Without Rafa Benitez, there really is nothing at Newcastle United.

It is simply a shell of a football club.

The fans of course are still there, filling St James Park, but if Rafa had left then this wouldn’t have been the case.

The fact that both the manager and supporters are still there, simply papers over the massive cracks at our football club.

What else is there?

The essential state of the art training complex promised years ago, that would supposedly enable us to compete with the top clubs, hasn’t even had one brick laid.

The much-needed and also long standing revamp of the Academy, which Rafa has also made clear is needed? Nothing happening.

Desire to do big commercial deals with outside partners to grow the revenues? Nothing doing.

Partnerships/presence in countries overseas to try and tap into young emerging talent? What do you think?

Ambition in the transfer market With 23 days until transfer deadline Newcastle United are showing a profit!

The story of Mike Ashley’s 11 years at Newcastle United is of a ship struggling to stay afloat, constantly bailing out water in the hope it doesn’t sink.

Twice in nine Premier League seasons it has (sank), with another couple of near misses. Luckily for Ashley, Chris Hughton and Rafa Benitez were on hand to save the day and refloat the permanently leaking HMS NUFC.

We really have a soulless club, with only the presence of Rafa and tens of thousands of loyal fans, as well as many more outside the stadium, keeping its heartbeat going.

It is very difficult as a fan to take it, you want to do something to make a difference but when you have a billionaire owner who gets massive benefits from owning Newcastle United, why would he ever leave?

Mike Ashley’s reasons for owning the club are the same as they were when he first walked through the door.

His people told John Hall that Ashley was buying the club so he could promote Sports Direct and associated businesses around the world, undoubtedly choosing NUFC because of the massive fanbase which provides such a positive backdrop to his adverts at St James Park.

Since he took over, St James Park has seen no money spent to improve/expand it, the Academy is still failing through lack of investment, next to nothing spent on the training facilities – it was only on Rafa’s insistence that the indoor pitch surface at the training ground was replaced, as the previous one had been deemed too dangerous to be used for years as it could cause injury.

As for the transfer market, this is of course where we mainly focus.

Remarkably in these days of ever rising transfer fees, Newcastle’s transfer record is now 13 years old.

Just as remarkably, Rafa Benitez is still in profit on transfer dealings since taking over 28 months ago.

With almost nine weeks of the twelve week gone, Newcastle have spent £4m, whilst Premier League clubs overall have spent £750m+.

Whilst Fulham are spending almost £30m on a midfielder, Newcastle sell one for £10m and bring in a 29 year old free transfer replacement.

Supporters are now so conditioned by Mike Ashley, there is little outrage or even surprise, when Newcastle don’t even try and buy Kenedy to start building for a future. A loan deal with no option to buy, if Ashley won’t allow a £20m buy now, what chance is there of paying £30m+ when/if the Brazilian is a massive success his coming season?

Maybe the fact Rafa Benitez has apparently quietly gone along with the Kenedy one year loan deal, is at least in part because he can’t see a future for himself (Rafa) at SJP beyond next summer.

When Rafa’s contract runs out then so will our hopes.

With this manager there you can always believe that potentially things can/will change for the better but if/when he does leave, this current facade will slip away and we will be left with the stark reality of life under Mike Ashley.

Rafa’s presence has allowed us to temporarily forget at times and we can all be grateful for that.

However, it is just too depressing beyond words to think of what could be possible if you had a properly run club under an ambitious owner, with this manager and fanbase.

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  • Paul Patterson

    Tick tock, tick tock, transfer window closing..

    • joe mac

      fatsos already closed it!

  • Toonrobbybobson

    Mike Ashley does love a transfer window closing. He will love the new deadline.

  • East Durham Mag

    This is the reason after playing Crystal Palace 3 to 4 years ago and beating them 1 – 0 with a 94th minute Cisse lucky goal and the game being one of many absolutely dreadful matches i left and vowed i won’t go back until Fatty sells up. Rafa being manager has still not enticed me back because nothing will change under Fattys ownership. I may have a long wait i suppose.

  • ghostrider

    No need to worry about big signings and saying we’re getting rid of players with no incoming. Not when we have players that are worth a good few quid on the books as it stands and who are left in the doldrums, like Mitrovic.

    Rafa needs to use the quality he has rather than bemoaning not being given enough. But yet, will be happy to sign someone like Rondon and the likes.

    It makes no sense.
    I have to accept Rafa is here for at least a season more but I’d rather some club came in and stole him and paid up his contract so we can actually get on as a football club with a manager that is focused on what’s ahead and not on arguing about everything that isn’t in his favour all the time.

    • I Think Therefore I Am Will

      Apologist!

    • TheFatController

      I want Gordon Strachan to come in and play Mitro weekly.

    • SuperDesHamilton

      You said quality & Mitrovic in the same sentence hahahaha

      • East Durham Mag

        He was found out in Russia 18.

        • SuperDesHamilton

          The lad will try hard (most of the time)…he’s just not very good.

          He only starts for Serbia because they have no decent strikers

    • Coble’s Return

      I have lost count of the number of times that tools like you have peddled this idiotic line and never once have any of you been able to respond to the very simple question – who? Who would you, in your deluded little world, like to see in place of Rafa?

      • ghostrider

        It’s not about a certain person being a choice, just a certain type of manager that possesses what the fans really want, not what they’ve been coaxed into believing they want because they worship a so called messiah.

        A manager that uses his own ability to set things up in such a way as to deal with what is placed in front of him in terms of doing his job.
        And ultimately not constantly whining about everything and anything as if he’s in charge of some title chasing club with ready cash on the hip at a whistle.

        A manager that doesn’t go on about being more ambitious than the club.
        A manager that buys and uses players rather than buying them and playing them wrongly or simply not at all, or rarely.
        Or worse…sending a player to Coventry before loaning him out to favour a player that simply couldn’t score.

        You know, things like that.

        • TheFatController

          you’re clearly in a world of pain.

          I hope you find some escape from it soon. Good luck.

          • ghostrider

            There is no pain in football anymore. It’s being destroyed as the game we all love.

        • I Think Therefore I Am Will

          Yawn… keep trying, actually don’t bother, as not 1 person believes all this apologist 💩 you keep posting.

          I do wonder, since NUFC prices have gone up, did you get a pay rise? 🤮

    • Mike Adam

      ghost, isn’t it just amazing how as soon as you or others have a different opinion to a certain group on here the names come flying out: troll, tool, idiot, Mackem, and on and on. They lack the maturity to just have open discussions about football and accept others point of views without insults. They accuse others of coming on with agendas, what is yours? or mine? Oh that’s right we both rate Mitro and question some things the manager does. Hell of an agenda my friend! At some point, every fan at every club at every level of World football has to accept that their club is what it is and the owner is going to do what he does. There is not a whole lot that any of us can do about what an owner does. That doesn’t mean we are Ashley apologists, it just means that at some point you have to move on to the football on the pitch. We all want fatso out, even me who is not a native Geordie.
      Just because some of us don’t come on here and blast fatty every day doesn’t mean a thing. Once the season starts, the team is the team and nothing will change until the January window(if at all). I cannot go to games and I haven’t put cent one into the pocket of MA, because I live in the US. So, because we might rate a certain player that others don’t or becasue we might question the manager doesn’t make us anything accept a fan. Whether any of you think so or not.
      I absolutely agree with ghost that the manager cannot simply continue to “try and fit a square peg into a round hole”. The manager can keep complaining, but in the long run he is only going to get the players that the owner buys for him. Each club has a different situation when it comes to that. Either he wants to be here and show that he is a World Class manager, or go if he chooses to a bigger club where the owner buys anyone the manager wants. Is it really that hard to manage at Real Madrid? I don’t know, was Zidane a great manager, or did he maybe give the superstar playersthere the freedom they needed to excel? I don’t know.
      All I can say, whether anyone esle likes it or not is that I will continue to give my opinions on here, just as you all do. So if you want to be immature, block us as some do. Or maybe just have some civil discussions about football. Let me ask, would you even be on here if EVERYONE had the same opinion about everything???
      Let’s see what I get called.

  • I Think Therefore I Am Will

    I’ve also posted this in another thread – I have a couple of Hammer fans visiting family, I tried everything to avoid em, it was always going to happen tho!

    What fun they had, constant myriad of jibes and ridicule (which usually I don’t mind, expected from other fans).
    Altho somewhat sympathetic; still they constantly ripped the pizz, and wow, it actually felt different, not just the usual banter; it hurt, and boy even with my stance, I felt pretty ridiculed, not just embarrassed!

    ‘We are the Poundstretchers, no actually more the Oxfam of the UK & European football scene’

    Can’t wait to ‘P’ on his grave, for the disrespect he’s not only show the Toon fans, but the way he’s dragged our beloved club thro the mire!!

    Ignore ALL the sad Apologists!!

    BOYCOTT EVERYTHING MA!

  • TheFatController

    Your analysis of all that is happening at the club is very accurate – so I’m now trying to reconcile it with what happens at arsenal, whose plan we are allegedly following, having ditched the ‘Aston Villa’ plan of a few year’s ago…

  • Peter C

    With reference too the opening paragraph / statement.

    The world would be our oyster !

  • Mrkgw

    ASHLEY OUT!

  • Geordiegiants

    Why the surprise about no signings? Jabba has told us we won’t be buying anyone until he has sold the cub.
    It’s the only time I can remember him opening his mouth without telling lies. He is sitting it out until the spectators have had enough, the real fans realisd years ago.