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Rafa Benitez sick of explaining to Mike Ashley why Newcastle United need to sign players – Just my opinion but…

3 years ago
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Well here we are again.

Over halfway through the January transfer window, no players in, threatened with relegation again and the club reported to be in the middle of another takeover bid. So what’s actually going on at Newcastle United?

Mike Ashley bought Newcastle United to market his retail empire  and he’s certainly done that, but what I don’t understand is, when the club is clearly doing so badly why does he not take steps to protect his investment?

He knows the benefits of keeping the club in the Premiership (or the land of TV money and global advertising as he knows it) far outweigh the implications of dropping to the Championship, yet his refusal to spend the club’s money on players is making it almost impossible for Rafa to achieve this.

If Ashley’s inaction results in the club dropping into the Championship, its value will plummet and if promotion is not achieved at the first attempt, the value of his investment could be all but wiped out. Surely he must realise that spending £50 – 60 million on two or three players now, would give the club a better chance of staying up, continuing to benefit from £130 million TV money as opposed to £40 million parachute payments if we go down. Or is he really willing to gamble that Rafa can keep the current squad up without quality additions?

Rafa now refuses to discuss transfers, presumably because he knows nothing is going to happen and doesn’t want to give the fans false hope. He must be sick of trying to explain to Mike Ashley why we need players (and his current demeanour seems to back this up) but it would seem Ashley is again ignoring the only person in the club who knows anything about football.

Even free transfers seem to be beyond us, we could have been in for players like Samir Nasri, as well as Ya Ya Toure and Cabaye, both of whom are out of contract, or even Mesut Ozil who is now available on subsidised wages, but they all seem to have been ignored.

Ashley’s inaction in the current transfer window is baffling when you consider where we are in the league and that other clubs are strengthening their squads, making the gap in quality wider and wider. A word of caution Mike, you can only walk on thin ice for so long before it gives way. Spend some of the CLUB’S money on players now before it’s too late because if you don’t, eventually your gamble is going to backfire.

Or is the lack of activity because he is in the process of selling the club?

Amanda Staveley has said there were bids on the table (one still is). This says to me that a deal was actually being discussed but not finalised for whatever reason but what do we make of the current rumours?

I find it strange that interest in buying the club only emerges around the January transfer window when we are in danger of relegation which is a blocker for any buyer, and (it’s believed) Ashley won’t spend the club’s money to sign players while the club is for sale. Here’s an idea, why don’t they just buy it during the summer!

Although there are many reports on the current ‘sale’ they are so varied in content and detail it would seem that the reporters know little more than us. I’ve been told by a local reporter that some articles are ‘opinions based upon information received’, but he then goes on to say that no one at Newcastle United have accepted requests to speak to them. So personally, I take all reports with a pinch of salt. Any bidding parties will have signed Non-Disclosure Agreements at some stage so I wouldn’t expect them to cooperate with the press either.

Here’s my problem with it all. Read this statement:

“There is still much to be done, not least getting anywhere near to agreeing a fee, but from there comes procedure; a formal period of due diligence, proof of funds, the Premier League’s Owners and Directors test and then a sales and purchase agreement being put in place.

All of those elements, which could potentially run through the difficult period of Christmas, are now predicted to take around 40 days”

The problem is, that isn’t about the current ‘bid’. It was from an article about Staveley back on 6 December 2017 before it fell through in January. It’s no different to the current situation being reported so is it any wonder fans don’t believe it.

So while it is possible things are going on behind the scenes, it is just as possible the whole thing is merely spin being used to distract everyone from the transfer inactivity and the possibility that he may not even want to sell. I’ll leave you to make your own minds up but I’ll believe it when I see the new owner wearing the club shirt!

I used to love going to the match, I watched Keegan’s entertainers and I’ve been to two cup finals and had a trip to Monaco without seeing us score a goal. But we competed back then and we had hope, I finally gave up my season ticket in 2013 after realising that hope was gone and we would never compete under Ashley. He literally sucked the enjoyment out of match days for me and I’ll never be back.

During Ashley’s ownership I don’t think the club has been run in the true spirit of the game and I don’t think the money provided by the Premier League in order to “develop and acquire talented players and build and improve stadiums” has been spent the way the PL intended it to. I can also imagine the protests Mike Ashley seems to dislike will return in force if the latest ‘sale’ doesn’t go through and one of the best managers we have had since Sir Bobby Robson just walks away.

So here’s a message for you Mike. You don’t care about the club, it’s always been about money for you, so unless you really want to go through the protests again (and I would imagine they won’t go away this time) sell up now at a reasonable price while you can, even if it’s a bit less than you want because eventually the way you run the club will result in Newcastle United ending up in the lower league wilderness with your investment literally gone up in smoke.

This club and its fans deserve more.
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