In the last few days, it does seem that Rafa Benitez has become frustrated again at Newcastle’s intransigence in this summer’s transfer window.
They seem to be doing nothing different to what they did in the previous three transfer windows – and restricted the money Rafa can have to bring new players in.
There is a deadlock in the contract negotiations with Rafa, and it seems the major sticking point is that the manager wants full control of all transfers.
And one of the problems the Chronicle are reporting today is that Ashley does not like bringing in older players.
Rafa Benitez – trying to work within Newcastle’s (broken) system
Newcastle have signed two 29 year-olds this summer in Dubravka and Sung-yueng, and of course, the striker Rafa now wants is 28-year-old Salomon Rondon.
Ashley likes to make a profit on players, but there’s a lot more money to be made by putting a good team together – finishing in the top six in the Premier League and going into Europe.
Mike Ashley and his people must look at the bigger picture and get some real ambition from somewhere.
Here’s what Rafa said a few days ago and the good news is he seems willing to work within all (or most of) the constraints:
“I have to just concentrate on bringing the best players for the squad.”
“I don’t do the numbers. I don’t control the numbers. I know my numbers, but it is not my job to do accounts.”
“The owner decides the money available and that is it.”
“Mike said ‘every last penny’ was available in the Press in May.” I don’t do the numbers, so I don’t know exactly what it means.”
“We are fine in terms of profit. Maybe you have to ask this question to Managing Director Lee Charnley. He has the numbers.”
“I am trying to do my best in these conditions, that’s what I can say,”
“We were talking about the situation at this time. After, we (Ashley and Benitez) were talking about numbers and the possibility of an extension.”
“But I don’t think an extension is an excuse for anything. If you sign a one-year extension, what does that mean for the players you sign on a five-year contract?”
“It’s nothing. It’s not an issue.” (but fans don’t believe this)
“A lot of clubs have managers, they finish a contract but still they improve the squad to be sure they are better.”
“Historically, you see the spending of different clubs and this one. I don’t think it’s an issue.”
“But I am trying to bring the best players for the club.”
“But we have a scouting department and everybody is working together.”
You cannot accuse Rafa of not trying to make a go of it at Newcastle, and he’s an extremely intelligent man who works his socks off for the club.
The last two years have been really successful under Rafa’s leadership.
It’s just a pity that Mike Ashley will not get out of his way and allow him to do the job his way.
If Ashley did that he may just have a very well-run and successful club worth a lot more money than it’s worth today.
And in just a couple of years time too.