Can Rafa Benitez Put Up With Mike Ashley For Much Longer?

When Newcastle signed Rafa Benitez on March 11th two years ago, we somehow managed to persuade a world-class manager to join a club owned by Mike Ashley.

And fans were saying at the time even Mike Ashley cannot mess this one up.

And for the first nine months, Mike Ashley did everything right by allowing Rafa to do what he wanted to do in that summer transfer window when literally Rafa transformed the side.

It was successful too because we got promoted in the first season down below and Rafa had saved the owner millions and millions of pounds.

Rafa Benitez – backed by the Geordie Nation

But not before Mike Ashley had again been up to his antics of messing with the manager at Newcastle.

In January last year, Rafa wanted to sign Andros Townsend and possibly James McCarthy of Everton, but Mike Ashley refused to spend any money in that window.

Rafa expected Andros to arrive on the final day of that January window, but he didn’t and then in the summer Townsend’s price had shot up to £25M – too expensive for Newcastle.

Then last summer, after Rafa had saved Mike Ashley’s investment in the club what did the owner do?

He put Newcastle in danger once again by refusing to invest in the squad which is why we are fighting yet another relegation battle this season.

It makes no sense that we would spend so much energy in brilliantly returning immediately to the Premier League, only for Ashley to tie Rafa’s hands behind his back.

But that’s Mike Ashley, and we would like to think he will change – but he won’t.

And we’ll soon see if Rafa wants to stay at Newcastle even if Ashley is still the owner.

We hope the manager will stay because he has formed a special relationship with the fans and his players – and both believe in him implicitly.

The win against Manchester United was wholly unexpected, and a masterpiece of coaching and tactics from the Newcastle manager and he was even complimented by Jose Mourinho after the game.

But when you have a manager of Rafa’s experience and ability, then anything is possible as we had found out with the 5-1 defeat of Tottenham back in May 2016.

We can only hope (and pray) that Rafa will stay at Newcastle even if Mike Ashley is still the owner this summer, which seems likely.

And Rafa may shock us all and sign a new long-term contract that keeps him on Tyneside for a long time.

That’s the hope of Newcastle fans, and it’s possible.

The way Ashley should handle Rafa is to leave him alone and let him transform Newcastle United into a club that is worth at least twice what it’s worth today.

And Rafa can do that in a short two or three years if given the opportunity and financial backing.

That’s to Ashley’s advantage, and it’s also what new potential owners will be thinking about the current Newcastle United.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

84 comments so far

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 17, 2018 at 2:53 PM

    Comment #1


    You’re Preaching to the believers, everything you’ve said almost all of us have agreed with in the last 10+ years.

  • sing in the corner

    Feb 17, 2018 at 2:56 PM

    Comment #2


  • carl

    Feb 17, 2018 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #3

    Don’t disrespect me by linking me with others simply because you’re embarrassed over Corbyn.
    In the past you’ve personally criticised Ashley on the question of free advertising at SJP.
    So what are you doing other than being a source of advertising of someone who has had or has links with people who are hostile towards the UK.


    Feb 17, 2018 at 3:14 PM

    Comment #4

    I. do not wish to piss on anyone,s Bonfire or upset anyone on here but i just do not believe that Ashley wil ever sell the Club because he, like all the Potential Buyers, he see,s the Potential of making money out of any future success on the Field and the increase of any future success should it be achieved ! Plus he is devious and arrogant enough to channel any Profit made by the Club and channel that Profit in the direction of his other business interests elsewhere ! He also has all the free logo,s and free advertising for his Shitty Sports Direct Empire!!!! This is why, i believe that he will never sell and will be difficult to get rid of ! What might shift him is ( perish the thought )! would be a third relegation and RAFA,S exit, because i di not believe that Benitez would stay with us again in the Championship? Ashley is a complete and total Idiot who just could not give a monkey,s about the Club or its Supporters ! I live and hope that Stavely or someone else will be coming in soon and the Ashley Nightmare would then be over ! But i just can,t see it happening any time soon !

  • Hg

    Feb 17, 2018 at 3:19 PM

    Comment #5

    I thought the headline “ If you want to avoid a Jeremy Corbyn future, Czech out his shameful past” was rather good.

    WBA have conceded already.

  • sing in the corner

    Feb 17, 2018 at 3:22 PM

    Comment #6

    My advice is: ‘go takeover free’. It’s the way forward!
    And if Rafa goes (meaning his assessment is that there is no chance of progress) at the end of the season, we take up the pitch forks.

  • sing in the corner

    Feb 17, 2018 at 3:24 PM

    Comment #7

    Did Saints drive-thru the WBA defences?

  • sing in the corner

    Feb 17, 2018 at 3:25 PM

    Comment #8

    Well, that wasn’t fare..

  • AncientC

    Feb 17, 2018 at 3:25 PM

    Comment #9

    Carl, trying dealing in facts rather than gutter media spin. Which policies of Corbyn do you disagree with exactly? Try making a substantiated point.

  • Hg

    Feb 17, 2018 at 3:28 PM

    Comment #10

    Ha ha. It’s the way you tell them.

  • TheJimBelow

    Feb 17, 2018 at 3:30 PM

    Comment #11

    I replied to you on the previous thread like an eejit over the relegation issue lol.
    (First time I’ve missed the bus…)

    Lovin your taxi references with WBA 😀

  • mactoon

    Feb 17, 2018 at 3:34 PM

    Comment #12

    I think Rafa does want to stay at the club as he sees the potential if he is given enough money to buy players he wants to transform the current predominantly Championship squad into a side that can compete in the Premiership. Unfortunately with the TV money coming into the club over the next 4 seasons the club will become self-sufficient so Ashley will see no need to sell as he will get free SD advertising and a club he no longer needs to put his personal funds into. Because of the TV money he will also raise the value of the club again preventing any buyer from agreeing a price.

    Following the World Cup, player prices will increase again and we will be the only club reluctant to meet the clubs’ valuations. All the other clubs will improve their squads and Ashley will not release funds in order for us to improve ours. Unless Ashley leaves it will be a continuous struggle for Rafa and he will eventually realise his position is untenable with only one outcome.

  • DaveD1000

    Feb 17, 2018 at 3:36 PM

    Comment #13

    WBA fans:

    ‘At least Alan Pardew has moved us on from parking the bus. Parking the taxi is a whole new level.’

  • Jib

    Feb 17, 2018 at 3:36 PM

    Comment #14

    An innocent man would demand that this is fully
    investigated in order to exonerate himself.

    A guilty man would deflect, dismiss and try to
    downplay the seriousness of the accusation.


  • TheJimBelow

    Feb 17, 2018 at 3:38 PM

    Comment #15

    Mackems 2-0 at home to Brentford 😀

  • TheJimBelow

    Feb 17, 2018 at 3:39 PM

    Comment #16

    *2-0 DOWN…

    How much Jack Daniels have I had. . . .

  • Hg

    Feb 17, 2018 at 3:46 PM

    Comment #17

    The story reads quite seriously. The Czech secret service was advancing Soviet Communism and sought out those committed to the subversion of British Democracy.

    The press are all over it and clearly of the belief that he won’t sue.
    Draw your own conclusions.

  • Hg

    Feb 17, 2018 at 3:48 PM

    Comment #18

    Oh you were talking about Corbyn and not Pards?

  • Ron Knee

    Feb 17, 2018 at 3:52 PM

    Comment #19

    Voltaire also said: “Le sens commun n’est pas si commun.”

  • Jib

    Feb 17, 2018 at 4:00 PM

    Comment #20

    I’m common as muck

  • Hg

    Feb 17, 2018 at 4:00 PM

    Comment #21

    He was quite right. Common sense isn’t so common.

  • dig-n-dig22

    Feb 17, 2018 at 4:03 PM

    Comment #22

    After 2 stints in the Championship that must have cost NUFC a total of £ 130Mill in PL revinue, I think Ashley has finally learned his lesson. If the poor run of form that put us in the relegation battle didn’t happen and we were sat comfortable in the PL table then I think we would be under new ownership.Ashley will have his fingers crossed that we avoid relegation, as soon as we are O K , I think Ashley will deal and grab what he can. He made it clear he doesn’t want to invest anymore money, as seen in the Jan window. The new TV deal turned to be not so special so Ashley will leave it up to the new owners to turn the club round, He now has other irons in the fire and want’s to speculate in London property. All I can say is good riddance.

  • bettyswallocks

    Feb 17, 2018 at 4:06 PM

    Comment #23*&output-format=auto&output-quality=auto

    I can’t believe the racist tone of some of the BBC commentators at the Winter Olympics . Just heard one saying, ” And now over to the slopes for some skiing action”.

  • Jib

    Feb 17, 2018 at 4:08 PM

    Comment #24

    that actually made me lol

  • Hg

    Feb 17, 2018 at 4:13 PM

    Comment #25

    Divided by a common language.

  • mactoon

    Feb 17, 2018 at 4:13 PM

    Comment #26

    dig-n-dig22 #24
    If Ashley had finally learned his lesson he would have released funds for players during the January window to ensure the club stayed in the Premiership. It would have been the clubs money not his so I don’t see he has changed one bit. The man is an idiot and will never change.

  • Average_Contents

    Feb 17, 2018 at 4:14 PM

    Comment #27

    0-2 now wba haha

    Good finish that from tadic

  • Average_Contents

    Feb 17, 2018 at 4:16 PM

    Comment #28

    What a goal from rondon lol

  • bettyswallocks

    Feb 17, 2018 at 4:16 PM

    Comment #29

    I agree with Jib@14. Corbyn is obviously guilty and trying to sweep it under the mat. It may well be a long time ago as were his alignments with the IRA but he is still a traitor and a danger to our country.

  • Ron Knee

    Feb 17, 2018 at 4:18 PM

    Comment #30

    Has this blog been hijacked by the Daily Mail?

  • Tosun A. Wobbler

    Feb 17, 2018 at 4:23 PM

    Comment #31

    Have I missed some occurrence here today? Has something happened to prompt this post on the old chestnut of Rafa going/staying/Ashley is a greedy git subject? Other than Slimani probably being fit for next weekend, nothing is going on, is there?

  • Mister Tuff

    Feb 17, 2018 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #32

    Fear not the blog is safe – attermpted coup by Guardian and Socialist Worker readers has be thwarted – they’ve been driven off back to their north London pads drowning their sorrows in some bottles of bubbly.

  • Chancel be a fine thing

    Feb 17, 2018 at 4:39 PM

    Comment #33

    Yes Ron, suprises me too. When sky and the mail tell us what a good owner Mike Ashley is and how he saved the club do you believe them? But on the other hand if it’s about Corbyn………..Working class folk cutting off their noses….how those that control and shape our opinions must be laughing.

  • TheJimBelow

    Feb 17, 2018 at 4:42 PM

    Comment #34

    Jeez some of the WBA defending has been rank. ….

  • ShirebrookToon

    Feb 17, 2018 at 4:49 PM

    Comment #35

    Taxi for Pardew 😆

  • bettyswallocks

    Feb 17, 2018 at 4:51 PM

    Comment #36

    Did they keep the taxi or give it back?

  • ShirebrookToon

    Feb 17, 2018 at 4:53 PM

    Comment #37


    They reversed all the way back to their hotel and left the car outside. Reports are saying now that the taxi driver owes the WBA players money


  • Jib

    Feb 17, 2018 at 5:05 PM

    Comment #38

    I don’t know if anyone remembers
    Slaters taxis in the city – yellow cortinas

    They had a depot in Brinkburn Street
    Byker and paid the bit on the milometer.

    A driver I knew broke down in Leeds
    and got towed backwards to Tyneside
    He reckoned old man Slater owed him !

    ha ha ha

  • Ron Knee

    Feb 17, 2018 at 5:07 PM

    Comment #39


    It’s good to know that Mail readers are in the safe hands of Jonathan Harmsworth, tax-avoider supreme.

  • sing in the corner

    Feb 17, 2018 at 5:09 PM

    Comment #40

    Yeah they could do with a few tips on how to approach an FA cup tie!


You must log in to post a comment.