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Negotiations Update – Progress Being Made – Lawyers Now Vetting Rafa’s Contract

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?

Comments welcome.

14 comments so far

  • lochinvar

    May 26, 2019 at 7:35 AM

    Comment #1

    There really is no need to use the F word on the blog.
    Flexibility ……in Rafa’s contract to allow him scope to recruit the best players
    Almost too much to take on board
    Hope springs eternal

  • lochinvar

    May 26, 2019 at 7:40 AM

    Comment #2

    Instead of the Chronicle recycling made up stories about Man Utd touting for Longstaff why don’t they do so something constructive like saying that they’re getting Jack Ross as Manager to take over from the failed Ole Solsker.

    So far Longstaff’s fee has gone up from £15m to £20m to £25m which looks like hyper inflation is rampant. Well exaggeration at least.

  • wynsleap

    May 26, 2019 at 7:44 AM

    Comment #3

    Is it Ashley’s plan to keep this dragging on then to announce, very late in the window, that they haven’t had time to make these summer signings because Rafa has been dragging his feet?
    This owner is a lying, scheming, tight and devious operator who knows nothing about football and quite frankly doesn’t give a stuff about the club he owns or the supporters.
    It’s just another money making operation in his business portfolio, managed without loyalty, vision or care and attention with the bottom line being the main priority. What a way to live on this earth when hard cash is the only thing on your mind 24/7. Pitiful.

  • hibbit

    May 26, 2019 at 7:46 AM

    Comment #4

    just for the record Ashley is minority shareholder dozens of companies,

  • Bambams

    May 26, 2019 at 7:46 AM

    Comment #5

    Longstaff was at a local cricket match recently and told all fans who asked, that he was going nowhere.

    However, I suggest he reads up on how Andy Carroll left Newcastle !

  • sing in the corner

    May 26, 2019 at 7:47 AM

    Comment #6

    Well, this is the Sky Transfer podcast I was on about yesterday morning, warning everyone not to bother sifting through.
    It’s all waffle, and stuff anyone ‘knows’.

  • sing in the corner

    May 26, 2019 at 7:50 AM

    Comment #7

    wynsleap @3
    Paragraph 1… Spot on in my opinion / Exactly what I and I would think many have been mulling over, whilst trying to remain optimistic of course.

  • sing in the corner

    May 26, 2019 at 7:54 AM

    Comment #8

    Ashley will not like this one bit.. (Rafa’s ‘once bitten..twice shy’ diligence in dramatically reducing Ashley’s ability to do the dirty..)

  • sing in the corner

    May 26, 2019 at 7:56 AM

    Comment #9

    Viva Rafa!
    Tighten that vice!

  • Jib

    May 26, 2019 at 8:01 AM

    Comment #10

    Knowing how Ashley thinks I wonder if Rafa’s request for profound change has provoked the response
    “Put your money where your mouth is” and the length of time is because Rafa is investing in NUFC

  • Ben Afri

    May 26, 2019 at 8:05 AM

    Comment #11


    “Same people. Saying the same things. Over and over again”
    “Were not stupid”

    Oh wow lol. The irony in both of these statements reposted over and over again are laughable. Here’s a tip, my friend. Use apostrophe’s, especially when asserting that you’re not stupid. With statements like these so famously unself aware, I find it hard not to believe you’re a genius method actor playing the role of an idiot troll.

    Posting about one’s hopes on this blog does not make you PR. It makes it blog.

  • Binney

    May 26, 2019 at 8:07 AM

    Comment #12

    Regarding the Qatari interest in Leeds United, I seem to remember rumours of PSG wanting a feeder club in the Championship. I think Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest were two other clubs mentioned… This would probably make sense if they were wanting only part ownership of the club.

  • DubaiMicky

    May 26, 2019 at 8:34 AM

    Comment #13

    Binney, Villa, Forest and Leeds all want to be back in the Premiership, so how would that work for a feeder club? A Premiership club where the other owner is happy to be mid-table with no chance of getting into Europe (as Qatar can’t have 2 teams in the same competition). Oh, hang on….

  • Moonraker15

    May 26, 2019 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #14

    Ben Afri

    Word of advice when criticising others mate; make sure you’re squeaky !
    There’s no apostrophe when stating “Use apostrophes”
    Get it?


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