There’s an excellent report from Mark Douglas in the Chronicle today and one of the things he says is that Rafa Benitez has requested a personal face to face meeting with Mike Ashley at the end of the season.
Presumably this is to get assurances from the owner on certain things after he seems to have been both disappointed and even angry at what happened in the January transfer window when not one senior player was brought into the club and not one penny was spent by the club.
That was in spite of Managing Director Lee Charnley and Rafa bringing in 12 new players in the summer and selling some want-away players like Moussa Sissoko and making a massive profit for the club of £31M.
It’s thumbs up from Rafa Benitez
Benitez is not unlike Mike Ashley in that he is very pragmatic, but he also is a good businessman and understands the club has to operate in a self-sufficient way.
But with sold-out crowds next season at increased prices, Newcastle should be able to increase their revenues significantly in the Premier League with anything from £100M to £180M in TV rights money available to the teams, depending essentially on where each finished in the league table.
That’s especially true since we expect Rafa to be able to have us finish in the top half of the PL table (we’ve done that only twice in the 10 years of Ashley’s ownership) and eventually in the top six or the top four after a few years.
Benitez is willing to travel to the headquarters of Sports Direct to meet with Ashley directly and just like his coaching and his plans for each match, he will be very well prepared and briefed for that particular meeting.
It will be good if some relationship could be forged between Rafa and the owner and that Rafa can get Mr. Ashley to fully commit to his ambitious plans for the future of Newcastle United Football Club.
Then we can go somewhere and go somewhere quickly too – like to Wembley to win a domestic cup for the first time since 1955 – 62 years ago when I was a young man of 41.
And it would be nice to have a photo of the owner and the manager from that meeting – one doesn’t exist as far as we know.
After all we should all be in this together as one club – owner, managing director, manager, staff, fans, local journalists – the lot.