There’s a very interesting and positive report out in the Mail today by Craig Hope – an exclusive which we hope is true – saying that Rafa Benitez is considering staying on as the Newcastle manager, even if we are relegated to the Championship.
The news is that Rafa has had a change of heart in the last 48 hours and maybe that’s because of the messages the fans have been sending him.
Or maybe he has heard the fans are planning to chant his name continuously on Sunday afternoon in the final game of the season against Spurs at St. James’ Park – whether we are relegated or not.
Rafa Benitez – considering staying at Newcastle even if we are relegated
The Mail is reporting Benitez has indeed been swayed by the support he has felt from the Geordie fans and is said to still be convinced that with sufficient guarantees from the club over money being made available and some control issues like transfers, he can make Newcastle into a club to be feared in Europe.
The report is that he has this week been discussing with officials his vision for the club’s new training ground at Benton, but he wants the work to begin on improving the cramped training complex as soon as possible.
Rafa is said to be delaying his final decision on whether he will stay at Newcastle until after the last game of the season on Sunday, but there seems a high likelihood he could stay now, whatever happens.
Rafa wants work to start on the new training facilities immediately and that may be financially difficult for the club, given we will lose out on Premier League revenues at least for next season.
The overhaul of the facilities at Benton was delayed about a year ago, because we were in danger of relegation at that time too.
But Mike Ashley and company would be daft not to go along with what the 56 year-old world-class manager wants to happen, because Newcastle would be odds-on favorites to return to the Premier League next May.
But to stay Rafa would also want a complete overhaul of the Newcastle squad, so we are ready with a strong enough squad to get straight back up from the Championship next May.
Rafa has already been given total control on all transfers and it seems he is asking the Newcastle officials to demonstrate their ambition by starting to make the Benton complex into world-class training facilities.
Rafa is also asking for full backing in overhauling the Newcastle squad this summer.
As we had said this morning relegation could be looked on as at most a year delay in making Newcastle great again – and not even that – given that Rafa wants the work on new training facilities to begin now and wants to overhaul the squad immediately.
New players brought in will also not only be signed to get us promoted next May, but will form the basis of Rafa’s new Newcastle United team for the future.
And some of our best players could even want to get on the Rafa Benitez band-wagon very early on and stay at the club even if we are relegated.
Players like Andros Townsend as one example.
Newcastle’s finances will play a part in how many top wage earners we will be able to keep in the squad for next season, but there is singificant deadwood we need to sell or release in the summer.
Rafa will decide who stays and who foes.
This report in the Mail is also consistent with the Spanish report today that Newcastle are confident Rafa will stay at the club, even if we are relegated.
A lot of this depends on financial considerations, so we hope Mike Ashley is fully involved since his obvious expertise is in finance – and if he keeps Rafa on board by agreeing to Rafa’s demands – then it’ s a get out of jail card for the owner.
Rafa will also get offers coming in soon from other clubs in Europe and the Premier League, so if Newcastle have any sense they will try to nail Rafa down to staying on at Newcastle as soon as possible.
This is potentially very good news for Newcastle fans, so if you haven’t let Rafa Benitez know you want him to stay – now’s your chance .
It does seem as though it’s the outpouring of emotion towards him from the Newcastle fans that has had the former Real Madrid manager have second thoughts about leaving the club.
The Geordie fans also need to create some Rafa banners for Sunday’s game and get those chants ready – hopefully both can be used next season when Rafa is still with us – whatever happens.
Howay The Lads!!