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This Is All We Know About What Happened At The Rialto On Wednesday Night


There has been a lot of news given out about what actually happened at the meeting on Wednesday night when Rafa and his players met with Mike Ashley at an Italian restaurant in Ponteland.

Most of it has come from an article by Craig Hope in the Mail, but the Chronicle has also added to that information.

So we thought it would be helpful to list what Ashley has said and how it may change things at Newcastle for this season.

Mike Ashley arriving at the Rialto Ristorante Italian

  • The bad news is that Ashley said he didn’t think the club would be sold this season so the players shouldn’t be unsettled by that, because it will not happen,
    He didn’t say the club was not up for sale just that he didn’t think it would sell this season.
  • He also said nobody, despite news reports, has come anywhere near the price he wants for Newcastle, so a sale has never been close.
  • Ashley said he was determined to keep Rafa Benitez as the manager at the club past next summer when his current contract runs out – it looks like this is the start of his attempt to keep the Spaniard on Tyneside.
  • Ashley said he would be taking a more hands-on approach at the club, so we don’t know if that will be a good thing for Newcastle – but it’s not the first time he has said that.
  • The owner said he would continue to support Rafa in the transfer market, and since Newcastle are in relegation trouble again, Ashley may even give Rafa some money to spend this January.
    He’s also likely to do that to keep Rafa at the club.
  • Ashley said the planning for the January transfer window was well underway.
  • Relegation was definitely on Ashley’s mind because he told the players he would pay for a summer holiday if they ended up avoiding relegation this season (and kept that PL money flowing into the club).
  • Ashley did not give a speech but walked around the table introducing himself and talking to the players and staff.
  • After the dinner, he huddled with captain Jamaal Lascelles, Matt Ritchie Rafa Benitez and Lee Charnley to (presumably) have a discussion on how to improve things on the playing side of things – both on and off the pitch.
  • Matt Ritchie said the talks with the owner were good.
  • Ashley admitted to the players that he had made mistakes in his ownership of the club.
  • The Mail reported that Benitez had the £8.95 Risotto Marinara, while Ashley went for the £7.95 Spaghetti Bolognese and drank two pints of lager to wash it down.
  • 20 of the 43 man group ordered the more expensive fillet steak at £17.95. The bill came to around £2,500 and Charnley settled the tab, with generous tips for the staff (that’s good).
  • Lascelles remained with Rafa, Ashley, and Charnley after the other players left and later walked back to his home in Darras Hall.
  • Mike Ashley was reported to be in high spirits as he left the restaurant.
  • He has been accused of giving the V sign to protesting fans when he left the Rialto – he’s denied that on the Newcastle website today.
  • Ashley is expected to keep attending Newcastle games and even go to watch the training at Benton on occasion as he tries to form a working relationship with Rafa and get him to stay on at the club long-term.

So “that’s it” – as Rafa would say.

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Comments welcome.


84 comments so far

  • toon22

    Oct 5, 2018 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #1

    The owner said he would continue to support Rafa in the transfer market

    You think were stupid enough to believe that LOL

    Nice to see the “ive leaned my lesson” lie being aired again that 10 out of 11 years now

    5
  • Ibizatoon

    Oct 5, 2018 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #2

    Has Rafa commented on the meal yet?

    Love the inclusion of who ordered what and how much it cost. Wonder if Rafa asked if he had a cheaper meal, could the balance go towards the January transfer window. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting Rafa wants to spend any money, but improve the transfer profit balance from the summer.

    So again, are manager, players and fans being asked to put aside their bad feeling towards the owner and his decisions for the club, as those very decisions yet again have us looking at potentially facing relegation this season?

    You never know, perhaps the whole meal was a Rafa tactics intervention?

    “We’re here because we love you Rafa and because your football’s too defensive!”

    1
  • Ibizatoon

    Oct 5, 2018 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #3

    22…It’s the same old, same old.

    Shame some on here aren’t wound up by it quite the same as they are by your repetitiveness.

    6
  • lesh

    Oct 5, 2018 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #4

    The more I see about this botched up PR exercise, the more I wonder whether Ashley is either totally out of touch, ill informed about the state the club’s in, or he’s deluding himself.

    He says he wanted to reassure the players that he’s staying. Reassure? Does he really think they’re worried about losing him?

    Offering a holiday – does he actually know how much his players earn?

    Continue to support Rafa in the transfer market? Continue?

    He says he want’s Rafa to stay, Rafa’s going nowhere – does he know that Rafa’s contract ends in June?

    Does he think it’s the fans are wrong to despise him?

    Either somebody (Barnes) has been responsible for screwing things up and telling Ashley lies about the state of things, or he’s living in a different world to the rest of us.

    What’s it to be? Mad or bad??

    13
  • Optimistic Panda

    Oct 5, 2018 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #5

    The only reason he’s planning for January is he’s 5hitting himself we’ll go down again due to his incompetence as a owner.

    Nothing to do with bettering the team or squad, protecting his investment, nothing more.

    8
  • Jib

    Oct 5, 2018 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #6

    I see a bright new future with a rehabilitated
    Mike Ashley taking us onward and upward.

    You have to admire his new humility.

    Rafa has made him see the light Hallelujah !!!!

    3
  • hibbit

    Oct 5, 2018 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #7

    i see nowt but misery under Mike Ashley

    6
  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 5, 2018 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #8

    Foot off Jiblets!!!
    He said he wanted Rafa to stay last summer, he is the only one with the power to make him want to. Instead he has spent the last few years under mining him at every opportunity, another relegation looking likely and fan unrest and he comes up with this stunt. Liar, Liar Liar!!!

    10
  • toon22

    Oct 5, 2018 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #9

    Hiya JIB

    Its just me whos repetitive

    Lets hope that V sign is his Ratners moment

    The MPs talking at the protest meetings got him rattled

    How many more PR stunts do you think he can muster ??

    2
  • Ibizatoon

    Oct 5, 2018 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #10

    Jail…Do you think Jib’s being serious in his claims that Rafa has tamed Ashley?

    3
  • toon22

    Oct 5, 2018 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #11

    JIB

    Ask your mate Ashley to sell up will you

    Were sick of him

    1
  • toon22

    Oct 5, 2018 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #12

    Wonder when the blog police will show up and sort it out ?

    LOL

    1
  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 5, 2018 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #13

    Ibiza,
    No, he’s on the wind up, he is actually as stupid as I think he is if he does.

    7
  • toon22

    Oct 5, 2018 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #14

    I dont actually mind the wind up merchants

    It lets me answer with my usual agenda

    Lets see who gets sick first

    0
  • Ibizatoon

    Oct 5, 2018 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #15

    Jail…So why react? It wasn’t even a half believable wind. Some may even consider it satire.

    2
  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 5, 2018 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #16

    Ibiza,
    Shall we just ignore every comment we don’t like, it would get pretty quiet on here if we did.

    5
  • ronaldo aarons

    Oct 5, 2018 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #17

    Who is that #%€$ behind Ashley? Always see him around the club but since he has no official role, we should report him for stalking!

    1
  • Wayayman

    Oct 5, 2018 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #18

    Lets keep our eye on the ball and up the ante on Ashley. In the last few weeks he’s encountered NUFC fans on the street in Newcastle & London, had 52000 telling him where to go at SJP, and been given grief when he left the restaurant the other night plus the impact the protests have in the national media and the continued growth of support via the excellent work of The Magpie Group not to mention news-making rants from MPs, former footballers and tv/radio presenters who understand the situation and have the balls to come out on our side (Ian Wright, Steve Howey, Jake Humphrey on BT sport. And then there’s Keegan’s book -beautifully timed to ramp up the anti-Ashley feeling in the city. Every little bit helps

    8
  • Ibizatoon

    Oct 5, 2018 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #19

    Jail…Not at all. What I’m proposing is more a case of picking your battles, rather than battling every single silly comment, most likely designed to make you go into battle.

    If you think you’re best debating whether Rafa has finally made Ashley see the light, then crack right on. You know he hasn’t, Jib knows he hasn’t, so the point is?

    3
  • The next Mike Williamson

    Oct 5, 2018 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #20

    one thing for certain Ashley is acting different to normal. it would be nice if he issued a statement to fans to explain what he’s up to, but i can’t see it coming and i doubt anyone would believe him if he said he was going to change his spending habits. all we can do is hope that he will loosen the purse strings. anyway, getting the team together can’t have harmed morale. i’m glad he has been upfront about a possible takeover as at least we won’t all get our hopes up too much. i was starting to think a takeover was coming.

    1
  • Ibizatoon

    Oct 5, 2018 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #21

    Wayayman…But Ashley doesn’t care! 🙂

    He may not, but clearly he’s being told he should. The pressure is doing something, which has got to be better than doing nothing.

    5
  • lochinvar

    Oct 5, 2018 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #22

    Ed: “Ashley did not give a speech but walked around the table introducing himself and talking to the players and staff”

    Very polite I’m sure.
    Just in case they didn’t know who he was ?
    Who did they think he was, a waiter ?

    Perhaps he’ll join us in the stands, introduce himself and treat us to pies at half time. Now that would a PR exercise.

    3
  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 5, 2018 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #23

    Ibiza,
    That’s why I told him to foot off, couldn’t just leave a post saying that so left an explanation, not everyone reading will know that Jib is a tw@t, although if they don’t today is their first read.

    2
  • magscar

    Oct 5, 2018 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #24

    Well I for one can see that Ashley has been forced by a combination of Magpie Group, league position and need to re-engage with Rafa to start a charm offensive.

    It is what it is and what he had done before. It is about him not us Rafa or the players

    OK with that Ibiza? Wasn’t at all difficult to say as it is why I believe.

    Oh Frog is still an unwelcomie and unnecessary scourge.

    1
  • Wayayman

    Oct 5, 2018 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #25

    Ronaldo @ 17, isn’t that Barnes aka the shithouse lawyer who is apparently a despicable gob-shite who is undermining everything Rafa is trying to do at the club?

    0
  • Genjikai

    Oct 5, 2018 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #26

    Out of all the posters on this blog, atleast toon22 sees the truth. All yous other are not true toon supporters. How can you honestly put up with this. We are now a shambles. And all blame is with MA no investment. Ive read this blog for years decided to start posting then instantly stopped. Basically a dont even come on now cause yous are boring and not true toon fans. Pain in the blog is an absolutle bellend. Proper muppet

    4
  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 5, 2018 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #27

    Personally, although I’d like to think that fan pressure is getting to him, I think he’s more worried about relegation. Saying that though, the dinner was most definitely planned for the same day as the fans meeting.

    4
  • Ibizatoon

    Oct 5, 2018 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #28

    TNMW…With all due respect, can you imagine a more perfect outcome for Ashley and his PR team?

    Did anyone expect anything less? We’ve seen this all before.

    You either believe Ashley has to go, or you don’t. I don’t see what “changing” approach for one window actually changes, as he always has reverted back to type at the earliest opportunity, if not before.

    I didn’t think the purpose of the protests was to push through a sale that was already on the table, but to push the owner to find a buyer and sell up? Make him actually want to sell. As it stands, the club still provides him with all he’s ever wanted out if it.

    2
  • hibbit

    Oct 5, 2018 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #29

    The next Mike Williamson @20

    you believe him ???????????

    0
  • ronaldo aarons

    Oct 5, 2018 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #30

    Wayayman
    Yes it is lol. Just pointing him out as he hasn’t really been mentioned attending this restaurant event.

    1
  • Sav

    Oct 5, 2018 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #31

    Players and fans do have to concentrate on the next game etc. but at this point, whatever stunt Ashley pulls, whoever he buys in January to save his skin and another ruined season, he is a pariah and the campaign to get rid has to keep going to the finish.

    2
  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 5, 2018 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #32

    TNMW,
    Seriously, can you believe anything he says, to me you’re just believing what you want to hear. We’ve been down this road for eleven years now.

    1
  • Ibizatoon

    Oct 5, 2018 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #33

    Magscar…You’ve lost me. Is that in response to my post to toon22 about wishing fans were as wound up by the repetitiveness of Ashley as they are Toon22? Not sure why that would rile anyone.

    Anyway, ok with what? That you can see he’s on the charm offensive? Of course. I even agree.

    Not sure what you meant by “It is what it is and what he had done before. It is about him not us Rafa or the players”, can you expand?

    Jail…A difference of opinion in approach is all. As for being more concerned about relegation than anything else, we’ll see what math they come up with for January in their risk vs reward exercise against relegation.

    0
  • lochinvar

    Oct 5, 2018 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #34

    lesh@4
    maybe Mike fell down a rabbit hole, bumped his head and is living in a different world
    A veritable ‘Ashley’s Adventures in Wonderland’ and the Pizza meal was his incarnation of ‘The Mad Ashley’s Tea Party’
    Tweedledum and Tweedledee he sees as Bishop and Barnes.

    3
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Oct 5, 2018 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #35

    Is it too late for MA to have a Damascene moment, probably but you never know!

    Oops I’ve just ventured into the shill area of the blog, quick Bill retreat no one might spot it!

    2
  • Average_Contents

    Oct 5, 2018 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #36

    Continue to support Rafa?

    There’s been one window out of 4-5 where he’s got what he wanted and that was to get out of the championship so we could get back on the gravy train.

    Once achieved, he reverted to type and proceeded to shaft Rafa at every opportunity using his puppets as shields. As previous.

    He’s a fcuking leech. A lying one at that.

    As for the poor effort of a PR exercise, as someone else mentioned, Wednesday was the only available day the squad and that fat leech could come together?

    The day TMG met up with Two MP’s speaking. Give me a break.

    Keith is definitely on overtime at the moment, he’s rather shite though as it’s not working is it.

    Keep up the pressure lads n lasses.

    Hwtl
    Hwtf

    Fat cnut out!!

    5
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Oct 5, 2018 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #37

    I’m going to an Italian restaurant tonight, I’ll have to see how much the Risotto Marinara and Sphag Bol is!

    2
  • Wayayman

    Oct 5, 2018 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #38

    I missed the irony there Ronaldo. I can’t understand why Barnes never gets a mention, he’s apparently a proper grade-one arsehole who throws his weight around. I’m pretty sure he’s the one who does Ashley’s dirty work

    1
  • ronaldo aarons

    Oct 5, 2018 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #39

    Essex Geordie ‘Shill’

    6
  • magscar

    Oct 5, 2018 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #40

    I expect any comment from Ashley to come via Sky – gets most coverage and they have been easy on him.

    I used to hope that he could be persuaded to change his behaviour with the club but it is evident he only reacts when forced by pressure and/or circumstance.

    Magpie Group need to sustain the fight and try to form opinion even if concessions do emerge as seems likelly.

    It is important that as many fans as possible are kept onside so it will require smart thinking to keep us on the right side of the PR battle and the growing pundit support sticking with us.

    Rafa staying and sufficient funds (history tells us that is what will happen) is a start and welcome but shouldn’t be enough for the campaign to fizzle out.

    He is wily and I expect his rengagement is both practical and calculated to redress the PR batty he has been losing.

    Some will buy into it and we must realise and accept thst so that is wby i below Magpie Group need to box clever and not lose supporters both in fan base and in press TV etc .

    4

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