A Review Of What Rafa Wants At Newcastle – And How Flexible He Seems

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.

Comments welcome.

70 comments so far

  • AncientC

    Jul 21, 2018 at 12:44 PM

    Comment #1

    Munster Mag, that is very strange, I don’t recollect addressing a post to you on the blog. If I had something I wanted to tell you, you would the first to know; not somebody in your periphery.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 21, 2018 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #2

    Just give him what he wants FFS, the alternative is relegation, what is the logic in that, why can only Jiblets see sense in that nonsensical scenario,

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 21, 2018 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #3

    Unfortunately it looks like lessons aren’t going to be learned from previous campaigns and they are going down the boycott route, it won’t get widespread support.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 21, 2018 at 12:48 PM

    Comment #4

    In fact he’ll love calling our bluff, his shops are the way forward imo.

  • TyneMouth

    Jul 21, 2018 at 12:49 PM

    Comment #5

    Supporting NUFC is not a choice, it’s who you are, it’s not a case of explaining why, or a case of defending your allegiance, it’s just the same as falling in love, it’s outside of your control, wonderful.

    I fully appreciate the endeavours of the ‘if Rafa goes, we go’ protest, I also sympathise with their manifesto, however, I have major reservations regarding any possible success. In fact, I fear it will be simply counterproductive.

    I can see the tabloids now, Shock horror! “Geordie football fans upset with club owner” yawn…

    It may come as a shock to some folks in the NE of England, that a tenth placed football club in last year’s Premier League is having difficulties with its owner, is not an issue to drive the people’s army to the barricades, sadly…

    There are too many other issues that concern the rest of the UK. ( and this is not the place to brexit them)

    It appears the new protest group may be capable of raising campaign funds, an appropriate use of the money would be to publish in the national press, this would attack Ashley where he could be vulnerable. Any mass supported protests outside his retail outlets in the North East, will be easily manipulated by his PR goons.

    A large, paid for, page in the Telegraph, Times, etc, with endorsed supporting comments, Politicians, Sports people, social commentators, celebrities etc, would be seen as a mature and an appropriate form of protest. Don’t forget, Ashley has many critics in the wider community, outside of football and Newcastle.

    The danger is that inappropriate protest can escalate into objectionable behaviour, in the attempt to prove a point!

    How many horses do you have to punch to grab a front page on a tabloid?

    Be careful, be very careful. This is not Paris 1968…

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 21, 2018 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #6

    Did you not already say all that this morning?

  • Oldgit1

    Jul 21, 2018 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #7

    I see that Wolves are considering buying Adama Traore who has a 18m release clause. Saw this guy play in a friendly against Spennymoor, although he showed a lot of speed he was seen by me and a few others who were watching as another Oberton. Running down blind ally’s and nor very accurate in his passing or crosses. Admittingly it was only Middlesbrough second friendly he did nothing to impress except his speed. Oh they beat Spennymoor 2-0 but it was our first friendly match.

  • AncientC

    Jul 21, 2018 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #8

    Jimmy, aka Nicky posted an interesting article by Louise Taylor last night. What seems like a glaring mistake by Louise Taylor, is the fact she is working on the assumption the wage bill has increased since the Championship season, which any rational and sane person would also assume.

    I remember comparing the Championship wage bill against other clubs, and according to Charnley, Newcastle had the 7th highest wage bill in the Premier League, never mind the championship. That takes some doing, onerous payments or not. Anybody would think Newcastle was the only club in England which had excess players that needed shifting off the wage bill.

    I thought all accounts were supposed to be presented in the same format by all clubs; amortisation etc. Charnley clearly has found a loophole somewhere to somehow produce the 7th highest wage bill in English football for a Championship squad.

  • TyneMouth

    Jul 21, 2018 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #9

    J f A @ #6

    I thought I had, but I couldn’t find it. Thought I had been censored, must be getting paranoid…

    Sorry for the repeat/repost, a senior moment perhaps…

  • AncientC

    Jul 21, 2018 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #10

    Just for comparison, Newcastle had the 17th highest wage bill in the PL the season before going down. And somehow shot up to the 7th highest wage bill in all of English football in the Championship.

  • hibbit

    Jul 21, 2018 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #11

    Adama Traore is definitely a work in progress, could Rafa and his coaches improve him i think so, but at £18m i think he’s way over priced

  • DubaiMicky

    Jul 21, 2018 at 1:01 PM

    Comment #12

    re If Rafa goes, I think they’re doing it wrong – and yes I’ve told them, people not going isn’t a route most ST holders will take, maybe 5% but nothing huge that will make a difference. I still think that protests outside of the ground and at SD shops/distribution centres, is where we will get the most coverage.

    That and not going to the seats until a 5-10 minutes AFTER the televised game has started.

    As I said yesterday though, would that get Ashley’s back up so much he’d pull the rug?

    He may well.

  • geordiesteve520

    Jul 21, 2018 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #13

    Is this fella worth a punt? Fills every criteria for us, agent sounds an arse but could start to panic soon: https://tinyurl.com/yayp92me

  • beermonkey

    Jul 21, 2018 at 1:05 PM

    Comment #14


    i was asking the same earlier some1 posted something and i thank them for that

    thats the link

  • hibbit

    Jul 21, 2018 at 1:06 PM

    Comment #15

    a boycott is never going to work never ever

  • AncientC

    Jul 21, 2018 at 1:09 PM

    Comment #16

    Just to correct, it was a comment Nicky posted that was from below Louise Taylor’s article that Nicky pasted—after a double check.

    The quote in question:

    ” The operating costs from 2016 to 2017 increased by 45%. And that was with moving down to the Championship. Moving back up to the Prem in 2018 probably had substantial additional cash basis wages and expenses added, beyond that somewhat optimistic 10% amount.

    The non cash basis expense of amortization of player registrations is not included in the above discussion, of course.

    So, taking projected 2018 cash basis revenue of £165m less projected costs of £155m, only provides a £10m positive cash flow for 6/30/18. And that is likely VERY optimistic.”

    Surely that cannot be right.

  • AncientC

    Jul 21, 2018 at 1:09 PM

    Comment #17

    beermonkey, thanks. I will get a read of that link.

  • jane

    Jul 21, 2018 at 1:09 PM

    Comment #18

    “Sorry for the repeat/repost”

    worth posting again anyway, good points…hmm now what happened in Paris in 1968 google

  • Jib

    Jul 21, 2018 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #19

    Paris 1968
    France beat England 14 – 9 at the Stade Colombes


  • AncientC

    Jul 21, 2018 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #20

    Just came across this part in the true faith article in relation to the additional expenses/onerous payments:

    Question: “Is this common?” [way of accounting]

    Answer: ‘No. I’ve checked dozens of clubs’ accounts going back a number of years and this is the first time I’ve come across it.’

    Which makes you wonder why Charnley has to do things differently from every other club.

  • jane

    Jul 21, 2018 at 1:21 PM

    Comment #21

    the profit seems to be channeled into paying transfers up front instead of in installments while at the same time being paid for players sold in installments.

    this appears to be where the money is going.

    however fans want this money spent on transfers now though.

    this seems to be the crux of the matter and main gripe.

    most fans are probably not aware of this.

  • ShirebrookToon

    Jul 21, 2018 at 1:27 PM

    Comment #22

    Boycotting is the wrong way to go about getting under the fat mans skin. You need to target his SD empire and protest outside his tat shops.

    If this lot are planning a boycott then it’s a non starter for as it won’t achieve anything. If we’re gonna protest then we need to hit him where it hurts, not the team and not Rafa. They should continue to receive our full support.

    You fat tatty bastard!

    Get out of our club

  • lesh

    Jul 21, 2018 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #23


    Your Brexit-related post was disappointing to say the least. I wonder at the wisdom of those who can’t/ won’t see the damage that’s to be done. If people want to feed themselves and their kids pox-ridden food, see their jobs, workplace security and safety weakened and give the likes of Johnson, Rees-Mogg, Davis, Farage et al control, they must be mad.

    Doesn’t the fact that Trump wants to see the EU broken up and the hard-liners named above see Trump as the UK’s post-Brexit saviour say something, set off alarm bells? If not, it should.

    Anyway, that’s enough as far as I’m concerned.

  • lesh

    Jul 21, 2018 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #24


    I think you’re close to falling for the Ashley PR.

    Yes Rafa wants control over transfers but his key wish is to see commitments and action that shows that Ashley has ambition for NUFC, to win things. That is the sticking point which Sky and the rest of Murdoch’s media organs will skip over to target Rafa as the villain.

  • Bladey

    Jul 21, 2018 at 1:39 PM

    Comment #25

    Just f@@@ @@@ you fat piece of s@@@

  • DubaiMicky

    Jul 21, 2018 at 1:39 PM

    Comment #26

    lesh (I’m with posada but hey, this is about NUFC), I don’t know of any EPL manager who is in control of transfers, yes I’m sure some (Rafa included) are consulted, but other’s like Chelsea get given players or have them removed and they have to get the best of what they have.

    I think Rafa’s real issue is he can’t see a 5 or 10 year plan from Ashley, just a window to window philosophy, which he detests.

    I’m sure he’s written, or at least verbally discussed his 5 and 10 year ideas, but I’m guessing the fat man doesn’t agree.

  • lesh

    Jul 21, 2018 at 1:39 PM

    Comment #27


    If you think Charnley’s responsible for so tiring the accounts, you give him more credit and authority than he deserves or has. He’s MD in name only with Barnes being the de-facto boss.

    The accounts manipulations will have been inspired by Bishop in collusion with Ashley’s financial people.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Jul 21, 2018 at 1:44 PM

    Comment #28

    How can you not know what your budget is prior to any sales? You don’t need to be an accountant to know your budget…that’s what you ask the accountant!

    …how can you scout and creat a shopping list if you don’t know your budget?

    …how can you do your job if don’t know your budget?

    …if the answer is you can’t..,then why put up with this nonsense!

    I cannot design a building without knowing the budget…and when I know the budget it’s my responsibility to make sure I stay within budget and the client gets what he’s promised! And I am no accountant either!

    You cannot just say I don’t know the numbers it’s not my job to do accounts…what’s that? It’s that the correct paraphrase?

  • lesh

    Jul 21, 2018 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #29

    Dubai @26

    I’m sure that Rafa’d be happy to cooperate with Ashley over transfers but it appears that Ashley’s not exactly engaging in constructive dialogue and there lies the problem – Ashley doesn’t do dialogue, consensus, it’s my way or highway.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Jul 21, 2018 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #30

    Jesus H we are screwed if this is how we are managed on all fronts…so basically we are running blind and no one really gives a damn!

  • Jib

    Jul 21, 2018 at 1:47 PM

    Comment #31

    Who called Bladey
    Bladder yesterday ?
    Ha ha ha

  • DubaiMicky

    Jul 21, 2018 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #32

    Bladdered more like Jib.

  • Mag52

    Jul 21, 2018 at 1:50 PM

    Comment #33

    Why anybody would choose to be part of an empire run by those arrogant insufferable barst@@ds in Brussels, forever anticipating the next fine for breaking their rules, not to mention the next multi billion bailout when another of their members’ economies goes t#ts up, I really don’t know.

  • jane

    Jul 21, 2018 at 2:02 PM

    Comment #34

    “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.”

    jesper i think Rafa isn’t saying he doesn’t know how much money there is to spend, i think he is saying he doesn’t determine how much it is going to be.

  • Ron Knee

    Jul 21, 2018 at 2:02 PM

    Comment #35


    Was that intended for a UKIP website & posted on here by mistake?

  • AncientC

    Jul 21, 2018 at 2:03 PM

    Comment #36

    Lesh, you could well be right. I noticed Benitez mentioned Justin by name recently, which I hadn’t noticed previously. It seems like Barnes is very much in the thick of it nowadays.

  • Munster Mag

    Jul 21, 2018 at 2:09 PM

    Comment #37

    Why anyone wud want to be led by a lunatic Etonian who happily lied about banana shapes and fed this story to the gullible masses is beyond me. Or maybe you can trust Farage to open a new hospital in every town with the savings. Or rees mogg who whinged about the euro one, before moving wealth to Ireland, in the euro zone. We have our fool politicians too but at least they don’t sound like snobs like May and Co.

  • switch365

    Jul 21, 2018 at 2:12 PM

    Comment #38

    Buying younger players we can sell at a profit … I guess that means the likes of Thauvin, Aarons and Mbabu?

  • jane

    Jul 21, 2018 at 2:17 PM

    Comment #39

    “If people want to feed themselves and their kids pox-ridden food”

    price worth paying 😉

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Jul 21, 2018 at 2:19 PM

    Comment #40

    So Shire…how are ppl in and around going to take down the SD Impire?

    Why not disrupt his free advertising machine that is NUFC? Isn’t it that one we want back and isn’t it that one all eyes are on…even the global media…

    Not sure I get this talk about targeting SD…sounds to me like ppl just doesn’t want to give something up! Maybe that’s just me…


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