Rafa Benitez met the media on Friday lunchtime.

The Newcastle boss a happy man as he looks to make it four wins in a row against West Ham.

However, as well as the usual questions on the opponents and injuries, the manager was quizzed about the protests planned by Newcastle fans.

Supporters asked not to take their seat until the 11th minute of the West Ham game, then boycott the Wolves game totally.

A rallying call from The Magpie Group reminding fans and media of the protests, going out as a press release (see below), just ahead of Rafa’s press conference.

When asked today about the protests, Rafa Benitez said:

“Our fans have been really good.

“Especially at this last game at Burnley.

“They know what is best for the team. I am not here to tell them what to do.

“I have a lot of respect for our fans, hopefully we will enjoy another three points together (against West Ham).”

A small but significant departure today, as previously when asked the question, Rafa has simply said he wants to see the fans supporting the team.

He obviously is never going to say he wants the fans to protest but I have no doubts as to where his sympathies lie.

The Mag – Earlier Today (Friday 30 November 2018):

The Magpie Group have sent out a press release on Friday.

Coordinating protests against Mike Ashley, they are calling on Newcastle fans to support the demonstration against the NUFC owner on Saturday.

Supporters are asked to not take their seats until the 11th minute of the West Ham match, marking the 11 wasted years of Ashley’s ownership.

There is also a reminder that tomorrow’s protest is then followed eight days later, when fans are being asked to support a complete boycott of the Wolves match.

Press release from The Magpie Group:

MAGPIE GROUP RAMP UP PROTESTS AGAINST ASHLEY

WITH 11TH MINUTE WALK-IN

The Magpie Group have called upon Newcastle United supporters to refrain from taking their seats at the West Ham match on Saturday 1st December until the 11th minute in protest at the 11 wasted years of Mike Ashley’s tenure as Chairman at the club.

The Group believe that December represents their last chance to apply significant pressure upon the owner to support Rafa Benitez in the forthcoming January transfer window, amid concerns that the manager will not renew his contract when it expires next summer unless he receives backing.

The protest this Saturday will be followed by a proposed boycott of the game against Wolves at St James’s Park which will be televised by Sky Sports on 9th December.

A Group spokesman said:

“We encourage fans to take a stand in this fixture and in the game against Wolves, where we propose a full boycott.

“We know this is painful for Newcastle supporters to do but, for the longer term future of the club, it’s time to tell those at the top that enough is enough”



  • Realist

    They know what is best for the team- implying support them.

    • t00nraider

      Well said. If you are not in the ground before the start, don’t bother coming in.

      • JohnnyH

        You don’t tell me what to do

        • East Durham Mag

          3 trolls mate

          • Realist

            How’s that like?

          • tom

            First comments not trolling. Rafa has made it clear the team needs the support.

          • Chris-Chapple

            you are a troll

          • tom

            Vile troll you Chris

          • Themoscow72

            A troll with 527 away loyalty points some troll.

          • Rabid Dog

            Those 2 points are utterly unrelated. The loyalty points simply acknowledges how many games you go to (allegedly).

            Someone calling you troll relates to your comments on these comments.

            You can be/have both

          • Wezza

            He trolls daily.
            “RAFA still gets every penny” AFTER that summer window.
            Trolling for a reaction.
            They really need to get a life.

          • Toon Arnie

            A gift from Ashley for your loyal support …. of him !

          • panther

            And more log ins

          • Wezza

            Same trolls mate, just like Jezza said. That’s why they all disappeared including monk as their IP’s got banned.
            Then they let it blow over and resume trolling. Sgt. Bilko lookalike.

        • joe mac

          full of them the neet!

      • Realist

        I usually get into my seat 5 minutes after kick off but for this one I will be in my seat 11 minutes early. Protests boycotts will achieve nothing positive for results.

        • Carverlier football

          It’s not about results

          • Realist

            It will affect the players, they feed off the energy in and around the ground on a match day.

          • Carverlier football

            As I say, it’s not about results. I for one would accept a short term downturn in results if it meant in the long term the the club was run in a way which at least attempted to maximise its potential. Sitting idly by while the club sleepwalks on as a deliberately underachieving billboard for a sporting goods retailer is not an option for many fans. Everyone has to do what they feel is right. If that involves getting in your seat early and roaring your encouragement for the lads then good luck to you – but those who choose to take action should not be disparaged, just as those who wish to be in their seats at 3pm should not be either

          • Realist

            Fair enough.

          • Toon Arnie

            So do nothing ?

          • Realist

            In an ideal situation I want a different owner say a Steve Gibson type but until this happens which it will eventually I’m going to support the team. I’m not wanting to connect myself with protests etc I think it’s pointless if people want to protest that’s their choice.

          • Toon Arnie

            Ok – fair comment.

          • JohnnyH

            Well don’t slag them off then

          • Realist

            I posted a comment regarding the article Johnny.

          • Wezza

            That’s the same troll mate. He can’t win argument so signs on as a guest for all to see and is trying to rectify his lies… and failing miserably!

          • Realist

            You need to get out more wezza! I don’t come on to argue it’s others on here who get all up tight with me. I just come on and give my honest opinion but it doesn’t fit your agenda so you do exactly as your doing now on a regular basis, you go around articles telling anyone and everyone that I’m a troll. It shows your mentality which is weak and narrow minded. Didn’t you say the other week I was soon to be banned off here but I’m still here?! Yes everyone wezza wants anyone who has a difference in opinion banned off the mag. Wezza if your little mind can’t come to peace with the fact other people in this life may have different opinions, then your not for freedom!
            I will be in my seat 11 minutes early today wezza, up the mags.

          • Realist

            Anyone who has a different opinion and doesn’t run in line with your agenda you try to convince everyone you can that I’m a troll and various other posters. Anyone who has a sensible open mind will see what your doing. Your like the media in this country they report and drop into people minds what they have been told to report by our government, banks etc to mind control and brainwash people, your the same you go around the mag trying to force into people’s minds that people are trolls when you know I’m not so you try and manipulate people through lies into believing this all because my opinion isn’t the same as yours, your weak as pi55 wezza.

          • Toon Arnie

            Yeah it must be terrible for them seeing all those people leaving early game after game.

          • panther

            Well put the pressure on Ashley to upgrade players and give them something to feed off

        • joe mac

          lets all support ashley…not the team eh!

        • Toon Arnie

          Try not to leave early as well that would be a real achievement.

        • Toon Arnie

          When not try getting in on time and not leave early – the players might feed off that ?

      • Toon Arnie

        If you’re going to leave early don’t bother coming either …

    • Superdooperhooper

      Rubbish. He’s being diplomatic . We will find out the truth when he leaves at the end of the season

  • Themoscow72

    He has spelled out time and time again that he wants the fans to support the team that is the only way forward. He wants no protests this Saturday or next Sunday as it affects the players. Lascelles said it Rafa knows it and the majority of fans know it. A small group of fans are out to disrupt the progress up the league most of whom want us relegated. By saying they know what is best for the team he means full support from the first minute to the last. Anyone who thinks different is lacking in the brain cell department. Any protests only disrupt our players and the movement away from the relegation zone. These supporters are supporting West Ham on the day that is for sure.

    • Rabid Dog

      Rafa’s actual words regarding the supporters: “I am not here to tell them what to do”. Which kinda disproves your statement he is telling supporters not to protest.

      So rather than making stuff up, why don’t you focus on the accounting since this is where you feel you contribute.

      • Realist

        Rafa is being subtle in saying he doesn’t want fans to boycott protest etc. He dosent want to rock the boat with any fans as he knows he’s got status up here.

        • Realist

          * God status

          • Rabid Dog

            Rafa is a professional. I do not expect him to criticise his boss openly to the media. I never expected Pardew or any of the puppet managers we’ve had to either, but he also understands the situation at the club. He is never going to turn on the fans so has to walk a fine line.

            You could equally infer his words mean, the supporters know what is best for the team LONG TERM. And this isn’t Mike Ashley. So please go ahead and protest as much as you want. I do not think this is the case either. But depending upon your point of view you could infer that.

      • Realist

        Rafa is in a very tricky situation as he wedged right in between the fans and Ashley. He is handling it like any other manager would by wanting us the fans to support the team through thick and thin and I agree with him.

        • Rabid Dog

          And you are entitled to that view And can infer from his words water you like. But lets be clear about what he has actually said. He has not said “do not protest”.

          • Realist

            I agree but he’s in a catch 22. Imo I believe he wants the fans to support the team but each to their own if they want to protest boycott etc until abuse starts getting thrown about to fans who’s opinions may differ. I’ve never known our fanbase to be this divided in my whole life following the club.

          • Toon Arnie

            You’re right that they are divided but i’m Lost as to why. Surely, apart from a few trolls and a few seriously confused people, everyone can see that Ashley is poison and has ripped the soul out of the club so why not act on it. Unfortunately our fan base these days is changing and the support levels, at home anyway, is full of apathy. Even against Watford when we were hanging on people left early in their droves which frustrates the life out of me.

        • Toon Arnie

          That’s not really what he said – he understands and sympathises with the protestors as he has also been lied to and mistreated by Ashley.

      • Themoscow72

        He has said time and time again the supporters must remain united that is the only way forward. His words not mine. I know we will always have a small minority of protesters Ashley or not.

        • Rabid Dog

          But you are saying and have repeatededly said Rafa hates the protesters and he doesn’t want supporters to protest, which he hasn’t. Ever. Not once. You are taking his words and changing them into lies. Don’t lie.

          • Wezza

            Monk always lies. He lied about amount of tickets sold. Lied about the monkey arms. Lied about buying 11 tickets etc. Be isn’t just a looney he is mentally ill. Which I’m not mocking in any way but his whole life posting a forum to wind toon fans up is beyond creepy.

        • Toon Arnie

          The supporters are united in their support of Rafa and hatred of Ashley other than you who puts Ashley above everything.
          You’ve been exposed as a fraud – time for a name change as you have zero credibility.

          • Wezza

            Quite right and he will be banned again soon enough. He is a fraud.

      • panther

        Because he’s looking for a reaction, probably from the dark place down the road

    • joe mac

      idiot!

    • Toon Arnie

      Oh dear – you are one confused individual. You must be the only person who doesn’t understand what Rafa has just said.
      You and other Ashley apologists are no more than joke figures now who have a slightly worrying obsession with the Magpie group.

    • Toon Arnie

      When he said first minute to the last do you think he meant that he’s sick of people leaving early ? I’m with him on that one.

  • JohnnyH

    Look at this
    The first 3 posts are trolls or Ashley shills.

    • Kenny

      They are as thick as pig`s schit,
      they may as well have TROLL added to their handle.
      as for Monk he has some kind of mental problem and should seek advise Asap

      • Realist

        Kenny you can’t call anyone thick when you first started posting all you could manage was F#K OFF TROLL C NT NONCE, and the video on YouTube off you under the title F#k f#kn Sunderland is a corker. Do you still hate cats?

        • Cushty lad

          Well he is a “pussy’ 😂

          • Realist

            He has disappeared since he had his little paddy yesterday, probably injured himself banging his head off the keyboard in rage.

      • Themoscow72

        Buzzing for Saturday Kenny be in the Bulls for ten. You would have to shoot me to miss this match. Come to think of it you would have to shot me to miss any match. Howay the lads United.

        • Toon Arnie

          You must be gutted Rafa has sided with the protestors Moscow – he knows the score.
          Support the team / club – not Ashley.

          • Wezza

            See, the troll can’t peddle his BS because Rafa likes the fans and understands their protests. Not once has Rafa said he hates the protesters.
            Monk will have to try another troll excuse.

    • Realist

      Imagine being a fully grown adult and not being able to hack it when other people have a different opinion. Your words from a couple of week ago- it’s not about the football anymore it’s all about ashley. Claim to be a fanatic but the football dosent interest you at this moment in time, how does that work eh?!

      • Kenny

        the opinion of vermin trolls like yourself flies in the face of common sense. you`re pondlife,
        blocked, can`t be bothered with scum like you

        • Cushty lad

          Been on the pop at lunchtime Joey??? 😂

          • Chris-Chapple

            troll.

          • Cushty lad

            Ah, so your his one & only mate he keeps going on about. You poor lad. Bless.

        • Realist

          Thats fime by me run away you little coward.

          • Chris-Chapple

            troll

        • tom

          You’re the biggest troll on this site with comments like that.

          • Chris-Chapple

            bit rich coming from another troll, sussed you straight away.

          • tom

            Go away vile troll

      • JohnnyH

        It works easy in my mind, Ashley is the root of the problem at the club.
        Ashley out first, football second.
        Simples

  • Charles James Forster

    well I can understand that sum fans believe that Mike Ashley should Go and sell up.
    this because after 10 yrs we haven’t progressed as they’d hopped.
    We all want to be entertained and the team needs investment, we aren’t privy to what goes on and who is buying or selling. But Mike has said the clubs revenue is for the club and he’s not willing to fund from his own pocket. Perhaps we could have a whip round for a player our two. we aren’t a bad side and Rafa is getting them playing but we lack in the cutting edge/left and right back cover

    • Carverlier football

      By “not progressed as they’d hoped” I assume you mean “compared to our rivals have gone backwards in pretty much every respect”. The club’s revenue wasn’t for the club this summer, and that club revenue is deliberately reduced to the benefit of SD…

    • Superdooperhooper

      Your first post in 3 years on here is to suggest a whip round for a player ? Is this a joke?

    • JohnnyH

      He’s stripped millions from the club, lied to the manager and fans, and completely failed to compete in the PL, got us relegated. Twice, and that’s the best you can come up with?
      Get back up Ashleys ar$e.

      • Chris-Chapple

        he may be being sarcastic

    • Brian Standen

      Ancient idea. We tried that in the 70s when another bunch of useless fools ran the club!

  • Chris-Chapple

    that is as near as he can go in backing the fans protest

    • Rabid Dog

      I agree. His words can be taken any way anyone chooses to view them. But, and I’m going to keep saying this, he has not said “do not protest” which keeps being used as a narrative by the antiprotesters

  • Chris-Chapple

    at least half the forum is taken up by trolls, they lack veracity to say the least.
    2 or 3 at the most with multiple accounts even answering their own posts
    pitiful.

    • Realist

      Your paranoid, tbh I don’t care what you think.

      • Chris-Chapple

        I did not name anyone as a troll but your answer confirms you are one.

        • Realist

          Bar replying to a post I wrote further down calling me a troll.

      • Realist

        I don’t carer what you think

        • Realist

          😂😂😂 get a life Kenny.

    • JohnnyH

      Absolutely right Chris,
      The site needs a clean up.

      • Chris-Chapple

        that is the reason i post only once in a while, shabby people.

    • X2

      Yes. Trolls and the Ashley PR mob. Some of it is quite subtle – gently pushing the “support the team not the regime” line.

  • Alan

    I was in my seat 30 minutes late at Burnley but luckily got to see the first goal then as compensation we sang for 30 minutes after the match finished.
    I believe Rafa and the team appreciate the phenomenal away support they get, pity it couldn’t be replicated at home. But I suppose that’s typical for most if not all teams.

  • Realist

    Make UNITED GRATE AGAIN

    Boycott WOLVES

    • Realist

      Yet again someone posting under my name probably Kenny cause he stormed off in a huff before and said he was blocking me cause he can give it but he can’t take out back spits his dummy.

      • Gallowgate Dave

        Pretty good impression though. I didn’t notice the difference.

        • Realist

          Ay cause am always shouting about boycotting wolves.

          • Gallowgate Dave

            I thought you were being sarcastic and saw the spelling. Matched your daftness.

          • Realist

            Cheers for the compliment.

          • Gallowgate Dave

            No bother.
            Lovely chatting to you.

    • KennySamsung

      Grate?

  • Brian Standen

    The 11 minute protests interests me – bloke next to me would be in early if he did it!
    Joking apart it will be interesting what angle sky take on it

    • East Durham Mag

      They won’t show any of it.

      • Brian Standen

        They will take the Ashley angle as they are also in his pocket

        • East Durham Mag

          It would be interesting to see what they would do faced with an empty stadium. I also wonder how they would judge our supporters if they “did” a West Ham and invaded the pitch in the way Hammers fans did.

          • Toontaff

            I’d prefer to invade the pitch on 11!

          • East Durham Mag

            Ha ha

  • joe mac

    short game for them that leave 10mins from the end then!

  • Geordiegiants

    Rafa knows the right thing to do but can’t come out and say it!

  • X2

    Could Rafa be more blatant? He loves the true heart of the club and supports the fans for the 11 minute walk-in and Wolves boycott.

  • Brian Standen

    Go in 11 mins late or go in as normal it’s a dilemma for some but not for me!
    The irony of it is there is a chance we could get another win tomorrow and possibly be 7 points clear of the relegation zone!
    Who would have thought that a month ago?

    • X2

      “clear of the relegation zone” Hurrah!! That’s Ashley happy then.

      • Brian Standen

        Not interested in him

        • X2

          Er, he determines what NUFC is. If you’re interested in NUFC how can you not be interested in Ashley?

          • Brian Standen

            Im interested in getting three points tomorrow!
            No matter what anyone says or does he will only leave on his terms!

          • X2

            Surely NUFC tomorrow is more important than 3 points today? You make a difference.

          • Brian Standen

            I have said so many times before , history repeats itself! The same happened in the 70s with different owners/ board , protests etc
            Difference was the fans were less organised but stronger in what they did

  • BigHairyDog

    Anyone who’s not bothered or thinks Ashley is doing ok ask yourself this…Do you want to be in this position next season?
    If Ashley stays Rafa will be gone, the club will still be run on a shoe string budget and mid table mediocrity would be a distant memory as seasonal relegation battles will be the norm.

  • Damon Horner

    Full of squabbles at times this site. Without considering me having a go at the protesters, can I ask what they hope will happen/hope to see with the 11 minute walk-in?

    • KennySamsung

      If you love this club, anything in my opinion is better than nothing.

    • JohnnyH

      It’s a gesture that if supported, would demonstrate that we are a united fan base that wants a better future for the club – without the parasite that has drained the club of its life.
      Just a gesture.

      • Damon Horner

        Thanks, so nothing sudden or obvious just a perception of the fans standing together. Sadly though it feels like the unity is lacking.

        • JohnnyH

          I suppose we’ll see on the day.
          If the empty seats get a mention on TV, it’s drawn attention to what’s going on, the best we can hope for.

      • X2

        Well put.

    • Superdooperhooper

      Will you boycott wolves?

      • Damon Horner

        I gave up my season ticket a while ago, many we’re saying it was the right thing to do back then, that’s my worry, we’re still chasing what we were years ago.

        • Superdooperhooper

          Fair play and good luck I haven’t attended a game in ten years

    • Toontaff

      I’m not sure, either. Easy to boycott Wolves, but the 11th minute thing, considering so many are down in the concrete bar buying booze and grub and arrive late, also going down at half-time to indulge – I never buy anything in the ground.

    • X2

      JohnyH below put it well.

  • Martin Rooney

    That’s not what he said at all you have misquoted and misrepresented him. How can you claim to be a fan if his and do that?
    He said the fans know what he thinks…..
    That the whole club needs to be together.

    He’s definitely not in favour of a protest during the game or a boycott.

    How stupid is it to cause the disruption for matches we should win?

    • Realist

      Well said.

  • LA toon

    It seems to me, by the some of the responses, that leaving 11 minutes before the end of the game would be more effective as many fans do this anyway! Lol😉