Balague – Chanting Rafa’s Name Will Have A Huge Impact

Guillem Balague is the Sky Sports journalist in Spain who knows all about Rafa Benitez and he knows an awful lot about Newcastle United too.

Guillem has written an exclusive article for Yahoo Sports on Rafa’s future and he thinks Rafa could well stay at Newcastle and one of the major reasons will be the Newcastle United fans and the bond he has already formed with them over the last nine weeks.

Guillem Balague

Guillem Balague – chanting his name will impact Rafa Benitez

This is some of what Guillem wrote for Yahoo Sports:

“Rafa Benitez will decide over the next few days whether or not to pledge his immediate future to getting Newcastle straight back into the Premier League – and it’s magnificent army of fans will certainly be one of the major factors influencing his decision.”

“I was told on social media recently that he could expect his name to be chanted for 90 minutes non-stop during the club’s final match of the season against Tottenham at the weekend as the crowd tries to play its part in persuading the Spaniard to stay at the club.”

:If that happens, knowing him as I do, I am absolutely convinced that it will have a major bearing on his decision.”

Balague has come up with at least five reasons why he thinks Rafa is seriously considering staying on Tyneside (we are using mostly Guillem’s words from his article for this list we created):

  1. Newcastle United are at an all time low –  Rafa will know better than most that, for him, the club and its fans, the only way is up.
  2. Newcastle United is a huge club, unquestionably one of the biggest in England, possibly Europe with one of the largest and most loyal fan bases in the world; a club for which the phrase ‘sleeping giant’ could have been invented.
  3. Rafa has seen enough in his short tenure to know just how much potential he has in his squad and he has already identified what changes need to made both tactically, technically and generally around the club’s whole structure.
  4. It’s also worth mentioning at this point that apart from trophies for the Championship that brought them back into the Premier League in 2010 this is a club that – despite a number of close calls – has won sweet diddly-squat since lifting the Inter Cities Fairs Cup way back in 1969.
  5. From the point of view of his home life it also suits him to remain in England where he has always had the family home back from his Liverpool days.

From what Guillem says it seems the chants and hopefully the banners on display at the Tottenham game on Sunday afternoon could well do the job and fully convince Rafa that his home should be Newcastle United for the next few years where he can build a great side that we haven’t had for far too long.

The Chronicle are doing a great job in bringing the fans together in an effort to convince Rafa to stay – and they have wisely asked that there are no demonstrations against the owner and the Board on Sunday afternoon.

Rather use the game to try to persuade the world-class manager to stay on Tyneside and give the Geordie fans some real hope for the future – for the first time in a long time.

It would be good to have a really good attendance at the game, but there will still be depression mixed with anger over the relegation.

But just think if Rafa pledges his future to Newcastle United this summer things could be really exciting – for a change!

Here is Guillem’s Yahoo exclusive.

The Chronicle have an open letter to Rafa and a petition for fans to sign – here’s where you can read the letter and sign the petition.

If you want to send a message to Rafa asking him to stay, here’s all the contact information for Newcastle United – here.

Here’s Rafa’s twitter account associated with his web-site.

129 comments so far

  • GeordieTwo

    May 13, 2016 at 9:53 PM

    Comment #1

    The only way back up will be hard work and good football. Like last time except we don’t have anywhere near enough of the right type of players this time. Do you understand that Ashley?

  • kikgras

    May 13, 2016 at 9:54 PM

    Comment #2

    like him or not, Ashley will back the team financially to get straight back up – its the smart play with all the TV revenue in the EPL. Its his ONLY play! Rafa, if you’ve been promised the keys to the castle, and most would have to believe you have…what is really stopping you? glory of the EPL midtable next year @ Everton? not with your liverpool background. Rafa is either here or he is off to a top 5-6 club…just my opinion. My hope is Rafa stays…bring the passion back to the pitch. Geordie nation will be there…all he need do is ask.

  • BandB

    May 13, 2016 at 9:55 PM

    Comment #3

    Sky Sports suggests the Ashley conflict of interests story may have some teeth after all.

    The key paragraphs are the following, which suggest Ashley may have to shell some of his hold on Rangers commercial interests, or put himself (and us) in the clarts with the entire Football League.

    Sanctions include exclusion from the entire league structure.

    “Regulation 98.2.4 states that no individual from one club is permitted “to have any power whatsoever to influence the financial, commercial or business affairs or the management or administration” of another.

    The Football League does allow its members to own up to 10 per cent of other clubs so long as the shares are bought “purely for investment purposes only”.

    As reported by Sky Sports.

  • Jib

    May 13, 2016 at 10:00 PM

    Comment #4
  • BandB

    May 13, 2016 at 10:03 PM

    Comment #5


    You were keen to rubbish this story earlier.
    It appears “investment purposes only” may not cover giving Rangers 4p in the £ on sales in its own club shops.

  • beermonkey

    May 13, 2016 at 10:15 PM

    Comment #6


    why is it an issue in the chamionship and not the prem??

  • BandB

    May 13, 2016 at 10:18 PM

    Comment #7

    They have different rules, beer.
    That what they say in the link above…in direct quotations…it’s not my opinion.
    And it isn’t just the Championship. It’s the whole football league.

  • bettyswallocks

    May 13, 2016 at 10:20 PM

    Comment #8

    Appeasing the fans won’t be a priority after Sunday’s game so unless they announce Rafa as staying tomorrow or maybe at the match on Sunday then it’s likely he’ll be away.

  • BandB

    May 13, 2016 at 10:22 PM

    Comment #9

    Read this, particularly the last line.
    It doesn’t sound like they are funning.

    “Any breach of any of the foregoing Regulations 98 to 101 inclusive, including without limitation knowingly rendering incorrect or incomplete information pursuant to Regulations 101 and 103, shall constitute misconduct.

    “Without prejudice to the range of other sanctions that may be imposed in respect of such breach, any club in breach of any of the aforesaid regulations may with the sanction of a special resolution passed at an annual or extraordinary general meeting of the League, be expelled from the League. There shall be no right of appeal against such expulsion.”

  • Jib

    May 13, 2016 at 10:23 PM

    Comment #10

    B and B
    I wasn’t keen to rubbish it as you put it.
    Like many you doubt any story in the media except if it is against your pet hate Ashley.
    I tend to look at everything journos say askance.

    For example I went to the effort of having a look at the rule myself and it would appear to apply to in clubs that operate under the aegis of the FA
    So as follows :-
    The Owners’ and Directors’ Test applies to all clubs in the Premier League, Football League, Football Conference, Isthmian League, Northern Premier League and Southern Football League. The purpose of the Test is for the owners, directors and officers of clubs in those leagues to meet standards greater than that required under law so as to protect the reputation and image of the game. The Premier League and Football League administer the Test for clubs in their leagues. Any queries in relation to the application of the Test to a club in membership of the Premier League or Football League should be addressed to the respective league. The FA administers the Test to clubs in membership of the Football Conference and the three leagues below.

  • bettyswallocks

    May 13, 2016 at 10:23 PM

    Comment #11

    Does anyone know if Ashley is planning to attend on Sunday?

  • BandB

    May 13, 2016 at 10:25 PM

    Comment #12

    They are reporting the League rules Jib.
    Not having a pop at Ashley.
    You don’t seem willing to accept there is a difference.

  • BandB

    May 13, 2016 at 10:28 PM

    Comment #13

    And naturally, the first thing you’ve found on Google will be superior to a report by the Press Association, which is trusted around the whole world.

  • BandB

    May 13, 2016 at 10:29 PM

    Comment #14

    If the Queen dies tomorrow, the Palace will inform the Press Association.
    Not you.

  • beermonkey

    May 13, 2016 at 10:30 PM

    Comment #15


    it is worse for charmless and co if he has to let go of his rangers deal
    he has made alot of cash them

    i didnt realise until today that us going down would impact his rangers deal

    although we must have talked about it all last season when we escaped

    so my memory must be pi55 poor

  • Jib

    May 13, 2016 at 10:32 PM

    Comment #16

    The FA administers the Test to clubs in membership of the Football Conference and the three leagues below.
    I thought it was a bit draconian telling someone they couldn’t own shares in another association’s club.
    Regardless of this anyway , that pillar of society Dave King has made sure that Ashley has absolutely no say in the running of Rangers.

  • BandB

    May 13, 2016 at 10:34 PM

    Comment #17

    If you just shout just a little bit louder Jib…I’m sure it will overwhelm all facts and reason.

  • Jib

    May 13, 2016 at 10:40 PM

    Comment #18

    It’s when UEFA are involved that there is a clash of interest with Rangers although the chances of us playing in cups in Europe seems remote at the moment.

  • stan anderson

    May 13, 2016 at 10:43 PM

    Comment #19

    Did Alan Shearer not at some time say Mclaren is good coach
    Is he forgetting earlier quotes he made
    Ashley OOT

  • BandB

    May 13, 2016 at 10:44 PM

    Comment #20

    It is about the competitions you are eligible for and entered in Jib.
    Not those who qualify for the final rounds.
    Ergo, it is about potential conflicts of interest.
    Though the substantive issue we are discussing is about Football League rules, and UEFA rules are a red herring you have just introduced.

  • BandB

    May 13, 2016 at 10:47 PM

    Comment #21

    The chairman of Hartlepool United would also not be able to exercise commercial control over aspects of Rangers Football Club, despite the remote possibility they would meet in a Europa League Final.

  • Jib

    May 13, 2016 at 10:49 PM

    Comment #22

    B and B

    Having heard you hint at your background.

    I will furnish you with this little snippet of info supplied to me by a good friend at Strathclyde University which may enlighten you.

    When Wier Pumps sent Dave King out to SA in the late 70’s he was in bluenose bigot’s heaven.
    Black servants to do his bidding
    He was actually warned a couple of times about their treatment.
    Warned by BJ Vorsters government about his attitude to blacks !!!

    Why do you think after making his fortune in SA (and paying no taxes ) he’s back in Glasgow ?

  • BandB

    May 13, 2016 at 10:50 PM

    Comment #23

    Under Football League rules.
    Which journos did not write.

  • BandB

    May 13, 2016 at 10:51 PM

    Comment #24

    Slavver, slavver, slavver Jib.

  • BandB

    May 13, 2016 at 10:54 PM

    Comment #25

    Though I have to say, you do at least try to advance an argument.
    Which I do respect.
    I remember when folks thought YOU had a lousy temper.

  • welshgeordie9

    May 13, 2016 at 10:57 PM

    Comment #26

    Has anyone watched the the True Geordies new video on us getting relegated, all i can say is wow, it must be his biggest rant ever and rightly so, his attack on the three stooges is very good to watch, wouldn’t like to be in the same room as him if I was one of those three, his best rant ever.

  • Jib

    May 13, 2016 at 10:57 PM

    Comment #27
  • BandB

    May 13, 2016 at 10:59 PM

    Comment #28

    That’s a white girl Jib.

  • toon kk

    May 13, 2016 at 11:00 PM

    Comment #29

    Our current squad weather people admit it or realise it would not hack championship football. There is some good players in the championship, but most of all its the work rate that is so strong. We’ll need the right player’s or we could be there for years.

  • Jib

    May 13, 2016 at 11:01 PM

    Comment #30

    I actually preferred the True Geordie on Adam Johnson – he was quite thoughtful and avoided using it as an excuse to have a pop at Sunlun.
    Never seen him humble before !

  • stuart no9

    May 13, 2016 at 11:01 PM

    Comment #31

    ive always said , rafas name should be sang throughout the full 90 mins on sunday , some think chants should be directed at the owners , not that i disagree with giving them grief , but sunday is all about raffa .
    Why not form at the directors entrance after the game and protest with a sit in or whatever is needed but durung then game , there is only 1 person that matters .

  • Jib

    May 13, 2016 at 11:02 PM

    Comment #32

    You get the idea

  • BandB

    May 13, 2016 at 11:03 PM

    Comment #33

    I don’t actually.
    Are you suggesting that you are making all the self-evidently sensible points and I am not listening to them?

  • BandB

    May 13, 2016 at 11:04 PM

    Comment #34

    Or wa the dave King point your coup de grace?

  • welshgeordie9

    May 13, 2016 at 11:06 PM

    Comment #35


    I just think he’s brilliant to watch, really entertaining.

  • welshgeordie9

    May 13, 2016 at 11:07 PM

    Comment #36

    What does BandB mean anyway.

  • BandB

    May 13, 2016 at 11:14 PM

    Comment #37

    It means bed and breakfast Welsh.
    Ya warra mean, like 😉
    By blog repute I give hand shandies to guests in the back yard, while bleeding through the mouth, once a month.
    Though you have never said that. Nor Jeff or Jib. Or magscar. Nor anyone else who I have taken the time to argue with.
    It’s tended to come from voice off.
    I hope that isn’t going to start now.

  • brklyngeordie

    May 13, 2016 at 11:16 PM

    Comment #38

    So now that we know where we stand do we give anyone of our youth players a shot this week? Woodman , Sterry maybe, anyone else I have not mentioned.

    With that being said who is really going to stick with us in the Championship who currently on squad is going to be ready for the grind with a 46 game season not including cups (not that we play many of those games).

    Who do you believe will keep their head up if Rafa walks and still have the heart and belief to get us back up next season I don’t see many on this team and the few who may might not be around.

    Only players I see as must stay and keep is Lascelles and Mbemba the longer we can keep them together hopefully the better they will be for it. Look forward to seeing what Armstrong will be like as well even Toney bout time some English players were given a chance to wear the shirt. Forgot to mention Townsend as well but cant blame him if he leaves he tried his best not his fault we didnt bring him in earlier but instead went with Carr’s fascination with Thauvin who he was tracking for years.

    Aaronns I would mention as well but dont know how I feel about him seems to have talent but always hurt and not sure he really lusts to wear the shirt which is disappointing give me players who wear it with pride because we will need a lot of it in the Championship not going to be easy with midweek fixtures at some smaller grounds with clubs looking to claim our scalp so character will be needed in abundance.

  • welshgeordie9

    May 13, 2016 at 11:19 PM

    Comment #39


    Perhaps you should change it, come up with something a little bit imaginative.

  • welshgeordie9

    May 13, 2016 at 11:20 PM

    Comment #40

    Wow imaginative that’s a long word for me.


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