The Telegraph are reporting today something that was getting to be obvious – the talks between Rafa’s reps and Lee Charnley on a new contract for the manager have stalled.
And it’s to do with Mike Ashley ambitions for the club or should we say – his lack of ambitions.
While Rafa has talked about liking the challenges he has had since he arrived on Tyneside just over two years ago he doesn’t want to be fighting relegation again.
But he knows from Ashley’s past that if he doesn’t get significant money and a cast iron agreement from the owner to spend in upcoming transfer windows that’s what Newcastle will be doing.
Mike Ashley – doesn’t have high ambitions for Newcastle
Mike Ashley’s ambition has been to spend as little as possible to keep Newcastle in the Premier League.
And he’s even failed in that.
Here are some of the things that Rafa has said in the Telegraph article starting with when he hopes things will be sorted out:
“Maybe before the summer, I don’t know but as soon as possible.”
“We have to do the right things.” “As I have said many times before that means to clarify our ambitions going forward.”
“I have to say what I have to say and that is very clear.”
“Everybody, all the fans, they have the same feeling as me, and o it is something we need to clarify.”
“I have had three challenges since I came here.”
“The first one was to try and keep Newcastle in the Premier League – but we couldn’t do it.”
“The second one was to go up at the first attempt in the Championship and we did that.”
“The third was to stay up and we did it, we did it early.”
“So I’m quite happy overall with the challenges but still I’d like to compete for something more.”
“It’s not that we want to come to a top side and think that if we lose 1-0 we can protect our goal difference.”
“That is what I don’t like to do, I want to know that we can win.”
“What I will say is this, and I have said this many times – this is a massive club.”
“If we want to compete in the Premier League, and at a good level, then what we have to do are the right things – that is it.”
“We can’t be thinking that our position is ‘We’re safe, great.’”
“No – we had 52,000 fans at St James Park in the Championship last season, between 3,000 and 9,000 at away games in the Championship.”
“The level this club has to be competing at is in the top eight of the Premier League or higher.”
“We want to compete in the Premier League at a good level.”
Well said, Rafa.
It seems like Ashley and company are unable to show Rafa they have the ambition he needs from the club.
Couple that with nobody seeming to want to buy Newcastle for close to £400M Ashley has managed to manufacture another potential crisis on Tyneside.
Only he could do that after two successful seasons under a world-class manager.