It’s a Sunday, so we expected news and updates on Rafa’s contract talks.
And Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie has said Rafa wants the way Mike Ashley runs the club to change significantly, so he can do things like sign players who earn £100K/week and over in the future.
The good news that we see is that lawyers, agents, and others are now involved in going through the finer details of Rafa’s contract.
One of the reasons it’s taking so long is Rafa seems to have pointed out multiple ways (some of them small nuances) where he wants the club to change.
And of course, Mike Ashley has run the club his way for 12 years – with disastrous results.
The other reason is that this is how unfortunately Newcastle do things – exceptionally slowly.
Rafa Benitez – wants lots of changes made in the way the club is run
So there’s a lot to documentation to vet so that Rafa is sure he has cast-iron assurances about certain things.
If Rafa does sign, then we’ll see a different club from now on – even if Ashley is still the owner.
If Rafa does sign, then we hope we’ll see a different club from now on.
The Sky Sports reporter than talks about how Newcastle fans have to be patient.
But that’s very difficult when it’s been used in the past to keep us quiet and cover up a distinct lack of vision and ambition at the club since Ashley arrived.
This is what Downie told Sky Sports’ Transfer Talk podcast which took place last Friday lunchtime
“My information a week ago, two weeks ago was that it was close.”
“I know that they have been in dialogue for the best part of a week now, they met last Thursday.”
“When I say they I mean Rafa Benitez, Lee Charnley the club’s managing director and Mike Ashley.”
“Those talks carried on into the Friday and then everyone headed off on their separate directions.”
“I know it’s difficult for them but they probably just need to give them some time to get this done.”
“I’m told lawyers, agents and others are now involved in going through the finer details of the contract.”
” It’s kind of just the way Newcastle do things really, they never do it easily or quickly.”
“I can understand why supporters are getting frustrated but they need a bit of time.”
“There’s no point in getting irate and getting angry and putting too much pressure on because the one thing the supporters want and they’ve made it clear – is that Benitez remains at the club.”
“I know it’s difficult for them but they probably just need to give them some time to get this done.” (yeah – right)
“They should – the information I’m getting – they’ll get their wish and Rafa Benitez will sign a long-term contract.
“There’s plenty of sticking points, Ashley has run the club in a certain way over the last 5-10 years where they only sign players of a certain age.”
“He doesn’t like signing players over the age of 26, 27 who don’t have any sell-on value.”
“That’s something Rafa Benitez wants to change. He wants to change the wage structure, he wants to sign players who will earn more than £100K/week.”
“At the moment Newcastle’s highest earner is on £75K/week (Jonjo Shelvey).”
“There’s certain things he wants to change. It’s not that he wants to be given £50M or £100M every transfer window.”
“It’s certain little nuances within the way the club is run that he wants to change.”
“Newcastle have been fixed and set in their ways for so long it’s difficult to change.
“Benitez feels he’s been not so much lied to, but he feels promises haven’t been kept in the past so he wants all these assurances in writing.”
It’s almost like Rafa is giving Mike Ashley an education on why the various changes he wants to be made are necessary.
And Rafa has a good rapport with the owner, and we know he’s very good at explaining things football related.
It’s such a significant change for Newcastle that Rafa could even sign on for five years – that would mean he is comfortable at Newcastle even with Ashley as the manager.
We just hope it doesn’t take too long to announce Rafa is staying — surely it can be done by the middle of next week?