How Ashley Must Manage Rafa – If The Manager Is To Sign Long-Term Deal

Mike Ashley wants to sign Rafa Benitez up to a long-term contract as soon as possible, but Rafa has out off any negotiations until Newcastle are safe in the league and probably even until the end of the season.

Once Newcastle ars safe Rafa – like the professional he is – will want to get Newcastle as high up the table as possible.

That’s for personal satisfaction and also because of the extra money we will get from the Premier League.

There is a piece in the Chronicle today about the situation where our off-field issues are being held up until we are safe in the Premier League.

Mike Ashley – let Rafa run the club his way

Mike Ashley has been unsuccessful at Newcastle so why wouldn’t he give Rafa all the power he asks for and have Lee Charnley available to do the administrative work that’s needed.

Effectively the owner must take a back seat in the running of the club, and he will have to give up significant control, and that may be difficult for Ashley.

But that’s exactly what Rafa will likely demand if he is to stay long-term at Newcastle after his experience of the last couple of years.

Rafa has not enjoyed this season, by his own words, but he has stuck to the task at hand and seems to have borne all the responsibility for keeping Newcastle in the Premier League.

But Rafa is mentally strong, and if he keeps us in the Premier League, we’re sure the fans will let him know how much we appreciate that.

He has again put in a lot of hard work, endeavor, and skill in keeping us in the most popular sports league in the world.

Maybe Rafa will test Ashley’s will early in the summer – by demanding some early transfers – ones that will cost some money.

That would be a good test of Mike Ashley, and he could fail that test.

If he does, then we will lose Rafa and that would be a complete and utter disaster.

It’s now up to Mike Ashley to give Rafa what he wants and then keep his word and keep out of the way.

We’ve said this before, and it’s not exactly rocket science, but we have a world-class manager at Newcastle, and we should take advantage of it.

Allow him to build the club and the team in his own vision.

Ashley will then have a club worth a lot more in a few years time than it is now – but he needs to stop any meddling and keep his promises to Rafa.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

24 comments so far

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 22, 2018 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #1

    Jail’s too good for Ashley!

  • RobLeenio

    Mar 22, 2018 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #2

    Lol Jail – did you just make yourself redundant?

  • Graeme

    Mar 22, 2018 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #3

    Having a “World Class Manager” is all well and good, if he’s allowed to manage.
    The chances of FCB changing his ways looks remote, from past experience – He just doesn’t seem capable of putting his business into the hands of somebody who so obviously knows what he’s doing – Rafa.

    Ashley seems to have only one business strategy and it’s clearly not working outside his Tat empire – he has even admitted he doesn’t understand Football, yet refuses to allow people who do understand it, have the authority to get on with it.

    If our illustrious owner doesn’t have some form of epiphany in the close season, Rafa will allow his contract to run down and leave with his head held high – the club will take 3 steps backwards, because Ashley will throw the dice, get it wrong and we’ll be facing yet another relegation.

    Ashley really needs to sell up, move on and concentrate on what he knows best – tat!!

  • lesh

    Mar 22, 2018 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #5


    Ashley’s not going to change his ways. He gave Rafa free rein in rebuilding after relegation but couldn’t resist interference in the following January’s window. He’s hands on – despite whatever he might say.

  • Munster Mag

    Mar 22, 2018 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #6

    Not sure re Jorgensen. Mobile enough? The headed goals and assists in Holland might not be so easily had in prem

  • Graeme

    Mar 22, 2018 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #7

    Lesh – that is the single biggest dilemma facing NUFC.

    Ashley has a golden opportunity to make the club great again – let Rafa get on with restoring pride and ambition, making it competitive in both League and Cups – This club could again be challenging for Europe, everyone but Ashley knows it.

    It doesn’t have to be done the Man Shitty way – just throw shed loads of cash at it – it can be built with shrewd investment over a number of years, within the club’s income stream. There’s no way FCB can do that – but Rafa can!!

  • RobLeenio

    Mar 22, 2018 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #8

    Ashley’s intention for the club has never been for it to make money on his initial investment. He wanted us to be a production line of talent, buying cheap players abroad, developing them and bringing them up to Premiership level and then selling on for massive profit, or doing the same with academy players. This has been successful from time to time, with Andy Carroll, Cabaye, Sissoko and Wijnaldum sold for eye-watering amounts.

    However, what Ashley failed to appreciate is that if you sell a team’s best players and replace them with kids, the team will suffer and relegation will be a likely result, with a massive impact on the club’s value, stability and saleability.

    He’s now realising that this model is never going to work, so he’s looking to get out and make money through a sale of the club. He also now must realise that the sale value of the club will only get worse if either one of two things happens – relegation or Rafa walking. Either one of those happening could result in the other happening soon after, so both are to be avoided at all costs.

    He’ll back Rafa in the Summer, unless he’s sold already, simply because he has to do so. There is no other option.

  • RobLeenio

    Mar 22, 2018 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #9

    People say that we have had a poor few transfer windows and it shows Ashley hasn’t changed. That’s not true – at least one aspect of his past behaviour has changed completely – he hasn’t sold any of our players from behind the manager’s back and without his consent.

  • mactoon

    Mar 22, 2018 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #10

    I can’t understand Ashley at all. I see it as pretty simple:

    1. sit down and discuss what players are needed
    2. Agree a figure needed to obtain those players
    3. Look at players surplus to requirements and value them
    4. Take the value from no. 3 from the value of no. 2
    5. If Ashley agrees to make that amount available to Rafa, fine. If not, renegotiate to an agreed figure
    6. INSTRUCT Charnley to broker ANY deals Rafa asks him to within the agreed budget.

  • Ron Knee

    Mar 22, 2018 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #11


    You have to factor in Justin Barnes too.

  • Jib

    Mar 22, 2018 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #12

    Lee Bowyer appointed manager at Charlton
    I wonder if he’ll offer Kieron Dyer a job ?

  • dig-n-dig22

    Mar 22, 2018 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #13

    Ron Knee#4
    The Hudders game is massive for us and them, If we win, the pressure would be off us, they get sucked back into the mix with some difficult games left,if we loose it would be more difficult considering Leicester,Everton,Watford, who don’t look in any great form but haven’t been happy hunting grounds for us in recent years, I don’t see us getting anything at Spurs, don’t want to rely on getting anything from the Chelsea game last day,that leaves West Brom,Arsenal, that’s why I think the pressure comes right off with a win against Hudders and I think we could top 45+ pts

  • Jib

    Mar 22, 2018 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #14

    The Magpies are the only top-flight club to have just one
    ‘director’ listed on the Premier League’s website.
    Lee Charnley

    Watford and Crystal Palace have three apiece,
    The other 17 clubs have at least four
    Man U have the highest with
    12 members on their board.

  • toonincheek

    Mar 22, 2018 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #15

    Interesting to speculate how much NUFC would be worth (as a
    PL club) either WITH Rafa on a long term contract, or NOT.
    I could believe as much as £40M.

    Rafa can have a significant influence on the sale, or otherwise,
    this summer.
    MA must know that he will not get as much for NUFC without
    Rafa on a long contract, so Rafa should hold back, helping the
    sale, then sign a new contract with new owners.

  • RobLeenio

    Mar 22, 2018 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #16

    Ron Knee, I doubt we’ll ever have any real knowledge of the extent of Barnes’ influence at NUFC, but considering he’s not even publicly acknowledged to have any influence, any power he does wield is already too much.

    I’ve said before, I think he’s the real authority behind Charnley, who he has to go to for clearance on transfers and is the real reason why our transfer business takes so long. Charnley is just an administrator looking after the day-to-day running of the club.

  • Ron Knee

    Mar 22, 2018 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #17

    This bloke knows his football:

    “The culture, media and sport secretary, Matt Hancock, has said the best way to respond to the poisoning of a Russian double agent in Salisbury would be for England to win the World Cup final in Moscow.”

  • toonincheek

    Mar 22, 2018 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #18

    I hope it’s obvious that my post @15 was meant to say
    the DIFFERENCE in value of NUFC WITH or WITHOUT

  • Average_Contents

    Mar 22, 2018 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #19

    Get out of our club, get out of our cluuuuuuub, you fat cockney bastid get out of our cluuub….ect ect


    Fat slug out and take your fcuking mates with ya.

  • dig-n-dig22

    Mar 22, 2018 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #20

    Mactoon #10

    You need look back no further than to the last window, all Ashley wants is to be treading water in the lower half of the PL away from relegation, be it, with Rafa or a yes man. That is what he wants , He makes his money, we all know it’s a dangerous game he plays but 12 yrs of Ashley doesn’t lie. If Ashley doesn’t sell then it will be business as usual, with or without Rafa. ps Ashley couldn’t give a stuff about the fans or what they think.

  • dig-n-dig22

    Mar 22, 2018 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #21


    “Don’t hold your breath”…KERCHING£££ KERCHING£££ Lascelles and Shelvey.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 22, 2018 at 12:05 PM

    Comment #22

    The worst part is that he seems to enjoy the relegation battles, I think he gets more of a buzz from them than assured safety.

  • AncientC

    Mar 22, 2018 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #23

    I cannot see Benitez on a long term contract affecting the value of the club by an extra £40 million in value. A new owner may or may not want to bring in their own managerial staff, should he/she/they want to keep Benitez, then they can negotiate a new contract with Benitez themselves. Even if Benitez was gone at that point—for £5/6 million per year, and a new owner representing financial potential for the club, there would be plenty of good managers willing to sign up.

    You actually run the risk of devaluing the club if you appoint a manager on a long term contract, if a potential owner wanted somebody else in charge.

    Benitez with 1 year left on his deal, and the club (apparently) not tied into any long term ground advertising deals would give a new owner a blank canvass to work with. This summer should be the perfect time to sell: with PL status confirmed .

  • Jib

    Mar 22, 2018 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #24

    With High Street businesses being clobbered
    by the internet – Sports Direct will need to focus
    more on online shopping.
    Which may give Ashley pause for thought about selling
    NUFC after all.


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