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Rafa On Tyneside – Wants To Know Transfer Budget Before Additional Contract Talks Can Resume

Rafa Benitez returned to Tyneside yesterday and was photographed going into St. James’ Park for a meeting with the hierarchy – probably with Lee Charnley and others.

There was no news that Mike Ashley would attend the meeting although progress will be made much more quickly if Ashley will only meet face to face with the owner to sort out some of his demands before he will sign a new deal with Newcastle.

Rafa’s contract talks have been dragging on for over two months now with no real progress being reported in the local papers.

Rafa Benitez – is push coming to shove with Rafa?

That’s typical Newcastle under Mike Ashley.

Newcastle have been pitifully slow in signing players for the fourth successive transfer window.

And we have made only one signing – an excellent one in goalkeeper Martin Dubravka for £4M from Spaera Prague.

But we are also likely to lose Mikel Merino to Real Sociedad before the end of the week – with the Spanish club activating a release clause of about £10M in the 21-year-old’s Newcastle contract.

It’s a pity we couldn’t send the youngster out on loan for next season to get first-team playing time and then he could return next summer and be able to challenge again for a first-team place.

But maybe that will not work?

The Shields Gazette are reporting today that Rafa wants to agree on a transfer budget with the club’s hierarchy before starting up contract talks (again) with the club.

We were hoping maybe a new interview would come out with Rafa but no such luck.

However, this is what Rafa said at the end of last season on the transfer budget:

“In modern football, and especially in the Premier League, the budget is crucial.”

“The reality is, with the prices in the market now, you need the money to compete.”

Let’s hope Rafa is still not talking about what the ambitions are of the Newcastle hierarchy.

That’s because it’s become embarrassingly obvious that Ashley does not have anywhere near the ambition and passion for Newcastle United that Rafa has.

Ashley doesn’t even attend the games these days.

We have no idea what Rafa thinks of the events of the last six weeks – since the season ended.

He’s unlikely to be pleased but there again – we don’t know what’s happening behind the scenes.

We hope to hear some good news from Newcastle soon – on the transfer front and with Rafa’s contract.

We continue to live in hope.

Comments welcome.

39 comments so far

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jun 27, 2018 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #1

    The fat man doesn’t give a foot.

  • magscar

    Jun 27, 2018 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #2

    Rob last thread ( maybe time for coffee break until bus stops moving)

    I only hope the “new” Raheem Sterling works out better than our last one (Aarons) 🙂

    He was clearly bought for the future not as regular starter and as I alluded to on earlier thread I am impressed with his atttitude in the face of few starts especially after his goal against Man City. In the position he plays in and depending on opposition it can be difficult to always shine but he seems to be hard working and able to learn with flahes of promise to come.

  • lochinvar

    Jun 27, 2018 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #3

    Ashley wasn’t at the meeting inside SJP.
    He was probably in Florida scaring the Alligators.
    There might have been a video conference link with negotiations fitted in between episodes of his favourite TV programmes such as TeleTubbies and Supermarket Sweep.
    July 1st then is the first day of the rest of our season.

  • RobLeenio

    Jun 27, 2018 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #4

    magscar, agreed.

    It’s a shame for him (not for us as competition in the squad is never bad) that Atsu has come back with a similar attitude and a new knee – it’s gonna be a battle royale for those wing positions, even without reinforcements there.

  • Rotonda heights

    Jun 27, 2018 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #5

    And yet here we still find Ashley apologists, despite everything!!

    The guy has openly admitted he has zero interest in us and wants to sell, albeit not at the realistic market price. Doesn’t that bother you? A man who has proved time after time to be a pathological liar. Ash said his money was all ”wallpaper” and tied up, yet didn’t he miraculously put his hands on 200M to buy a housing complex in the smoke quite recently with seemingly little trouble as well as buying multi million pound shares in several other concerns

    I don’t doubt that under Shepherd we may very well have done a Leeds, yet 11 years later we owe more debt than ever and all to the fat man. Don’t know many people who constantly have to have people like Bishop spin everything. Our commercial revenues are totally negligible and any scope for redevelopment or extending the ground closed off. Is it any wonder that Rafa won’t sign anything.

    Wise, JFK twice, Llambias, Wonga, Pardew, 2 relegations, KK tribunal etc, etc

    Bottom line is Rafa is the only feel good factor at the cub now, while Ash’s greed determines our continued misery

    After 11 years the Ash apologists are still clinging to what exactly?

  • magscar

    Jun 27, 2018 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #6


    On the buying of the club as I recall Ashley wanted an advertising vehicle for SD ( SJH has stated this from time to time) and also thought he had spotted the football equivalent of a wounded brand ( like he snaps up in retail) and moved quickly to buy out the shares and take off club stock market. (As an aside SJH floating of the club was part of the reason for KK leaving first time around as the financial landscape at club changed and not to KK’s liking).

    He hadn’t done sufficient due diligence and not appreciated ( and still doesn’t) the lack of more usual business practices that especially then pervaded football ( before FFP – not that it has been effective) and got his fingers burnt. The financial crash around then didn’t help.

    There are times since when I suspect that he has thought if I had my time again I wouldn’t buy club but equally ther eare times such as now when he would do the same.

    As I think you said a day or so ago I find it appropriate to consider the logic of his actions from time to time when prompted but many simply have no appetite for that – each to their own in my view but that definitely is not for some and any discussion of any possible benefits swiftly leads to your denouncement as a heretic.

  • Lindisfarne

    Jun 27, 2018 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #7

    IMO could see Murphy playing behind Perez as the two forwards. Atsu is not as defensive as Ritchie or even Kenedy, but it will be good to see him back to full strength and eager to impress.

  • DubaiMicky

    Jun 27, 2018 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #8

    I can’t blame Ashley for not attending games, if i was in his shoes i wouldn’t either, it would be a toxic atmosphere and a detrimental effect on the team.

    However, IF, just IF he gives a decent budget to Rafa and signs him up for a further 5 years, then maybe he would be welcome? What do you think?

  • Jib

    Jun 27, 2018 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #9

    Rotonda heights
    11 years later we owe more debt than ever and all to the fat man..
    Our commercial revenues are totally negligible
    Rotonda actually thinks , he , Lesh and Jail actually own NUFC.

  • magscar

    Jun 27, 2018 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #10

    And on cue ….Rotonda arrives.

    To recognise that incidental benefits have accrued to the club and fans is not to be an apologist ( or even gullible) I think the word you may more accurately apply are realists.

    The debate once started is endless, futile and almost political in it’s polarising of posters and anything else they care to post.

    It’s exactly why I try to stay clear but support the rights of likes of Posada to post an opinion ( honestly held it seems) when prompted by I think a post of Jail a day or so ago.

  • hibbit

    Jun 27, 2018 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #11

    a lot of IF’s there, what do you think ???
    i honestly don’t think the crowd have given him a hard time away not compared to some clubs fans, i think it suits him to stay away and the fans get the blame just more PR on his behalf

  • Bambams

    Jun 27, 2018 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #12

    i would of thought Rafa would already know by now how much he has, this meeting hopefully will have been to see who are main target(s) is and see if we can sign them/him.

    I still think Rafa will see out his contract and then walk or Ash may even release him in Jan and it would not surprise me to see p45due back – Nothing ash does now surprises me

  • martoon

    Jun 27, 2018 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #13

    On the subject of ‘what has Ashley done for us?’ and at the risk of being called an “Ashley apologist” I would say the 10 year Season Ticket deal has been pretty good for fans. I am definitely benefiting from it especially as when prices dropped by about 10% in the Championship they have remained at that level despite this year’s increase. It does have a disadvantage that you have to decide back in about February whether to renew or not!

  • magscar

    Jun 27, 2018 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #14


    I agree it seems entirely reasonable to me. Rafa and Ashley is an acceptable compromise until better comes along.

    As for crowd reaction many who post don’t/can’t go and whilst most if not all of those whodo go don’t want Ashley if Rafa stays, team perform, then I don’t think Ashley’s attendance or not would be a distraction for long.

    Now if Stavely made an appearance well….

  • Lindisfarne

    Jun 27, 2018 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #15

    Just seeing Ashley at the training ground, shaking hands with some players would be a start.

  • ashleysmate

    Jun 27, 2018 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #16

    IF…Ash did improve the finances and sign Rafa long-term the ice may just melt slightly with the supporters…but I can’t see it happening as he has no interest whatsoever in NUFC, therefore I can’t see Rafa staying past the next 12 MONTHS because although he knows he is loved and respected by the fans, even the most patient person would say…you know what, I’ve had enough and I think he’ll walk next year

  • Lindisfarne

    Jun 27, 2018 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #17

    But then he would not be able to deny the under investment at Benton.

  • magscar

    Jun 27, 2018 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #18


    .. and I was able to buy 2 season tickets for myself and grandson for both the Championship and last season ( for instead of getting to odd matches) for less than i paid for my old long held seat in Gallowgate which I gave up in 2007 ( coincidently as Ashley arrived).

    Probably just makes us selfish 😉

  • magscar

    Jun 27, 2018 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #19

    Anyway having been seduced by these prices but beig repentant I am now going to sacrifice myself on the altar of Ashley Out and not renew the ST’s notwithstanding the deadline extension!

  • Rotonda heights

    Jun 27, 2018 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #20


    Surely you are better than that – no? Self serving puerile comments seem to be your stock in trade but I don’t think you are stupid by any stretch so it mystifies me why you feel the constant need to come across as confrontational and all knowing, when someone, dare I say the vast majority, are visited with an opposing view.

    I just want to know why you, especially, keep absolving Ash of anything and everything.
    I used to stand Ash’s corner in the midst of the ridiculous anti ”cockney” tirade and genuinely thought the guy had done some good things.

    However, with time Ashley has obviously taken umbrage with the fans, some of which may be totally justified but whereas Brighton and Huddersfield’s respectve chairmen live and breathe their clubs, Ash comes over as the polar opposite who couldn’t get shot of us quick enough if someone paid way over the odds. That’s not really a healthy progressive situation for anyone and I refer my right honourable gentleman to my previous statement. What is it that you think Ashley will do for NUFC in the near, mid or long term future?

  • magscar

    Jun 27, 2018 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #21

    don’t be fooled – my love of NUFC still exceeds my feeling for Ashley it is simply effects of aging and family matters and a practical if unwelcome decision.

    Hope to still be able to go to some matches unless we do take off and ST’s sell out in which case no moans from me if I can’t get tickets 😉

  • RobLeenio

    Jun 27, 2018 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #22

    Magscar, I support anyone’s rights to have their views on any subject. Debate and conversation are important to the health of any society and this blog is no different. I’ve had some proper debates with Nicky the ball Tosser and Jane late on with no ill will or bad feeling in the slightest.

    I’m kinda on the fence with Ashley at the moment, his tenure as a whole has been a disaster so far, whatever the details embedded in it. Farcical appointments, shrinking revenue streams, 2 relegations plus multiple near misses tell a story.

    BUT whether by luck or good judgement, with Rafa’s involvement he has the opportunity to turn it around. In fact, Rafa has already started the process.All he needs to complete the process is Ashley’s backing.

    If he manages to provide stability and success for the next 11 years, I think I and would be willing to put to one side the disaster of the first 11, if not to forgive it. I think I’m probably not alone.

    This is why I look into the minutiae of the transactions of the club – in the absence of regular communication, it’s the only way to try to figure out what’s going on

  • magscar

    Jun 27, 2018 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #23


    You say

    …..I used to stand Ash’s corner in the midst of the ridiculous anti ”cockney” tirade and genuinely thought the guy had done some good things.

    However, with time Ashley has obviously taken umbrage with the fans, some of which may be totally justified … ”

    well that sounds very much like an apologist take to me – just saying!

    Or maybe you have recanted

    Oh and i think there are fair points 😉

  • Oldgit1

    Jun 27, 2018 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #24

    I see Leicester is spending 80m on upgrading their training facilities, can’t see Ashley spending this amount or anyywhere near it.

  • Bobbybee

    Jun 27, 2018 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #25

    Gullible? Tell you what gullible really is. It’s somebody who thinks not going to games will have any effect of a multi billionaire. It doesn’t.
    Nobody forces anybody to go to games. It’s our choice, like it’s yours not to go. But them nobody cares if you don’t go, because 52k do.
    These gullible masses are not rounded up every other week and frog marched to the ground. It’s all personal choice.
    We do what we’ve always done; turn up to watch Newcastle win nothing, just like the fans of every other club in the country that’s won nothing for decades – there’s just more of us, that’s all.
    You do realise NUFC stands for Newcastle United Football CLUB? Gullible is expecting a club to take a blind bit of notice of none members.
    There are no apologists on here. Just people with a different view.
    You do what you want to do. I want to attend games as I always have. If you think demanding I don’t will have any effect on me, you’re not only gullible, you’re delusional. I’m my own man. I do what I want.
    For me, there’s no feeling quite like being in the crowd when the ball hits the back of the net. I can’t get that feeling anywhere else, so why would I stop? For your agenda? Dream on. Never going to happen.
    So stop whining about it. You make your choices, 52k make theirs every other week.
    Rafa is still there for one reason only – those 52k fans. Get over yourselves, in the greater scheme of things you simply don’t matter. To think you do, really is gullible.

  • RobLeenio

    Jun 27, 2018 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #26

    Bobby, how’s the search for the mysterious records? You sorted yet?

  • magscar

    Jun 27, 2018 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #27


    I agree Ashleys tenure despite some benefit has been a disaster of his making in strategy, judgement and poor and ridiculous appointments.

    I hold to the belief that despite some reluctance on his part the arrival of and staying of Rafa has brought the club to the possibility of a better future even with him still here but only as long as Rafa has real power.

    The dilemma is that whilst both parties can apparently see the benefits, the others view of way forward and even need for a slow but always progressive build they cannot entirely resolve what are their clear differences in what exactly they want achieved,how soon and to what cost. Ashley will not put in money ( not sure whether he can or not without FFP being involved) and doesn’t have Rafa’s vision of putting in the foundations that will benefit the club long after he has gone if properly managed but will hopefully bring success in his time. He is a man in a hurrry whereas Ashley is not.

    There are plenty of areas where their aspirations ( however limited for Ashley) can overlap and that has been sufficient so far but whether more can be achieved to make Rafa feel his commitment for more than the remaining year is worth it to the project ( not financially) is not so clear and worrying.

    However I don’t expect it to be conducted in public and the tendrils of local press into halls of NUFC are not what they were and speculation dressed up as insight is of necessity.

    We seem little further forward than we were at end of season when you and I and others were given to speculation that Rafa would stay except he is now back on home soil presumably to finalise at least the coming season’s postion and hopefully more?

  • magscar

    Jun 27, 2018 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #28


    Right on – can always rely on you to make the more impassioned straight from the heart response to the same old labeling and rhetoric on here.

  • posada

    Jun 27, 2018 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #29

    That’s a good post by BB.
    Ashley could change everything if he simply backed Rafa with his every penny commitment.
    If there are problems with cash flow ( waiting for instalment money ) or FFP then speak to the fans and tell them.

    We have no debt by the way. A debt to yourself is not a debt, as you are the payer and the receiver.

    I don’t think we will ever have a money no object owner.
    But, even at this stage if he delegated control to the correct people, Rafa being one of them and kept his every penny promise that would be good enough for me.,

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Jun 27, 2018 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #30

    What chance the Bosh and those dandy Brazillian cabana boys crashing out today? That really would be beyond wonderful. The French, Belgians, Spanish, Argentinians and Portugeezers can do one in the round of 16 too, as far as I’m concerned, that would be just the ticket. I quite fancy England’s chances anyway, just quietly, but a little help along the way couldn’t hurt. I’ll eagerly take our chances in a last 8 of England, Mexico, Uruguay, Croatia, Serbia, Japan, Senegal and Russia. Is that even possible? I don’t know if the draw would allow it, but wouldn’t it be great, starting today with Germany and Brazil out on their arses.

  • Bobbybee

    Jun 27, 2018 at 11:54 AM

    Comment #31

    Rob, no mate. My doctor is actively searching for them. She’s got one of her secretary’s searching at least. They rang me yesterday as it happens to give me an update. Asking if I’d lived abroad at any time, which might explain it, but I haven’t. The search continues.
    I’ve applied for the notes on my operation though and am just waiting. I just hope I find out he took the kneecaps because he had to. From what I can gather from telephone conversations the worst one was only broken into four pieces. I’ve seen worse repaired online though. The waiting is making me sick. I just wish I’d never been told I’d been mutilated by that surgeon. I’d lived with it happily up to that point. Let you know when I know.

  • RobLeenio

    Jun 27, 2018 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #32

    No worries, Bobby – keep your pecker up and the offer of the contact details of the medical claims lawyer in my family is still there should you wish

  • Bobbybee

    Jun 27, 2018 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #33

    Posada, I just try to ignore Ashley. The guy truly is a dick but like it or not he owns us and we can’t change it.
    There are so many things he could do, but doesn’t. He infuriates me at times, but so have most of our previous owners. They’re not like us. They’re in it for the money, nothing more – but then, it is a business.
    I go because I love the Toon. I never give Ashley a second thought until he’s brought up. Even if he left, chances are we’d get another money grabbing bozo.
    I have no interest in football politics. I go to watch my team play and hopefully win and then I return to the Real World. It’s my escape from reality and I am never going to give it up.
    I’ve never seen us win anything and very few have. I wasn’t allowed to go to the Fairs Cup final because of the Rangers game. (I was still at school and my parents ruled!)
    I dream that I will see it happen one day but if I don’t I don’t. I don’t support us demanding we win. It would be nice but as, teams above us have sugar, daddies, the chances diminish season by season.
    Fans of Hartlepool, Doncaster, Darlington still support their team and they’ve less chance than us! 🙂 If winning is that important, they picked the wrong team.
    If somebody could guarantee me that staying away would rid us of Ashley and bring in a sugar daddy I might consider it. They can’t.

  • cyprus

    Jun 27, 2018 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #34

    Agree with many previously. VAR can be judged a success. Many controversial decisions when you, or the ref, just don’t know – so you guess it go with your alliance- have been neatly cleared up.

    The problem is implementation. Mitro has inexplicably lost out and so have I with my little bet.

    Anyway, can still earn something if they draw or beat… Brazil!

  • cyprus

    Jun 27, 2018 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #35


  • Bobbybee

    Jun 27, 2018 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #36

    Cheers Rob. When I review the notes I’ll let you know mate.

  • RobLeenio

    Jun 27, 2018 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #37

    Chopper watch update – one flew low over the city South to North about 20 minutes ago. Destination – debatable…


  • ilovetoon8788

    Jun 27, 2018 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #38

    Liverpool have confirmed naby keita signing.

    We are waiting for the world cup to end and then take the transfer market by storm and breaking our transfer record right?


  • lesh

    Jun 27, 2018 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #39


    Newcastle United FC is a corporate body, a legal entity which is entirely owned by Ashley. The club was loaned money by Ashley and it, the club, is in debt to Ashley. Ashley could recall his debt at any time if he wished.


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