Ashley Must See The Light – Do This To Retain Rafa Long Term

When Alan Pardew and his coaching staff finished 5th in the Premier League back in 2012, it was the only time Newcastle have finished in the top nine in the league.

We did finish 10th later under Pardew, but we have also been relegated twice under Mike Ashley.

In October 2012 Mike Ashley rewarded Pardew and his staff with a new eight-year deal.

With Rafa Benitez, everything is different with the emphasis on everything.

Rafa represents Newcastle well as the frontman, and he is one of the best coaches in the Premier League and in the world for that matter.

We all know just how good he is for what he’s already done in the sort 18 months he’s been at Newcastle.

He was loyal enough to stay at Newcastle when we were relegated – and that was a really courageous decision by Rafa as he put his career on the line.

The current leaders at Newcastle

But he got the job done, and we finished top of the Championship, and we are now back in England’s top division and back in the big money.

With Rafa Benitez’ contract running out in the summer of 2019 there is news today in the Times that Ashley wants to tie Rafa down to a long-term deal at the club.

That’s about time.

The initiative is also necessary right now because West Ham are eying Rafa as their new potential manager.

They would love Rafa to be the manager of the London club if they fire Slaven Bili, who has now lost four of the first six league games.

One big problem Rafa has with Newcastle is our owner Mike Ashley,

And the news in the Times is that Rafa wants to understand what Mike’s vision for the club before he before he even thinks about signing any new deal.

If Mike says that his vision is to spend as small an amount of money as possible to keep Newcastle in the Premier League, then it would be all over with Rafa.


That actually seems to have been Mike’s vision so far, but there are some signs he has gained more ambition with Rafa at the club and even wants to win something now.

He has also reportedly offered the squad £20M of his own money if they can win the FA Cup next May.

That’s some of the good stuff Ashley has been doing over the last several weeks to try to improve his poor relationship with Rafa.

Mike should turn over all football matters to Rafa and allow him to work with Lee Charnley.

All Ashley Mike has to do is to give an amount of money each transfer window – as much as the club can afford – to Rafa and Lee Charnley and let them spend it as they wish to improve the squad.

Mike should stay out of the way and let a manager who has won three European Championships with three different clubs lead Newcastle to the promised land.

It’s as easy as that – if only Mike would see the light.

Comments welcome.

72 comments so far

  • Jail for Ashley

    Sep 26, 2017 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #1

    I hope he does but what difference does it make as to what Ashley tells Rafa his vision is and what it really is. Remember he told some bloke he’d give him 15M if he doubled the share price. Would he say he was drunk over the cup promise.

  • jimmysmith

    Sep 26, 2017 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #2

    Rafa will bide his time until he’s built the leverage to get what he wants, and if he can’t he’ll leave at the end of this deal, not before though. He won’t walk out on us. He’s too adored. He wouldn’t do it.

  • Lindisfarne

    Sep 26, 2017 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #3

    MA does not believe NUFC can win the league, any investment is only made on long term ambitions. He believes it maybe possible for Rafa to contest the FA Cup just as long as our league status is secured.

  • jimmysmith

    Sep 26, 2017 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #4

    Rafa won’t stay beyond this deal unless he sees a realistic blueprint for 5th, and that will require some investment from the owner, Every last penny won’t secure top 5.

  • Lindisfarne

    Sep 26, 2017 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #5

    That is my interpretation of the Sky interview that MA did. Also Rafa can walk away free of charge, if a club wanted to employ him before summer 2019 they would have to pay the release clause.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Sep 26, 2017 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #6

    I just can’t see on what basis talks could progress after the way he was misled in the summer.

  • jimmysmith

    Sep 26, 2017 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #7

    At least Rafa will have had time to well and truly size up his adversary by the time he might be ready to sign on again. Very slippery owner of course, still a wonderful job though, particularly if Rafa can finally manage to pin the bastard down.

  • martoon

    Sep 26, 2017 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #8

    Strange how a Times reporter is breaking this story rather than a local one such as Lee Ryder. This suggests that story has either come from Ashley sources or it is absolute rubbish!

  • Thump

    Sep 26, 2017 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #9

    @martoon: George Caulkin? Honestly, it’s because he’s more of a competent journo. Lee Ryder is, decidedly, not.

  • Sav

    Sep 26, 2017 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #10

    No-one is looking for new promises. Mashley should just keep the one he has already made. Until he does that, his verbal promises will not be worth the paper they are written on.

  • martoon

    Sep 26, 2017 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #11

    Lindisfarne @3 – I don’t think many of us believe we can win the league. Surely top 4 is a reasonable long term target – you get a lot more money from the Premiership plus entry to the CL and money that brings. I must add that is looking from a purely financial aspect obviously it would be great for us fans as well 😀

  • Reilly

    Sep 26, 2017 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #12

    line in Times: “attempts to tie Benitez to new deal linked to sale of club”

  • martoon

    Sep 26, 2017 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #13

    Thump @9 – I agree Ryder is not a great journalist but he is around the club a lot and would surely hear whispers of news like this?

  • Our Toon

    Sep 26, 2017 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #14

    What’s happened to Bobby, seen him mentioned a few times in previous posts.

    Rafa has done a stellar job this season with his hands tied, he’s to proud to stfu and get on with it and Ashley really has messed up big time by not backing him

  • expatmag

    Sep 26, 2017 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #15

    Things to be considered…….grasping at straws or changes in the offing

    Rafa originally promised every acailable penny on transfers.

    Ashley fails to back him in the transfer market therefore appearing to renege on his promise.

    Ashley reduces the price of the club by £20m therefore verifying club is up for sale.

    Well respected Fleet Street paper, the Telegraph, reports several interested parties have signed non disclosure statements regarding full or part there of purchase of the club indicating due diligence is being performed.

    Sources confirming negotiations about to commence in upgrading Rafas contract.

    Club is financially stable with no external debt and internal debt to the owner covered in the sale price.

    Ashley’s chief financial SD negotiator involved with the club since February.

    Are these points just heresay, coincidence, paper talk or fact leading towards club sale before january?

  • expatmag

    Sep 26, 2017 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #16


    Seriously…….his Verbal promises are not worth the paper they are written on?????????

    No wonder he is a slippery twat

  • catchy in norway

    Sep 26, 2017 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #17

    I think the format of the transfer windows needs to be looked at, not just for england, but world football, each should be alowed a set amount , lets say 25 mil in the prem as i believe most should be able to afford that, for every 3 million over the 25, you lose a point. your net spent is 37 mil you start on -4 points..
    player value has got way out of hand.

  • Jib

    Sep 26, 2017 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #18

    The sale of NUFC to a non Brit
    would be negotiated in London
    well away from SJP or Benton
    The Times report that the club is preparing to open talks
    “in the hope of improving the manager’s relationship with owner Mike Ashley”.
    Ashley, it is claimed, has made several “overtures” to Benitez in recent weeks.

    Benitez called a truce in his “fight” with Ashley earlier this month.

  • expatmag

    Sep 26, 2017 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #19


    Unfortunately FIFA has allowed transfer fees and salaries to get out of hand by not enforcing FFP strongly enough.

    What they can do is enforce changes whereby every club MUST include a said number of academy products in not only match day squads but also starting line ups.

  • lochinvar

    Sep 26, 2017 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #20

    Jamie Carragher must be really concerned that Klopp isn’t going to last the pace with Liverpool and head back to Germany or another big European club and that Rafa wont go back there either leaving them with no option but to sign Pardew or Allardyce.

    What was it Corporal Jones said in Dad’s Army….

  • expatmag

    Sep 26, 2017 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #21


    Bobby got himself embroiled in unnecessary rows with several members of the blog, making ridiculous stalking accusations which made him the laughing stock.

    He decided to stop posting his long winded essays thankfully and probably looking for a sympathy vote which wasnt forthcoming.

    Most of us have no doubt he is on here reading every word, just itching to post.

    Unfortunately, he will be back at some time.

  • Jib

    Sep 26, 2017 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #22

    A scouser on my plane back from Spain
    told me the big rumour circulating the red
    part of Merseyside was – Klopp to leave
    at Xmas , to be replaced by Rafa.

  • toonincheek

    Sep 26, 2017 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #23

    Whatever promises MA may make to persuade Rafa to sign
    a new contract would have to incorporate an obligation to
    include such promises into a sale agreement.

  • expatmag

    Sep 26, 2017 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #24


    Could it be that potential new owners are the ones re-negotiating Rafas contract with him and that the reason Rafa has not already walked out is the understanding tbe club will be sold soon?

  • toonincheek

    Sep 26, 2017 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #25

    expat –

    Could be. Depends on how far you want to speculate !

  • martoon

    Sep 26, 2017 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #26

    catchy @17 – I agree something needs to be done but the clubs will never agree to that. Maybe more practical would be a cap on net transfer spend per season, say, somewhere between £100m & £150m.

  • martoon

    Sep 26, 2017 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #27

    I love it when I kill the blog 😀

  • cyprus

    Sep 26, 2017 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #28

    It looks like they both know the score. Apart from that extra 20 million, the club must sustain itself.

  • hibbit

    Sep 26, 2017 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #29

    i could be a million miles off but it looks to me like Ashleys on the way out
    wishful thinking maybe that new owners want Rafa to stay

  • expatmag

    Sep 26, 2017 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #30


    Agreed. The stars appear to be lining up……I hope

  • Our Toon

    Sep 26, 2017 at 11:59 AM

    Comment #31


    Thanks for the update, so it’s safe to post on here now with the self professed greatest fan gone!! Can’t say I’ll miss him

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Sep 26, 2017 at 12:11 PM

    Comment #32

    I really don’t see how Benitez was mislead this summer. I’ve said this before but I’ll repeat as it’s so obvious I can’t believe people still think he was promised vast fortunes to spend.

    Ashley promised every penny from last season and from sales.

    LAst season we lost £40m (hence the £40m loan to cover costs)
    Transfers: this years net spend was minus £9m or something like that.
    How does that add up to having up to £100m to spend?

    Therefore he has been better than his word. If Benitez is that stupid he couldn’t work that out (which I’m sure he’s not) then it would be his own fault for not being able to do a simple sum. Also it seems quite obvious there was actually more money available as we had a few failed attempts. The main problem was our negotiators who seem to have messed a few deals up, but when you consider Liverpool asked us for £7m just to loan Dvrik Origi who I wouldn’t sign for half that price then you think we’ve been shrewd. Abrahams was probably a similar silly amount.

    Will anyone explain how Ashley lied regarding transfer spend or will they just repeat that he has over and over as if loudly repeating something counts as proof?

  • jane

    Sep 26, 2017 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #33

    wonder what pay rise Rafa will get in his new contract.

    there seems to be an assumption that Mike and Rafa are enemies but the chances are they get on fine for all we know. it sounds as if they don’t actually have much contact.

    also it is assumed that Mike blocks the spending but do we know that for sure?

    for the record i’m neither for or against Mike i just try to always be fair and objective.

    i like Bobby. i’m sure he will be welcomed back when he feels like it.

  • lochinvar

    Sep 26, 2017 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #34

    If we are to consider new ownership of NUFC we can speculate as to where the investment will come from.

    Russia – unlikely, those days are past

    USA – Ashley has commercial links there and soccer is the target growth market so some possibilities but the real money probably lies elsewhere.

    India – is India the new China ? Massive population, growth in affluence, MRF tyre sponsorship indicates interest. MRF is 14th largest manufacturer in the world, in 2013 turnover was $2.4 billion. Further India is not obsessed by the colour Red which is why Man Utd , Liverpool and Cardiff ( turned red for a while ) have such following in the Far East. Passionate about their sports and would love the black and white stripes, so revenue potential enormous.

    China – might be, but apart from a dash of red on the club crest we might be the wrong colour but Ashley has many commercial links over there so could have possibilities.

    Gulf States – well Emirates do fly from Newcastle so maybe they want to replace sponsoring Arsenal with a more potent investment in NUFC.

    Greggs – you never know

    But signing up Rafa to keep him at the helm and give him spending budget for the January window could be a deal maker.

    Might be all bollocks to keep us out of mischief, we shall see

  • toonincheek

    Sep 26, 2017 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #35

    My own view is that Rafa was misled by the words of
    Mike Ashley, perhaps deliberately.

    Rafa produced a comprehensive plan of action that
    seemed to have been taken on board, but it became
    apparent later that it had not.

    All history now.

    Ashley would sell to someone who had the £380M
    and would put another £20M into transfers BEFORE
    he would sell to someone would would pay £350M
    with a further £100M for transfers.

  • Mister Tuff

    Sep 26, 2017 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #36

    expat @22 – I like the sound of that. Rafa has got quite a bit left on his contract -so why would Tubbs be messing about with it now.
    Because there are other interested parties involved -surely that must be the reason. Most believable theory so far – let’s hope it’s true.

  • Jib

    Sep 26, 2017 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #37

    This blog thrives on bollix
    If people gave it half a moments thought
    Ashley is an acquirer not a seller
    I also wish Bobby would hasten back
    to help in the fight against the doylems
    that infest this place

  • expatmag

    Sep 26, 2017 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #38


    I dont believe Ashley has been at any of the home games so far this season so maybe the i terest has fi ally gone and he is desperate to get out.

  • expatmag

    Sep 26, 2017 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #39


    Dont celebrate too soon. He cannot resist coming back. Not the first time the dipstick has done this.


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