The best thing Mike Ashley has ever done since he bought Newcastle nine and a half years ago is to work to keep Rafa Benitez at the club after we were relegated in May for the second time in his unsuccessful reign.
Mike and Managing Director Lee Charnley seemed to agree with all of Rafa’s demands in negotiations which lasted 10 days until on May 25th it was announced what all fans had been hoping and praying for – Rafa would stay at Newcastle on a three year deal for around £5M a year.
Ben Robinson – Burton Chairman
Mike Ashley knows very little about running a football club and former manager and player Kevin Keegan has been praising the way Burton Albion – our opponents tomorrow – are run by their Chairman – self-made millionaire Ben Robinson.
Robinson has presided over Burton Albion while they were promoted from the Football Conference in 2009 and they are now in the Championship and he wants Burton to be at the center of the community.
Kevin has been speaking at a Sportsman’s dinner in Burton, and this is what he has said as reported in the Chronicle today:
“The way Burton is run is wonderful and it’s sort of a bit of a throwback because it’s not happening at many places.”
“All the big clubs are now owned by Americans or Chinese owners and there is nothing wrong with but this is a great story.”
“That is what Sir John Hall did at Newcastle; he made his money in the North East and put his money back into the football club.”
“Because he rightly believed and rightly so that the football club was at the heart of the community.”
“The community at the center of a club is vital but sadly it’s dying in the game. We’re getting a lot of people who are buying football clubs who don’t know how to run it.”
“Newcastle would be an example of this, Mike Ashley doesn’t know what he has got there.”
That’s because he is not from the area and I think he is just learning now what he has got – which is a fantastic opportunity.”
Rafa is also a great believer in the club being at the center of the local community and he has been working towards that goal since he arrived at Newcastle.
So Kevin is absolutely right – if Mike Ashley simply stays out of the way and keeps supporting Rafa – then he could even become a successful owner in the years ahead, as unlikely as that may seem.
He has finally somebody who knows what he’s doing and is also a world-class manager and seems obsessed with making Newcastle great again.
That sounds like music to our ears.
Note to Ashley – keep doing what you are doing and keep out of Rafa’s way while at the same time supporting everything the manager wants to do at Newcastle.
That’s a policy that will take Newcastle back to greatness again.
Howay The Lads!!