Last season Newcastle finished in 10th place and for the money that Ashley gave Rafa to spend during the season – which was very little – that was an excellent return on investment.
We got £123M back from the Premier League last May – what could be better?
We will not finish as high in the table this season – may be as high as 13th and with one more point than last year – and a win today at Fulham will take us to that 45 points total for the season.
BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson makes the financial case for Mike Ashley that the best Newcastle can expect in the next few years is 7th place in the Premier League.
And therefore why should he go overboard in spending Newcastle’s money for three higher places in the league table than we achieved last year?
Here’s what Mark has said about Rafa’s future at Newcastle:
“The big questions, as ever, for the Magpies are will manager Rafa Benitez stay, and will he get the money that he wants to spend?”
“I think the answers are ‘yes’ and ‘no’ – but he will get some of it, and enough to make some more improvements to his squad.”
“We already know Magpies owner Mike Ashley is never going to splash the cash, because he could give Benitez £100M and he is realistically only going to finish seventh, at best.”
“They are halfway up the table right now, so how many more places up the table are they going to get as a return for his money?”
“That is Ashley’s way of thinking.”
“He is a businessman and Newcastle made an £18.6M profit last season, so he is never going to agree with the fans urging him to spend.”
Mark makes it all about money and the return on that investment – which is exactly how Ashley thinks – but that’s all in the short term.
Let’s not get bogged down in investment and return – Newcastle have the money to spend and currently we have one of the best managers in the business on Tyneside.
And we don’t spend the money we have available to spend on players – that policy must end.
We have to break through from the owner’s self-imposed financial barriers.
Leicester City, after just avoiding relegation on their first season back in the Premier League in 2014-2015 , didn’t have that kind of negative thinking.
After that dodgy first season back they went on to win the PL title for the first time in 2016 with 81 points – 10 points to spare above second-placed Arsenal.
The season before they won the title they finished in 14th place on 41 points – pulling away from the bottom of the table in the last few games of the season – and finished 2 points and one place above a John Carver managed Newcastle.
We believe Rafa thinks if he is given a fair shake in terms of investment – his knowledge of the game and his contacts around the world can get some good players to the cub.
And he can also develop young players coming through the club.
When you stop concentrating on limitations you may have and start with a vision for what you want to achieve – one of the best teams and clubs in Europe – that’s when miracles begin to happen – and when Newcastle can make rapid progress.
Give Rafa what he needs and then we need to strap on those seat belts.
You don’t make money in football from the profits you may make every financial year – like in a normal business.
You do what Spurs and other clubs have done, and invest in the squad under a top-class manager – and the price of the club will soar.
That’s what Mike Ashley should be doing and not nit-picking all the time with Newcastle’s money.