The fact that Rafa Benitez was thinking of staying on at Newcastle was conveniently reported on Thursday morning 12th May, after we had been relegated the previous evening when Sunderland easily beat Everton 3-0 at home, to secure their safety in the Premier League.
And the negotiations have dragged on ever since then and the possibility of Rafa Benitez staying with us has captured the imagination of Newcastle fans everywhere that a great era may be on the horizon for the club.
And of course, no communication from the club about what’s happening – but that’s par for the course – and they have conveniently kept leaking positive news off and on over the past couple of weeks.
It’s been a long 12 years since Sir Bobby Robson was sacked and he was the last manager to have Newcastle competing in the Champions League – and he did that twice in his five years managing the club..
What the long drawn-out negotiations have also achieved quite successfully is to mute the rage and dissatisfaction of relegation with those who run Newcastle.
The club spent £80M on players and we were the second highest spending club in the Premier League, yet those in charge have been so inept and incompetent that we still have been relegated.
Just imagine what things would have been like over the last two weeks if we had no manager and Lee Charnley was looking around to appoint his third manager (head coach) in the last eighteen months.
Heaven knows what kinds of managers he would be looking at.
So the efforts to sign Rafa long-term have been a distraction for the fans and that has served a purpose.
Lee’s choice of John Carver followed by Steve McClaren were simply horrendous and monumental errors of judgement.
Steve McClaren in particular was a terrible choice after he had been fired by Derby County and only this week has been turned down by Rotherham, who finished 4th bottom of the Championship last season.
At the next Fans Forum meeting Lee Charnley – if he attends and if he doesn’t cancel the meeting – needs to explain that stupid decision and why he thought that Steve would be the “perfect coach for Newcastle.”
What’s the chances of Lee refusing to talk about the relegation and saying something like – “we made mistakes – we have learned from those mistakes and signed Rafa Benitez and want to move on and don’t want to dwell on the past.”
Signing Rafa Benitez is a get out of jail card for those who ran the club last season – and they know it.
But there is such a thing as accountability,but maybe not at Newcastle.
So to a growing number of Newcastle fans it seems odd that negotiation to sign a manager should last this long – 13 days and counting – with the latest news being that Rafa will be signed before the end of this week.
Rafa Benitez a week last Friday said it could take two weeks at a maximum – so it’s taking the maximum amount of time – but remember the negotiations had already started by then.
The trust is so low in Newcastle at the moment that we wouldn’t be surprised by anything by those running the club.
And with Rafa wanting everything written down in a detailed legal document, which we are told is what’s taking the time, it’s also obvious he has little trust in the hierarchy at Newcastle United.
Before he signs on at the club he wants all the agreements down in black and white – so to speak.