In his article in the Sun today Newcastle icon Alan Sharer has gone through how Ashley has treated Rafa Benitez this season, and he thinks Rafa will leave the club this summer, as we reported earlier today.
Alan has recounted how Mike Ashley gave Rafa very little money to spend in the summer – £19M net to be exact – by our reckoning.
And then again in January Rafa could only make loan moves – three players coming in – after Ashley did nothing for the first half of January.
Mike Ashley – staying as Newcastle owner?
We’re not sure how a manager as renowned as Rafa Benitez puts up with the treatment he’s had from the owner, with Ashley making promises to keep Rafa – and then reneging on them.
It’s little wonder with so little money to spend compared with the other promoted clubs like Huddersfield and Brighton and the other (already rich) PL clubs – that we are now struggling in 5th bottom place in the league.
This is some of what Alan has written in his Sun Column today:
“Staying in the Prem alone is probably worth around £110M a season. Benitez got the club back up but was not backed to make the next big stride.”
“He was clearly struggling with a lack of quality in the squad ahead of the January transfer window so what happened?”
“He saw Brighton and Swansea both break their transfer records and Palace spend £9m on a striker.”
“Benitez, meanwhile, had to scramble around getting players in on loan.”
“The hope generated by news of a possible takeover has disappeared. It is not going to happen.
“Ashley is holding out for more than is being offered up front and is gambling on a bumper new TV pay deal increasing the value of the club.
“Meanwhile, Benitez works with what he has got — a team lacking in quality but not heart.
This is now the fourth season out of the last five Premier League seasons Newcastle have been in a dogfight to stay in the Premier League and avoid relegation.
And people wonder why some of Newcastle fans’ nerves are almost completely shot!
If Ashley stays, it will be the nightmare scenario for Newcastle fans.