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Rare Statement From Mike Ashley On Rafa’s Magnificent Achievement – I Want Him To Stay

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has issued a statement that has just been published on the Newcastle website.

And Ashley has let it be known that he will support Rafa and thta he is not the pantomime villain he’s been portayed as in the press.

Mike Ashley – says he fully supports Rafa

This is what the owner has said:

“I would like to thank Rafa Benitez for his magnificent achievement this season.

“I would also like to applaud the players, led fantastically by the captain Jamaal Lascelles.”

“On many occasions throughout the season they have been described as a Championship side, which I personally consider to be derogatory.”

“Rafa, as always, has my full support, and contrary to some media reports that portray me as a pantomime villain, I will continue to ensure that every penny generated by the club is available to him.”

“I hope very much that Rafa will remain at Newcastle United.”

“Finally, I would like to thank the fans for their unrivaled support of Rafa and the team throughout the season.”

Well would you believe it – that’s an excellent and appropriate statement from the owner.

Now he needs to agree with what Rafa wants to do at Newcastle and sign him up.

And do that quickly – next week would be good.

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Comments welcome.

183 comments so far

  • cyprus

    May 13, 2018 at 7:40 PM

    Comment #1

    Oops Ed on a roll.
    Last repost.

    Player of the season is a tough one for me as it’s been a team effort.

    Rafa was right re the keeper. Our defense has been excellent. Best in years, all four of them. Our local lad, our speedster, the captain. What happened to our annual spanking? Gone.

    MF has been solid since the turn of the year. Shelvey Diame a great pairing.

    Ritchie is tops as, it seems, our twelve million signing will be.

    Perez gave us 13 points.

    The CF situation needs improvement although the effort is appreciated.

    Well done, team and Rafa.



    May 13, 2018 at 7:37 PM

    Comment #3
    And some good words, Mike.

  • Ron Knee

    May 13, 2018 at 7:41 PM

    Comment #2

    “On many occasions throughout the season they have been described as a Championship side, which I personally consider to be derogatory … considering the vast amounts of money I lavished on Rafa in the last two windows.”

  • Tosun A. Wobbler

    May 13, 2018 at 7:42 PM

    Comment #3

    Well seeing as we’re playing groundhog posts……………
    Yep, I thought this bit was particularly heartfelt…

    “Rafa, as always, has my full support, and contrary to some media reports that portray me as a pantomime villain, I will continue to ensure that every penny generated by the club is available to him.”

  • Jib

    May 13, 2018 at 7:46 PM

    Comment #4

    Still can’t ignore the preceding run of losing games.

    I think Rafa must take responsibility for setting
    an atmosphere of mission accomplished when
    we reached 40 points.

    Which actually makes his achievement of getting
    the squad refocused all the more laudable.
    What a manager he truly is !!!

  • jazzyp

    May 13, 2018 at 7:53 PM

    Comment #5

    I’m gonna be honest now.. And that is that I have become disillusioned with the club over the last year and have not been up as much as usual this season as I have done for the last 25 year. But I can say today is the reason that most of us put up with the ups and downs that is Nufc.
    I have not known for many seasons gone by now the atmosphere in the ground for the whole 90 minutes,Especially the second half. There was times when the noise from the crowd literally made your hairs stand up on the back of your neck and made you proud to be a Fan of Nufc. Singing was from all parts of the ground and not just the usual suspects from the Gallowgate…Song after song, God what it must have been like for the players on the pitch must have been unbelievable

  • sing in the corner

    May 13, 2018 at 7:56 PM

    Comment #6

    Empty statement from Ashley there. Generalisations, box ticking exercise.
    ‘..CONTINUE to ensure every penny generated by the club is available to him…’
    Haha the cheek of it!

  • ben.g

    May 13, 2018 at 7:57 PM

    Comment #7

    I wonder if Ashley may say.. Rafa you have £80 mill, you can spend it on one player or you can use some for academy and/or training ground or wherever you see fit, but that’s the lot.

  • lochinvar

    May 13, 2018 at 7:57 PM

    Comment #8

    “Rafa, as always, has my full support, and contrary to some media reports that portray me as a pantomime villain, I will continue to ensure that every penny generated by the club is available to him.”

    He’s behind you !
    Oh yes he is
    Oh no he isn’t
    Oh yes he is

  • sing in the corner

    May 13, 2018 at 7:58 PM

    Comment #9

    Yeah it’s a special place when the blue touch paper goes up.
    Terrific atmosphere!

  • DaveD1000

    May 13, 2018 at 7:59 PM

    Comment #10

    Player of the season has to be Rafa Benitez. He played us all for mugs. Wtf is he doing subbing B for A? Why did he do that? The Man had a plan and thankfully it worked. HWTL ( there may be a small amount of alcohol(maybe more) involved in any rambling posts I make tonight) am reading with glee posts in twitterdom and cant get enough. Rafa and the team ty ty ty.

  • sing in the corner

    May 13, 2018 at 8:03 PM

    Comment #11

    Dubravka is gonna be a huge player for us. Superb save from Giroud at a crucial time. Not only is he a cracking keeper, and what a bargain, but he is a character who really connects with the crowd, we need players like that, it’s in our DNA. Dare I say, another Pav, God rest his Geordie soul.

  • Lindisfarne

    May 13, 2018 at 8:03 PM

    Comment #12

    3h3 hours ago
    Those “embarrassing” defensive tactics against Man City were worth 2 places and £4m in prize money in the end. Guess it seems like Rafa knew what he was doing after all… @Carra23 #nufc

  • Shadow_Shearer

    May 13, 2018 at 8:05 PM

    Comment #13

    People, please lets not forget, Ashley is a complete bull shi**er!!

  • bettyswallocks

    May 13, 2018 at 8:07 PM

    Comment #14

    What a buzz that was. The ground was rocking second half like bygone days. . WMakes all the mediocre performances fade into insignificance. Well done to Rafa and the back room staff, all the squad , the fans and the majority of bloggers on here. All things considered a great season.

    Onwards and upwards now. Rafa won’t settle for anything else. Hic hic.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    May 13, 2018 at 8:08 PM

    Comment #15

    Just got in from match
    Buzzin, Buzzin – We had fun we had fun we had Chelsea on the run – all game.
    Never seen way fans leave like the Chelsea fans after the hour

    Totally outplayed Chelsea from beginning to end

    Great atmosphere all game and a brilliant touch from the fans when Geordeeeees, Geordeeees rang out around the ground and the Gallowgate fell silent as you heard Geordeeeees, Geordeeees ring around the ground.

    Merit marks

    Dubravka – 8.5 -Had nowt to do yet kept us in the game with two World class saves just after half time when Chelsea were pressing – brilliant
    Yedlin – 8 – Had an excellent game got up and down the pitch along with Ritchie kept Chelsea at bay all game
    Lascalles – 8 another who had a very good game.
    Lejuene 9.5 – A pleasure to watch his silky skills today – great passer and volleyed cross for our third from Shelvey’s freekick.
    Dummett – 7 – probably our weakest defender today – Moses got round him to easy a couple of times burt stuck to his task
    Shelvey. – 9.5 – Brilliant today long balls short balls tackles chips and great training ground free kick for our third goal. Should be on the plane to Russia
    Diame. – 10 – Man of the Match for me – did everything right from tackling closing down players and today his passing was the best I have seen from him. Standing Ovation when he was subbed
    Ritchie – 8 – Worked our right with Yedlin today not giving Chelsea a sniff
    Perez – 9.5 – Just pipped for MOM by Diame linked defence with attack chased and harried Chelsea all game and scored a couple to boot
    Gayle. – 7 – Battled away and in the right place to score from keepers save. Got injured first half and seemed to struggle for the rest of the game before being subbed.
    Murphy – 7 – some decent runs but tends to turn back on himself – most likely lacking a bit of confidence to go past his defender.
    Joselu. – 5 -Did well when he came on

    Crowd TOON FANS 10 – Brilliant all game
    Chelsea 1 – for travelling here Pathetic never heard them and left on the hour – dear dear me

    Footnote – hope Newcastle MP Chuka Umunna enjoyed the game – and the atmosphere – was in the Gallowgate End

  • SA Toon

    May 13, 2018 at 8:11 PM

    Comment #16

    Watching the game on the big screen in Johannesburg was great, but to have been in SJP today must’ve been special. Very encouraging words from MA and I think I might actually believe him – although I’m not sure what “every penny generated by the club” means. I’m bringing my boy over to Uni in Durham later this year, so I hope to catch a game while I’m there. Hopefully Rafa’s future will have been sorted out before then and some reinforcements will have arrived. HOWAY THE LADS!!!!

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 13, 2018 at 8:12 PM

    Comment #17

    Just goes to show how lopsided the MOM voting is when you see Ritchie, Dummett, Yedlin, Gayle, Murphy and even Lascelles scoring so low. Doesn’t really reflect what major contributions they made in the match.

  • lesh

    May 13, 2018 at 8:12 PM

    Comment #18

    Ashley… ‘……Rafa, as always, has my full support… ‘

    Always has his full support? I wonder if Ashley might explain why Rafa was forced to publicly express his frustration over transfer funds and dragging things in getting deals done in the last two windows?

    If Ashley does fully support Rafa, he’d be best meeting the man and clarifying the terms of that support. Oh, and he could tell Barnes to back Rafa and do as he’s asked.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 13, 2018 at 8:15 PM

    Comment #19

    You’ve disappointed me I was expecting a load of 10s. 🙂

  • jazzyp

    May 13, 2018 at 8:16 PM

    Comment #20

    Sing in the corner

    What a day that was in the ground and did you see Dubravka fist pump the crowd after a save in the second half.
    What a bargain he is turning out to be

  • lesh

    May 13, 2018 at 8:16 PM

    Comment #21


    Your last couple of posts have been quite civil. Are you going to claim that someone’s been posting the abusive ones using your name and without your authority? Who you going to blame, Jane, Jeff?

  • Hail Wor Ashley

    May 13, 2018 at 8:18 PM

    Comment #22

    This is how I see it – we spend what we make, right?

    Well, in Wally’s season we finished 18th with prize/TV money of £72m and probably had a slightly bigger wage bill with Krul, Cisse, Gini, Sissoko, Colo, Thauvin, Janmaat, SDJ etc.

    Wage bill was 60% of total turnover of £125 – so a £75m wage budget.

    We still made a small profit of £4m that season.

    This season we’re £53m better off in prize/TV money, let’s say the wage bill is similar, though I can’t see how it wouldn’t be slightly less.

    This season has been a sell-out every weekend, we’ve got a slightly better sponsor deal and I’m sure the good feeling has increased commercial takings a smidge.

    So £53m + £4m + all those little extras.

    £60m profit to spend. That’s my low-resolution understanding of what should be available + player sales.

    Would it be enough for Rafa?

  • LGFUAD21

    May 13, 2018 at 8:21 PM

    Comment #23

    I too am struggling with a pick for player of the season. Usually it goes to the most consistent performer. It I feel there are several players that deserve recognition.

    Firstly Lascelles for his great leadership and committed defending has been brilliant nearly all season.

    Next Matt Ritchie who I feel gets way too much stick at times. He had peaks and troughs throughout the season but I feel it is unfair to solely judge him on goals and assists. His work rate and energy often sets the tone for performances. He defends from the front, creates and worked hard. I feel if he had a target man he’d be way higher in the assist charts.

    Then there is shelvey. Arguably the cornerstone of the team. He is the glue and foundation that kept it all together. Should be at the World Cup without question.

    My next two meantions are players that may not have been consistent over the course of the season but were instrumental in our fine run of form that led to not just survival but also a tenth place finish.

    Diame and Perez. I don’t think I need to say much about Diame but Perez I do. I have been quite a vocal critic of his and wanted to see him relegated to a squad player (upon signing a no 10) but the last few months I have seen a completely different side to his game. Not jus because of the goals but with the little moments of unlocking defended and creating chances by getting between the lines. I think he could’ve done even better leading the line at times.

  • jazzyp

    May 13, 2018 at 8:26 PM

    Comment #24

    And to think, som e people kept saying Benitez was shite….. that his football wasn’t eye catching…….. each to their own but he got a really mediocre NUFC team to finish in the top ten. He’s brilliant man.
    can someone explain to me how the hell Lascelles and Shelvey are not going to the world cup as well please

  • hibbit

    May 13, 2018 at 8:27 PM

    Comment #25

    just back what a day absolutely loved it

    great great atmosphere, great game ,great season,GREAT manager well done one and all.
    Rafa must stay !!!!

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 13, 2018 at 8:30 PM

    Comment #26


    Probably because Southgate has never watched them playing.

  • Jib

    May 13, 2018 at 8:32 PM

    Comment #27

    Ashley… ‘……Rafa, as always, has my full support… ‘
    Always has his full support? I wonder if Ashley might explain
    why Rafa was forced to publicly express his frustration over
    transfer funds and dragging things in getting deals done in the last two windows?

    Give it a rest man
    Your like a f@cking broken record

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 13, 2018 at 8:38 PM

    Comment #28

    I said on Saturday that it didn’t look likely that Shelvey, never mind Lascelles were even being considered for the initial 35 according to the DT.

    I also said that it could be a good thing for us as, if he did play to his peak, there could easily be some £50m plus bids for him which a certain someone might find a bit too tempting.

    Although I’d love to see him playing for England in the World Cup.

  • Optimistic Panda

    May 13, 2018 at 8:39 PM

    Comment #29

    I used to be in the forces and I’m glad I never had anyone like Ashley giving me their full support, I’d be dead.

  • jazzyp

    May 13, 2018 at 8:40 PM

    Comment #30


    Its a shame for them mate when you see who is being picked above them , But good I suppose for the club

  • jane

    May 13, 2018 at 8:41 PM

    Comment #31

    could Barca’s unbeaten season come to end 2-1 down to Levante at half time.

  • bettyswallocks

    May 13, 2018 at 8:43 PM

    Comment #32

    Jib…….. He’s not interested in us as a football club. He just uses the blog as a platform to highlight Ashley as a filthy capitalist, which he probably is , but it’s not the main agenda for most of us. Wouldn’t you think he could enjoy the day with other proper fans.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 13, 2018 at 8:44 PM

    Comment #33


    I think Rafa would be delighted with £60m, add in any player sales and that would make a tidy little pot for new players.

    Rafa doesn’t need over priced stars, he’s proved that this season.

    What he does need is players in early so that he can start on them straight away.

  • Jib

    May 13, 2018 at 8:44 PM

    Comment #34

    Optimistic Panda
    You were in no danger making butties in the NAAFI

  • Moonraker15

    May 13, 2018 at 8:46 PM

    Comment #35

    Well I for one welcome Ashley’s statement today. He didn’t have to make it so it’s gotta be a positive and really the least we can expect after Rafa’s achievement this season. It could be that Ashley actually realises what a gem of a club he owns having been fed bullshit by previous coaches about our so called limitations.
    I’m sure he must be thinking this club can go places with a manager like Rafa (a pure master of his trade)!

  • Hail Wor Ashley

    May 13, 2018 at 8:48 PM

    Comment #36

    It;s difficult to pick a player of the season because the finish has more of an impact on the judgement than the start.

    First 10 games our top 5 players for me were, in order:


    Then around that time we had that horrible run.

    Since January they’ve nearly all stepped up and I would find it difficult to rank them after the miraculously improved Diame at no1. Perez in the final stretch has been better than ever before too, same with Shelvey as the other half of Mojo – playing his best football most consistently in his career to date. Dubravak was the missing iece of the puzzle at the back. Dummett gone from strength to strength. Yedlin steadily becoming more solid defensively whilst still chipping in with assists. Ritchie just never stops and has scored some crucial goals,provided assists. Kenedy gave us something fresh on the LW just when we needed it with Atsu going quiet and picking up niggles.

    The one position in which we need most improvement is clearly ST. Gayle has bought in to the team ethos, gives it his all being a busy body up front with Perez, but his finishing isn’t what it was in the Champ, must be a curious psychological thing because the bloody goal is the same size.

    Likes of Manquillo, Hayden, Murphy and yes Joselu, have all professionally done their bit when called upon, even Gamez in his one start away to West Brom(?) had a blinder at LB and left people scratching their heads why we don’t see more of him.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 13, 2018 at 8:49 PM

    Comment #37

    Wish list starter

    Bradley Dack, Josh Murphy, Andy Carroll, Forsberg, I’m sure I’l think of more! 🙂

  • Jib

    May 13, 2018 at 8:51 PM

    Comment #38

    Levante 4 Barcelona 1

  • Moonraker15

    May 13, 2018 at 8:53 PM

    Comment #39

    No way would Ashley attend SJP today but if he does the right things now you never know! Some of the owners in the prem aren’t that great either by the way. Chelsea are operating strangely now and I think there’s gonna be trouble there soon. Man U are getting in a mess trying to keep up with city and Arsenal are in transition !
    Howay the Lads you’ve done us proud!

  • jazzyp

    May 13, 2018 at 8:54 PM

    Comment #40


    Would you swap Gayle for Shakiri

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