Sunday morning has brought reports that the Rafa Benitez contract clause has run out.

This is the contract clause that has been talked about pretty much ever since the Spaniard agreed to stay on after relegation and certainly ever since that January 2017 transfer window when Mike Ashley refused to allow his manager to sign any players.

There was claimed to be a £6m clause, whereby if Rafa walked out he would have to pay Mike Ashley that amount, the same working the other way if Mike Ashley sacked his manager.

That £6m amount said to be the equivalent of a year’s wages for Rafa Benitez.

These past four transfer windows where Mike Ashley has messed Rafa about, that £6m clause has been put up as something by the media that ties the manager to the club/owner and has prevented him walking away, or at least being a major reason why he wouldn’t/hasn’t.

As I said at the start of this, now some newspapers are claiming that this £6m has expired, so allegedly Rafa could walk away and not have to pay a penny in compensation, as well as presumably Mike Ashley not having to pay anything if he sacked the former Real Madrid boss.

This story has always struck me as believable, only if you base everything on the way Newcastle United operate, and have no knowledge of how things have moved on elsewhere.

The kind of thing where the north east media happily go on as though paying £20m+ for Miguel Almiron is some unbelievable and unrealistic thing for a Premier League to do. The same with them being happy to toe the Mike Ashley PR line that paying Almiron £100,000+ per week in wages would be ‘astronomical’ in today’s football world.

If you look at it as a manager transfer market (because if the £6m clause existed/exists, then realistically it would be another club paying this in order to get Rafa’s services), if Alan Pardew was worth the £2m Palace signed him for four years ago, how much would Rafa Benitez be worth for another club to sign him? Would it be £10m, £20m? Certainly a lot more than any £6m, seen as that gets you a Joselu these days in playing terms.

I don’t believe either that this £6m clause expired, if it did indeed exist. What would be the point of having this clause if in the third season your manager could then totally drop you in it mid-season and walk away for nothing?

Anyway, this isn’t really what I wanted to talk about.

There is only one reason why Rafa Benitez is still here.

He could have had any number of clubs who would have been more than happy to pay £6m compo to Ashley as any part of a financial package to attract Benitez.

Nor is it the rapport/respect/love that the manager has for the Newcastle players, staff and fans. Though that certainly does exist.

Instead, it is professional pride.

It is that which has ensured Rafa Benitez has stayed at Newcastle United.

It is that which has ensured Rafa Benitez will stay at Newcastle United and see out his three year contract, before walking away for sure this summer.

A professional pride to see the job through.

Tim Sherwood was (one of a few) talking nonsense yesterday but one of the things he did say that was true, is that without Rafa Benitez this squad would definitely be relegated.

There is no way that Rafa Benitez will want two Newcastle United relegations in four seasons on his CV.

Of course, only the enemies of the Newcastle fans and manager make out that 2015/16 was in any way his fault.

However, if Newcastle were to go down this season, and even though any rational person would know that it was Mike Ashley’s fault 100%. It would sadly be an ongoing storyline, this second relegation during Rafa’a time at St James Park making the pushing of blame for the first one, more credible, in a number of people’s eyes.

Rafa Benitez couldn’t walk away now even if he wanted to.

If he left, then it would be certain relegation under another Mike Ashley patsy, and this relegation would be put down to him (Rafa), at least in managerial terms.

We all know that would be unfair and Rafa does too BUT he knows more than any of us the way the media works.

If Rio Ferdinand can be allowed yet again to go on BT Sport and spout that nonsense about Mike Ashley and Newcastle United, despite having an ongoing business interest with Ashley and a clear conflict of interest, then what would you imagine could and would be said if Rafa walked out and then NUFC went down this season???

Rafa Benitez is a decent man and dedicated to his job but he is also rightfully proud of his reputation.

There is no way that he is going to accept a relegation this season, he will do every single thing to prevent it. The very last thing he would do is jump ship.

This also to me helps explain why the NUFC manager doesn’t kick off as much about Mike Ashley, about the ridiculous transfer market handcuffs preventing him signing credible players, why he does everything he can to not knock this squad who patently aren’t good enough as individuals to make up a Premier League team.

The only thing on his mind is survival this season…and then he will walk away.

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  • James

    When Rafa’s gone we’re well and truly finished

    • X,WHY,Y MAN.

      We could still go down with Rafa this season and have in fact already been relegated on his watch.
      I don’t think it matters who is manager at Newcastle because Mike Ashley is the underlining factor who is continually sabotaging his own club !

  • Toontaff

    We have more red herrings at the Toon under FCB than white elephants!

  • Ken

    I hope when he goes he sings like a bird about Ashleys running of the club, the same way KK did. Until then he has too much integrity and will not do anything to harm the team

    • graham18

      don’t think that the FCB would give a f#ck anyway

      • Ken

        Most probably not but I and many others would love it, anything and everything to discredit Ashley helps because one day Karma will come calling

        • graham18

          totally agree.the day of reckoning will come to the FCB.

          • Ken

            I just hope it’s in my lifetime

  • Leazes.

    Nope…didn’t understand any of that.

    Best to write articles sober.

  • Paul Patterson

    Expect some more spin to come out.

    We still have 17 days left for KBA to bluff their way through no signings and no takeover . .

    • graham18

      what’s new?

    • Tomb

      and the fans will cancel more boycotts and renew their tickets because surely next window will be different, takeover rumours will fall flat, and repeat…

  • GlasgowMag

    I agree with the sentiment that Rafa is only staying because he is a man of integrity and once he signs a contract he sees it through to the end!! Once he goes and he will what will we have then god knows because he is the only professional entity holding everything together at the moment!! I have no doubt Rafa will keep us up this season but in any event what’s the point of us being in the premiership as all we are there for is to make a billionaire more money and also to promote a toxic brand in its endeavours to dominate a failing retail sector!! Instead of filling the coffers again with your season renewals give it to charity and attend Gateshead games or another local club, this way you can still have a day out with your pals and let’s face it the football will probably be better too!!

    • graham18

      let’s hope the FCB doesn’t buy the Heed as well

    • Tomb

      He’s one of the highest paid managers in the league which pays the best wages in the world and he’s stated he wants to stay in England to be with his family. I’d suggest they’re the two main reasons he’s stayed.though I don’t doubt that when he joined he believed he could make a difference and has grown to that was naive looking at Ashleys history.

  • Steven05

    Unless, he’s staying because I believes a change of ownership is near??😃??

    Never mind. I’m tired, I’ll go back to sleep now

    • Glockas

      See you in the summer when you’re properly awake. 😂

  • JohnnyH

    There was/is a £6m clause.
    His agent got roasted for dealing with it adequately.

  • Reconquista

    I’d rather be playing Leeds and Sunderland in the lower leagues with football that we’d want to watch, than having the fat parasite draining the life out of the club in the PL.
    Whatever Rafa decides he has my best wishes, he has no blame in this fiasco.

    • Tomb

      I dont care about being in the championship either. the premier league is demoralizing half the games are a foregone conclusion before a ball is kicked. how to suck the soul out of football.

  • Realist99

    Utter tripe. There no such thing as loyalty or professional pride in football.
    Look at the managerial moves at Luton, Carlisle and Forest this week.
    He’s staying because he’s well paid and he won’t get another job as well paid anywhere else.
    He’s an ok manager with a big name from 10 years again.

    • Tomb

      He’s shown his skill organising the defence but not sure the elite sides will be chasing after him anymore his tactics are viewed as negative, and that’s before he joined us. The Burnley manager has a similarly tough job but gets no credit

  • Wezza

    I always disputed that now we know he can walk for free BUT
    I expect FCB to sack Rafa now and blame the new manager and past manager (Rafa) for not getting job done… and will probably claim
    “Rafa was given every penny generated” just to further infuriate us. Wouldn’t put it past KBA.

  • mactoon

    Didn’t he leave Liverpool one year into a five year deal?

  • Rich Lawson

    As long as he stays I don’t really care what the reasons are. Reasoned and much better pundits than the ones we see quoted today continue to say he is working miracles with what he has.Let us not forget that only in November he was voted Manager of the month !

  • Ba ba.

    Great article

  • robbersdog

    Good article. I think that we’ll finish one place above relegation (Huddersfield, Fulham and Cardiff below us), and Rafa will walk away with his head held high.

    Who’ll be our next manager? It won’t be an elite coach like Rafa, it’ll be back to the desperate-for-a-job Mr Mediocre type that Ashley usually employs.

    • Dave Pattinson

      My thoughts entirely, robbersdog! Wherever we finish, Rafa can leave without a blemish on his CV. In fact, any future employer with any sense will consider that he’s actually enhanced his reputation at N’castle. Sadly, we’ll be left with Ashley for ever & ever….& whichever poor sod he employs.

      • robbersdog

        Yeah, Ashley’s like herpes – very unpleasant and very hard to get rid of.

        • Mr wobert

          Sorry but you can’t get rid herpes,
          Can’t get rid of fatty either this club is his golden goose,funds his takeovers. Asset stripping c**t

        • Tomb

          don’t worry Peter Kenyon is putting the finishing touches to the takeover as we speak, thats why the Wolves protest was cancelled I think….🤔

    • Tomb

      spot on with the bottom three. mind whenever I see Burnleys line up I think Dyche works wonders to keep them afloat.

  • Jimmy_toons

    No doubt about it, the FCB is gambling on Benitez keeping United up.

  • Mrkgw

    Rafa had been treated like dirt. I sometimes criticise his approach but the lack of signings and backing of the Manager is appalling. He deserves far better than this. ASHLEY OUT!

  • Down Under Mag

    I honestly believe that Rafa will walk at the end of the season and whoever comes in to replace him, be it a Moyes, Hughes or some other of that ilk, they will get a significant amount of cash to spend by Ashley simply to prove a point. Then what will follow will no doubt be a complete waste of said money, continue to struggle in the league and see no return on that because we have a clueless manager in charge rather than one who is tactically astute but was allowed to leave out of spite by an owner who was jealous/annoyed that the manager was popular amongst fans!

  • Tomb

    so he hasn’t stayed for the love of the club then?
    I think we will be sitting here in late February feeling a bit safer as he has some winnable games coming up at home. whether a few wins will convince him to stay though….