Reasons to be cheerful with Newcastle United and Rafa Benitez staying
So, Rafa’s contract is running down at Newcastle United, we may or may not be involved in a Sheikhover and all we are hearing is a wall of silence from the club.
While it’s hard to retain your sanity when the club seems to be whittling away the chance to keep the best manager we have had in years and any opportunity to steal an advantage in the transfer window, I still think there are reasons to be optimistic.
Who knows if the sheikhover is a fakeover or the real deal?
I don’t think anyone will until the ink is on the contract, or we hear a statement from the club probably with only hours left of the transfer window, but I am more optimistic about keeping Rafa, and here’s why.
I see Rafa as a man of integrity who has a genuine affinity for the fans and he feels that connection.
I think if the offer he had was nowhere near what he had asked for, we would know one way or another. He would find a way to get that message out. We haven’t heard that, so that’s positive.
I suspect that there have been a lot of verbal discussions, reassurances and requests from both sides about how the club should and will be run. In most ‘normal’ clubs, these would be part of a handshake agreement that accompanies contract discussions, but ours, particularly when it comes to Ashley, is no ordinary club.
We know Ashley has form for going back on his word, not doing what he said and not following through. This is where I see the delays. Rafa isn’t daft and he will want all of these promises and agreements on paper. That will not be a quick or cheap process, with lawyers making sure, particularly on Rafa’s side, that the words are watertight, and on Ashley’s side, likely to be as slippery as a barrel of eels.
If this is the case, I suspect this is why we are waiting in what seems like this endless limbo.
Any transfer stories, in or out, are unlikely to have any substance until Rafa has either signed or gone. He has the final sign off and he won’t do anything till he knows he is staying or going.
So whoever owns Newcastle United come kick off, I think there is a fair chance we’ll still have Rafa in our dugout.
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