According to a report in the Daily Star today some of the rumors doing the rounds over the last couple of weeks may even be true – Rafael Benitez has told his friends that he wants to stay at St. James’ Park for the long-term.
Benitez has a clause in his contract that he can leave the club at the end of this season and most people thought that was an escape route in case he couldn’t save Newcastle United – which he has called a sleeping giant of a club.
But another way of looking at the release clause is for Newcastle too, that if we are relegated we don’t have to keep Rafa and his massive £4.5M a year in wages – not to mention his three assistants’ wages.
Rafa Benitez – Newcastle United manager
If Rafa were to stay that would mean the club would need to pay his wages of around £4.5M for next season.
The assumption would be we could come straight back up, because the financial ramifications would be great if we didn’t – and nothing is certain in life or in football.
So that would be a decision that Nike Ashley would have to make along with a host of other financial decisions to reduce the operating costs of the club.
Newcastle would get only£20M from the Championship each season, rather than the £140M we would receive in 13 months if we stay in the Premier League.
However, we do get a couple of parachute payments from the PL of at least £25M each, for the first two years after relegation.
Rafa feels with more time he can not only put a decent side together for next season, but there are also other areas of the club where he wants to make some changes too.
This all sounds good to us – and surely Mike Ashley would want to keep Rafa and his coaching staff on Tyneside for next season and go for an automatic promotion place next season – especially when the former Liverpool manager wants to stay.
If this report is true then Rafa seems one of the few people who wants to stay on Tyneside if we are indeed relegated, which looks almost a certainty now.
It seems that at least Rafa still believes in Newcastle United.