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Sadly the common sense explanation for this Mike Ashley and Rafa Benitez delay is the least likely

3 years ago

Rafa Benitez and Mike Ashley will now continue contract discussions into the weekend.

Sky Sports and others saying today that still no conclusion reached on the situation after two days into the talks.

The pair said to be meeting in a secret location in London as the situation drags on.

A bit of a cricket analogy, once it became clear it wasn’t a limited overs (issues…) one day match, I suppose we should all of guessed that we are set for more of a test match scenario, though the thought of this dragging on five days or longer would surely be too much for even the most enthusiastic followers of the madness at Newcastle United.

Sadly, the common sense explanation for this Mike Ashley and Rafa Benitez delay is the least likely.

Just imagine if on Monday a press conference was called, with Newcastle United then announcing the double signing of Rafa Benitez and Salomon Rondon.

That the reason for delaying any announcement so far, was simply for dramatic effect and to get Rondon’s permanent deal signed off as well…?

Just imagine how happy so many Newcastle fans would be!

It just shows how far things have gone downhill, that the vast majority of us would be ecstatic because two of the most obvious straightforward decisions had been made, rather than turning around and scoring two ‘hilarious’ own goals.

A bit like standing on a station platform and stepping onto the train, rather than throwing yourself under it.

People so happy even though it would simply be keeping the status quo, a status quo that Mike Ashley should have ensured was signed, sealed and delivered a long time ago.

Forget Alan Shearer arriving in 1996, or Kevin Keegan unveiled in 1982 (as a player) and 1992 (as a manager), decisions/signings that added so much to the club. Instead, this is simply a case of not throwing it all away, seeing Rafa and Rondon doing their thing elsewhere.

As I say above, sadly this won’t be the case, no massive work behind the scenes ensuring that Thursday was just a handshake between manager and owner  to confirm what had already been agreed by their representatives, with Ashley agreeing to the conditions he’d asked Rafa Benitez to supply back in March AND the permanent signing of Salomon Rondon the first concrete evidence of those conditions being honoured.

Instead, we are looking at Mike Ashley acting in his usual manner no doubt, a cheap salesman trying to take your eyes out and attempting to get Rafa Benitez to accept as poor a deal as possible, even if it would prove a disaster if the Spaniard decided he’d had enough of this nonsense.

As you can see below from a press conference exactly six weeks ago, the day before Palace at home.

Rafa Benitez back then making clear he was desperate to stay at St James Park but left hanging waiting for an answer…

Moving six weeks on and do you really think anything as changed?

The Mag – 5 April 2019:

Rafa Benitez quizzed on Friday by media at pre-Palace press conference:


“According to reports this morning, you name has been mentioned (in a L’Equipe ‘exclusive’ claiming Rafa had engaged an agency to find him a Ligue 1 management job) in France…”

Rafa Benitez:

“…just in France? (smiles and media laugh)”


Is there any truth in that?’

Rafa Benitez:

“No, I read the story. The 6th March (when L’Equipe claimed he had a meeting in Manchester with the agency) I was here training and lunch, then I left seven or eight in the evening.

“The only club I am talking about now, about my future, is Newcastle United Football Club and I am waiting for an answer.”


“So you have held talks?”

Rafa Benitez:

“I am waiting for an answer.”


“What are you waiting for an answer on?”

Rafa Benitez:

“No, I am waiting for an answer, so we have been talking, and I am waiting for an answer.”


“When will you expect that answer?”

Rafa Benitez:

“I don’t know….(laughs).

“I don’t know, honestly.”


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