Rafa Benitez knows exactly what it will take to transform Newcastle United into a top club in Europe challenging for honors in the future.
He’s done that at a few clubs – notably, Valencia, Liverpool and Napoli – and now he wants the chance to do that at Newcastle.
Only an owner like Mike Ashley wouldn’t support Rafa in what he wants to do at the club which is why Ashley must sell the club this summer.
Ashley needs to end his inept leadership of the club during which time Newcastle have been relegated twice and exceeded 50 points in the Premier League only once.
Rafa has talked to the Chronicle today and talked again about his Newcastle project.
He provided Mike Ashley last May with a detailed blueprint on the things he wants to change at the club but that seems to have been largely ignored by the owner.
Ashley has restricted Rafa’s spending in all of the last three transfer windows because he prioritizes a good bank account over a good team at the club.
The manager has said he could stay at Newcastle for a long time (10 years) but only if things change and he is supported in what he wants to do – which is, in short, to preside over a complete overhaul of the club.
Otherwise called Rafa’s blueprint he sees all the things that need to be changed and improved at Newcastle to make us into one of the top clubs in Europe.
That’s both as a team and with our facilities, Youth Academy and the like.
We already have the best fans of any club anywhere, an excellent stadium and a world-class manager – now we need a world-class owner.
This is what Rafa has said when it was pointed out to him he could have still been at Liverpool if a change of ownership hadn’t happened when Americans Tom Hicks and George Gillett bought the club:
“I was thinking about that when I was at Liverpool because everything was going well, but the change of owners in football now changes everything.”
“Even if you are doing a good job, change the owner, change managers, change philosophy or strategy.”
“So it’s very difficult now in football to have a manager so many years at any team, but especially at a top side.”
“Today I was reading an article about the noisiest fans in the league (Newcastle) – when you have all these things in place and then you are winning, you want to stay there forever.”
“The point when you talk about the Academy is it always takes some time.”
“But at the same time, you know you cannot find a lot of young good players anywhere, and if you find some of them, the top sides will pay and they will get them.”
“It’s not, ‘We have 10 players, we will be successful’.”
“No, because if you have 10 fairly good players in the Academy, five will go after one year because someone comes with a big offer and the agent or the parents say, ‘We will go there’.”
“You have to create a structure that will allow you to get some players every year, one player for the squad.”
“Liverpool is the team that I know best.”
“To have a player like Steven Gerrard, you can get one every 20 years, maybe, but you have to have one player that can be part of the squad.”
“Then if you are lucky enough in 10 years, you have Gerrard.” “Fine, but you have 10 players who can be part of the squad.”
“That is the key if you want to save money, have some heart and some passion with your local players,.”
“And at the same time have the possibility to spend some of the money that you are saving by not paying big money for these players.”
“You are saving this money to sign the top scorer in Europe, whatever.”
“That is a project, that is something that you have to do.”
“But you have to have in mind that you have to improve the Academy, you have to improve the facilities, you have to attract people with that.”
“And at the same time, you have to sign some senior players to give confidence to the others and to make the difference.”
Rafa’ comments should make for some good reading by any prospective owners who are thinking of buying Newcastle United this summer.
What deal it could be for say £350M.