We were complaining yesterday about how bad a communicator Newcastle owner Mike Ashley seems to be, but it looks like he’s been in contact with both Lee Charnley and Rafa Benitez over the last couple of days.
In fact in Rafa’s press conference at 1:00 pm this afternoon, the manager said he had already talked with Ashley this morning and topics included how to handle the HMRC investigation and how we will prepare for next season and “everything.”
Rafa indicated that pre-season training will start on Monday, July 3rd but the pre-season friendly games have yet to be arranged and that’s something Lee Charnley will be hard at work on over the next week or so.
Rafa Benitez – Newcastle United manager
More than once in the press conference today Rafa said he was quite confident about his meeting with owner Mike Ashley within the next week – he said he was quite confident everything will be fine.
It does look like this meeting will be held before the final game of the season a week on Sunday, in order that things can get off to a quick start in the transfer window this summer.
This is some of what Rafa said in his press conference this afternoon:
“There is an investigation about something that happened four or five years ago. I will not talk about the (HMRC) investigation. I will do my usual business in terms of football.”
“And I was talking with Mike Ashley today.’ “We have had this conversation about what is going on, what we will do next and how we will prepare for next season and everything.”
“At the moment if you are asking if he has congratulated me, yes – and we will discuss the future of the club, the future of myself, the and everything.” “We will do it in the professional way that I like to do things.”
“I will have the meeting with him in, I don’t know, days or maybe a week, or something like this.”
“Do I have a decision to make about the future? I am quite confident that everything will be fine, but my focus is on the remaining games.”
“I need to talk with Mike and it depends on how things are going on whether I am optimistic. At the moment I am quite happy.”
“We have been fighting hard to get back to the Premier League and we will do our best to be sure we have a competitive team and that we can challenge for whatever.”
“The budget will be part of the conversation.” “As I have said before we have to concentrate on football.”
“What we did yesterday was train as usual – a normal session. Today I talked with Lee about pre-season. We are trying to do football business in the same way.”
“A friend was telling me that we were lucky that we were promoted already, so I will take the positive. The positive thing is that we have done our job.”
“And we enjoyed that for a couple of days. We have to be really proud of what we did, wait, and just do what we have to do, concentrate on football.”
During the meeting with Ashley, Rafa is reported to be prepared to present a business case to the owner on every single player he wants to sign.
Rafa will do a good job of educating the owner on aspects of the game that Mike currently doesn’t fully understand.
And hopefully that should give Mike even more confidence to figuratively hand the club over to the 57 year-old to run – with executive help from Lee Charnley.
It could be a win-win for both men at their meeting.
And given what we heard of the meeting between them in the St. James’ Park boardroom in May of last year they got on very well with each other.
Let’s hope that happens again.
It needs to – because after all, it’s for the good of the Newcastle United Football Club.