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Newcastle United confirm departure date for China

3 years ago
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The now former Newcastle United manager, Rafa Benitez landed in China this week.

The Spaniard seeing his NUFC deal end on Sunday and with Mike Ashley refusing to run the club in a fit and proper way, was left with no alternative but to move on.

Rafa Benitez now based in Dalian (managing Dalian Yifang) on the Liaodong Peninsula, a modern port city known for its beaches, ski slopes and theme parks, if he ever needs a distraction from his new job.

The Newcastle United squad have returned on Thursday to start pre-season and this has coincided with the club announcing the departure date for their trip to China.

Newcastle are to take part in the Premier League Asia Trophy, facing Wolves in Nanjing (roughly 600 mile south of where Rafa Benitez is now based) on Wednesday 17 July, then either Man City or West Ham in Shanghai (also around 600 miles south of Rafa/Dalian but on the coast) on Saturday 20 July.

Newcastle United have revealed that the squad will fly to China on Saturday 13 July.

For those who are quick with the maths, you will be thinking nine days, nine days!

Yes, that’s right in only nine days time Newcastle United are flying off for their pre-season tour and the club is in complete chaos.

In the past we have seen new signings flying out to belatedly join an NUFC pre-season tour, this time will it be a new manager (head coach…?) doing so? That is of course if there is any intention of actually appointing anybody…

What we do know for sure is that when the NUFC squad arrive back in the UK, there will be less than three weeks until the new season kicks off.

It is beyond my powers of positivity to believe that the situation will have magically improved at the club, I hope I’m wrong.

Below I have listed dates of varying interest for Newcastle United fans this summer – past, present and future.

Today sees season ticket deadline for renewals as well as the NUFC squad returning for pre-season, whilst amongst the others things we can ‘look forward to’, is the imminent release of live TV games for August and September.

Newcastle’s tough and ultimately disastrous start to last season (no wins until November) was heavily featured, we already know that the first game against Arsenal has been chosen and it is all but guaranteed that this season’s tough start (9 of first 11 games are against clubs who finished top 11 last season, plus first away game is at newly promoted Norwich) will see the eyes of the broadcasters light up in anticipation of watching Newcastle United fall apart under Mike Ashley, yet again.

Thursday 16 May

Summer transfer window opened and domestic transfers could be made

Saturday 8 June

FIFA transfer window opened and overseas signings can now formally go through

Wednesday 12 June

Mike Ashley announces season ticket price rises of 5%, following last summer’s price rise of up to 20% for some fans

Thursday 13 June

Premier League fixtures were released

Wednesday 19 June

Newcastle United launch new home kit, the club shop charging more for new shirt than any other Premier League club is doing for their new shirt

Monday 24 June

Mike Ashley announces that there definitely won’t be a contract extension agreed with Rafa Benitez

Monday 1 July

Rafa Benitez formally leaves Newcastle United and releases personal statement explaining how Mike Ashley has forced him out of the club

Thursday 4 July

Newcastle squad start pre-season preparations

Thursday 4 July

Renewal deadline for season tickets

Friday 5 July (based on last year’s release dates)

Live TV matches for August and September announced

Saturday 13 July

Newcastle squad to fly off to China

Wednesday 17 July

Premier League Asia Trophy – Nanjing, China

Newcastle United v Wolves

Saturday 20 July

Premier League Asia Trophy – Shanghai, China

Newcastle United v Man City or West Ham

Tuesday 30 July 

Newcastle first team friendly away at Hibernian with a 7.45pm kick-off.

Saturday 3 August

Newcastle first team friendly at St James Park against St Etienne, with a 3pm kick-off.

Tuesday 6 August (based on last year’s release dates)

Live TV matches for October and November announced

Thursday 8 August (5pm)

Premier League transfer window closes (Though most other countries remain open, meaning they can still buy players from Newcastle and other PL clubs)

Sunday 11 August

Premier League season kicks off for Newcastle with home game v Arsenal, moved for live TV coverage

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