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Rafa Benitez speaks out again against Mike Ashley – Spells out why he left

4 weeks ago
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Rafa Benitez has once again felt compelled to speak out against the Mike Ashley propaganda.

The now former NUFC boss saying that Mike Ashley is out of order in claiming that Rafa left for financial reasons.

The Spaniard saying that throughout his time at St James Park he had any number of ‘big offers’ to go elsewhere ‘but I decided to stay because of the fans, the city and the potential.’

However, when push came to shove and his contract needed renewing, Rafa Benitez had to accept the inevitable: ‘We were waiting for a solution at Newcastle which was not forthcoming.’

Rafa Benitez wanted to build something great at Newcastle United and he saw the potential that it could be done, despite signing a three year contract at a time when Newcastle were in the Championship.

He wanted the state of the are training complex said to be essential by Mike Ashley in 2013, to be built. When he signed his three year deal at NUFC he was introduced to the architect so that Rafa’s ideas could be incorporated, as the former Real Madrid famously said though after leaving, instead of building the new complex Mike Ashley only allowed the walls of the out of date current facility to be painted in his three years at the club.

Rafa wanted to transform the club from top to bottom, from Academy up to first team, but Mike Ashley refused to even consider any ambition to be shown.

This perfectly sums up just what a joke Newcastle United are under Mike Ashley and if anybody wonders why Rafa Benitez might have seen Dalian Yifang as a more ambitious project…

Asked yet again about the shockingly poor training complex compared to the Premier League norm, Lee Charnley said recently:

“Our gym is perfectly adequate and functional.

“Do we have a swimming pool or water facilities? No.

“Would we like to have it at some stage? Absolutely.”

Rafa Benitez on his new job says: ‘I am a professional and I want to win but I also want to build something and leave a legacy. The training ground and the project with the youth system is amazing. This year, we are creating [football] schools for 6-10 year olds, bringing in coaches from Spain, so we will organise everything in terms of the academy and youth system.’

Whilst Newcastle United talk about having a swimming pool/water facilities as some kind of dream, look at what Dalian Yifang are doing with their £200m new training complex that is now underway….

Pan Stadia report:

‘A cluster of 23 football fields for training and competition will be built, including 12 standard pitches, six floodlit pitches, two with an under-soil heating system, two indoor pitches and 1 competition pitch with a 5,000-seat stand.

The training base will consist of five buildings equipped with world-class accommodation, teaching, rehabilitation, conference and other supporting facilities.

It can meet the needs of 18 teams with a total of 600 coaches and athletes. First teams, reserve teams, youth teams, and women’s football teams will all benefit from the facilities. 

The centre is scheduled to open in December 2019. In addition to meeting the needs of professional football clubs, it will also serve as training and competition venues for Dalian’s primary and middle school students.’

As (alleged) £40m signing Joelinton dips his toes in the Newcastle United kid’s paddling pool or enjoys an ice bath in a wheelie bin, we can only dream of what could have been achieved at Newcastle United with Rafa Benitez and a decent ambitious owner.

Rafa Benitez talking to Xinhua Sports:

“I was not happy when he [Mike Ashley] was talking about me leaving Newcastle because of the money.

“I said no to very, very big offers, and even last year, I was saying no to big offers, but I decided to stay because of the fans, the city and the potential.

“We were waiting for a solution at Newcastle which was not forthcoming.

“We had options [to go to different clubs] but when we had to decide, it was a very simple decision because Dalian was the best option we had.

“People were saying it was big money, but Dalian were pushing really hard to get me and my staff, and we are really pleased because they showed so much interest.

“I am a professional and I want to win but I also want to build something and leave a legacy.

“The training ground and the project with the youth system is amazing.

This year, we are creating [football] schools for 6-10 year olds, bringing in coaches from Spain, so we will organise everything in terms of the academy and youth system.

“The Chinese players make the difference…you can go and try to find the best foreign players but the key is to have very good Chinese players (only allowed to play three overseas signings) with the right mentality and we are trying to build that.”

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