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Steve Bruce talks about meeting Mike Ashley today – Exposes treatment of Rafa Benitez

3 years ago

Rafa Benitez was always very diplomatic about Mike Ashley when on the payroll.

The then manager would regularly be asked about his relationship with the NUFC owner and Rafa would always choose his words carefully, usually saying it wasn’t a problem as he could be in contact with Lee Charnley whenever he wanted – the messenger boy carrying  any messages to Mike Ashley.

Even when regularly attending matches home and away, Mike Ashley would never make any effort to have contact with his manager.

After eventually leaving at the end of June, Rafa Benitez exposed just how bad things were in his time on Tyneside. Stating (see below) what refreshing change it was in China with the Damian Yifang owner and senior staff doing everything they can to make him feel welcome, Rafa saying in his first week he had had more meetings with the Chinese club’s owner and top people, than he’d had in almost three and a half years at NUFC.

When the likes of Pardew, Carver and McClaren were ‘in charge’, they all had regular/semi-regular contact with Mike Ashley. As a minimum you would have at least the odd visit to the training ground, Ashley flying in and out in his helicopter, meeting and greeting his people.

Whilst Rafa Benitez was there I think I can remember this happening once…if at all.

Earlier today, Mike Ashley flew to Tyneside and went to the training ground in his helicopter.

Hearing Steve Bruce speak about the visit afterwards, it is very apparent the desperation to play happy families.

Bruce has only been ‘in charge’ a week and he has already met Mike Ashley twice.

The new Head Coach (not Manager) declaring: ‘It is always key to have a good relationship with the people above. I don’t know what has gone before. So far he (Mike Ashley) has been as straight as a die.’

Everybody getting on great, smiles and handshakes all round. What on earth has been the matter these last three years and four months???

Of course, Rafa Benitez has now left, it must have been him!

Apart from of course, when Rafa was here he did all sorts and everybody outside of Mike Ashley and his pathetic minions, such as Lee Charnley, loved him. The normal club staff, people at the training ground, the players, the other club staff, people at the NUFC Foundation, anybody he met at the numerous community events he volunteered to attend, they all sang his praises.

You would almost think this is a concerted PR effort to paper over the gaping cracks this summer.

Don’t forget, Newcastle have lost half a dozen players including three first team regulars and two of them who scored over half the goals, yet  it has taken 10 weeks of the transfer window to finally sign the first player/replacement and only a week less to appoint a patsy as Head Coach to train and pick the team.

Whilst Steve Bruce has pretended to be involved in the signing of Joelinton, it has become apparent very quickly that as we already suspected/knew, this isn’t the case. He didn’t have a clue about him and on first meeting  the striker appeared to not even know he doesn’t speak English.

There is talk of other signings but in reality we have got to within the last two and a bit weeks before one new signing has finally trained with his new teammates.

Mike Ashley may well fluke it once again and the team survive another season in the Premier League but it will be no thanks to him and this disastrous summer that has bred negativity.

We all want a successful club that we are proud of but that will never happen whilst Ashley is pulling the strings.

Steve Bruce talking to BBC Newcastle:

“I met him (Mike Ashley) for the first time last week and he flew in today to come to meet myself and my new staff, who he has brought to the club.

“And of course to meet his new centre-forward and wish the lads the best of luck for the season ahead.

“The meetings I have had with him have been pretty straightforward…very very positive.

“He’s very positive towards the team, the new signing and my new staff – and that can only be a good thing.”

Steve Bruce also commented today about our glorious leader’s visit:

“It has been hectic, surreal.

“Mike came in and he wanted to meet his new signing and watch training – he wished the staff all the best.

“It is always key to have a good relationship with the people above.

“I don’t know what has gone before.

“So far he (Mike Ashley) has been as straight as a die.”

Rafa Benitez earlier this month after his first week at Dalian Yifang:

“As we all know from experience, in football, just as in everyday life, when people show you respect and affection and do everything they can to make things easier for you, life is much happier, even when you face difficult moments.

“I must say that I have had more meetings with the Chairman, the President and the General Manager this week, than I had in 3 years at Newcastle.

“They haven’t just been work meetings, rather signs of respect in which we have been able to appreciate the differences and similarities in our cultures.”


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