A Sunday morning update, from a more credible source than usual, reports that Rafa Benitez has now been offered a one year contract extension to help get the club through this (latest…) difficult period.

With takeover talks allegedly still going on/progressing, The Sunday Times say their information is that a new approach has been made to the Newcastle manager .

The report telling us that if he agrees to a 12 month extension up to summer 2020, Rafa Benitez will be given a transfer budget this month.

The alternative being no contract, no funds.

It was anticipated that if there had been a shift on transfers in terms of Rafa Benitez at last getting reasonable backing, then signings would have been quickly announced so as to have maximum time to help in this relegation struggle, especially being ready and integrated in time to play in what looks a crucial relegation six pointer against Cardiff in 13 days time.

However, rather than the likes of long-term target Miguel Almiron being announced, we are simply getting the regular lame transfer speculation linking us to a dozen Ligue One left-backs that you have never heard of.

The idea of signing a contract meaning transfer funds being available has been a story ran any number of times (see below) as Rafa’s contract has ticked down.

Indeed the last (summer 2018) window we were told that Mike Ashley had informed Rafa Benitez that he would only get a transfer budget if he signed a new contract and we all laughed – because surely Ashley wouldn’t be that stupid…

Nobody was laughing though when the transfer window closed on the eve of the season and Newcastle had made a £20m+ profit on deals in and out, with Mike Ashley persistently refusing to allow Rafa Benitez to even spend the funds generated by sales.

This is one time where Mike Ashley certainly appeared to keep his word…

With his contract in the final year, Rafa Benitez has repeatedly said he would wait to see what happened in this January window before he decides anything, the manager looking for goodwill from the club’s owner to be shown first.

It looks very much like he will be waiting  a long time before he sees any of that.

The circus that has surround the alleged takeover has not exactly helped. After Mike Ashley appeared on Sky News on 3 December, some days later Rafa was asked if the owner had informed him what was happening, the manager replying that he hadn’t been told anything about a takeover by the owner before his surprise TV appearance, or indeed the days that followed.

With this transfer window it has been the same story, Rafa Benitez repeatedly saying he had not been told if he had any funds to spend in January, until he finally called time on the questions, a very fed up looking Rafa in recent press conferences refusing to answer any questions on the takeover and/or transfer window.

The Sunday Times – 6 January 2019

Rafa Benitez has been offered a one-year extension to his contract at Newcastle in order to sort out the latest transfer window stand-off that is threatening his future at the club.

Ashley, who is keen to sell the club and has called on would-be purchasers, including Kenyon, to meet his asking price of between £280-£300m this month, remains unlikely to strengthen heavily during January without agreement.

The Mag – 7 June 2018:

Taking those two things into consideration, The Chronicle have given us a worrying update.

They say a stand-off has developed between Mike Ashley and Rafa Benitez.

The report says that the owner is refusing to give the manager a transfer budget this summer, until Rafa signs a contract extension.

Meanwhile, the local newspaper says that the manager is refusing to sign any new contract, until he sees ‘evidence’ that Mike Ashley shows the ‘desire’ to back his manager with what needs to be done.

A classic Catch 22 situation but one where everything should point at Mike Ashley, as to the one who needs to shift.

The Mag – 19 July 2018:

Mike Ashley said (on the final day of the season) that  ‘every last penny’ was available…I don’t do the numbers and so I don’t know exactly what it means. We are fine in terms of profit so maybe you have to ask Lee Charnley, he has the numbers.

“I am trying to do my best in these conditions, that is what I can say.

“I don’t think an extension is an excuse for anything…because if you sign a one year extension what does that mean for the players you sign on a five-year contract? This is nothing, it is not an issue. A lot of clubs have managers and they then finish a contract but still they improve the squad to be sure that they (the club/team) are better.

“Still, I don’t think it’s an issue with my contract (as to why the training complex and Academy can’t be invested in now) – I told Mike (Ashley), Lee (Charnley) and Justin (Barnes). They know that if we do the right things (and make proper investment), then I am keen to stay here for five years, or whatever.”

The Chronicle:

‘Newcastle first offered a five-year deal to Benitez but United and the Spaniard’s representatives couldn’t come to an agreement after some requests weren’t granted.

It is believed that a one-year extension – around the time Benitez was offered the caretaker job with Spain at the World Cup – was then pushed the 58-year-old’s way but the Toon boss felt there was little point in a short-term solution at the club.’

The Mag – 22 July 2018:

Little surprise then to see this ‘exclusive’ appear on Sunday morning, with many Newcastle fans already putting it down as the work of Ashley’s PR man Keith Bishop.

The Sun are the ones with this ‘exclusive’, claiming that all Rafa Benitez needs to do to get a “£100m war chest” is to sign a new three year contract.

The thing is, even if this ‘exclusive’ had/has some substance, when you actually read the story, it doesn’t even add up to a major leap in ambition.

The report doesn’t claim Rafa would get £100m to strengthen the squad now if he agrees a contract extension, instead Mike Ashley would supposedly allow him to spend £100m over the course of the next three years.

So that would amount to an average of £33m per season, or £16.6m per transfer window, plus whatever he raises through sales of players.



  • Leicester Mag

    As much as it saddens me I have to conclude he should not sign. Ashley can NEVER be trusted and signing just kicks the rotten cam further down the road

    • Kneebotherm8

      When was the last time Ashley told the truth?……….has he ever told the truth?……..He’s a lying FCB in my humble opinion always has been and always will be….

  • Paul Patterson

    Blackmail!!

    The last refuge of a conman. See out your contract Rafa.

  • Anita kick up the Hoop

    Why wouldn’t he sign it? Even if he wants out in the summer any interested club would buy the six months of his remaining contract out … he’s got absolutely nothing to lose as long as the funds he wants are guaranteed in this window.

    • Kenny

      The extension would be until May 2020

    • panther

      because its blackmail, and the second he signs the money will disapeare

      • Anita kick up the Hoop

        So what? .. he then either leaves getting whoever the club interested in having him as their manager is to buy his contract out OR he has a clause inserted that frees him if Ashley backtracks on promised funds … it’s not complicated for lawyers at the level he and Ashley are playing at … he’s got nothing to lose and everything to gain .. he signs, gets investment and everything works out OR he signs, gets betrayed and walks because of constructive dismissal OR has another club buy him out of the one year contract…

        • panther

          and its still blackmail

          • Anita kick up the Hoop

            No, it’s an offer with a condition and a definite out.

  • Toonrobbybobson

    Dont sign.

    Typical Ashley lets blame someone else for no funds.

  • Shields Mag

    Don’t sign Rafa….Ashley out!!

  • Kenny

    King Rat is not to be trusted & unless there is money on the table then Rafa should tell him to stick it. I`d want it written into any contract the amount of funds available.

    • mentalman

      There are so many clauses rafa could put in to the contract to protect himself, I’m suprised he hasn’t had them in his previous contract

      • Ba ba.

        That’s good point.. … If he’s misled and lied to again he should have clauses in that will protect him.

    • KennyS

      Don’t think we are dealing with a normal intellect in Ashley, he’d bully his own mother into moving into a home if it meant selling her house to raise funds.

    • fistsofsteel2

      Apparently he’s stated the amount – £100million spread over 3yrs.
      Peanuts in today’s market. Rafa should say “ok, I’ll spend the full £100million now, thank you…and won’t spend anything else over the next 3yrs”

  • pedrodelgardo

    An attempt to manipulate a world class manager by a jumped up barrow boy with the sophistication and class of a tapeworm. We live in an upside down world where the owner of the business threatens a suicidal policy to his own business in order to keep an employee – MENTAL.

    • Big John

      Although I like Rafa. “Worldclass” indicates he could manage any club in the world doesn’t it? Not true. Real Madrid was a disaster and I can’t see big clubs being interested can you?

      • justchampion

        John, it is not the manager but the players he has at his disposal. Think same system but with better players, he has no other options. Some suggest we attack more, with what? If we are left exposed at the back do you fancy our chances of scoring and getting back in the game? We are only a couple of decent attacking players away from being a reasonable team but Ashley can’t see this.It’s too easy to blame the manager, dig deeper for the real reason we are where we are.

      • pedrodelgardo

        So you slag off Rafa without any credible evidence and say nothing about the self harming owner – I know who you are. Come back on with another name talkingshit and feed your unhealthy habit – you must be dying inside.

  • DZA

    Ashley from that statement is happy to see the club go down without spending in the window?

    • pedrodelgardo

      Effingmental!

  • pedrodelgardo

    Does anyone know what Pardew is up to now?

    • Kenny

      Waiting for a call off Penfold

    • porciestreet

      Aparantly, hes in for the Atlanta job and good riddence nall..!

  • Tommy

    Season ticket renewal starts to roll out next month if no players are brought in and Rafa has not signed i imagine 1,000`s won`t bother, at least you would think so.

    • Big John

      Everyone I’ve spoke to at the match is saying they’ll renew again.

      • fistsofsteel2

        Jeez! Is Ashley kidnapping fans and having them lobotomised in a laboratory in the back of a Sports Direct warehouse. You’d have to have brains made of jelly to carry on giving your cash to Mr. Ash

      • Tweed Mag

        Big John or Big Monk?

      • pedrodelgardo

        Transparent Magpie – mate? Do us a favour foff.

    • panther

      I get more surprised by our supporters every week, and not in a good way

    • porciestreet

      You would HOPE so.

  • fistsofsteel2

    This stinks. What a bloody disgrace! So there are obviously funds but they won’t use them unless they can blackmail the manager into signing a new contract. What kind of logic is that? The logic of a horrible deranged little control freak. Ashley is a sociopath / psychopath as are many people in his position.

    “you can’t buy any players to give us a chance of staying in the premiership, unless you sign this. If you don’t sign it we’re not buying any new players, ner ner nerner ner” – What a pathetic way to run a business.

    If people still go to the games after this I can only assume they are an army of zombies who Ashley has had lobotomised in some secret lab in the back of a Sports Direct warehouse. Only those with brains of jelly would carry on turning up to St. James now.

  • fistsofsteel2

    The report doesn’t claim Rafa would get £100m to strengthen the squad now if he agrees a contract extension, instead Mike Ashley would supposedly allow him to spend £100m over the course of the next three years.

    A complete joke. Ashley is completely ripping the pesh out of the fans, and club now. £100m over 3yrs = absolutely no ambition whatsoever.

    STOP GOING TO THE GAMES. STOP BUYING MERCHANDISE. STOP SHOPPING AT SPORTS DIRECT.

  • Mrkgw

    It just gets worse under this miserly owner. ASHLEY OUT!

  • Fisherking

    Tell him where to stick his job Rafa

    • Big John

      Bit late for that considering he’s signed two contracts already mate.

  • Allan

    We love Rafa at Newcastle but sadly my advice would be for him to walk away from ASHLEY’S disgusting blackmail, NO FUNDS UNLESS YOU SIGN sn extension.

    Typical from the scum of the earth ASHLEY.

    RAFA TELL ASHLEY TO SHOVE HIS EXTENTION UP HIS BACKSIDE.

    • mentalman

      There’s very few clubs will allow their manager to spend millions on players of their choice when they are leaving in 6 months

      • Down Under Mag

        He wouldn’t have been going in 6 months had Ashley not already lied to him and witheld funds to build the squad.

        I think Ashley knows Rafa will not go for this and it is his attempt to put the blame on Rafa as to why there will be no spending in January when he never had any intention of spending anyway. Just more smoke and mirrors from the king of lies and deceit!

      • Kneebotherm8

        What about the transfer windows 6 months ago?…..12 months ago,18 months ago?………….sorry Rafa you might not be here in two years time so I’m spending eff all in the transfer market……..

      • HarryHype59

        Ashley has to sanction considerable investment in at least two genuine quality EPL creative players, regardless of Rafa’s position. Failure to do this will result in a “three in ten” run of relegations.

    • Toontaff

      Up his large backside!

      • Big Hairy Man

        Monk and Pezza are already up there.

  • Big John

    He won’t get another big club. Football has moved on which Mourinho has found out. Big clubs don’t like park the bus football anymore. I think if he left he could be suited to Italian football again. He likes it here because he’s closer to his family. It’s just whether he wants to carry on working is the question. I can’t see anyone in England being interested in rafa. Fans are hard to please these days. They want entertainment and value for their hard earned money. Rafa does not bring that. I think he’ll sign it if this report is true

    • fistsofsteel2

      I think Rafa would be more suited to international management now.

      • Big John

        Good shout. I think he could get an underdog pretty far in tournament football

        • Toontaff

          England?

          • Big John

            England play some decent stuff, I think Rafa would undo that. England fans would see it as backwards step I think mate.

          • Dillon Tovak

            Do they? We created about 3 shots from open play the whole World Cup. It was dross football.

    • Down Under Mag

      We aren’t a big club any more – Ashley has seen to that!

    • Squintytoonarmy

      Thought Rafas family lived on the Wirral

      • Big John

        Yeag they do mate, he reckons it’s easy enough to get to.

    • Tweed Mag

      So if you owned a club looking for a new manager, the people on the list might be Hughes, Pardew, Allardyce, Pulis, Clement, Bruce and a few unknowns. Ranieri has just returned to the PL and he is older than Rafa. He has plenty to offer the club and the main problem is the oaf.

      • Big John

        He could do a fire fighting job like Big Sam or Hughes I suppose. But clubs that to build and go forward won’t look at Rafa, I think it’s only our fans that would put up with his style. Imagine if he had have went to West Ham. They would have went mental haha

        • Dillon Tovak

          What are you on about?

          • Tweed Mag

            Its Monk or one of his ‘mates’

          • Big John

            Oh yes, here we go. Someone with a different opinion or sense comments. It’s “TROLL”. Man up you weasel.

          • Kneebotherm8

            He did say “we’ll give you a hand”…..

          • Big John

            Pretty self explanatory mate. Any more difficulties reading, just shout up we’ll give you a hand.

        • JEz_Brizzle

          Yes they would have gone mental cos of where they would be in the league. I laugh that you think Rafa just plays Park the bus. Yes he has had to do that to keep our goal difference down, and his approach is counter attack, like many other teams (e.g. Liverpool on Thursday) – just he does not have the players to make it the exciting football you want to see. Bet you were thrilled when Kenedy came in last january and caused a threat (shame he’s been a lame duck this year)

          • Big John

            He had pretty good players at Real Madrid and he bored their fan’s to death. Think before you comment mate ;)

          • JEz_Brizzle

            Interesting how another Big John’s post is deleted!

          • Kneebotherm8

            Big John……..Big bad John…….

    • JEz_Brizzle

      Deluded – Rafa won’t get another job, you’re having a laugh.
      Have you not been hearing year on year what a great job Rafa has done with the lack of funds he has had. ANY owner preparing to put in some money to accumulate would be mad not to take him on.
      I guess they could plump for a host of other available top premiership managers – Hughes, Allerdyce, Souness, Bilic, Hodgson, Bruce, McCarthy….. and they have had transfer lolly

      • Big John

        Why didn’t any club activate his clause? 6 million is peanuts these days. I rest my case

      • JEz_Brizzle

        Interesting that the original post by Big John is now deleted…

  • Allan

    Its time to get back on the attack go AFTER ANYTHING and everything that has ASHLEY’S grubby hands on it or in it Target EVERYTHING Especially Online, Shops Stores, Warehouse, Depot.

  • Allan

    Target all remaining home matches, with EMPTY STADIUM.

  • Toontaff

    Panto season’s supposed to be over! We have the back end and the front end of the Andalusian panto hoss on the pitch, with Hoss and Mannequin, then we have this, again! Sign this, and you’ll get 100million….oh, no I won’t…….

    • graham18

      the panto season is never over at NUFC and especially with the FCB

    • Kneebotherm8

      Oh yes you will………says the pantomime villain…….

  • fistsofsteel2

    Rafa will know £100million over 3yrs is peanuts in todays market. Those meagre funds won’t provide him with any possibility to move the club forward in terms of team performances and quality of football.

    There is also no guarantee that Ashley would even stick to his word over providing those funds – Ashley has more than proved he has a tendency to move the goalposts, and his word can’t be trusted.

    The club needs to spend £100million on players now / immediately…not spread it over the next three years. The cost of players will have inflated again over 3yrs so you’ll be getting less for your money in 3yrs time. Ashley, for a businessman, has absolutely no vision in terms of investing to improve, and accumulate.

    I can’t see any reason why Rafa would agree to this, unless he’s content to just keep taking his £4million per year.

    Ashley is in the wrong business with football – he seems to ignore the fact that it should provide some level of entertainment as it is played for a viewing public.

    • mactoon

      Are you saying you believe Ashley would provide £100 million over 3 years?

      • fistsofsteel2

        Read the article. That is supposedly the deal Ashley has offered…£100million spread over the next three years to spend on players.

        • mactoon

          wasn’t that a report in The Sun back in July 2018 to try to get Rafa to sign a 3 year deal?

          This one is just a 1 year extension and no mention of £100 million, just Martin Hardy saying he thinks “the tight hold on club’s finances is likely to be unlocked” if Rafa signs a 1 year extension. Don’t expect any figures to be bandied about, we have never had a transfer budget, just transfer targets considered on a deal by deal basis.

        • panther

          wouldnt trust him if he said 10 million

  • Dillon Tovak

    Ashley, “Sign or you’ll get no funds, sign and you’ll get no funds. Basically you’re getting nowt and i couldn’t give a s***”

  • KennyS

    Meanwhile the club is allowed to stagnate and move agonisingly backwards?

  • Tweed Mag

    If true, this is an insult. All the hallmarks of spoilt child Ashley pushing his weight around.
    He is trying to push a divide between the fans and Rafa. Unfortunately some numpties are falling for it.

  • Son of Wilt

    Another ‘story’ from a trusted journalist (contradiction in terms surely?) who have spent 10 years guessing what FCB is up to. Believe it when it happens or is confirmed by rafa i’d say from this one. Considering the FCB doesn’t seem to know what’s happening on an hourly basis, it seems strange a journalist would. Every day a different take on the situation, one day positive next day negative. Schizophrenia charities must be working overtime up here.

  • Baffled

    Run for the hills Rafa ! If we get relegated so be it , we’ll know who to blame and it won’t be you . Mash asset stripping at its best …it’s just a game to him nufc is a play thing that he gets money and free advertising from. I wish you well at your next club Rafa.goodluck.

  • Peaky

    Which professional footballer in their right mind would sign for this shambles anyway….??? Far too much uncertainty at every level right across the club.

    • Toontaff

      So we’re looking for nutters! Enter Mario Balotelli! (Daily Star)

      • Peaky

        Everything Rafa hates in a player…

      • fistsofsteel2

        I think we might end up with someone like Aitor Karanka…

        • Danimal

          How about Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink – but as player manager so Ashley can finally say he’s provided his manager with an experienced striker. Job done, window closed, the circus goes on. Lovely jubbly.

  • fistsofsteel2

    £100million over 3yrs…
    …so can Rafa say “ok, I’ll spend that £100million right now in this transfer window”?

    • Baffled

      We have to forget about this so called transfer budget the club just needs to keep losing money year in year out then mash will do one and sell up

    • Sickandtired

      Why not? The fat oaf allowed £85 mil to be spent under McClaren (through Carr). He has a world class manager now and starves him.

      • Danimal

        Ten years ago he had a manager whose forte was identifying and signing players, then getting the most out of them once they arrived. Ashley’s answer was to parachute in a couple of his spiv mates to make those decisions instead.

  • TheTradge

    Honestly I wouldn’t blame Rafa for cutting and running, no self respecting manager would put themselves through another year of being undermined and taken advantage of, and Rafa has absolutely no reason to buy into Ashley’s bulls**t when he’s broken so many transfer related promises! Obviously I would be disappointed if Rafa decided to call it quits, but I would respect him for it, and if it takes being relegated again to be rid of the cancer that is MA then so be it!

    • fistsofsteel2

      He might be quite happy getting paid £4million per year. Most of us get paid far less and manage to put up with idiot bosses and bulls**t at work.

      • Sickandtired

        How much value do you bring to your employer? Not £120 mil and more a year that’s for sure. Wind your neck in man.

        • fistsofsteel2

          Do you always pick up the wrong end of the stick? 🙄

          • Sickandtired

            Which part did I get wrong about your comment? You put up with an idiot boss for far less money than Rafa so that’s equivalent to what is going on at NUFC? Numpty.

          • fistsofsteel2

            You really do have low levels of comprehension, don’t you.
            Keep rubbing your two brain cells together – you might manage to make a third one. FFS

          • Sickandtired

            Better than rubbing the two cm in my pants like you..

          • Wezza

            That’s a troll. A few out of their bins today.

          • porciestreet

            I took it exactly the same way. Its the way its worded.

    • JEz_Brizzle

      Personally I would be disappointed if Rafa signed an extension… unless there was very rigid financial terms (transfer budget, investment funds for training grounds, academy etc) that met what Rafa needs to take s in the direction he wants.

  • Peaky

    It seems every day when you can’t think it’s possible that this club can go any lower Fatty pushes it even ever closer to the precipice….

  • Ken

    Rafa you are better than this, hold your head high and tell the fat leech where to go, you owe us nothing. Just walk.

  • tom

    Just sign it man ffs
    Love raffa to bits and accept he is our only lifeline.without him i dread to think where we would be but surely its time to just knuckle down sign extension and get on with it.
    Howay the lads

    • Mike

      would u trust this scumbag? proven liar over and over unless the “fund amount” is written in blood no money is there?

    • panther

      money will dissapear before the ink on the contracts dry

  • mactoon

    It’s an absolute joke of a standoff.

    Rafa wants money to buy players for the benefit of the club whereas Ashley is putting the future of the club (and his investment) at risk by reportedly refusing to spend on players unless Rafa signs an extension.

    If this is true it epitomises every reason why Ashley should not be allowed anywhere near a football club. To hold the club’s future to ransom “in order to help get the club through this difficult period” (that HE created!) is astonishing and a dereliction of duty at best.

    However, the actual words in the report are:

    “UNLIKELY to strengthen heavily during January without agreement”
    “If Benitez agrees, the tight hold on club’s finances is LIKELY to be unlocked

    As usual, these unsubstantiated reports which appear to be the opinion of the reporter are being picked up and ran by other media outlets as fact. I’m so sick of reading rumours, hearsay and second hand ‘knowledge’, wouldn’t true investigative journalism and facts be a nice change?

    • Down Under Mag

      Rafa should sign a new contract but with the clause that should funds fail to materialise in January then he is able to walk out the contract. Better yet he should then take Ashley to court and win like Keegan did and Ashley cas be proven to be a liar and a cheat TWICE in a court of law! As you say though, the wording will have been gone over with a fine tooth comb to ensure Ashley maintains all the power and Rafa has none.

      • Leazes.

        ehm…. its more than twice, he lost to Jonas as well, mind you he has won a few as well, mainly verbal contracts in pubs, with no witnesses….

        …..Rafa should walk…. he knows the fakeove is aimed as much at him as it is to the 20,000 fans on cheap ticket deals.

        • Toontaff

          Those 20,000 are in for a shock, when they see the new prices!

    • Toonrobbybobson

      There is not a stand off…

      Its just Mike Ashley way and how he does (sorry doesnt) do things.

  • Cushty lad

    Get out of it Rafa. Fcb will put you in an early grave. You’ve tried & you will always have the best wishes & respect of the “real” toon fans. There’s a big wide world out there where you will get the respect and backing you deserve. As for us mere mortals we are stuck with this proven liar & his cronies for a long time yet i feel. Depressing.

  • Ba ba.

    I’d take two relagations to get rid of fcb. Rafa can walk head held high enough is enough

    • Toonrobbybobson

      Completely agree. Get rid of him and rebuild the club back up from its fanbase until the correct ownership comes along to take the club on correctly.

  • Andrew Dickson

    If this is true – and like all the stories that come out about Newcastle United, there’s a big fat question mark – then it should rubber stamp Rafa Benitez’ decision to walk out at the end of the season, that is if there was any doubt already.

    Being blackmailed by your employer into staying is wrong on so many levels it’s not even worth going into them.

    Assuming it were true, would that really be Ashley’s main motivation for releasing some money – keeping the manager happy? How about keeping the team in the league – shouldn’t that be rather more a priority?

    If anyone’s throwing around ultimatums, it should be Benitez. Only he isn’t, and he wouldn’t, because he’s a top class manager with the city and fans’ interests at heart. Benitez holds all the cards, not Ashley. Benitez is the one single reason why we may just, by some miracle, avoid relegation. Without him, we would already be cast adrift by now. Ashley should be moving hell and earth to do what Benitez wants – not blackmailing him!

    • Weyhhadaway

      Benítez has said his piece, in private, which he will keep to himself because he is an honorable man and in comments at press conferences. “It doesn’t matter who the manager is, you need to bring in new players….” was something like what he said.

      • Toonrobbybobson

        Benitez doesnt need to even say anything. Everyone knows the score. Ashley still thinks there are enough mugs to get away with it. Even the papers must now be turning because him getting them to print stuff is becoming embarrassing. What about that special relationship I think the Mirror had? Releasing news of potential signings which was utter brown stuff. They were paying for that privilege and it just made them look like fools.

        Rafa will have his say when it makes sense to. We all know the score though.

  • Rob

    Rafa just walk away and keep your dignity. There will be no funds whether you sign or don’t.

    Also which players want to commit to a 12 month manager.

  • csh

    Said this yesterday also, but why is it when the club have a choice of using stick or carrot they always go for the stick? The fact that this doesn’t work was proved last window when Rafa was told to sign or else he gets no money. Stupid fools are doing more harm than good with this approach :(

    • Down Under Mag

      Because Ashley is used to Bully tactics he doesn’t know any different and those around him only ever nod their head in agreement as they fight for scraps at the SD table.

      • Toonrobbybobson

        The SD discount seconds table

  • Sickandtired

    No Rafa and relegated. How Fatty ever managed to get rich really does beggar belief.

    • We’ll support you evermore

      17 games left to play man not a certainty we are going down, have some faith. Also you don’t always need to be a brain box to make yourself wealth.

      • Sickandtired

        Happily wager with you £20 quid right now. If we do not get any proper quality signings or even loans in this window, we are down. This squad are shockingly bad and their only hope is for 3 worse teams. Unlikely as those below us will probably spend again.

        • We’ll support you evermore

          Right your on, but lets just make this bet staying up or going down regardless of signings- if any! Deal?

        • Wezza

          The troll never pays up!

          • We’ll support you evermore

            I’m not anyone you suspect. Not monk pezza clarko or anyone else you think i am. Seriously you need to get a grip or you need some professional help. I always honour bets.

        • HarryHype59

          Agreed, this is a far worse squad than in 2009 and 2016. But for Rafa, we would be bottom of the table and ten points adrift of 17th place.

      • panther

        youre right ashley has proved that

      • Toonrobbybobson

        You do realise you cannot get points without scoring goals? Something we struggle immensely with because most of our frontline players are not good enough. I don’t mean that in a nasty way either they try their best are probably nice people. But that does not mean you are good enough. This is a brutal league. We simply don’t have quality where it matters in terms of match winners. We could not even dispatch Blackburn at home. We know when chances fall which should be straight forward… they are not taken. The games have shown this up all through the season. Even Rondon is not the answer as a whole.

  • Mike

    ha ha walk away with full respect Rafa u don’t need to lower yourself to this leech.

  • robbersdog

    Why does Ashley act with such disdain towards his own employees? His Sports
    Direct warehouse staff are treated no better than slaves, and he’s trying to blackmail Rafa into signing on for another year by threatening to f*ck the club up and get us relegated.

    How the hell did we end up with this buffoon owning our club? It’s a never ending sh*tshow.

    • Toonrobbybobson

      Complete embarrassment. About as embarrassing as the state he is turning House of Fraser into a tat shop.

  • morryJR

    Sign my contract or you get no funds for the club. Is this not blackmail? Where are the rules from the Premier League about owners maintaining standards of what is supposed to be the best football league in the world? There are none. Players and managers can be fined…but no one can fine or reprimand an owner for behaving as appallingly as Ashley. How can constant lying..bullying and total neglect of a clubs’ facilities be acceptable behaviour for an owner?…and if it isn’t when are the F.A. or Prem. League officials for once in their existence going to get tough and impose standards on club ownership. Not having total control would surely prevent people like Ashley ever buying a club in the first place.

    • Kneebotherm8

      Pep never has this bother…..

  • Wezza

    LOL. That old excuse again?
    Rafa won’t get funds even if he DOES sign an extension.
    Rafa, tell FCB to go to hell.

  • Shipcote Willy

    I wonder who leaked the story to the Times, difficult one that. How long before we have stories blaming Rafa for the non takeover? Probably early February. Some of the sheep believe all this nonsense and they deserve Ashley and the ignominy he heaps on the club.

    • porciestreet

      No need for an abbatoir..! the sheep are killing themselves.

  • panther

    raffa would be an idiot to put any trust in the bloated snake

  • GlasgowMag

    It’s amazing how a club like Huddersfield announces they will invest in the January window to provide all the funds available to help the manager stay up this season!! Then we get our workhouse owner making threats through his usual choice of contract discussions not face to face of course but through the media via Bishop so he can shackle Rafa to another 12months of hell!! At the end of the day who is the person who will lose the most if we go down. The fans not really as the football is [email protected] in any event and can we really stand another year of another relegation fight, Rafa no matter what happens he can hold his head up high or the fatboy who will lose millions to invest in his asset stripping retail acquisitions Mmm I wonder!!

    • Weyhhadaway

      Just got to read some of the details of what he did to Rangers to see why he can’t find a buyer.

      • porciestreet

        No surprises there eh..!

  • Ken

    If this is true which it is more than likely Ashley is admitting
    1. There is money available
    2. The team does need strengthening
    3. He cares nothing for the fans as he is showing Benitez who is boss
    4. He is saying to the fans Carry on turning up and I will carry on playing games.
    BOYCOT HIM

    • porciestreet

      So right on every point. So sad that good achairmen die in helicopters, and anyone who thinks that statement is in bad taste, IT WAS MEANT TO BE..!

      FATBASTADOOT
      HWTL.

  • Weyhhadaway

    The only time there are leaks is when the club can claim it wasn’t their fault for something about to happen.
    Holding the manager ransom to make him sign a contract is disgusting. It shows the complete dictatorial way in which this cretin runs his business.
    The insinuation that he is keeping Rafa to bolster the “sale” of the club is also nonsense. There will be no sale. No one who looks at the books makes an offer. The legacy of any sale would be the SD fangs buried in the neck of the club for years, sucking all of the commercial profit out of this club. With the final two fingers to us all of having to keep the hordings in the ground.
    Don’t buy his stuff, don’t go to games.

  • Big Hairy Man

    Rafa has been shafted once too often to believe a word that Ashley says. My default position is to assume that anything Ashley says is a lie unless proven otherwise.

  • Colin Brumwell

    No signings this window Rafa might /might not keep us up, he will walk away in the summer, no appointment of new manager until a week before kickoff /end of window and the usual excuses trotted out, I hope I am wrong

    • Weyhhadaway

      Don’t worry man, big Johnny and Pards are waiting in the wings. Who needs Rafa. LOL

    • MadMag83

      I actually saw some mong text in to the BBC last night with, “Rafa out, Big Sam back in A.S.A.P…” With fans like that, who needs enemies?

      • Colin Brumwell

        Probably a closet Mackem

        • porciestreet

          Or the monk…!

          • MadMag83

            😂😂😂

        • MadMag83

          The worst of it was, he wanted Big Sam back because apparently he plays attacking football…

      • Wezza

        Sounds like the senile Brian Lee.

      • Tweed Mag

        Especially stupid as ‘Big Sam’ ran off with a load of the oaf’s money and bought a villa in Spain. He will never be welcome back to St James’ or Shirebrook whilst Ashley is in charge.

        • Weyhhadaway

          On reflection I have finally found something I like about fat Sham, he took money from the fat lad.

          • HarryHype59

            He actually took it from NUFC!

  • porciestreet

    Dear Mr Benitez,
    Not one person in the whole football world would think anything less of you if you walked away tomorrow.
    It is unbelievable that Ashley is trying to bribe you into receiving a budget that in all probability, wont be anywhere near fit for purpose, just like everything else he touches.
    My opinion , for what its worth, would be for you to tell him to shove his bribe in a dark smelly place and get on the first flight away from this thoroughly distasteful situation.
    Should you accept my advice, please accept my heartfelt thanks for a sterling job under axtremely trying circumstances, and Im sure my sentiments would be echo’ed across the whole of Tyneside. Good luck in the future.
    Yours very sicerely
    A lifelong sufferer of Newcastle United.

    • We’ll support you evermore

      I feel nauseous. 6 million a year is an absolute pittance.

    • csh

      A bribe would imply he’s being offered something good. He isn’t. I agree though he should tell fatty where to stick it.

  • MadMag83

    I can see Rafa’s moral standpoint on the issue of being lied to. But I feel it’s time he called Ashley’s bluff, he has nothing to lose except a bit of personal pride. If he signs and gets the funds then it’s happy days. If he signs and doesn’t get the funds promised, then surely he has grounds for constructive dismissal? Besides, if he doesn’t get the funds then this lot are doomed to relegation, and is Ashley going to keep him on after relegation?

    The dent to his pride following relegation would be there but a manager with his status would easily find employment. Valencia may need a new manager very soon, so a return could be on the cards.

    • Big Al 1967

      So would you sign an employment contract without knowing the major terms and conditions? I know I wouldn’t
      And as far as constructive dismissal goes the FCB has absolutely no problems with that. Ask Kevin Keegan!
      ASHLEY OUT!

      • MadMag83

        Where does it say he doesn’t know the terms and conditions? Rafa isn’t stupid, these things aren’t signed off without a legal representative.

        And I think you missed the point on constructive dismissal, I’m saying if he has grounds then he can simply walk away and isn’t bound by the contract if Ashley has broken it (as he did when undermining Keegan).

        We all want Ashley out. But if rumours are true, then these consortiums don’t look good if they can’t even afford to buy the club, what chance of investment?

        • Big Al 1967

          How can he know the terms and conditions if a) Ashley will not let him know what the transfer budget is until said contract is signed and b) ‘if’ new owners come in(which they won’t it is all a smokescreen) if as you say they are struggling to buy the club how can they finance the transfer budget.

          While Rafa is not stupid there is a reason he sacked his legal representative/agent which is strongly linked to the wording of the previous contract signed and the infamous £6m clause

          • MadMag83

            I wouldn’t advise anybody to sign a contract without knowing the terms and conditions. But if he can get a definitive figure on a transfer budget etc, and is happy with the terms and conditions, then he has nothing to lose by signing it. If Ashley breaks the contract, Rafa is free to walk away, and Ashley’s lack of investment and broken promises are laid bare .No amount of pathetic PR stunts could paper over it.

          • Big Al 1967

            And there in lies the problem. No contract at NUFC can stipulate a specific transfer budget due to both the fact that we do not know what division we will be in or the ‘supposed’ new owners spending capability. So that in reality will probably be ‘Transfer funds will be made available’ written into the contract and the actual amount being word of mouth from Ashley and we all know how trustworthy that is.
            And with regards to the lack of investment and broken promises, that has been going on for years and the vast majority of media outlets/pundits still think the FCB is going a good job

  • Toonrobbybobson

    Here is what we can deduce from these awful articles using the Ashley logic and past history:

    Rafa will be blamed for no signings as he won’t commit to the club.
    There are no signings this January blamed in part on Rafa and on the potential sale.
    Operation PR takeover is well underway from the KBA PR handbook. The goto for any Ashley emergency.
    The recent letter makes no sense and is a KBA fabrication.
    Disrupt while season ticket renewals are ongoing.
    There is no potential sale/buyers.
    Potential sale was fake and took sting out of fan movements to boycott.
    The PR smokescreen of operation KBA disrupt of buying Ashley yet another year of TV money.
    Rafa will leave in summer.
    NUFC has a high probability of relegation.
    Ashley will rinse and repeat selling off what little quality we have and try fund a bounce back while pulling in the TV money once again.
    Suspect once window closes Rafa will be off the leash to say what he wants.

    Personally I support Rafa 100% who is an admirable man with honour and respect. He has acted as best as he could under strained circumstances and would think no less if he walked as and when Ashley follows his usual pattern of behaviour.

    There should be no doubt whatsoever by any fan as to where the club stands under Mike Ashley anymore. There is no excuse.

    To walk away now as a fan you would be doing the club longer term good. You will not lose your seat leaving. Any forced change of ownership will see fans naturally approached by the new ownership of taking up their old seat.

    There has never been a more important time for fans to not allow Ashley to divide them. The fans are the club and they need to be United is seeing off this parasite once and for all in a concerted effort.

    PS – even if Ashley was born again and you had cancelled your Direct Debit he will be desperate to draw fans back at that stage. But it will never happen…

    • Wezza

      Absolute 100% spot on!!

    • MadMag83

      The trouble is, there are enough stupid fans who are willing to believe it’s Rafa that’s to blame.

      • Toonrobbybobson

        Id put that down to frustration. But Ashley isnt daft. Rafa has to stand up front and centre as the only leadership figure while the rest hide. He is the only one fans can vent some frustration as it is ignored otherwise. Rafa is not daft he knows this.

        But ultimately fans know this is not of Rafas making. He could not do anymore than he already is with the tools he has. Its like giving Michelangelo a used broken pack of crayons and asking him to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling with a hop up instead of scaffolding.

        One man simply is to blame and has a responsibility he has always ran away from because it does not suit his agenda and thats Mike Ashley. He runs these games with all his business and why he has that ex coppa as a director at SD to deflect and use as a paid off scapegoat to ‘appease’ shareholders something is changing when it fact it never is.

        He just thinks everyone is a fool.

  • Lewis SG

    To be honest, Rafa has nothing to lose running out his contract this summer. He can always find a job in the UK within the top 10. Any club that has a hint of ambition would be quick to sign him up.

    As for Ashley, time is running out. If no players are signed this window, any potential deal would be postponed until the club is safe from relegation. Since he loves a gamble, here it is, a £150m gamble. Surely the valuation of the club would halve if we are in the Championship.

    • Jewell Ahmed

      I am starting to think it may have been not such a good thing that we came back up straightaway each time we went down. It has emboldened Ashley, he is no longer afraid of relegation because he knows the formula for getting back up at the first attempt each time. He thinks it is easy now, as he has survived it twice and come out smelling of roses.

      Obviously, it will blow up in his face at some point, but clearly Ashley is confident enough to take that gamble.

      • Sickandtired

        The formula was having two managers capable of it. He sacked one afterwards and is royally F’n about this one.
        Why would he think Rafa would sign an extension or new contract – and also claim the club is close to being sold? Who in their right minds would sign on without knowing who the new lot would be etc – never mind the way Fatty continues to screw him and us over.

    • HarryHype59

      It will! Fatty is rolling the dice again!

  • Jewell Ahmed

    I think Ashley knows Rafa is off at the end of the season. He also knows he ain’t spending a penny in the transfer window. So this seems like some hodge podge scheme conjured up to try and shift the blame on to Rafa for no transfer funds.

  • Andrew

    All the talk about a take over hides the fact that no money getting spent on signings.
    Hate to say it again but if Rafa signs how much will he get to spend + I take it the board have the last say over any signings ( AKA Mike Ashley ). You could give him one
    hundred million to spend but you know those signings just won’t get over the line come the end of the month so Rafa will be left with what he has now. A below average championship team heading back down.
    I hope I’m so wrong.

    • Sickandtired

      Well, it isn’t really hiding it, is it? We all know what Fatty is up to! And even if remotely possibly true, why would Rafa sign on again before knowing who a new lot would be, their plans, finance etc?

      • Andrew

        It’s only 6 days in so I’m full of hope & good will as I did get to see a good game of football over the festive season with lots of goals. Wrexham Vs Salford City
        with Wrexham winning 5 – 1.
        Nice to watch a team win as forgot what that was like.

        • Sickandtired

          Congrats on getting to see any Manc team beat – especially that one ;-)

  • Kenny

    A Mexican stand off & i don`t think Rafa will blink first,
    if we had an M/D who wasn`t a complete idiot he would be telling Fatty that we will go down if he doesn`t get some new faces in & if he want`s to sell the club it has to be in the Premiership.
    This month will define the true intentions of the Rat but it`s not looking good.

    • We’ll support you evermore

      Yawn.

    • mactoon

      A Mexican stand off is amongst three or more parties.. I learned that from an episode of The Big Bang Theory 😊

    • Billmag

      Is this any different to any other transfer window’s the fat rat watches while the club disintegrates.

  • GToon

    So if he doesn’t sign he gets “no money”, but if he does sign he gets “no money” like last time to add to the “no money” he would have got anyway. I wonder if there are any players available for this vast amount of “no money” that Rafa will be given.
    I hope Rafa laughs in his face and reminds the FCB who will end up losing out come the end of the season.

  • Anne Mumford

    What a way to treat someone with the reputation that Benitez has. This is no way to treat Rafa. For those on these sites screaming for Rafa to go, please ask who Mike Ashley is likely to bring in. We all know who he brought in last time, and further ask yourselves “Are we likely to attract another Kinnear or someone like Mourinho. We need to get behind the team and hope to God that our next owner is savvy about Football.

    • Tomb

      would like chris hughton back got on with the job with the same lack of backing as rafa. should never have been sacked

  • Wouldn’t blame him if he just played a 2nd team, lose remaining games, get sacked and land us where we belong, in championship. Nice havin ya Rafa. But don’t be held to blackmail off the fat tmat

  • magpiefifer

    Rafa should tell the Bat Fastard where to shove it!!!
    Yet again,it’s Ashley playing a gambling game,and yet again he is going to get us relegated!

    • Tomb

      why would he hes gone along with Ashley s cup policy, same as pardew McLaren and carvery did and is one of the highest paid managers in the league

      • magpiefifer

        Rafa’s team selection would have nowt to do with Ashley!!!

  • Kneebotherm8

    Back him or sack him! ……….you FCB…

    • Vodkamagpie

      Sack him

      • justchampion

        Replace with who? Come on let’s hear it.

        • Vodkamagpie

          Anyone that says joselu will never play for the club again, and that Perez will be on the subs bench, unless major injuries occur.

          • Lakeland Mag

            So you don’t actually have a name in mind….what a surprize

          • pedrodelgardo

            Pardew, Allardyce, JFK, Moyes, Brucey take your pick of yes men.

          • Vodkamagpie

            It’s not about a yes man, it’s about picking your best team available. Have you ever thought why rafa dosen’t last long at clubs?, why are the best clubs in the world sacking rafa after 2/3 years?, there must be a reason

          • Tomb

            his successes were a decade ago since then every club has improved after he’s gone, though I doubt we’ll be one

          • Vodkamagpie

            He is very similar to Mourinho, old school, solid defence, players stay in shape, try win by the odd goal.

          • Tomb

            how isnt rafa a yes man? he is following exactly the same policy in the cups as those managers you mentioned and failing to get Ashley to spend. the only difference is he has complained about lack of funds publically which he did at all his previous jobs. hes one of the highest paid managers in the world and as a result has stuck to the Ashley plan rather than walk out

        • Mr_Kinnear

          Mark Hughes, if the club are not careful.

  • Vodkamagpie

    Why give rafa money to spend on players, where in the past, he buys players which he dosen’t use, sels, Hanley, lazaar, Murphy, joselu,
    manquillo, muto, etc etc. The majority of the first eleven last season, where we ended 10th, we still have, except gayle. With new additions of schar, Fernandez, ki, muto, you would expect the club to be challenging mid table, that comes down to the manager

    • Tony English

      Buys players he doesn’t use…have you ever heard of squads, or cover? When your given between 3 and 12 million to spend, the likelihood is it’s a gamble and that player will sit on the sidelines til a chance comes along. He’s not buying superstars!

      • Vodkamagpie

        He should of bought better. You can even look back at his liverpool days, some shocking signings.

        • Tony English

          Yeah.

          Like the shocking players who won the Champions League, some bang average players who were well organised, supplemented by players from a good youth system thanks to a well structured club prior to his arrival and a quality striker who cost a half decent sum of money.

          He’s the same manager…so what’s different at our club?

          • Tomb

            shouldn’t keep going back to that champs league win, houllier got them there, di matteo is a champions league winner yet can’t get a job. judge rafa by the job he is doing for us

          • Tony English

            ..don’t keep going back says the man who goes back to Carr signings around 2-4m from several years ago and doesn’t see that’s exactly the same as 8-10m signings now.

            Just mention the successes of Carr though, not the garbage….Riviere?

            Yeah Houllier got Liverpool to the Champions League, just like Carver got us promotion.

            I do judge Rafa on the job he’s doing, with the tools he is given.

        • Angelswithdirtyfaces

          He’s not managing Liverpool, or we’d have van Dijk in our defence – remember Ashley bottled buying him from Celtic a few years back ?

        • Kneebotherm8

          have

        • pedrodelgardo

          Ashley approves each spend so Rafa doesn’t have bugetary control so he can’t make a proper plan. Great try at defending the asset stripper though.

        • Tomb

          we need Graham carr back he brought in cabaye sissoko tiote for less than we spend on the likes of Murphy muto etc now. We used to manage with the likes of Williamson and colback as first time players. only difference now is rafa gets a free pass for bad results that previous managers didn’t yet Ashley was the problem then as well. Only McLaren was supported in the transfer market

          • Vodkamagpie

            Agree with most of that, spot on

    • Billmag

      More 💩 from the Vodka man.

    • JohnCornwell’sHair

      Nobody with half a brain would expect those players to be mid table.
      I also doubt if more than 2 of them are actually Rafa signings.
      Wake up man!

    • Angelswithdirtyfaces

      Yep, that looks like the basis of a Championship squad

    • Kneebotherm8

      doesn’t

    • Mr_Kinnear

      I would be interested to know how the buying works. Does Rafa say he wants a certain type of player and Charnley gets them or does Rafa make a list of a couple of players for each position? Whichever it is it does not seem to be working. Of course there could be price limits set by Ashley.
      .

      • Vodkamagpie

        I would assume rafa has his trusted scouts, to go and identify players needed for certain positions, all within a certain price range, certain wage cap. Dont forget the player has to interested in joining the club, and his current club willing to sell him.

  • HarryHype59

    Ashley must grasp this team needs considerable investment, regardless of whether Rafa signs an extension. Otherwise Fatty will be the owner of a Championship club valued well below £200m.

    Even he can not be that stupid or vindictive – can he?

    • Wezza

      He does grasp it but it is pure malevolence now.

      • HarryHype59

        Agreed!

    • Taz

      Have you not noticed the last 2 times we’ve been relegated under the shandy drinking C fatwanka.. 🤔 the bloke is a completeprick

      • HarryHype59

        Agreed, the same mistakes of the past are repeated! It has gone beyond incompetence and is now down to malevolence!

      • Angelswithdirtyfaces

        The problem is if he thinks he can cash in on any Prem standard players we may have, and then buy a cheaper squad to bounce back in one year for a third time (and then fourth. and so on)

    • Mr_Kinnear

      Then he does not sell. Just keeps hold of it. The land beneath SJP must be worth s few bob

      • HarryHype59

        He doesn’t own the free hold to SJP thankfully. If he did there would be high end apartments on the site.

        If we go down, he can forget asking for £300m. That value is linked to EPL TV revenues. The club would be worth around £150m tops as he would asset strip by selling the best players.

  • Taz

    Rafa should ask for the FCW to sign that contract in blood, about 8 points of it would suit me just fine. Ashley out, by any means!!!

  • Sumit Sengupta

    The man enjoys playing cruel jokes on everyone. Blackmailing your manager who has kept your club (technically your club though you have no emotional connect) in PL last season against all odds defies logic. If the club is very close to a takeover, as his PR team says, why would Mr. Ashley offer funds to Rafa or offer a contract extension now?

  • graham18

    more lies deceit dishonesty from the FCB

  • nufcslf

    Do us all a favour Rafa and tell him to go and f**k himself, preferably on live television to let the world know what a c**t he really is. Rsehole, Cashley out.

    • Mr_Kinnear

      I think everyone within football knows about NUFC. Perhaps that is one of the sticking points if a sale. Negative publicity for an asset is not Good

  • Angelswithdirtyfaces

    Ashley is on the record at one of the Westminster committees saying that “accountants can make any answer you want them to….””it’s “their job to move about numbers at will”. If he wanted to fund transfers, he could do….

    • Wezza

      Yep which is why Grant Thornton are under investigation for SD accounts.

    • X2

      And helps him strip out £30+ million a year from Sports Direct United. He ain’t giving that up. Only transfers will be to maintain the 17th position target or get back out of the Championship in the event of relegation.

  • X2

    Rafa; class. Ashley: hahahahaha

  • JohnnyH

    After three years of lies and insults to the intelligence of Rafa,

    Go on have some more.

    Ashley you’re a forking moron.

  • Toontone100

    Whether this is true or not – would it really surprise me if the owner & those that run this great club of ours had resorted to blackmail to try and get Rafa to sign a contract as this would suggest ? …. no it wouldn’t, but it would just show them in their true light yet again
    Rafa is right not to sign anything until reasonable cash is made available (and spent) – and we all know Cashley wont do that. What will be will be – I’d take relegation if it gets rid of the infestation we have of an owner. From wherever we end up we can build – without him.

    • Haitchdee

      Relegation won’t be enough, staying down for a couple of seasons at least. Unfortunately that’s a very big risk. Preferred option would be serious lifestyle issues, or he could lose the club in a bet. We could be known as the Fat lads folly and by a racehorse of that name??. I’m rambling off now.

  • Mr_Kinnear

    Surely going to a top club wiyh a 3 year contract, with transfer funds, is a better option! I also love the statement ” a more credible source than usual ” hahaha. It seems everyone is makkng up their own source. Of course my source, close to the deal, is a very good source, apparently.