Rafa Benitez has had an excellent interview in the Chronicle today and you you start to get an idea of what he talked with Mike Ashley about in the four hour meeting he had last week with Mike and Lee Charnley at an undisclosed location.
But it seems that Rafa wanted to let Mike know in no uncertain terms that he knew what he was doing and didn’t just want to spend big money on players without also showing that he fully appreciated how the financial side of clubs are run.
It’s small wonder to us if Mike was extremely impressed with Rafa’s presentation, because it seems that Rafa even went through things he wanted to do to assure the owner he would even be thrifty with money.
Mike Ashley and Rafa Benitez
Rafa is keen that Mike understand that he knows Newcastle have been a well run financial concern under Mike Ashley for ten years – if not a successful one – well up until now that is.
Here’s some wise words Rafa has said in the Chronicle today :
“My feeling is that everybody has seen that the job has been done, and done properly – hopefully it is a good signal for the future.”
“If everybody sees that things are going well, you can trust the people in charge and then you can be more supportive.”
“We will have normal meetings, talking about ideas and things that will happen in the future.
“We will try to put things in place that Mike Ashley will realise are a professional approach, we are talking about a project and we’re not thinking about something that’s not possible.”
“We will only talk about things that we can achieve.”
“Transfer activity depends on the market and prices – sometimes you want to do things and you can’t because they are too expensive.”
“Sometimes you can, but you have to put everything together – once we know where we are we will make decisions about every single player.”
“I think we have already made steps forward and we have put the foundations down to build something bigger.”
Rafa comes over there as a well balanced, common sense kind of guy who knows exactly what he’s doing after spending 30 years in coaching.
The manager will want a free rein to run the club along with Managing Director Lee Chanley and he is willing to meet and talk with the owner on occasion if that’s necessary.
What is clear is Rafa wanted to form a relationship with the owner and be able to discuss things directly with him when that is warranted.
As he’s done at his other clubs, Rafa will present a full report at the end of each season and it will contain financial information as well as how the team has performed and what Rafa’s plans for the next season are.
Maybe each year it contains an estimate of what the club is now worth on the open market to and a graph of how the club has risen in value since Rafa arrived – just to keep Mike interested?
This all sounds very good to us for the future of Newcastle United and Rafa seems to have shown excellent business sense as well as common sense in his dealings with the owner.