Strange media claims on Sunday morning regarding Mike Ashley and Rafa Benitez.
It is alleged that Ashley is considering sacking his manager before the season ends.
All a bit bizarre considering Rafa is surely the best chance the NUFC owner has of seeing his club cling to Premier League survival this season.
However, even stranger than that is the claim from The Mirror that Mike Ashley would sack Rafa in order to try and avoid a ‘revolt/backlash’ from the fans.
The only thing that is giving the club/Ashley am inkling of credibility at the moment is the manager.
The same with the Newcastle fans…the hashtag campaign warning to the owner of #IfRagaGoesWeGo surely couldn’t be any clearer.
After raising season ticket prices by up to 20%+, insisting on a £20m+ profit on transfer deals in the summer, and then the owner taking out the unspent millions when the transfer window ended, sacking Rafa Benitez would just about give Mike Ashley a full house in terms of doing everything he can to convince fans to stay away.
The idea of sacking Rafa to supposedly keep the Newcastle fans onboard, is pretty much on the same level as whisking the kids presents away on Christmas morning just before they are going to open them.
About the only thing fans don’t think is wrong with Newcastle United is the current manager.
At most clubs it is the reality that to appease supporters the owner(s) does sacrifice a manager sooner or later.
Newcastle United is most definitely not like any other club though at the moment, it is the owner who is the one who needs to go, and quickly.
‘Rafa Benitez fears Mike Ashley will sack him before the end of this season – to save Newcastle United’s owner from a fans’ revolt.
The Spaniard is disturbed that a whispering campaign has started in the last few days, linking other managers with his job at St James’s Park.
Brendan Rodgers is the latest name touted as following Benitez into one of the hottest seats in English football.
There is little prospect of the 57-year-old extending his stay beyond this campaign with friction over the transfer budget bubbling under the surface.
And, armed with that knowledge, Benitez believes he could find himself a casualty with Ashley desperate to avoid a backlash on Tyneside.
The former Champions League winner thinks that by swinging the axe before the current campaign is over and by bringing in a replacement, it would save the billionaire from another monstering at the hands of the Geordie faithful.
Benitez is in the unusual position of seeing Newcastle in the bottom three without a win to their name this season.
That run of form has prompted suggestions a change is on the way.
If Benitez reaches ends up leaving the club next May with his mission accomplished, Ashley will find himself in the eye of the storm with a disaffected public ready to turn its’ back on him – possibly this time for good.
With season-tickets to sell and a new manager to find the last thing the Sports Direct magnate will need is yet another ruck with a support-base that is fast running out of patience with him, leaving his current manager now looking over his shoulder towards a potentially-unwarranted dismissal.’