Mick Quinn has seen his hopes rapidly diminish since Rafa Benitez took the job at Newcastle United.
It isn’t Rafa that has led to the disappearing optimism for the former NUFC number nine, instead it is the lack of backing in the last four of Rafa’s five transfer windows at St James Park.
Mick Quinn says he knows ‘for a fact’ that the manager wants to stay on Tyneside.
Quinn says that Rafa Benitez saw Newcastle as a ‘long-term’ project and indeed the United boss himself has said this in interviews time after time.
As well as wanting decent realistic backing in the transfer market, the manager has consistently said that just as important as this, is that he has the total freedom to spend whatever money is available, in the way he believes is for the best.
Rafa Benitez has also made clear that he sees investment in the failing Academy as also essential going forward, as well as the state of the art training complex promised over five years ago by Mike Ashley, to replace the sub-standard current set up.
Mick Quinn thinks Rafa Benitez will decide to stay at Newcastle beyond this season BUT only if he gets the backing from the owner that has been missing so far.
Quinny isn’t putting putting any money on this actually happening though.
Looking at the form so far, it looks a near impossibility, with Ashley and his people reinforcing this view even since the season kicked off.
The £20m+ profit on transfer deals insisted on by Mike Ashley in the summer speaks for itself, As of course does the fact the owner then took a so far unspecified amount of money out of the club after the transfer window ended.
As for investment in the Academy… the recent Fans Forum minutes saw the club make clear that they didn’t see proper investment being made to turn it around, due to there being no guarantees of it producing first team players.
As for the new training complex promised over five years ago, the club made clear that wouldn’t be happening any time soon.
The Fans Forum minutes also stated that paying the level of wages to land players was a major problem, which appears to back up previous reports that claimed Rafa had been blocked on transfers he wanted to make, even if the amount of those wages fell within his overall budget.
The manager has repeatedly said that he would be waiting to see what happened in this January transfer window before making any decision about his future.
We always live in hope that things will change for the better but by this point we all know what both Mike Ashley and Rafa Benitez want, unfortunately they are very very different things.
Mick Quinn asked if there is anything that will convince Rafa Benitez to stay in a Chronicle Q and A:
“Only if the owner decides to spend, and spend well, in January.
“Look, I know for a fact that Rafa wants to be at Newcastle long-term.
“He didn’t agree to come to the club back in March 2016 just to stay for three years or so, he wanted a long-term project.
“Rafa recognises that Newcastle can be among the very biggest clubs in England, he wants to be back in Europe and competing for cup competitions.
“He sees Newcastle in exactly the same way Kevin Keegan, Sir John Hall and Sir Bobby Robson did before: that the potential is endless.
“But Mike Ashley simply hasn’t allowed him to build.
“Instead, Rafa has had to spend two seasons in a row merely battling against relegation – and he won’t want to do that for much longer.
“I was genuinely ecstatic when Rafa first came to Newcastle because I knew he was a world-class manager…unlike some of those who had come before him…and I will just as devastated as every other Newcastle fan if he does leave at the end of the season.
“The only way I can see Rafa staying is if Ashley allows him to spend in January, bring in genuine quality, and if the club makes a real bid to start pushing up the table and build.
“If the club convince Rafa he will be given the resources to allow Newcastle to reach their potential, I think he’ll stay – but that’s a big, big if unfortunately.”