When Rafa Benitez was signed by Newcastle in March 2016, some Newcastle fans said even Mike Ashley cannot screw this one up.
And after Rafa clearly showed his commitment to the club by staying with us when we went into the second division.
For the first time for a very long time, the England second division had a world-class manager in it – Mr. Benitez, the Newcastle boss.
But as is usual with Rafa he has delivered for Newcastle, and he got the Magpies promoted in first place from the Championship last May.
And without getting any financial help from owner Mike Ashley last summer, he has managed to get Newcastle to safety in the Premier League.
Mike Ashley – why doesn’t he give Rafa what he wants?
Pundits have said Rafa has kept a Championship level side in the Premier League this season and he has been nominated for Premier League Manager of the Season.
After those accomplishments, one would think that Rafa would be rewarded by owner Mike Ashley – especially after the value of the club has gone up by as much as £100M in the last six months.
But this is a stubborn (and selfish) Mike Ashley who Rafa is dealing with – an owner who couldn’t keep his word last summer.
It’s not looking good with talks on a new contract being stalled after a couple of weeks of negotiating.
And you can bet your life that other Premier League clubs are already enquiring about Rafa’s position and possible availability at Newcastle.
And if Rafa walks – which is getting much closer as negotiations for a new contract falter – it will be Ashley’s fault.
But Ashley shouldn’t be allowed to screw up Newcastle’s future after he has already been a terrible owner for the past eleven years; that’s been bad enough.
He should sell the club and get out – something he should have done years ago.