of worse owners out there than Ashley ?

          • ghostrider

            Take a look at clubs that are on par with ours or close to par. Try not to hike up our club too much if you argue it’s not worth Ashley’s asking price…so base it on the lowly cost of what you and others think.

            Ok, now you have to look at all the big clubs in the leagues from top to bottom…and yes there are some big clubs in the lower leagues.

            Now ask yourself why we finished 10th and why we won two championship titles after falling from grace by a whisker.
            Ask yourself why we finished 5th and also had a manager of the year.

            Now look at all the clubs below us and tell me why they have better owners seeing that their positions are beneath us.

            I’d like to see your reasoning on this.

            Ohhh and if you want to use ” oh he’s a liar” and ” oh, he underpays his factory workers”…etc…..please don’t.
            Stick to what you push and tell me how he is the worst owner and how everyone seems to be better owners.

            I’d pretty much hazard a guess that many fans would have been kissing Ellis Short’s feet if he’d took us over and did what he appeared to promise at Sunderland…but what would be the realistic thought process by Newcastle fans if we were in Sunderland’s position?

            Because whilst Ellis was revered by Sunderland fans and even bigged up by portions of Newcastle fans as being a better owner than Ashley….it wasn’t the picture that the fans of both sides had painted.

            Just like this picture that a portion of Newcastle fans had painted of Ashley at first, then repainted to fit their own agenda, as much as Ashley had to readjust his own.

            It’s a funny old game and we’re all a bunch of fans that pick and choose when it’s right and proper to love and despise or pacify or anger, depending on what’s on offer….or not.

          • TheFatController

            Get an editor, I’m not reading any of that, know your audience and platform would be my advice.

            I’m sure it’s genius, but I’m not using up time reading that sorry.

    • I Think Therefore I Am – Will

      You totally lost me when writing this utter nonsense ‘MA will do what ever is required to run Newcastle efficiently, seriously his wonderful history – proves anything but.

      Lol, I wonder how many more relegations his futures proofed us for since he’ll do anything for the club.

      You are a complete buffon, what a giggle!

      Mmm.. For some reason, apologist springs to mind!

      • ghostrider

        Feel free to think what you want but there it is.

        • Geordiegiants

          You are not a true Newcastle fan, why even bother coming on here? You do know there isn’t a single person that believes you’re genuine, apart from maybe the other shithouse that also claims to be a fan when clearly not.

          • ghostrider

            Let me try and clarify this for you…not that I need to or have to….I just feel like exercising my fingers.
            Ever since I was a small boy who could think football, Newcastle United became my one and only football club and I don’t even live in Newcastle.

            I have been a fan and supporter for close to 50 years. Basically all my able life.
            Even more than that, I did it without family influence, because nobody in my family were Newcastle fans and in fact most weren’t into football supporting or being a football fan.

            Ok, now seeing as I’ve told you this, I’ll also tell you that I am a fan and supporter of Newcastle United football club because I love the club unconditionally. I can whine and whinge like anyone but I’ll always be a Newcastle United fan and supporter as long as the club stays as a club or as long as I’m alive.

            I’ll also tell you that I am a fan and supporter of Newcastle United…for me…not for you or anyone on this forum or in Newcastle or who is in the club as it stands. I’m a lifer….for me and absolutely nobody else.

            This is me as a fan…there are many like me but I am myself. I am me. I do what I do for me, not for anyone else.
            I can walk and talk with like-minded Newcastle fans and I can argue my case against their case on any given topic of Newcastle United or whatever else, just like they can.

            I am not always right and neither are my opposing debaters but we all like to think we are more closer to the truth.

            The issue is, if there’s a dislike of something/someone that’s built a mass following and the minority do not fully agree with it…it becomes an attempt by the masses, or those stand out shouters within the masses (generally backed by nodders) that try every and all ways to persuade someone who goes against their grain, to follow that grain. Generally by using every put down in the book…and then some.

            I just happen to be strong willed and do not bow down to majority when I have my own points to make but I will take onboard, points made by anyone if I think they’re valid to me, which I have done on many occasions….but guess what?
            They get lost in the ocean of debris that engulfs me as I try to navigate the vastness of it and it generally leaves surface froth around me that I have to keep sweeping aside gently to clear a path of clearness for me to tread.

            So basically I’m clearing up your froth. The issue is, will you feel the need to agitate the waters around me enough to engulf me once again on this very subject?

            I don’t know…but what I do know is, I’ll save this reply and paste it in future to anyone who doubts I’m a Newcastle United fan…….or in your words…a true fan.

            A few words before I leave this post.
            Tell me what a true fan is and we can argue that one.

          • Geordiegiants

            You are not a Newcastle United fan!

    • Angelswithdirtyfaces

      I wonder if you get paid by the word for this abysmal apology for one of the very worst owner/custodians the club has ever had.
      I hope not, given the dismal quality of this offering.
      Bit like SD tat.. never mind the quality feel the width.

      • Paul Patterson

        What did he say? I blocked him . .

        • Lord

          I recommend you unblock him/her, the entertainment value of the 100% pro-Ashley nonsense is pure gold.

        • TheFatController

          He said plenty, much of it can be filed under ‘bizarre rhetoric’

          Stay as you are would be my advice.

        • Gallowgate Dave

          Long winded drivel. Same as every post he’s ever written.

        • Geordiegiants

          Nothing but pure drivel.

      • ghostrider

        Far far far from the worst owner.
        A hatred of him is borne from his dealing of Keegan and it basically fell apart from that point on.
        Naturally the man is not supplying you with your wants and won’t be bullied into paying extortionate fees for mercenaries, so naturally it rankles with people.

        All those big club owners who aren’t in the premier league must all be nasties, eh?
        Surely if we are in the prem and they aren’t then we must be doing something reasonable at least.

        Or does it get back to the old, ” yeah but we’re Newcastle United and we deserve more”……garbage?

        • Angelswithdirtyfaces

          You are trying to impose views on me that I do not hold – fyi this is called a straw man in terms of making any logical argument.
          Your own visceral hatred of Rafa disqualifies you from reasoned argument in any event.
          You’re clearly unable to read and understand the qualifying “one of” the very worst owners – which he undoubtedly is.

          Just keep taking your shilling for the miserable apologist you are. Hope its enough for you to afford a new and overpriced replica shirt.

          • ghostrider

            You say he’s one of the very worst owners. It tells me enough to ask a question of, which owners were better and why and which other club owners are better who are below us in the leagues.

            Is Ashley better than Aston Villa owner?
            Sunderland?
            Sheff utd?
            Norwich?
            W.B.A?
            Sheff wed?
            How about Palace, Bournemouth and West Ham?
            Or maybe Watford , Brighton and Huddersfield?
            Even Southampton.
            What about Burnley?
            What about Wolves, Cardiff and Fulham?
            I could go on and on with big clubs, so how about telling me how their owners beat Ashley?

            West Ham spent a fortune last season. They’re doing it again this season.

            Better owners?
            If so, why.

            Let’s talk about Palace.
            Big spends and big wages.
            Better owners?

            If so, explain how.

            Because it’s as simple as this. We finished higher than them all bar Burnley…but can their owner carry on pushing the club up?
            They have to beat 7th.
            Fluke or hard graft that will be a hard act?

            What about us.
            All down to Rafa and the players with no input from our so called worst….sorry, one of the worst owners, ever?

            By the way, I don’t hate Rafa, I just don’t like the way he goes on with stuff.Buying players and loaning them out, then snubbing players that could do a job (Mitrovic)..and also playing mostly dire football.

            On top of that he’s extremely well paid and has been well funded yet wasteful…but none of it is his fault, it’s anyone’s and everyone’s fault…but his.

            Put it this way. I would hardly blink if he walked or was sacked…but that’s my own personal mindset of which I’m entitleds to just as you are of idolising him, if you want to.

        • TheFatController

          Oh, I think you do Ashley a disservice – he’s actually hated for way more than just the Keegan treatment.

          Give Ashley credit where it’s due, he’s spectacularly brilliant at making people hate him across numerous areas of business and life – it’s a rare talent, and one he and you should be rightly proud of your ability to deny the existence of.

          • ghostrider

            The Keegan debacle was the catalyst for what went on afterwards in the hate department, to this very day where everything just spiralled out of control from it.
            I certainly don’t clear Ashley of any blame. I’ve called him a sneak and liar and naive, plus many many other things, down to being a clown for changing the stadium name…but that’s as far as it goes because the club soldiers on with him, regardless.

            It’s all about what fits with fans. Most will deny what I’m about to say and that’s fine….but I know the mind of a fan as I am one myself.
            Some will openly say what’s on their mind and most will simply follow a pied piper.

            And what I’m about to say is…..if Ashley had employed a manager like Pep Guardiola or Mourinho or the likes, when Keegan spat out his dummy/walked/constructively dismissed….then most fans would have given an open mouth shock to a shoulder shrug and a “onwards and upwards boys and girls.”

            It just depends on who takes charge of the messiah’s downfall and how well or badly the messiah was doing, as to how severe the shock factor would be…yet in that scenario, it would be accepted in minor shock.

            This is why Allardyce and the likes can be moved on.
            As long as the person coming in to replace, is some messiah type, then it’s absolutely fine, with minimum fuss.
            Obviously arguments after the fact happen but it’s all down to likeability…or not.

            In Allardyce’s case it was argued that his managerial tenure (although short) produced dire football. Anyone remember those words?
            So bringing in an out of his depth, past his sell by date messiah was easy to bear and Allardyce’s sacking very similar.

            Flip this around and sack Rafa for dire football and bringing in someone like Howe (for sake of argument) then most fans would be up in arms. Blood curdling howls from the stands and banners galore with Rafa pictures and Ashley out banners….etc.

            However, change that to Rafa going and Guardiola taking over or someone in that vein…it becomes a minor irritant for the extreme short term before idolisation of the new messiah.

            That’s the mindset of the football fan.
            So forgive me if I don’t buy into Rafa’s way. He’s not a lover of Newcastle United or the fans, he’s a lover of them loving him, just like his players….or else.
            I don’t like his football and I don’t care for his world class tag when he produces a seasons worth of dross barring maybe one third of games which were mostly palatable, plus the extreme few that actually produced real entertaining football.

            I do rabbit on but there you go.

          • Geordiegiants

            You are a complete knacka, you are not a Newcastle fan. You really expect anyone to beleive any of this garbage you write?

          • ghostrider

            I have spoken.

          • Geordiegiants

            You are not a Newcastle United fan.

        • Down Under Mag

          I actually agree with some points here, the club has had worse owner in the past and even though the Hall and Shepherd years brought about some measure of success on the pitch (in all but where it counts – trophies) they weren’t exactly benevelant owners, saddling the debt off against the club and taking dividends out of their shares, employed nepotism, slagging fans off while abroad. The hatred for Ashley has come about by years of neglect on the owners part…yes I agree the Keegan debacle was the catalyst for the whole thing. Before Keegan walked, Ashley tried to appease the fans by signing him in the first place (I was there at the Emirates when Ashley was swilling beer with the fans chanting his name) but what happened next precipitated some of the darkest days in the clubs history for most fans. What Ashley didn’t realise was how passionate the fans were about Keegan and to have undermined him to badly and to have him walk was a huge insult to the club and the fans alike…something that stirred up passion that escalated way too far on some fans behalf and they did go needlessly over the top. I for one think Keegan liked the publicity, he knew he was going to get the fans on his side and dropped the club in the mire rather than stick things out and leave with his head held high. That was the second time he threw his toys out of the pram at the club and the second time it caused a major drop in the clubs fortunes. I respect Rafa far more for the way he is handling himself. The issue with Ashley is that there was anger and out of order hatred towards him, but fans crossed the line when they targetted his family and I don’t think he has ever forgiven the fans for that. However, he still doesn’t seem to have owned up to his part in the whole thing either…as you say, complete naivety on his part has led us to where we are now…that and a good mix of incompetence and stubborness. I can’t help but feel that the owner woud have had a lot more credit off the fans had he handled the whole thing better, apologised after it happened, explained his point of view and moved on. What he has done ever since that is milk the club for everything he can and run it on such an uneven footing and total mismanagement that he has turned a once top club into relegation fodder having suffered two relegations. Right now all Ashley needs to do is offer Rafa reassurances that he will have money to spend, put it in a contract, get him to sign, invest in the club on and off the field as appropriate. It won’t take him delving into his own pockets, just giving more of a care about what happens to th eclub and the fans…and there in lies the problem, as long as his bank account remains solid then he doesn’t care what happens on the field. Rafa could bring us back to the glory days of the past and possibly do somethign Keegan couldn’t, win something. Rafa has us the most defensively sound I have ever seen us and THAT is how you win tropies, not flair football.

    • TheFatController

      Yes, I know what unconditionally means thanks.

      Also, you need a good editor. Someone to fine tune your points so they don’t get lost in irrelevant story telling that doesn’t make your point any clearer and has no engagement for the reader.

      • ghostrider

        I am in no need of any editor. You read it or you don’t.
        You understand it or you don’t.
        You accept it or you don’t.
        Once I have typed my bit, it’s done with and is left there to be discussed, overlooked or whatever each person feels the need to do.

        Feel free to employ your own editor if you feel the need to do so.

        • TheFatController

          Good answer, in that it had some brevity and made its point without descending into meandering dull story telling.

          Well done that man.

    • Disgruntled

      Couldn’t say it better well put

    • Will Richardson

      Do you work for the fat c#nt? Clueless

      • ghostrider

        Do you?

  • mentalman

    He is still here because no club has decided he is worth the buy out fee and the salary he will want

    • Slim_Newcastle

      Your name says it all.

    • TheFatController

      You’re a very perceptive man. Finger on the football world pulse clearly.

  • I Think Therefore I Am – Will

    I have this notion that Mr Benitez knows the state of play, and not necessarily beating, he has proven his metal by achieving what he has under very challenging circumstances, including meagre rations when compared to other Prem clubs. I bet it pains him how he’s never come close to make something of our great Newcastle.

    He is a consummate professional, there’s a lot to admire about him, of which he’s shown time and again. His history at Newcastle will only go to enhance his an already exceptional CV, with the magnifico job he’s achieved.

    He knows in MA, who’s already proven the extent to which he’s capable of, and his true colours – perjury (allegedly), and observed as a much maligned character.
    Mr Benitez will leave with his head held high, and best of luck to him. Unlike the grotesque Botfly that’s sadly our beloved clubs current owner!

    I believe with his next Prem club, when they’ve just hammered the Toon, it’ll hurt him like it does us fans.

  • I Think Therefore I Am – Will

    I have this notion that Mr Benitez knew the state of play early on, and not necessarily beating, he’s proven his metal by achieving what he has, under pretty challenging circumstances, including meagre rations compared to other Prem clubs. I bet it pains him how he’s never come close to make something of our Newcastle United.

    Is he not a consummate professional, of which there is a lot to admire about, and has shown this time and again. His history at the Toon will only go to enhance his exceptional CV, with the magnifico job achieved. He knows in MA, who’s already proven the extent to which he’s capable of, & his true colours, perjury (allegedly), and observed as a much maligned character. Mr Benitez will leave with his head held high, best of luck to him. Unlike the grotesque Botfly that is sadly the clubs current owner!

    I bet with his next Prem club, after just hammered the Toon, it’ll hurt like it does us fans.

  • Mxpx

    Maybe he’s going to take us down deliberately and put a release Clause in Lascelles contract to be able to take him on a cut priced deal to his new club and leave Mike truly in trouble I could hardly blame him if he did although in truth I don’t think this is rafas way but part of me would like him to as it might help force Mike to sell

  • Martin

    This article, with some good points, fair play, is basically asking for sympathy for a man who earns far more in less than a week, than most here will ever see in a lifetime and those are damning statistics at every level. People need to wake up. I love football as much as anyone, but come on, so what If Rafa isn’t being pandered to at every level. He’s a very rich man and could spend the rest of his days somewhere else. This notion that its all for the love of Newcastle is like some kind of far fetched nonsense that even Walt Disney would reject as out of hand

    • Hughie_Gallacher

      Exactly. And the danger for him is he will end up being seen as another Ashley patsy, along with Pardew, Moncur and Beardsley. He is already sounding like a spokesman for the regime, with his open acceptance of the hopeless transfer policy.

    • Disgruntled

      Well said, Rafa gets paid a fortune and now if he fails it will be Someone else’s fault an easy life. Why does he and Ashley not sort out the contract and release the transfer money? Ones as bad as the other, Ashley must have concerns with some of the latest buys? Sels, Gomez, Lazaar even Murphy. But it needs sorted soon.

      • TheFatController

        So let me get this right. Rafa got us promoted, then up to 10th, spending £100m and recouping a fair bit more.

        And you are citing £10m worth of buys that didn’t come off to varying degrees as reason for owner concerns ?

        I suspect you don’t run a business of your own, maybe?

    • NUFCDan

      You don’t think he’s already wealthy enough to retire? Or that he couldn’t earn more managing elsewhere, China or the middle east perhaps? He’s a well paid man no doubt (and he deserves every penny working for FCB and his motley crew) but to say he’s a mercenary here only to earn some money is madness.

      • Anne Mumford

        I couldn’t agree more. You would have to be deluded to think that Rafa couldn’t get a better paid contract elsewhere x

      • Martin

        I’m trying to get at the bigger picture. People pay shitloads of money simply for the right of getting a seat or a season ticket to watch a team that should be doing better under the stewardship of a decent manager and a half arsed owner. You saying he deserves every penny just smacks of towing the party line.

    • Garry Norman

      You go careful, if you don’t put Rafa on a mighty pedestal and Ashley as the devil on here you’ll end up with the proverbial horses head in your bed

  • Colin Brumwell

    We look likely to go down or at least spend all year fighting relegation, if we drop Rafa will walk away, no fan will blame him as we all know the cause, even if we survive I think he will go unless the club changes hands

  • Wezza

    Genuine love is the reason he is still here. I’d say enjoy him while he is here because when he goes the real protests will begin. The PR team is probably already working on a way to take the heat off MA.

  • Mrkgw

    ASHLEY OUT!

  • Clarko

    ‘Summer 2017, Rafa Benitez ended the window by declaring that he couldn’t even compete with Huddersfield and Brighton for new signings on either wages or transfer fees. The other two promoted clubs with net spending at least three times higher than Newcastle.’

    Just not true, stuff like this makes the entire fan base look stupid, there are plenty, plenty of valid reasons to have a dig at Ashley, why don’t you pick some of them and stop being such a dummy?

    Net Spend 17/18:
    Newcastle £46m
    Huddersfield ~£46m
    Brighton ~£58m