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It May Be Difficult For Club To Meet These Rafa Requirements

7:04 pm, Monday, May 16th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 63 Comments

There was a hint of this yesterday in the  Chronicle, that Rafa Benitez would like to keep the majority of the current squad if he decides to manage the club next season in the Championship.

And there may be some financial problems with being able to do that, since our revenues will be much lower next season in the Championship then they have been over the previous three seasons in the Premier League.

Generally wages have to be cut and non-playing staff laid off in order to trim the day-to-day costs of the club – that’s business plain and simple.

rafa benitez spurs 987

Rafa Benitez at the end of the game yesterday

Rafa was asked by the Chronicle if top players like Moussa Sissoko, Gini Wijnaldum and Daryl Janmaat would be sold in the summer.

This is how the former Liverpool manager answered that:

“At the moment I can say nothing because we are still talking. But the idea is that the majority of the players they would stay. It depends.”

“Maybe we will receive a massive offer for a player we have to consider,  but the players know at the moment they have to stay. Then the club will decide little by little on each individual.”

“When I decided to come it was because of the talent of the players and the potential of the club.”

“Since I have come to the club there are a lot of people helping me to do the job. The staff and the players and everybody at every level has tried.”

“The players have trained and worked really hard. I have seen the potential and I can confirm what I thought was true, the potential and possibilities of the club are here.”

“That is why I am considering staying even in the Championship,  because everything seems quite positive.”  “We have to improve for sure and have to cut out the mistakes but potential is there.”

“We have to be realistic. The main thing will be to have a strong team for next season, but we have to keep an eye on everything.”

“We have to try to organize things and guarantee you can grow every year.” “The competition in the Premier League is massive because of the TV money.”

“People also know that in the Championship clubs will spend money to get up as soon as possible. “Everything has to be in place and done in the right way to improve.”

With the players signed this season, the wage bill has also increased dramatically.

For example Jonjo Shelvey and Andros Townsend are said to be on close to £80K/week – about £4M a year each in wages.

The financial controls in the Championship are more strict than in the Premier League so we cannot go into huge losses next season.

Without knowing exactly what Newcastle’s financial position is and what the total expected revenues are for next season, it’s hard to say how difficult this would be for Newcastle – to keep  a lot of our highly paid players at the club.

One advantage is the strong financial position Newcastle have been in over the last the last few years with us being the 17th richest club in the world for the last financial year through June 30th last year, with revenues of around £129M.

The wage bill can be reduced quite a bit by getting these fringe players off the wage bill somehow:

  • Sylvain Marveaux and Gabby Obertan have already left the club
  • Steven Taylor and Sammy Ameobi have contracts that will not be renewed
  • Fabricio Coloccini, Emmanuel Riviere and Yoan Gouffran could be sent out on loan or sold
  • Seydou Doumbia will return to Roma after his failed loan spell
  • Remy Cabella will join Marseille for around £6.3M (€8M)
  • Florian Thauvin and Henri Saivet could be sold and wouldn’t be missed

There’s 11 players we could lose and save on their wages and they wouldn’t be missed too much.

So because Newcastle have so much dead wood,  maybe the wage bill can be cut quite a bit by getting rid of a lot of the fringe players that Rafa simply hasn’t used and is unlikely to need next season.

It could be possible, but it needs whoever the financial brains are at Newcastle to get busy with those green shades.

We see what Rafa is trying to do – he has already had a huge impact on most of our players and he wants to keep most of them.

He has Moussa Sissoko playing great – also Andros Townsend playing near his very best form – and he wants to keep this team together as much as possible for next season, assuming it’s only one season down below.

The other problem  he may have is whether some of our top  Internationals – like those who think they should be playing for a club in the Champions League every season – will want to play in England’s second division and put their International careers at risk?

Some will not – and we should not forget that one of the very best things we did seven years ago was to let those players leave who didn’t want to stay and fight.

By that means we only had players in the squad committed to getting Newcastle straight back up – and that’s what happened.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Tags: Contracts · International News · Management · Newcastle News · Transfer News and Rumours

63 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Wayayman // May 16, 2016 at 7:05 PM

    Yep Lilo, Barton himself said it on Talk Sport last week. He also said that the answer came back that the Pope has more chance of playing for Newcastle than him.

    I’d love Rafa to stay then offer John Terry a crackin one year deal with coaching possibilities afterwards. Terry would be immense in the Championship and could be amazing for the young raw defenders we have coming through like Lascelles and Mbemba, Mbabu, Sterry etc to learn from . Dream time I know!

  • 2 Lilongwe Geordie // May 16, 2016 at 7:08 PM

    Shelvey just looks like someone who feels he has done it and doesn’t need to work anymore. He doesn’t appear to have the drive or determination to push himself on. It is all down to his attitude for me. He just doesn’t work hard enough or seem to want to.

    Real shame that the board couldn’t look past it for the good of the club. Terry would be interesting, he would certainly do a job, and add real leadership qualities. Not likely though. We were allegedly close to signing him once before, just before Roman bought the club as Chelsea needed the cash. Him and Woodgate….

    I mentioned Gerrard earlier, given his Raga connections, and LA not working out too well he would have a similar effect. Again, very unlikely.


  • 3 Yo-yo // May 16, 2016 at 7:11 PM

    Barton has been at Ibrox and having talks at Rangers for their SPL return over the weekend – as a balance to the young and inexperienced guys – though Tav has had a good season with them.

  • 4 Lilongwe Geordie // May 16, 2016 at 7:17 PM

    Really? I know he only had a one year deal, but I’d have expected Burnley to do all they could to keep him given he won their player of the year!

    Still, Rangers are a huge club, and it is probably an opportunity too good to pass up. He will do well there, and no doubt wind up the Celtic fans while he is on. I reckon the bookies probably have him odds on to receive some sort of death threat if he goes.

  • 5 lochinvar // May 16, 2016 at 7:17 PM

    There should be enough cash generated by all the parachute payments, increased revenue from more matches and even season tickets with Rafa at the helm.
    Supplement that with the sales of some fringe players and Cisse, maybe Tiote ( Chinese money ) , Jannmatt ( depends on where his head is ) and even Sissoke – but based on Sunday’s performance that could be a mistake as he could be a real nuisance next season.
    Have to keep Townsend – him and Rafa are a force to be reckoned with.

  • 6 Munster Mag // May 16, 2016 at 7:18 PM

    I’m not sure where rafa is going with this. He has to be fair to the club and the club has to be fair to him. Either way, his idea of keeping guys like Wiji Sissoko and Janmaat who will in no way fancy it in the championship, is pretty shortsighted of him. Does he really this he can coax a tune of of Wiji on a cold wednesday night in Blackburn?

  • 7 Munster Mag // May 16, 2016 at 7:21 PM

    Also, if we shift guys out, they have to re replaced . Ed you are wrong on this. The 11 players will be missed if ther boots are not filled with either reserves who are up to the task, or new replacements. Strange opinion Ed. Either way maybe rafa is playing hard ball, but in his boots I would flog wiji and janmaat and spend the 2mill on 3 players who want to play for this club, home and away.

  • 8 Lilongwe Geordie // May 16, 2016 at 7:21 PM

    He doesn’t have the job yet. He has to be diplomatic at this stage. I doubt he really believes that some players will only leave if massive offers are received.

  • 9 Ron Knee // May 16, 2016 at 7:21 PM


    Perhaps he’s just being diplomatic.

  • 10 Ron Knee // May 16, 2016 at 7:22 PM

    Uncanny, that!

  • 11 NoahJ // May 16, 2016 at 7:22 PM

    Feel a bit sorry for saivet- was barely given a sniff, and he’s in everyone’s clear-out list. I thought he was pretty good in the one game he was given a proper chance (west brom at home)

  • 12 Graeme // May 16, 2016 at 7:23 PM

    The “Sunday Supplement” at the end of the article is worth watching.

  • 13 Graeme // May 16, 2016 at 7:24 PM

    Sorry, missed the link out!!

  • 14 Jail for Ashley // May 16, 2016 at 7:24 PM

    Are you for real, you have constantly criticised one of the most exciting managerial appointments in our history, you’ve questioned his tactics, judgement and now his interviews, he hasn’t even signed yet. Why don’t we just bring Pearce in for you so you can have a proper whinge.

  • 15 Lindisfarne // May 16, 2016 at 7:25 PM

    Benítez shows just why so many Newcastle fans want him to stay

    Football really is played in the mind – St James’ Park devoted 90 minutes imploring Rafa Benítez to remain as their manager, to which the Spaniard responded by proving precisely why he’s worth the fuss and why Sunderland’s Sam Allardyce was so worried about a manager who arrived fractionally too late to save Newcastle and relegate Sunderland. Freed of the pressure invoked by the fear of relegation, Benítez’s players knew exactly how to adhere to his instructions to deconstruct Tottenham’s so-called high press, courtesy of a blend of patient counter-attacking football – representing a hybrid of the best of Alan Pardew and Steve McClaren. Spurs may have suffered mentally after losing out to Leicester on the title but this was still a tactical masterclass on Benítez’s part.
    Louise Taylor

  • 16 Jail for Ashley // May 16, 2016 at 7:29 PM

    Did I miss something, in what game did Saviet look good, he came on against W Ham and we nearly threw it away, has he played more than 90 mins. There’s a reason, like Marveaux that he hasn’t been given more chances.

  • 17 Lilongwe Geordie // May 16, 2016 at 7:31 PM

    I don’t buy that. Raga has done a lot of good since arriving, but he failed to change things in crucial games. We can look back over the last few years and there are many occasions our players have improved against top opposition.

    Raga has undoubtedly added more organisation, but the motivation for performances like yesterday and at Villa is purely down to being in the shop window for some. We have taken more points off the top 3 this season then the bottom.

  • 18 Lilongwe Geordie // May 16, 2016 at 7:34 PM

    Rafa not Raga….

    Rafa doesn’t seem to agree. When was the last time he was on the bench? Another failed purchase, a decent player, but not what was needed at the time.

  • 19 Jail for Ashley // May 16, 2016 at 7:38 PM

    The greatest bit about this Benitez saga is that apart from being on the verge of getting the most popular manager since KK he has put Ashley firmly in a corner. He has made it clear that he is willing to stay if the club are prepared to share his vision of success, if he walks away we all know in no uncertain tems that there isn’t any ‘Damascus’ moments or ‘Brave new worlds’ and that 100% Ashley has not turned a corner, if they look this gift horse in the mouth then hopefully this would be the beginning of the end for Mike Ashley.

  • 20 JackButler // May 16, 2016 at 7:42 PM

    When you take into account the amount of deadwood that needs to be thrown out, the ages will drop a fair bit especially when some of our so called big names believe they should be playing at the highest level, hysterical when you consider the type of performances these world beaters have put in this season, but at worst point Ashley has to bite the bullet and take a hit as he is the reason we are now a championship club.

    Whatever Raffa wants should be handed to him on a silver platter otherwise I seriously doubt we will come back up any time soon

  • 21 stuart no9 // May 16, 2016 at 7:46 PM

    i agrree . he has to be very careful what he says coz technically he hasnt agreed to anything yet.and newcastle havnt agreed to all his demands. I think the sokos and the ginis- jannmats should go now . i dont want them in the team next year if we do go up so i think this is the perfect time for raffa to clear out and build his team

  • 22 Jib // May 16, 2016 at 7:49 PM

    Lilo you are being a bit disengenuous
    You dissed Townsend every day at winter window time until we signed him.

    Just a wee example

    Lilongwe Geordie// Jan 19, 2016 at 10:22 AM
    Townsend has played a grand total of 366 minutes on the left wing in the Premier league. Hardly vastly experienced there. If he was even half decent on the left he would have had more opportunities there at Spuds in the league, but he hasn’t.

    One of the sweetest ironies in NUFC history (the last decade ) is that Hippoheed Allardyce would have suited Ashleys template to a tee.
    However the thick headed know-it-all (MA) told Chris Mort to bin him thus losing his best CEO as well ( Mort hated having to be Ashley’s hatchet man )

  • 23 Lilongwe Geordie // May 16, 2016 at 7:49 PM

    He has them over a barrel. He is a clever man, and has manipulated himself into a position where he either looks a hero for staying, or principled for leaving.

  • 24 EllaGuru // May 16, 2016 at 7:51 PM

    Saturday had little to do with Rafa’s tactical nous, nor Spurs’ lack of interest.
    It had all to do with our lot getting themselves noticed and a ticket out of here.
    Funny how they could not have been bothered before this to get the finger out.

    Dont get me wrong, I am all for Rafa to stay, but I really dont need to hear about how great a performance it was on Saturday and how tactically astute Rafa was.

  • 25 Jail for Ashley // May 16, 2016 at 7:53 PM

    The last time we went down the kindly Mr Ashley lent us 30M in return for a “little” bit of free advertising. I always claimed that it was his gross mismanagement that got us relegated in the first place while many still enamoured with Mikey back then believed it was the aged mercenaries assembled by Shepherd that took us down. After nine years and a promotion back to the PL there is no doubt whose diabolical appointments and policies took us down this time. The kindly Mr Ashley has to now get his other ‘business’ to pay for advertising at Etihad rates and take the hit himself for this shambles.

  • 26 Lilongwe Geordie // May 16, 2016 at 7:53 PM

    Not at all. If you look back at my very first comment tonight you will see me admit that I got pegged him wrong. I’ve done that several times since he has arrived.

    Anyway, I’m sure you are focussing that on my comment re the more popular players. Whether I like him or not, he is one of the more popular players.

  • 27 Lilongwe Geordie // May 16, 2016 at 7:54 PM

    *I pegged him wrong

  • 28 JackButler // May 16, 2016 at 7:56 PM

    To be honest, the 5-1 was this seasons final and most brutal kick in the nuts, as they, the players, showed what they are capable of at a point when the result counted for absolutely sod all.

    When we’ve needed them, our so called big players, were nowhere to be found, so that 5-1 left me asking “Where the hell were you when we need you”?

  • 29 BandB // May 16, 2016 at 7:57 PM


    I said he would be a gamble too. And he was.
    But he has come off and credit to him above all for that. He worked hard and took responsibility.
    He is the classic example of an unloved player under one regime finding his way again under another.
    I also said Shelvey was a gamble.
    He didn’t come off.

  • 30 stephen1971 // May 16, 2016 at 8:00 PM

    i hope rafa stays or the future does,nt look bright at all, the thing is, how is penfold going to justify his job if he gives rafa all that power ? and apparently its him thats doing the talking with rafa now, scary thoughts

    get the kettle on penfold

  • 31 JackButler // May 16, 2016 at 8:00 PM


    I agree mate, he has caused this and therefor he has to take whatever hit to ensure we come back up at the first time of asking. His mismanagement of our club has sent us down again, after not learning a single damn thing after last season last day escape and so he has to, in every single way, take whatever hit that will come our way

  • 32 Lilongwe Geordie // May 16, 2016 at 8:02 PM

    I think both he and Shelvey were probably 3rd or 4th on the list of we take the 3 window statement at face value. I think due to our position in the league, the players we wanted wouldn’t join, so we dropped down the list to someone who would.

    Townsend has done excellently and proved me wrong. I’m very happy about that. Shelvey has had his moments, but hasn’t put in the effort required and looks for the spectacular too often to be a key part of a relegation threatened team.

  • 33 Thump // May 16, 2016 at 8:04 PM

    @EllaGuru: It’s 6 of one and half a dozen of the other imo. I mean, Spurs were well and truly deflated at KO, only really coming back to fight for the first 10 or so minutes of the second half. Rafa got his tactics right, Spurs were kanckered, and the most defining factor absolutely was players wanting to show that “they could still do it” (when they felt like it).

  • 34 Ron Knee // May 16, 2016 at 8:06 PM

    Brighton will be hard to beat – if they don’t get promoted.

  • 35 BandB // May 16, 2016 at 8:07 PM

    Well, we can all make howlingly bad predictions I guess, Lil.’
    I’d keep Shelvey if he wants to stay….but is he really on eighty grand a week?

  • 36 Lilongwe Geordie // May 16, 2016 at 8:10 PM

    Yeah, can’t be write all the time!

    Allegedly, that is what the papers have said. Ludicrous, but January was the last desperate roll of the dice by an owner, board and manager

  • 37 Lilongwe Geordie // May 16, 2016 at 8:11 PM

    Yeah, can’t be right all the time!

    Allegedly, that is what the papers have said. Ludicrous, but January was the last desperate roll of the dice by an owner, board and manager woefully out of their depth.

  • 38 Yo-yo // May 16, 2016 at 8:19 PM

    I think Shelvey might come good under Rafa.
    He’s obviously got the talent, just needs to match it with consistent form and workrate.

    If he is going to be a club hopper moving on every time he doesn’t get his own way, or loses form, he’ll never fulfil his potential.

  • 39 Lilongwe Geordie // May 16, 2016 at 8:19 PM

    I’m off, if I can’t even type the right ‘right’ then I think it is time for bed. That one definitely wasn’t the screens fault!

  • 40 job // May 16, 2016 at 8:19 PM

    So Rafa says no

  • 41 Essex Geordie Bill // May 16, 2016 at 8:26 PM

    Pity we’ve lost Marveux, he’d have been a real star in the Championship.

  • 42 Ron Knee // May 16, 2016 at 8:28 PM


    We’ve still got Thauvin!

  • 43 banjax // May 16, 2016 at 8:33 PM

    The turmoil that relegation causes doesn’t mean that Ashley has to rush to stump up the cash because the first and most important thing is the agreement between Benitez and Ashley. Next is which players Benitez can keep because their will be a few that will not stay even for Benitez. Next is our end of season bonus which will add say £90m to the kitty as well as parachute money added to the sales of unwanted players at the club, should give a decent level of funding for the championship. It will only take a big offer for say Winaldum to add a pile of cash to the fighting fund. So I don’t think Ed’s worries are founded.

  • 44 Essex Geordie Bill // May 16, 2016 at 8:45 PM

    Ron Knee

    Things are just looking better and better.

  • 45 Essex Geordie Bill // May 16, 2016 at 8:47 PM

    Especially if Big Mike chucks half a billion into the pot.

  • 46 Ron Knee // May 16, 2016 at 8:47 PM

    That’s NUFC for you!

  • 47 Bobbybee // May 16, 2016 at 8:54 PM

    Rafa knows the business side as well. He knows some players have to go and he even hints at it. With his use of the word some. Anyway, not here for that. Play offs with brighton v wednesday. What a cracking first half. Knockeart running Weds ragged. Very good player, wouldn’t be averse to him coming here. Dunk scored again, from a knockeart free kick. Weds equalised with a blantantly wrong goal. Should never have stood. Ball came in, dunk goes to head it clear and gets pushed. Deceives the keeper, drops in the far post. Shocking decision and so blatantly obvious.
    Anyway, back to it. Cracking game. Later.

  • 48 GeordieTwo // May 16, 2016 at 8:59 PM

    I just want to thank you all for attending this seasons Blogger Ratings. A very exciting time of year for obvious reasons. So let’s get on with it then. In no obvious order here are the rankings:
    Ron Knee: deep, thoughtful comments. A wry wit and some cagey backtracking when necessary. Knows his footy but doesn’t flaunt it. Very good season Ron. Keep it up mate. 7.5/10
    Tsunki: has gotten even more cagey with his advancing years. Lays low and then springs out and really lets us have it with both barrels. Good to have by your side in a scrap. Except when he uses the old cheese cutter that is. Another excellent season Tsunki. 8/10
    Jesper: Hmmmmm. Poor attendance. Very poor in fact. I’m just looking over some of the last few weeks. Hmmmm. It’s gotten even more sketchy. VERY DISAPPOINTING jesper. Sad to do this but 4/10.
    BandB: Cogent, concise, clever in her arguments. Sneaks up on you with the cosh and then lets you have it when you deserve it. No nonsense. 8/10
    Ibiza: Hmmmm. Very interesting season. Started slow but then built up to some tremendous postings. A wry, wrinkly wit with some absolute pearls in there. Glad to hear the sand flea bites are healing nicely Ibiza. This is the complete (if somewhat itchy) package people. Well done Ibiza. 8.5/10
    Lilongwe: very knowledgeable in footy matters. Low key but much respected. Gives us a wide perspective. Very serious approach (much like yours truly). Have to give this lad his due. Excellent season Lilongwe. 8.5/10
    To be continued (he said ominously). Have to put me groceries away now.

  • 49 goommy // May 16, 2016 at 9:06 PM

    According to his words. I think Rafa open to stay but he need full control of the squad. It’s quite easy to understand that if Ashley want him to stay he have to pay and invest for the club future. Why not?

  • 50 GeordieTwo // May 16, 2016 at 9:14 PM

    Got the groceries done. Back to work:
    Mr. Tuff: another strong season. Gets very intense in a no nonsense way. Has strong opinions and leaves no doubt as to where he stands. Brings out strong comments from the other bloggers. Needs to use more links to strengthen his arguments. 7.5/10
    Essex Geordie Bill: Punchy. Tight. Concise. Gets to the point and really sharpens it up. Good work Essex mate. 7.5/10
    jimmysmith: can be a bit gnarly at times but a good sense of humour and comes back fighting. Pound for pound can take care of himself in exchanges with some of our heavy hitters. 7/10. More comments please. Your ratings depend on it jimmy mate.
    YouCouldn’tMakeItUp: Pithy, slippery when wet, a bit over the top. Difficult to pin down. Pops out and makes his pointiest point and then disappears. Reminds me a lot of Markaccus. Well done this season YCMIU. 8/10. Back later. Have to water the old onion patch.

  • 51 GeordieTwo // May 16, 2016 at 9:19 PM

    No beermonkey. I haven’t forgotten your rating mate. Nag, nag, nag. What’s that beermonkey? No that wasn’t directed at you.
    beermonkey: short to the point postings. Excellent work in the wheeled bobsled tournaments. Gets things done. Sad about being kidnapped and used as a sex slave in Wales but seems to have recovered well. Needs to keep up his fitness for the upcoming White Water Canoeing. Well done this season beermonkey. 8/10.

  • 52 Ruddy Marveaux-lous // May 16, 2016 at 9:49 PM

    So I’m assuming that when these talks break down (and they will break down) and Rafa walks away from the club, that’s when you’ll all truly be up in arms. Yes?

    Answers on the back of a stamp please.

  • 53 jimmysmith // May 16, 2016 at 9:49 PM

    You sense all of those 11, and one of Elliot and Krul, could be trimmed, and by promoting 4 or 5 under 21’s we’d have enough bodies. We seem to have carried too many numbers in recent years. The problem more being light in quality in a two or three positions, which would be far less a problem in the Championship.

    I’d try to keep the stars if I were Benitez. They would play very well in a dominant side, and certainly would do similar in the EPL under Benitez, given he would have them from beginning to end.

    We have a decent core group of players. I suppose being relegated makes many think we don’t, but I doubt Benitez thinks so.

    Even Collocini is still more than capable of doing a very good job for us in the Championship, in a swan song season, although the tipping point with him would be his salary, which they might too much to carry. But he would be useful, and then his contract is up, freeing up a squad place at hopefully just the right time.

    Similarly with Tiote and Cisse. But if you do replace these players now, you are stuck with their replacements once we are back, and its doubtful we’d want them then. I’d keep all three, if it were viable.

  • 54 welshgeordie9 // May 16, 2016 at 9:53 PM

    Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    What makes you think he’s going to say no, bit of negative attitude there.

  • 55 Jib // May 16, 2016 at 9:53 PM

    Ruddy Marveaux-lous // May 16, 2016 at 9:49 PM

    Answers on the back of a stamp please

    Just after my dissertation

  • 56 Jib // May 16, 2016 at 9:55 PM

  • 57 Ruddy Marveaux-lous // May 16, 2016 at 9:57 PM


    A) Not a student and B) What’s wrong with students?


    He’s won multiple top tier titles, as well as multiple European trophies including the Champions League. He’s not staying.

  • 58 welshgeordie9 // May 16, 2016 at 10:01 PM

    Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Anything can happen, look at Leicester this season, no one would of thought of them winning the league.

  • 59 jimmysmith // May 16, 2016 at 10:04 PM

    Benitez may well simply be extending the club and the fans the courtesy of talking, of course. Or perhaps, be torn between heart and head, and choose to go. We all know that.

    If he does go, I’d be fully in support of Ashley Out. Not because I think Ashley is a wrong un, but simply because he’s had every chance to succeed over 9 long and quite tortured years, and failed almost entirely, considering our size.

    Enough would be enough.

  • 60 wolfshead@toon // May 16, 2016 at 10:09 PM

    this is dragging on too long fatty must be sweating buckets trying to work out how to back out whilst trying to make it look like benitez is being unreasonable

  • 61 Ruddy Marveaux-lous // May 16, 2016 at 10:11 PM

    That’s the downside to Leicester winning the league, despite getting relegated we have even further cause for delusions of grandeur.

    Let’s accept our mediocrity for the time being, reconcile that we’re simply a big regional club and are rapidly being overtaken by the likes of West Ham, Southampton, and even the likes of Everton.

    Yes we’ve a loyal fan base and a big stadium but in less than 10 years nearly every PL team will have bigger/similar sized stadiums to us.

    We just aren’t that special anymore. Too many other clubs have a lot more to offer – to Rafa and to umpteen other managers whom we think might be on our “target” list.

    Harsh, but true in my view.

  • 62 jimmysmith // May 16, 2016 at 10:17 PM

    Not so. Under a quality manager, and with the right backing and administration, Newcastle can be a major force in England and Europe. Benitez will know this, and this is why he might stay.

  • 63 BandB // May 16, 2016 at 10:22 PM

    I think Bishop would offer up something like this.

    “If Mr Benitez had succeeded in keeping us in the Premiership, which was his target, then OF COURSE we would have backed him. Only to happy to. To the hilt.
    But he didn’t, and sadly, because of that it would be simply impossible and irresponsible to meet the kinds of demands that are being made.”

    I predict this would be gratefully seized upon as “Fair-do’s, Mike. You did your best!”

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