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Mike Ashley makes Rafa Benitez new contract offer based around selling Newcastle United – Report

6 months ago

Reports on Sunday morning of a new contract offer from Mike Ashley to Rafa Benitez.

This comes ahead of a much reported meeting between Newcastle’s owner and manager, which is set to take place after the season ends.

Like all media stories, you believe what you want to believe…

The ‘exclusive’ claims that this alleged new contract offer has been made, based on Mike Ashley wanting the club to be in the best possible condition to attract a buyer.

The report saying that Ashley has offered to double Rafa’s £6m a year wages, with a bonus of another £3m if Newcastle avoid relegation next season.

However, the report adds that the alleged offer is only for one year.

That thinking by the owner, said to be based on the theory that if Rafa Benitez was given a long-term contract, it would ‘add to the cost for anyone buying Newcastle’ and supposedly make it more difficult to sell the club.

I don’t quite follow that logic, as surely having a top manager tied down for a number of years, it would surely make Newcastle United a more attractive club to buy.

Following the logic of this report, it is a bit like saying that if Newcastle had a brilliant striker scoring 20+ goals a season, the club would be a more attractive buying proposition if that forward had only one year left on his contract, instead of five years.

Obviously Mike Ashley’s logic in running Newcastle United often makes little sense, so you would never rule out such an offer as this. Nor just because this ‘exclusive’ comes from The Sun would I totally rule it out, amongst the nonsense they often come out with, they are also the ones who have broken any number of NUFC stories. There is little doubt that before and after this meeting between manager and owner, Mike Ashley’s PR people will be feeding stories to the media to try and sway public opinion and at least dilute the backlash if/when he allows/forces Rafa Benitez to walk away.

Mike Ashley has got previous form for putting out PR headline stories involving  cash figures.

In trying to make it appear the club are ambitious, when the accounts were revealed last month, Lee Charnley said that a £100m minimum budget was being allocated for new signings, though when you read the actual story, it was actually only £50m per year, with the £100m figure for the next two years.

Whilst an even more laughable story put out by Mike Ashley’s people, was when the club’s owner promised to pay the Newcastle players a £20m bonus if they won the FA Cup in 2018. Quite incredible nerve from Ashley to do this, seen as he had refused to properly back Rafa in the transfer market, ensuring a relegation fight and making it an impossibility for the manager and team to even have a go at winning the competition.

What a club. Where it is more important for Mike Ashley to ‘win’ the PR battle, than it is to try and win a trophy.


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