Mike Ashley doesn’t comprehend just how many Rafa Benitez dominoes are now going to fall
Mike Ashley will undoubtedly believe he has ‘won’ against Rafa Benitez.
Obviously it was always going to be in his power to be the victor, after all he owns the club.
However, I think it is the kind of ‘win’ which is the equivalent of a kid playing a game, who then because he doesn’t like the direction the play is heading in, smashes up the toy/game because it is his and he can do what he likes with it. Only to then later go back and pick the toy/game up and it eventually sinks in, that even if this is ever going to work again, it is irrevocably damaged.
This is Newcastle United.
Mike Ashley has got away with it so many times that he clearly thinks his toy (a Tonka one?) is unbreakable. He has ridden his luck and found that whatever ridiculous decisions he has made, on top of his shocking overall running of NUFC, there is no lasting damage.
Obviously, he wouldn’t have got away with it at any other club, but a key reason for choosing Newcastle United was the fanbase. If he had bought Aston Villa back in 2007, Mike Ashley would already be long gone, a half empty stadium would massive devalue his Sports Direct overwhelming branding of Villa Park unlike the 50,000 that have consistently turned up at St James Park, even in the second tier when Rafa was here.
However, Rafa Benitez is one domino too far to push over.
I have a feeling that unless this takeover does quickly materialise, Mike Ashley is going to see the pushing out of Rafa Benitez as a domino that is going to knock so many others down.
It is always difficult to match up anger seen on social media/online with the real world but this time feels very different, plus unlike the Keegan debacle of 2008, we are not into a season.
Season ticket renewals for thousands and thousands of Newcastle fans landed days before Mike Ashley announced Rafa was leaving and no sane supporter had been rushing to renew in between.
Supporters have had enough and unless anything really positive happens, yes there will still be thousands inside St James Park on 11 August, but there will also be many many thousands of empty seats.
As for other dominoes to fall, clearly player of the year Salomon Rondon will have no interest in coming back to the Ashley circus.
Key players such as Schar, Dubravka, Lascelles and others will be now seeing things in a very different light and wondering what is the point?
Whilst any new manager/head coach is not going to get the automatic 100% backing of fans because they will be undoubtedly seen as a stooge in the Pardew and McClaren mould.
Last season Newcastle didn’t win a game until November but with Rafa you had the experience and talent to turn it around.
This time NUFC play nine of last season’s top PL 11 in the first 11 games, after what is guaranteed to be a chaotic pre-season.
In the relegation zone by November, there will be no coming back this time.
Mike Ashley has well and truly smashed his toy beyond repair this time.
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