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Opinion

Not all of these departures would be welcomed by Newcastle fans but they are a gift for Mike Ashley

3 weeks ago
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Whilst Brexit and European Elections continue to overwhelm the nation, a more local election still demands the undivided attention of Newcastle fans.

The electorate only want one name on the ballot paper and that is the sitting candidate.

Only Mike Ashley could manage to get things so spectacularly wrong, when you have already had the right/only answer sitting in front of you for over three years.

The NUFC owner is the only one with a vote and he just has to pop a cross in the box. However, instead it feels like he has every intention of ruining his ballot paper.

As Mike Ashley continues to refuse to bring the Rafa Benitez contract situation to a positive conclusion, maybe the most frustrating thing is that they/he don’t even have to look for money to fund progress.

This isn’t a case of Rafa Benitez asking for the world and the owner unable to deliver, it will simply come down to the owner choosing to lose the manager, if Rafa walks away.

There is the money that hasn’t been spent from the previous (2017/18) season, the cash generated by this (2018/19) season just ended, then the guaranteed revenues from another upcoming (2019/20) Premier League.

Norwich City, like many clubs do, have already put in place a loan set against the upcoming season’s guaranteed Premier League revenues. This enables them to get on and bring in the players they need now, to give them the best chance of being a Premier League club the following season.

Mike Ashley, as often happens at Newcastle United, finds luck falling into his lap.

Isaac Hayden needs to leave for family reasons, both Dwight Gayle and Jonjo Shelvey are also set to go, whilst a good chance Ayoze Perez will be joining that trio going out of the door.

Not all of these departures would be welcomed by Newcastle fans but they are a gift for Mike Ashley.

There could, with today’s market, easily be up to £75m brought in by those sales.

If that money was genuinely made available (rather than a token amount now and the rest on the never never in years to come) to Rafa Benitez this summer, as well as even a basic £50m budget that has been talked of, the manager would have the breakthrough transfer window he has been wanting since promotion.

A transfer window to put the right foundations in place to establish Newcastle United in the top eight.

With others such as Clark, Atsu, Darlow and Murphy to be sold on to top up funds, plus wages saved by offloading Aarons, Joselu, Lazaar and Diame. Rafa could properly revolutionise the squad and Mike Ashley doesn’t even need to look for the money.

Bringing in eight or so players from first team certainties to squad players, across whatever ages and leagues, Newcastle have the manager in place who can successfully oversee such a transformation.

All Mike Ashley has to do is vote Rafa Benitez, or preferably elect to sell the football club.

There are no other options, or at least none that make any sense.

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