Rafa Benitez Has His Say On Mike Ashley

During the press conference yesterday Rafa was asked about Mike Ashley, and he deftly avoided having to say much at that time.

But it seems in further interviews he has gone into more detail on Ashley’s promises he made to Rafa in early May but still refuses to get drawn into the fray too much.

Rafa infers that what he was told in May differed from what Mike Ashley said in his rather bizarre Sky Sports interview.

The Chronicle is reporting that Benitez thought the business plan he created and presented to Ashley in May would be followed – but that hasn’t happened apparently.

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez

This is what Rafa has said today as reported in the Chronicle:

“I know more or less what he has said. Believe me, it doesn’t change anything in terms of my approach to the games or the training sessions or preparations.”

“I know what I have to do: to concentrate on the training sessions and my players. I did not watch it.”

“I cannot change anything because it will then be my opinion about the interview – this or that.”

“I want to concentrate on the thing that depends on me: preparing the team, picking the team and approaching the game with the right mentality.”

“I cannot change what he said in the first one (meeting in early May with Ashley) and the second one (Sky Sports interview last week).”

“I cannot change anything about our situation now in terms of the market, the transfer window and what we have to do.”

“I said before I met him when we were relegated and we needed to know exactly how much we had to spend and when we were promoted.”

“But I do not need much contact if I have Lee Charnley there.”

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What do you think about this?

Comments welcome.

34 comments so far

  • AncientC

    Aug 19, 2017 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #1

    Jib, careful now, conniption fits are not healthy at your time of life.

  • AncientC

    Aug 19, 2017 at 1:24 PM

    Comment #2

    ““I know more or less what he has said. Believe me, it doesn’t change anything in terms of my approach to the games or the training sessions or preparations.”

    So something HAS changed, but it is not changing Benitez’ approach to games. What is it that changed since that which was last “said”? To be fair, the amount of funds for transfers has not surprised me, but it seems like Benitez may have been painted a different picture.

  • ShirebrookToon

    Aug 19, 2017 at 1:29 PM

    Comment #3

    Sick of hearing all the tittle tattle now he said this and that blah blah blah fcuking BLAH.

    Its a case of Good Cop Bad Cop.

    Let’s just concentrate on getting behind the team. We can atleast make a difference there by supporting the lads!!


  • geordiemark

    Aug 19, 2017 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #4

    painted a different picture to get rafa to sign a new contract, Ashley doesn’t treat people with respect and that’s his downfall, if hes agreed to an amount of money for transfers he should keep to it, going on sky tv saying he doesn’t have the money is a load of bull, he has the money to go buy up land in London for 200 million hes been buying other companies for millions ect ect ect and yet when it comes to Newcastle united he doesn’t have the money strange isn’t it yet how much would Ashley have had to pay for 10 years of free advertising he has had and yet the club he owns still owes him 129 million bit strange isn’t it but hang on add all the players transfer fees they haven’t spent and all of this stinks to the high heavens

  • bettyswallocks

    Aug 19, 2017 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #5

    Man U looking strong. Mind, having said that Swansea look pathetically weak. Utd. Should have been six or seven up, Swansea looking like like relegation fodder even at this early stage.

  • mactoon

    Aug 19, 2017 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #6

    He just says he can’t change what was said in both conversations, nowhere does he say anything has changed between the two conversations.

  • mactoon

    Aug 19, 2017 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #7

    And as far as the transfer budget is concerned that hasn’t changed either, Rafa has said he has seen the figures and is happy with that.

  • catchy in norway

    Aug 19, 2017 at 1:39 PM

    Comment #8

    Rashford is going to be some player

  • Mag52

    Aug 19, 2017 at 1:39 PM

    Comment #9


    Absolutely agree. The manager needs our support 100% because without it he’ll not stay on here, following what does appear to have been shoddy treatment from mr.Shoddy himself.
    It should also be a wake up call to all those who rubbished anyone who suggested Rafa was unhappy with the disparity between what he had been promised and what he actually got on the transfer front. You can take your heads out of the sand now guys, your naivety is there for all to see.

  • magspuggy

    Aug 19, 2017 at 1:39 PM

    Comment #10

    Rafas ganna walk as he did not know that penfolds custard cream habbit was to be payed for using the transfer kitty. The line of biccys can be seen from space using nasas live feed @nasagreatwalloftyneside.com. sad times indeed 🙁

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Aug 19, 2017 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #11

    Maybe Rafa and Ashley agreed a budget and there was maybe a promise from Ashley that more funds could be made available for the right player? Then when the right player became someone like Pepe Reina on 100k plus a week Ashley went no I want younger players ?!

    Tammy Abraham not looking too good for Swansea looks heavily out of his depth at the moment a bit like when Armstrong has had a game for the Toon !!

    Sky Sports just going over Stokes signings in the last few years and how they now have a soft centre and are easy to play against could see them struggling this season !

  • Munster Mag

    Aug 19, 2017 at 1:44 PM

    Comment #12

    I think rafa’s tone says it all…. I know what he said… Etc. Good to see Swansea struggling

  • Munster Mag

    Aug 19, 2017 at 1:47 PM

    Comment #13

    If rafa knew so much about Joselu, why didn’t he go for him sooner? Just shows he has a crap budget. I just hope he knew his budget when he spent 10 mill on murphy otherwise he will feel badly compromised

  • Steve Le Sleeve

    Aug 19, 2017 at 2:02 PM

    Comment #14

    Ashley has money, but he’s a conman, so of course he will say the club has no money and that the club owes him the £129m debt, even tho his personal worth went from £1.6bn to over £5bn and is now around £3.2bn. He’s still worth twice as much as ten years ago, yet won’t pay for advertising and strangles us with this debt, but of course morality doesn’t come into it. He’s an absolute abomination.

    I have full faith in Rafa knowing exactly what he is doing and I so hope he stays and makes us a great team and club. If Ashley lies to him again next summer then who knows where that will leave us.

  • magspuggy

    Aug 19, 2017 at 2:05 PM

    Comment #15

    Its all rumors though innit nobody knows nowt and the press never have a good word to say about us. Watch for the rafas away clickbait again in the morning nowt new in them i bet but they will be there.

  • ilovetoon8788

    Aug 19, 2017 at 2:11 PM

    Comment #16

    Well, I did actually have some hope in Ashley and really thought he changed for the better.

    Never have been more wrong.

  • LGFUAD21

    Aug 19, 2017 at 2:12 PM

    Comment #17

    Steve Le Sleeve

    I’m no Ashley apologist but what he said in his interview about his money being tied up most likely isn’t a lie.

    In terms of a cash injection into the club he’d need to liquidate some assets or sell some shares.

    Why would or should he. He hates us. We hate him. No team should ever expect an owner to reach into their own pocket. Let alone an owner that isn’t even a fan. That’s just the way it is with football I’m afraid.

    I can only see Everton’s owners reaching into their own pockets this window.

    Truth is we will never know how much cash the club has until the accounts come out. Then we’ll know whether Ashley is holding cash back in the club rather than spending it or not.

    I’m done with this boring news though. Let’s move on and play the terrain in front of us rather than quibbling over the map.

    Support the team. They’ll try their best and on paper we have enough to stay up. Our squad is better than or at least as good as burnley, swansea, Watford, Huddersfield, Brighton on paper. We have a better manager. We may just scrape it but that is the only goal any newly promoted team should have no matter how big their fan base or stadium. Especially this season having missed the wave of money crashing through the league.

    Man u’s gd is looking healthy. Man U are looking good this season. Not spectacular but they have a German-like efficiency to the where they look comfortable in second gear.

  • AncientC

    Aug 19, 2017 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #18

    mactoon, you seem have a blindness to subtleties. The more reputable sports sections such as ‘The Guardian’ and ‘Independent’ are picking up on Benitez’ unhappiness with the transfer market.

    E.g. http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/newcastle-united-transfer-news-rafa-benitez-growing-tension-mike-ashley-a7901261.html

    Do you really believe Benitez would have stuck it out in the Championship, if he knew what was going to happen in the winter window, and the amount of funds available in the current one? I am not so sure. He is making the best of a bad situation and has a loyalty to the fans, which is why he is staying.

  • ilovetoon8788

    Aug 19, 2017 at 2:16 PM

    Comment #19

    I think Manchester United will win the title this season.

  • Steve Le Sleeve

    Aug 19, 2017 at 2:17 PM

    Comment #20

    Why should be do anything for us? Quite simple this one: by posting his SD logo around the stadium he has had 10 years of advertising for absolutely free. Plus he lied to Rafa about the amount that was available. If you add up all the transfer spend in the Ashley era I think the total outlay is incredibly small. Where has the money gone? If he’s such an amazing businessman why hasn’t he managed to generate other income from sponsors and advertising?

    he is simply a conman, like all his ilk, it’s not very hard to wrap ur head around

  • Mag52

    Aug 19, 2017 at 2:19 PM

    Comment #21


    I’ve a sneaky feeling that the money spent on Murphy will turn out to be money well spent.

  • AncientC

    Aug 19, 2017 at 2:20 PM

    Comment #22

    LGFUAD21, Ashley’s money is in Sports Direct International, but he can spend 100s of millions at a time using Sports Direct funds. If he wanted to inject some money into Newcastle, he has the perfect opportunity with those advertising hoarding that have not been paid for, and could in theory be running up a debt to the club. There is no excuses, if he doesn’t want to put money in, fine, but there is no reason to act like he would have to dissolve his fortune to do it. Bare face lies by omission of facts.

  • Steve Le Sleeve

    Aug 19, 2017 at 2:20 PM

    Comment #23

    also, what he said about not having money in that interview was utter drivel. he’s been buying up companies and investing in other areas over the last decade, plus gambles a lot. can’t believe ppl actually believe a word that comes out of his mouth

  • Jib

    Aug 19, 2017 at 2:21 PM

    Comment #24

    Ed is doing what all the journos do
    Printing Rafa’s answers without the loaded questions that engendered them renders the whole exercise pointless for anyone with half a brain.
    Of course those that try to find something to criticise all the time will have a field day.

  • Mag52

    Aug 19, 2017 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #25

    Can’t see Mourinho moaning about refereeing decisions this weekend then.

  • the white tino

    Aug 19, 2017 at 2:25 PM

    Comment #26

    In the interview ashley had with David Craig when he said he was looking to sell the club surely any journos of credibility next question would have been how much we talking!!! Whole interview staged, he’s never put a price on selling for fear someone will meet it,therefore we go round in circles and ash moves goalposts when he wants, we need rid of this parasite asap

  • bettyswallocks

    Aug 19, 2017 at 2:28 PM

    Comment #27

    Unfortunately for Swansea fans no positives whatsoever to be taken from that dismal display. Quite sad in one sense to see the demise of a club that were once the stalwarts of Welsh football.

  • Mag52

    Aug 19, 2017 at 2:30 PM

    Comment #28

    …….and those who see Mike Ashley as the saviour of this club, in spite of everything he says and does to prove quite the opposite, need to wake up and smell the coffee….eh Jib ?

  • ToonTime

    Aug 19, 2017 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #29

    There’s a lot of complete bollocks on here today about Mike Ashley’s net worth and what he can and can’t spend. Steve le Sleeve unless you have better information than Forbes (which is pretty much the definition of reporting net worth) then 10 years ago he had $2.5 billion dollars, he peaked at $5.5 billion in 2014 and now he’s back down to almost where he started at $2.6 billion.
    Anyone who has any money invested can tell you that having the same amount 10 years later is an unmitigated disaster. You need to have gone up 50% just to keep up with inflation and a typical 7% return would double your money in those 10 years.
    Most of that $2.6 billion is tied up in Sports Direct shares which are down by 2/3 which means if he were to sell them to pump money into Newcastle United he would have to sell 3 times as many shares as he would have done two years ago. No serious (or even non serious) investor in the world would do that.
    I think somebody else suggested he could just use SD to spend the cash on new players. Er, it’s a limited company listed on the stock exchange. He has a board and shareholders to answer to and they might just not agree with us that £50 million on Ross Barklay would be a sensible investment!
    You called him a conman. Let’s just hope he doesn’t have any of his cronies trawling this blog otherwise if he’s as bad as you make him out you’ll be up for libel!

  • ToonTime

    Aug 19, 2017 at 2:49 PM

    Comment #30

    Ancient, the Guardian and Independent might be more reputable than your average football media outlet but they’re not above stirring the shit about Rafa and Ashley to get some clicks. Louise Taylor writes about The Toon for the Guardian need I say more…

  • ToonTime

    Aug 19, 2017 at 2:50 PM

    Comment #31

    I bet Tammy Abraham is already wishing he’d signed for someone else!

  • Moonraker15

    Aug 19, 2017 at 2:59 PM

    Comment #33

    When Ashley made that statement at the end of last season re Rafa having “every last penny… ” I was suspicious cos he didn’t commit to giving Rafa funds as was needed. I think the problem is Rafa probably thought the 30 million profit on transfers was just the start! That money seems to have disappeared mysteriously. Must be peeing off Rafa as they would’ve sold Le Sulk for 15 million but for Rafa!

  • bettyswallocks

    Aug 19, 2017 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #34

    Toontime………….Good level headed explanation but I bet it won’t have any effect on the hard headed conspiracy theorists on here that are convinced of their own agendas.


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