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Newspaper attempt to redress Rafa balance after embarrassing Mike Ashley PR statement

3 years ago
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After publishing that embarrassing Mike Ashley PR statement on Friday night, The Mail have attempted to now provide a bit of balance.

You could understand them not turning down a scoop (Definition: A piece of news published by a newspaper or broadcast by a television or radio station in advance of its rivals) like that.

However, it was still embarrassing for them to be seen as so closely tied to Mike Ashley and willing to do his dirty work.

To restore a little credibility, another journalist (Rob Draper, not Martin Samuel again) from The Mail has provided an alternative view on what was claimed.

Claiming that ‘friends’ of Rafa Benitez have been his source, Draper says that the former manager doesn’t dispute that a number of the things reported in the Mike Ashley PR statement did happen BUT the world class manager has very different ‘interpretations’ of these events.

One of the main things was Mike Ashley claiming Rafa turned his back on Newcastle and went to China simply because of the money.

However, today’s interpretation of that via Rafa’s friends is that the manager in no way disputes he is earning more in China BUT that he would have preferred to stay at Newcastle for less money, cash not being his motivation for moving.

As for disputing the claims on wage ‘demands’ from Rafa.

Mike Ashley claimed on Friday that Rafa Benitez had demanded a 50% pay rise ‘to which he knew Newcastle couldn’t agree’, however, what the truth/interpretation is from Rafa’s people, is that he had asked for a rise of £2m on his £6m a year deal and that to make it up to £9m (a 50% rise) would have been dependent on hitting bonus targets.

The new piece in The Mail also says that Rafa Benitez would have stayed at St James Park for at least another year but events made it so that he felt he had absolute no trust in Mike Ashley.

To Newcastle fans it is quite incredible, claiming paying Rafa Benitez £2m or £3m extra was impossible and yet then paying £4m compensation for Steve Bruce…

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