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Richard Keys sticks knife in as new Rafa Benitez club made public

3 years ago

On Sunday, Richard Keys was in his element.

The disgraced former Sky Sports presenter trying to wind up (see below) Newcastle fans.

Mike Ashley had released a statement six days earlier saying Rafa Benitez wouldn’t be signing a contract extension and hours before his three year deal ended, Richard Keys was glorying in the fact.

Keys claiming Newcastle United are ‘buoyant’ under Mike Ashley and intimating that NUFC will be much better off with a different manager.

He also stated that Mike Ashley was sick of Rafa’s ‘constant moaning’ and that it would have been stupid to give the much decorated manager more control over transfers in and out.

Richard Keys also claimed that he knew of two groups hoping to buy and neither, according to him, wanted to keep Rafa Benitez. Whilst he stated that he had told one of these alleged bidders that they should take on Steven Gerrard if buying the club.

On Monday, George Caulkin of The Times scooped the big interview, the only journalist to get to speak to Rafa Benitez about why he had to leave Newcastle United, some great stuff included that really laid bare how shocking the club is under Mike Ashley.

Also included, George Caulkin confirmed that as the interview went public yesterday, Rafa Benitez was already in China to complete signing for his new club. Caulkin confirming the rumours that the now ex-Newcastle boss will be taking over at Dalian Yifang.

No surprise to see Richard Keys having another go after that announcement, via his Twitter account once again:

“So Rafa ‘walks into one of the world’s top club’s’ just as you’ve all been telling me he would.

“For £12m a year – not that that crossed his mind when he left Newcastle.

“Where is Dalian Yifang by the way?”

Much as he would like it not to be the case, Richard Keys wants to avoid the reality that these are two very separate things.

As yesterday’s interview in The Times made clear, it had become impossible for Rafa to continue at St James Park. Mike Ashley was refusing to change anything of substance so Benitez would have been guaranteed simply more relegation struggles.

Getting this offer from Dalian Yifang would have been irrelevant if Mike Ashley had been willing to allow change to happen and the team/club stand a chance of progressing.

Obviously it is still a surprise to see Rafa Benitez heading off to China but if there was no other job offer in Europe that really appealed, it is no big deal if the manager is now going to give the Chinese Super League a go, especially if he is going to be backed in the transfer window which opened yesterday in China.

Richard Keys responding to Newcastle fans via Twitter -30 June 2019:

“You will be there for the first game of the season – watching your team in your own stadium with someone in charge who will give you your team back and excite you.

“My team (Coventry) will be playing in Birmingham. That’s when you know you’ve got bad owners.

“Wait for the replacement (for Rafa Benitez) announcement.

“Your club (Newcastle United) is buoyant – financially stable.

“Your owner (Mike Ashley) tired of Rafa’s constant moaning and no one in their right mind gives the manager financial control.

“Rafa won’t get a better job than he had. Newcastle will power on

“I don’t think the Arabic (Bin Zayed Group) bid is favourite.

“To the best of my knowledge there’s another bid that’s more likely.

“They’ve been looking at the books for quite some time now.

“By the way. I don’t think either bidder wanted to keep Rafa.

“I know for sure the group I’ve spoken to didn’t want Rafa.

“I suggested Gerrard to them. He’d set the place alight.”


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