Relationship Between Ashley And Benitez Better Than We Think

There’s no doubt that Rafa Benitez has been frustrated the way Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has not backed him in the transfer market for the last 15 months.

But it seems that when Ashley finally returned in January from his Christmas holiday in Miami, he worked with Rafa to get three loan players into the club.

Two of those have been stars for Newcastle – Dubravka and Kenedy with Islam Slimani still to recover from his thigh injury.

He had that injury when he signed for Newcastle, and Rafa aptly pointed out that’s what happens when you leave things to last few hours of the transfer window.

Martin Hardy of the Independent has reported that by the time the three loan signings had been made Benitez was talking one-on-one with owner Mike Ashley.

Rafa Benitez – have relations with Mike Ashley improved?

Ever since Rafa mentioned he had talked to Ashley in mid-January, he said the call was very positive and that Newcastle hopefully would get in the players he wanted.

Ashley had refused to spend 20M on Rafa’s number one choice – Feyenoord striker Nicolai Jorgensen.

But Newcastle were able on the very last day of the transfer window to sign Islam Slimani on loan in addition to Slovakian goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.

There is some positive news that we will sign Dubravka for about £3.5M this summer, and we have a chance to sign 22-year-old Kenedy for £15M.

Hopefully, Newcastle will push hard to sign Kenedy for around £15M – said to be the fee Chelsea want for the Brazilian.

But it’s the call in mid-January which to us seems very important.

A communication line was opened between Ashley and Benitez, and there has been no criticism coming from Rafa about what we did in the January transfer window.

It really doesn’t look as though a takeover will happen although that’s not impossible.

But if Newcastle have to continue with Ashley as the owner, there seems have been a thawing of the relationship between owner and manager.

There’s nothing like talking things through (from each side and viewpoint) to improve any relationship, and it looks as though that happened in January between Ashley and Benitez.

There will be lots of money (from the Premier League) available in the summer for Rafa to spend.

And as we have pointed out before – Rafa can sell players like Mitrovic, Mbemba, Gayle, Colback, Saivet, and others to get more transfer money into the coffers.

We’d have preferred a new owner, but if Mike Ashley can agree with Rafa to support him and stay out of Rafa’s way, then Newcastle could still have a much better team next season and better each year after that.

The alternative is that Rafa refuses to work with Ashley and walks away (to the delight of several PL clubs) – but that’s why the thawing of relations in January could be significant.

After all, Rafa Benitez seems to be the perfect manager for Newcastle United.

And we really hope he stays long term.

Comments welcome.

14 comments so far

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 18, 2018 at 3:25 PM

    Comment #1

    I’ll hold my breath.

  • willowdalerez

    Mar 18, 2018 at 3:27 PM

    Comment #2

    Something for all to enjoy:

    “Sunderland have suspended Darron Gibson with immediate effect after he was charged with drink driving… The club announced they have launched an investigation”

    My short investigation:

    1) He’s Irish
    2) He plays for the Mackems
    3) He thinks the club is… well watch for yourselves 😉
    4) It was St. Patrick’s Day

  • RUNAWAY777

    Mar 18, 2018 at 3:28 PM

    Comment #3

    Jail it’s your opinions as is mine them players had good chance to impress rafa today and I believe they didn’t today only my opinion like others or are we not allowed have one.

  • sing in the corner

    Mar 18, 2018 at 3:31 PM

    Comment #4

    No not really, in my opinion Ed..
    Maybe he has been given some kind of credible assurances about the future, but I think it’s more knelt Rafa is maintaining professionalism and not wanting to rock the boat again, while things have been on a knife edge.
    Time will tell..

  • sing in the corner

    Mar 18, 2018 at 3:32 PM

    Comment #5

    *more knelt??
    More likely, more likely!

  • jane

    Mar 18, 2018 at 3:32 PM

    Comment #6

    would you swap our position for Southampton’s (4 points less and 2 points from safety) and an FA cup semi-final?

  • Jib

    Mar 18, 2018 at 3:38 PM

    Comment #7
  • RUNAWAY777

    Mar 18, 2018 at 3:38 PM

    Comment #8

    I still can’t get my head round why signed a striker that was injured who could finnish up not even playing one game for us or my start a game and do a sturridge.

  • sing in the corner

    Mar 18, 2018 at 3:38 PM

    Comment #9

    No chance.
    They have a very good chance of being relegated, and very little chance of winning the Cup.

  • Jib

    Mar 18, 2018 at 3:39 PM

    Comment #10

    You missed out Sparky Hughes
    instead of San Rafael

  • Ron Knee

    Mar 18, 2018 at 3:39 PM

    Comment #11


    Do you think the Maybot sang as she ran through the wheat field?

  • WLtoon

    Mar 18, 2018 at 3:49 PM

    Comment #12

    i dont think Ashley will back Rafa in the summer at all. i think we will have to sell and generate our own money to bring in new players. Why would Ashley change a habit of a lifetime next season ? he is a proven liar and his pockets are deeper now than they have ever been. I dont trust him .

  • toonluvva

    Mar 18, 2018 at 5:29 PM

    Comment #13

    It’s August and a timorous Penfold rings Mr Ashley.

    “Er boss,Mr Benitez has been asking for a couple of new players.”

    To which Ashley replies, “We are still a Premiership club so the squad is obviously strong enough.”

  • mactoon

    Mar 19, 2018 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #14

    I seem to have a different take on it all. Ashley was given a list of players on 1 Jan and went on holiday. When he came back nothing had been done so Rafa arranged a crisis meeting during which Ashley agreed to get 3 players in on loan. This was done on the last day of the window with no chance of integrating them into the team and one injured anyway.

    This indicates to me that Ashley has no intention of backing Rafa in transfer windows, now or in the summer as he isn’t going to spend money while trying to sell the club. Rafa was forced to literally beg Ashley to do something. I don’t see any positives from this situation.


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