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Mark Lawrenson – Rafa Benitez set to commit to Newcastle despite not getting budget he wants

4 months ago
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Mark Lawrenson has been debating (with himself…) the future of Rafa Benitez and Newcastle United.

Under the guise of it being a preview of the Fulham v Newcastle match, instead he has been telling BBC Sport what is going to happen at St James Park.

For the record, Mark Lawrenson thinks Fulham would love to finish the season with a win, but instead Newcastle will come away with a 2-1 win.

On the more important question of what is going to happen with Rafa Benitez and Newcastle United moving forward…

Lawrenson thinks Rafa Benitez is set to commit his future to NUFC despite not getting the kind of budget he is wanting/demanding.

On the big questions of whether Rafa Benitez will stay at Newcastle and is Mike Ashley prepared to properly back him, Mark Lawrenson says:

‘The big questions, as ever, for the Magpies are will manager Rafa Benitez stay, and will he get the money that he wants to spend? I think the answers are ‘yes’ and ‘no’… but he will get some of it, and enough to make some more improvements to his squad.’

Explaining his thinking, the BBC Sport pundit says ‘Mike Ashley is never going to splash the cash, because he could give Benitez £100m and he is realistically only going to finish seventh, at best.’

“Mark Lawrenson going on to say…’He (Mike Ashley) is a businessman and Newcastle made an £18.6m profit last season, so he is never going to agree with the fans urging him to spend.’

A few comments to make on Lawrenson’s ‘logic’…

Rafa Benitez may well be looking to spend £100m this summer BUT that doesn’t mean he expects to do that every year, unless of course the club can get momentum and grow their revenues.

Spending bigger money this summer can help set the team up, raise the quality, meaning you then only need to top up your squad the following year(s) with fewer signings and money spent.

Mark Lawrenson says that even if Rafa got the money he wanted, that seventh is the very highest you can go. Who knows that for sure? Who is to say that you can’t build and improve, whilst others at the top falter? It is no excuse not to properly invest.

He says Mike Ashley is a businessman, well what does he think the owners of Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal etc are???

They aren’t charities, they want to make money, but they do it in a way where the club can also be successful, a win-win situation.

Suggesting it is some kind of good business for Ashley to risk relegation in order to make a profit, is like saying a landlord would be clever not spending money on upkeep of rented properties meaning they got into a right mess.

If the owners of the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal sold their clubs now, they would make massive profits. Spending money now means that in the longer term they make far more. That is good business.

Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport:

“This is Fulham’s final game as a top-flight club for at least the next 15 months.

“I am sure they would love to sign off with a win in front of their own fans but Newcastle are awkward opponents at the moment, as Liverpool discovered on Saturday.

“The big questions, as ever, for the Magpies are will manager Rafa Benitez stay, and will he get the money that he wants to spend?

“I think the answers are ‘yes’ and ‘no’… but he will get some of it, and enough to make some more improvements to his squad.

“We already know Magpies owner Mike Ashley is never going to splash the cash, because he could give Benitez £100m and he is realistically only going to finish seventh, at best.

“They are halfway up the table right now, so how many more places up the table are they going to get as a return for his money?

“That is Ashley’s way of thinking.

“He is a businessman and Newcastle made an £18.6m profit last season, so he is never going to agree with the fans urging him to spend.

“Prediction is Fulham 1 Newcastle 2”

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