There’s a report in the Mirror today by Simon Bird that a St. James’ Park insider has leaked the news that Rafa Benitez will be given big money in the summer, if he can get Newcastle promoted and back to the Premier league.
We covered the report last night concentrating on the fact that Mike Ashley was not happy Rafa leaked his discontent of the January transfer window to the press.
But maybe the main reason the news was leaked was to allay the fears of Newcastle fans, although to be accurate Mike Ashley has done very little for the Newcastle fans in his 10 disruptive years in charge of the famous club.
Rafa Benitez has instructions for DeAndre Yedlin yesterday
But maybe we are being a little harsh on the owner and up until the middle of January he had done everything right by keeping in the background and letting Rafa run the show.
Certainly we do think Newcastle will be flush with cash if we are promoted and back to the big money of the Premier League this summer.
We spent nothing in the January transfer and Rafa and Lee Charnley had a brilliant transfer window together last summer when he brought in 12 new players, sent big wage earners on loan and made a profit we estimated at the time at about £31M.
|Matz Sels||£4.5M||KAA Gent|
|Dwight Gayle||£10M||Crystal Palace|
|Jesus Gamez||£1.5M||Atletico Madrid|
|Ciaran Clark||£5M||Aston Villa|
|Mohamed Diame||£4.5M||Hull City|
|Daryl Murphy||£3M||Ipswich Town|
|Christian Atsu||Loan - season||Chelsea|
|Transfer Fees In||£54.5M|
|Gabby Obertan||Released||Anzhi Makhachkala|
|Steven Taylor||Released||Portland Timbers|
|Fabricio Coloccini||Released||San Lorenzo|
|Andros Townsend||£13M||Crystal Palace|
|Papiss Cisse||£2.5M||Shandong Luneng|
|Florian Thauvin||Loan - season||Marseille|
|Siem de Jong||Loan - season||PSV|
|Kevin Mbabu||Loan - season||BSC Young Boys|
|Henri Saivet||Loan - season||St. Etienne|
|Tim Krul||Loan - January||Ajax|
|Tim Krul||Loan from January||AZ Alkmaar|
|Gael Bigirimana||Free||Coventry City|
|Adam Armstrong||Loan - season||Barnsley|
|Emmanuel Riviere||Loan - season||CA Osasuna|
|Jamie Sterry||Loan - January||Coventry City|
|Haris Vuckic||Loan - January||Bradford City|
|Sammy Ameobi||Loan - January||Bolton Wanderers|
|Moussa Sissoko||£30M||Tottenham Hotspur|
|Transfer Fees Out||£85.5M|
The good news it will be a lot easier for Rafa to sign the players he wants when we are promoted and back as a Premier League club.
A club once again (hopefully) wanting to build a top team to challenge at the top of the Premier League and a world-class manager in charge.
But of course the fans will now be wondering whether Ashley has got cold feet on fully supporting Rafa and whether Rafa really does have a free rein on transfers at Newcastle.
That seems to have been what happened last month with the ominous news in the Mirror report that Newcastle will do it his way in the summer.
We hope that only refers to how much money he makes available to Rafa every transfer window.
But the worry is that Mike Ashley has shown in the past he can screw up almost anything at Newcastle – even when everything seems to be going very well – as it is now with yesterday’s good display (for 70 minutes) and 1-0 home win in front of a passionate and sold out St. James’ Park crowd.
Most owners would be very happy with that.
But if Rafa does leave the club in the summer – heaven forbid – it will be 10 times worse than when Kevin Keegan was forced out – and that was bad enough.
We are hoping for the best and we really don’t think Mike Ashley is that daft.