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Embarrassing as local paper accuses ‘stubborn’ Rafa Benitez and claims Mike Ashley wanted him to stay

1 year ago
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On Monday morning Rafa Benitez has at last responded to the Mike Ashley version of events.

The owner having used his PR people to put out all kinds of misleading claims via willing allies (employees?) such as Richard Keys and Dennis Wise, as well as Ashley friendly media happy to push the NUFC owner’s line.

In recent days their central accusation has been to try and convince people that it was personal greed that stopped Rafa Benitez extending his stay at St James Park. There was even a story published on Sunday where it was claimed it was Sheikh Khaled’s fault for Rafa Benitez being pushed out!

Rather than all the things Mike Ashley has refused to do to support a manager, if only Ashley had offered Rafa millions more, he would have stayed on.

However, Newcastle fans haven’t been buying this nonsense and this Monday morning, Rafa Benitez has explained (see below) exactly why it was impossible and pointless for him to stay on: ‘I wanted to stay but I didn’t just want to sign an extended contract, I wanted to be part of a project. Unfortunately, it became increasingly clear to me that those at the top of the club did not share the same vision. I’m very sad about that, but I do not regret for one moment my decision to come to Tyneside and I’m very proud about what we achieved together.’

I had been away this weekend with the family and when catching up on what had been put out this weekend, I happened to come across this below from The Chronicle.

I couldn’t believe that the local newspaper is still going down this line of trying to tell us that Mike Ashley genuinely wanted Rafa Benitez to stay.

To actually claim that if it wasn’t for his ‘stubbornness’, Rafa Benitez could/would have stayed at St James Park.

The claims from the Chronicle are absolutely embarrassing, especially when they actually then go on to say Mike Ashley refused to agree to change anything at the club and show any ambition.

How exactly does that add up to Mike Ashley genuinely wanting Rafa Benitez to stay at the club? Refusing to do anything to help the manager in trying to progress the team/club.

So Rafa is largely to blame because he was stubborn??? It just defies belief.

Like any manager, Rafa Benitez has made mistakes at times. However, to suggest that he somehow shares the blame for no longer being Newcastle manager is totally wrong, that blame lies solely with Mike Ashley.

The Chronicle – 29 June 2019 report:

‘Rafa Benitez and the club both wanted him to stay – so how did Newcastle lose their revered manager?

‘One quality which the pair do share, though, is their stubbornness – and, in the end, it was that obstinance which thwarted any settlement.

‘While Benitez had hoped to hear Ashley cede to some of his demands concerning the recruitment policy, the transfer budget, the wage structure, upgrades to the training ground and an overhaul of the Academy, what he instead found himself listening to was almost identical to what he had been told 12 months previously – when he was informed in no uncertain terms that what he desired was not possible.’

Rafa Benitez releases statement via his official personal website – 1 July 2019:

Dear NUFC fans,

Thank you for three fantastic, exciting and, at times, challenging years.

What we have had here – your support, your affection and your passion – has been unbelievable for me.

“St James Park has always been special, the 5-1 win against Tottenham, 15-05-2016, was so emotional that since that day I have always felt as though I belonged at Newcastle and I thank you for making me feel so welcome and at home.

Thank you to everyone at the club who has helped the team and of course to the fine players who grew and fought with us and to the staff (one of the best I have ever shared time with).

From winning the Championship, to our two seasons in the Premier League, fans, staff and players have all been United.

I wanted to stay but I didn’t just want to sign an extended contract, I wanted to be part of a project.

Unfortunately, it became increasingly clear to me that those at the top of the club did not share the same vision.

I’m very sad about that, but I do not regret for one moment my decision to come to Tyneside and I’m very proud about what we achieved together.

I will always have you in my heart.

Best of luck for the future.

C’mon Toons!

Rafa Benitez

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