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Meeting Convened In London By Ashley On Rafa’s Concerns

The Chronicle are reporting that Mike Ashley has met with Justin Barnes and Keith Bishop in London to discuss the club’s current situation with Rafa Benitez.

But Lee Charnley is the person who has been given the responsibility, as the Newcastle Managing Director, to negotiate with Rafa’s reps to try to find a solution to the problem.

And Barnes (finance) and Bishop (public relations) are hardly football people, so we assume the meeting was based on some business and finance questions related to Rafa’s requirements.


Rafa Benitez – is progress being made on his new deal?

The real purpose of the meeting is probably to get ready to go back for more discussions with Rafa’s reps, but this can only go on for a certain length of time.

At some point, Mike Ashley needs to decide whether he is ready to support Rafa in everything he wants.

It’s going to take something like that for Rafa to sign on the dotted line.

The danger for Ashley is that Rafa will not sign a new deal and will possibly leave next year.

That would be very serious for the owner because nobody in their right mind would pay £400M for Newcastle without (the great) Rafa Benitez as the manager.

Ashley should accede to Rafa’s requirements – and sooner rather than later.

As seems usual with Ashley – he is playing with fire.

Comments welcome.


Jack Farish is currently studying for a Master’s degree in sport and exercise psychology at Northumbria University.

His thesis project looks at Premier League fans’ team identification – how well they support and identify with their team.

Jack has put together a relatively short questionnaire of team identification and satisfaction with life; it should take no longer than 10 minutes.

You can help Jack by filling out the survey here.

31 comments so far

  • marshy

    May 27, 2018 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #1

    ashley dose not care one jot about newcastle united so, like previous transfer windows, very little will happen and rafa will just have to lump it.

  • lochinvar

    May 27, 2018 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #2

    Steady Ed, you’re posting faster than I can think !


    This is a good read in The Mag and avoids the confusion of trying to interpet the Chronicles reports.

    It does appear that Ashley as Head of his business empire doesn’t want nor have the time to get his hands dirty with the details of individual business transactions. He delegates as is the norm in business although the success of those transactions is very dependent on who you delegate to and how you communicate your objectives to them. How Charnley on £150,000 pa can carry weight in negotiations with multi millionaire players, billionaire owner and multi millionaire world class manager Rafa is a puzzle unless Charnley has the mother of all share allocations to cash in on when we win The Champions League and that’s his slice of the cake.

    So Barnes and Bishop were with Ashley at this meeting but not Charnley ?

    Et tu Mikey ?

  • Jib

    May 27, 2018 at 11:46 AM

    Comment #3

    Sergio Ramos has cancelled his holiday to Egypt

  • lochinvar

    May 27, 2018 at 11:54 AM

    Comment #4

    Well Mike, the potential Revenue streams just keep on coming. Do you want NUFC to take part ?
    Sign Rafa. Keep Lascalles. Build the team. New Academy and Training Ground. Extend the Gallowgate. 60,000 crowds .

    It’s really not that hard to do. I mean the potential for free Sports Direct advertising to be seen around the planet is there for the taking. I’ll live with that if you deliver on the other points.

    The sale of the remaining two domestic top-flight packages from 2019-2022 is imminent, says Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore.
    Five of the seven sets of rights were bought for £4.464bn in February, with two packages of midweek and bank holiday matches remaining unsold.
    “We are in the process of selling them,” Scudamore told BBC Radio 5 live’s Sportsweek.

    “We have got different things we can do and we are investigating all of those.”
    He added: “It is imminent. It won’t be long.”

    Sky won the rights to four of the five packages, which amounts to 128 matches sold so far, with BT acquiring the other 32-game tranche.
    BT had said it would “continue to engage” with the Premier League over the final two packages.
    Sky would be limited to only winning one of the two as any broadcaster is limited to a total of 148 matches.

    There has been speculation that Amazon, Facebook, Netflix or Twitter would bid for the first time and break the Sky-BT duopoly.

  • lochinvar

    May 27, 2018 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #5

    Have a listen to the voice on the radio replying to the Sky reporters request for information.

    Anyone pinpoint the accent – have we got a man on board ? Is it Jib moonlighting ? Could they ask Abraovich for a loan to help Ashley out as he seems a bit short of cash at the moment.


  • Jail for Ashley

    May 27, 2018 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #6

    I wish you’d hurry up and book yours to Iran.

  • AncientC

    May 27, 2018 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #7

    I am assuming Charnley would have attended the talks with Mike Ashley. I am not sure why anybody would believe Bishop and Barnes have anything to do with the running of the club and negotiations. A conspiracy theory doesn’t need to be concocted when things are the way they are: it’s already a legitimate conspiracy without needing further layers. It figures Ashley has called Bishop in, the club has been busy pushing out stories in the media recently, and if Benitez doesn’t agree to stay, Bishop will need to be ready with a strategy. Barnes isn’t employed by NUFC so his only authority within the club must be working on behalf of Ashley in relation to NUFC, not working directly for the club per se.

    How much Charnley earns per year isn’t exactly a problem, look at how much Karen Brady earns and what does she offer that Charnley cannot do? So long as Charnley was given money to spend, he wouldn’t have a problem spending it with Benitez. The less Charnley earns, the more money there is leftover for the club—shame that the money saved on Charnley just gets taken back out of the club somewhere else by Ashley. We witnessed signings coming in without much problem when the money was released during McClaren’s time at the club; kinda proves Charnley can get deals done if needed.

    You could argue that a better MD who earned say 5x what Charnley does could do a better job, but I don’t see how when working under Ashley. A new MD would be working under the same remit as Charnley, and what is a more expensive MD going to do? Probably try and increase revenues, and Ashley already has his fingers in those pies, so it would be paying for a professional that cannot do their job to the best of their ability, which would be a wasted outlay. There is no point bringing in a professional to do a job there isn’t an opening for.

  • masterp1983

    May 27, 2018 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #8

    Heres a crazy though. What if 100k fans gave 50 quid each to help Stavely buy the club and have a 0.00 whatever share rating? That would give another 50 mil to get the A hole out. wouldn’t that be worth £50 – I know i definitely would pay it…

  • Jib

    May 27, 2018 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #9

    It has to be timed for when you’re on the rigs
    so I can take your missus with me.


  • the ledge

    May 27, 2018 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #10

    Jesus u wouldn’t wish that on Iran!

  • magscar

    May 27, 2018 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #11


    If you think there is as much interest as you in giving £50 away then set up a just giving page or similar – doubt you will get anywhere near 100,000 subscribers though. Even if you did would £50M sway anything?

  • Jail for Ashley

    May 27, 2018 at 12:28 PM

    Comment #12

    Why’s that Jiblets, is it because yours is in hiding?

  • magscar

    May 27, 2018 at 12:29 PM

    Comment #13


    Apparently the remaining 2 packages are likely to go to SKY/BT and not for astronomical sums as the anticipated interest from Amazon etc didn’t transpire according something I read yesterday

  • Offkey

    May 27, 2018 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #14

    Your maths is as good as mine

  • Jib

    May 27, 2018 at 12:31 PM

    Comment #15

    your maths are as bad as your grammar

  • Offkey

    May 27, 2018 at 12:32 PM

    Comment #16

    1 million x 50 = 50 million

    you would need 1 million people to put in £50

  • Jib

    May 27, 2018 at 12:32 PM

    Comment #17

    How convenient
    The Test match ends just in time
    for the Monaco GP

  • Jib

    May 27, 2018 at 12:35 PM

    Comment #18

    Batten down the hatches
    Storm Alberto is headed your way

  • magscar

    May 27, 2018 at 12:46 PM

    Comment #19


    One of your more measured posts @7 with some good points. Through Ashley’s era ( and before) Charnley is the only constant in the various “Boards” nad has survived a few culls.

    Rafa is apparently paid far more than any manager under Ashley and I suppose if you aren’t going to pay out for a top DOF then a top manager is essential BUT he has to be allowed to drive the football side within established and clear financial guidlines which all involved are fully conversant with and signed up for.

  • welshgeordie9

    May 27, 2018 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #20


    May 27, 2018 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #9
    It has to be timed for when you’re on the rigs
    so I can take your missus with me.


    Ha ha ha


  • Jail for Ashley

    May 27, 2018 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #21

    Jiblets has learned how to self heart, that’ll explain his recent heart rate. What a sad barsteward!!!

  • Jail for Ashley

    May 27, 2018 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #22

    welsh me auld Dutch plate, when somebody had a dig about your dad, I told them that was out of order, that was class, you’ve just showed a distinct lack of it!

  • DubaiMicky

    May 27, 2018 at 1:08 PM

    Comment #23

    If anyone is interested in the Monaco GP, here’s a link.


  • lochinvar

    May 27, 2018 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #24

    Imagine if you were a Liverpool fan stranded in London but were unable to get to Kiev because your flights were cancelled and wasted your ticket. But luck would have it that you managed to get to Lords for a days test cricket.

    Only Mackems have less success.

  • DaveD1000

    May 27, 2018 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #25

    Micky it’s on Ch4 here….my favourite race of the season

  • DubaiMicky

    May 27, 2018 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #26

    DaveD1000, I’d love to be there, but the race usually isn’t all that cos few can overtake.

    I do recall Mansell though nearly winning it, hopefully it’ll rain.

  • OneAlanShearer

    May 27, 2018 at 1:40 PM

    Comment #27

    Anything other than Ashley authorising what rafa wants would be moronically stupid.

    I just hope He gets tjeimportance in taking the club forward with rafa.

    If He wants a big profit on selling the club rafa will take him there.

  • DaveD1000

    May 27, 2018 at 1:54 PM

    Comment #28

    yea there was one year with around 8 finishing because of the rain…

  • Bobbybee

    May 27, 2018 at 2:14 PM

    Comment #29

    None of us have a clue what’s happening. I can’t pretend to understand those books, so I won’t try, but I guarantee if they were cooked one of Ashley’s many enemies would be all over it by now. I mean his business enemies.
    The fact that he may have done something right for once hardly negates years of mismanagement after all.
    He’s going to do what he wants. How would you react if someone came into your business and told you how you have to run it?
    The irony of it is that so many who make demands on Ashley contribute nothing to NUFC. Not members. Not ST holders. Don’t go to games. Don’t buy merchandise. In his position, would you listen? No. Why should you?
    Ashley doesn’t care about anyone but Ashley and the bottom line.
    But we’ve been here before. Rafa’s, leaving, guaranteed. Still here though.
    Right or wrong I predict now that Rafa signs an extension and gets roughly what he wants. All the rest won’t matter.
    The reason I say this is simply because I believe Ashley finally appreciates he has a man in charge who can maximise his profits. Not for any pretend love of our club, because he couldn’t care.
    Rafa’s here for the season. What happens next is down to those two, but both want the same outcome, just for differing reasons. Ashley for money, Rafa for trophies – or success of a sort.
    Wait and see is my best advice. We literally can’t change anything. We’re nothing to Ashley. NOTHING.

  • mactoon

    May 27, 2018 at 2:58 PM

    Comment #30

    “The Chronicle are reporting that Mike Ashley has met with Justin Barnes and Keith Bishop in London to discuss the club’s current situation with Rafa Benitez”

    No it isn’t, it is simply saying “the club hierarchy have held further talks in the capital with Mike Ashley speaking to aides Justin Barnes and PR guru Keith Bishop”. There is no mention of what they discussed?


    May 27, 2018 at 4:38 PM

    Comment #31

    If anyone can Cock this one up? It will be Ashley and Penfold ! RAFA has only to honor his current contract and unless something happens soon in the negotiations about a new deal we will right up shits creek without a Paddle !


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