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If Ashley Is Selling Newcastle – Why Doesn’t He Give Rafa What He Wants?

There’s a chance when the smoke clears that we’ll be left with an awful situation at Newcastle United.

At the end of August, Mike Ashley could still be the owner of the club and Rafa Benitez, with the three coaches who work closely with him, could have left the club.

Mike Ashley is unwilling to give way to Rafa on recruitment and the free use of his transfer budget – but if Ashley is selling the club, why is he so concerned about this?

One big thing that can help the owner sell Newcastle currently is that world-renowned Rafa Benitez is the manager.

Why would he want him to leave before the club is sold – so why didn’t he give what Rafa wants to stay at the club.?

Mike Ashley – does he really want to sell Newcastle?

We are being told the Bin Zayed Group are well along with in their efforts to acquire the club, and that two other groups are also still involved in trying to buy Newcastle.

But no exclusivity has been granted to any of the groups – or so we are told.

What we don’t understand is why Ashley wouldn’t have given in to the demands of Rafa Benitez, and he could have signed the deal four weeks ago, and we wouldn’t be in this terrible mess of uncertainty the club are in now.

Surely Ashley would have done that if he intends to sell the club and once the club is sold we would expect the new owner(s) to potentially upgrade Rafa’s contract.

Why would Ashley be so firm with Rafa if he wants out of Newcastle?

That’s the question.

If this man is still around by the end of August he really is a reluctant seller – and that simply code for he doesn’t want to sell the club and lose all that global publicity for Sports Direct.

And it could all turn out to have been another ruse not to spend much money in this summer’s transfer window.

We really hope that’s not true.

There should be some protest made to the Premier League about the behavior of this owner – he’s completely unfit to own a Premier League club and had kept Newcastle in chains for 12 long years.

He should have no future at all at Newcastle United.

Comments welcome.

391 comments so far

  • Shoulders knees

    Jun 20, 2019 at 2:36 PM

    Comment #1

    The FA won’t do anything

  • barkel

    Jun 20, 2019 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #2

    I would think what Rafa wants is investment in the club with less restrictions on transfer policy, things that the current owner can’t really provide if the club is in the middle of a sale process

  • JP...from The Rock

    Jun 20, 2019 at 2:40 PM

    Comment #3

    Ed – could it be that Ashley doesn’t want Rafa spending his (or should I say the clubs) money just when he’s about to sell up?

    Or it could also be that there can’t be transfers of assets whilst a takeover is in process?

  • Captain AmeriMag

    Jun 20, 2019 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #4

    If Rafa had any concerns about being out of work in 6 business days or if he was negotiating with Ashlie like a lot of the papers have been making up to fill the NDA enforced news void he would surely be making some noise? He’s not adverse to a bit politics or publicly trying to pressure Ashlie into action. His silence is golden! He’s busy as we speak quietly preparing to lead us into a beautiful new future

  • RUNAWAY777

    Jun 20, 2019 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #5

    Really glad i left this Circus behind when i finaly handed my season ticked in but i would like to know what the supporters/fans will do if rafa leaves and ashleys still there will yous put up with a shit team and shit football or this time would we get a mass exodus this time.

  • beefman13

    Jun 20, 2019 at 2:47 PM

    Comment #6

    Rafa’s got nowt to loose if he’s got the big Chinese offers on the table has he, play the waiting game no problem, he’s win win.

  • RUNAWAY777

    Jun 20, 2019 at 2:48 PM

    Comment #7

    All the things ive read are pointing to ashley being up to his old tricks i pray i wrong for you great supports, one question for yous if you had a boss like ashley would you stay or walk.

  • RobLeenio

    Jun 20, 2019 at 2:50 PM

    Comment #8

    Ron Knee, he’s a club employee therefore bound to silence when the club signs an NDA. He’ll have a clause in his contract stipulating that he’s not allowed to release confidential information and the NDA will relate to that.

    Of course, in just a week and a half, he’ll no longer be a club employee….

  • wyntheleap

    Jun 20, 2019 at 2:54 PM

    Comment #9

    How can ashley give the manager what he wants when he wont be here then and of course the new owners may have better things planned, so the manger could have signed the contract weeks ago with a clause stating that further discussions will be had with the new owners once in place. Why is it always the club who has to bow down to the manager, he has wasted a month now where he could have been planning for new players, think he is off waiting for a better offer in the UK.

  • Ron Knee

    Jun 20, 2019 at 2:55 PM

    Comment #10

    Are you sure of that, RobLeenio?

  • magpie6699

    Jun 20, 2019 at 2:59 PM

    Comment #11

    RUNAWAY – won’t repeat my earlier post in full but some of us have seen much more ‘shit’ teams than the one we have at present and been in much worse situations and have not deserted the team, because it’s in our blood since childhood. I full understand the opposite point of view; I loathe Ashley and wish he was gone but he won’t be bothered by low attendances or season ticket sales as long as he gets the TV money. If he’s not bothered by the threat of relegation, why would he worry about a few million here or there.

  • BENNY 10

    Jun 20, 2019 at 3:01 PM

    Comment #12

    I understand everyone becoming nervous with the long silence. I was starting to lose my optimism myself. Then I though there’s no way that the Monochrome stuff and Ashley’s businesses being struck off is part of an elaborate trick by Ashley to distract us. Surely if they are at the stage of creating vehicle companies to carry out the deal they are at a very advanced stage. The takeover will happen I’m nearly certain, the thing I have no idea about and am worried about is Rafa’s future. Won’t be half as sweet if he’s not here to put our newly acquired resources to use

  • droppy in Wallsend

    Jun 20, 2019 at 3:01 PM

    Comment #13

    I would have thought that Rafa would be subject to NDA if there are any in place.

    He is often the only person who tells us anything about the club.

    Whether he can speak up if he was to leave I suppose would depend on exactly what he has signed.

  • chicousa

    Jun 20, 2019 at 3:03 PM

    Comment #14

    In regard to the persistent claims from the NUFC camp that Ashley has still not seen a Proof of Funds from BZG vs the statements from the BZG that this proof was provided to Ashley back on April 27: not sure these are the same types of “proof”?

    The proof provided on the Apr 27th is likely of a summary and somewhat unverified type. The proof Ashley’s team is waiting on is likely much more rigorous and needs more detailed verification.

    Either that or Ashley is playing games and though his legal team have the proof in hand since Apr 27, he personally has not set eyes upon the proof!

  • jimiley

    Jun 20, 2019 at 3:03 PM

    Comment #15

    Rafa is gone. Just accept it.
    Ashley could offer Rafa the earth if he was selling the club knowing that a new owner would renegotiate any deal.
    Ashley has no intention to sell the club. Just accept it.
    Stop your bleeding whining and get doon the groond in August.The man wants his wedge to buy another retail shop. Stop wimpering and pay up.

  • Mirandinha

    Jun 20, 2019 at 3:03 PM

    Comment #16

    Tumbleweed on Twitter today. Calm before the storm? Or gearing up for a big reveal…

  • Mister Tuff

    Jun 20, 2019 at 3:04 PM

    Comment #17

    If the club is up for sale/on the cusp of being sold I would have thought that Mr Tubbs would not give a damn about who was the manager. New owners could just re-employ him.
    The tales about Tubbs offering a 1 year contract plus £50 million therefore cannot really ring true – there surely is a conflict here.

  • Kamakazeee

    Jun 20, 2019 at 3:05 PM

    Comment #18

    Maybe Ashley’s idea of proof of funds is when he see’s the money deposited in his account? It would be mine

  • RobLeenio

    Jun 20, 2019 at 3:05 PM

    Comment #19

    Ron, pretty sure – I work for a company who are regularly asked to sign NDAs. If I went out and spread the word about the specifics of what we are doing for these companies, I’d be disciplined, probably fired.

    I’m not in the public eye, but Rafa is – anything he said now would be pored over for any tiny clue as to what’s happening, not least by us lot. He’s better off saying nowt.

    Why do I get the impression you’re about to tell me otherwise?

  • Captain AmeriMag

    Jun 20, 2019 at 3:05 PM

    Comment #20

    The junior chronicle reporter interview with the charity guy at the Wirral was Rafa’s way of letting us know without breaking any NDA rules. He’s staying, he’s spending the Sheikh’s money and we’re all going to be loving it very, very soon

  • Ron Knee

    Jun 20, 2019 at 3:10 PM

    Comment #21

    I know less than you, Rob!

    Are you saying the NDA was part of his original contract?

  • Toon Cat

    Jun 20, 2019 at 3:12 PM

    Comment #22

    If a takeover is really imminent (and that’s a big ‘if’) then to me it makes sense that there’d be freeze on any actions affecting assets and liabilities until it’s completed, otherwise you’d be shifting the goalposts during negotiations. So no player sales or purchases, no new contracts (including Rafa’s) until the takeover is completed. Nothing beyond minor ‘house-keeping’ stuff and already planned and accounted for costs. What happens if the takeover process drags on past June 30th, though, especially if it goes on for much longer is anyones guess. Risky doesn’t even begin to cover it.

  • RobLeenio

    Jun 20, 2019 at 3:12 PM

    Comment #23

    Captain AmeriMag, welcome to the blog. That article was such an obvious proxy interview – as if a cub reporter was going to have Rafa pose for photos and not ask him any questions. It was well written, it takes skill to have the soundbites come from a 3rd party rather than the horse’s mouth, but it was Rafa’s words all over.

    I’ve tried to find it since, can’t see it anywhere. I wonder if the Chronicle removed it from their site after a couple of days.

  • JP...from The Rock

    Jun 20, 2019 at 3:13 PM

    Comment #24

    Rob- my understanding of an NDA is you can’t disclose any sort of confidential information even after you leave the club. Maybe after x number of years if done before you can face prosecution. I might be wrong.

  • jimiley

    Jun 20, 2019 at 3:14 PM

    Comment #25

    Rafa might sign a NDA about any sale of the club. But that does not stop him signing a new contract and getting on with the footy side of things.
    Ashley could tell Rafa anything for him to sign in the knowledge it will all be ripped up days or weeks later when the club is sold.
    The only way Rafa might have a clue about whats going on is if the Sheiks people have been in touch. But they can guarantee nothing as Fat man can pull the plug at any time.
    Rafa has not signed a contract because it is crap. And Ashley has offered him a crap contract because he is staying.
    The logic is clear to all but the blindest.

  • supermac69

    Jun 20, 2019 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #26

    I like your optimism capt amerimag

  • RobLeenio

    Jun 20, 2019 at 3:17 PM

    Comment #27

    Ron, I’m saying in any employment contract there is generally a confidentiality clause which stops you giving away company secrets which will cover any subsequently signed NDAs, not that there is an NDA in his contract.

  • supermac69

    Jun 20, 2019 at 3:17 PM

    Comment #28

    Avatar not grafting ffs

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jun 20, 2019 at 3:19 PM

    Comment #29

    Not sure what you’re up to there but there’s a thread from 2015 with a post from my old e mail account and a post from 2018 with my new avatar, you being the expert on account hacking should be able to explain that beter than me.

  • Muz

    Jun 20, 2019 at 3:19 PM

    Comment #30

    Ron, JP is right, an NDA is binding beyond your engagement with an employer. I’m still bound by one from a company I haven’t worked for/with for nearly 10 years. But I don’t think this is the same thing, i think Rafa is silent because:

    a) he doesn’t want to be seen as the man upsetting the apple cart and peeing off his prospective new employers.

    b) he knows all the ins and outs of what’s going on, feels safe in his position and is sitting tight until it’s all signed and sealed.

    His NDA wouldn’t preclude him from announcing publicly he intended to leave at the close of his contract; he hasn’t said a peep so far. If he were off, I would say he’d be saying things without disclosing confidential information.

  • RolandoOverhead

    Jun 20, 2019 at 3:21 PM

    Comment #31

    Another no news day with regards our beloved club and the liklihood this will continue until the takeover is officially announced.
    Don’t kid yourself if you think there’ll be anything in the way of transfers in or out, including about Rafa.
    His situation will be crystal clear to him and I’d not be at all surprised if he already has a pre-contract agreement with the new owners in place.
    There’ll be speculation aplenty, there ways is with the Toon, good or bad.
    But what there won’t be is anything beyond sounding out players and clubs and even that will be tentative. Cashley can’t spend anything given the fact that he’s ‘supposedly’ agreed on a price. Because if he did, that price will no longer be valid and at this stage in the talks he can’t afford that.
    You wouldn’t agree on a price for a car only to then be asked to pay more due to the owner deciding to put bigger alloys on it.

  • Ron Knee

    Jun 20, 2019 at 3:22 PM

    Comment #32


    So you think a high profile contract such as Rafa’s would have a confidentiality clause? Genuine question!

  • chicousa

    Jun 20, 2019 at 3:23 PM

    Comment #33

    If you added an avatar via gravatar account and it is not showing up make sure the email account used for both gravatar and in your blog profile are the same. And log out of the blog and then back in again.

  • Bobbybee

    Jun 20, 2019 at 3:23 PM

    Comment #34

    Jail, don’t worry about the avatar thing it was just a bit of harmless fun.

    Rafa has always been responsive to the fans. He’s always held us in great esteem and I simply refuse to believe he wouldn’t have spoken up by now unless he was restricted from doing so. If Ashley didn’t like it and it had nothing to do with a takeover, what’s he going to do? Sack him? With days of his contract to go? Why would that bother Rafa? He’s spoken up before so he hasn’t had an NDA preventing from doing so during his contract.
    There would be nothing stopping him speaking up and saying to the fan base “I’m not happy with the contract, but I’m holding out hoping Ashley will change it”. Or simply walking away weeks ago, allowing the club time to bring in another manager. He doesn’t want to punish the fans after all.
    BZG are a big company. When they issued their last statement it was specifically to reassure the fans. They went out of their way to do so. Since then, it appears an NDA has been signed, which explains the silence.
    The club website has also said something like”Follow Rafa into the new season”. Surely if Rafa had no intention of being here, he would speak up?
    For me, the silence from everybody speaks volumes. I could be wrong, it may mean nothing, but my own opinion is that it does speak volumes.
    Nobody in the media knows wtf is going on and their enquiries have been met with ‘no comment’, so anything they say is just guess work too.
    BZG had the last word before NDA’s were signed. If the deal had fallen through, those NDA’s would no longer apply surely? Even if they did, somebody would’ve leaked something by now.
    I don’t know what’s going on, I won’t pretend I do, but for me, all the signs point to this deal being very much on the cards. We’re just going to have to wait and see.

  • jimiley

    Jun 20, 2019 at 3:24 PM

    Comment #35

    And after Rafa had gone and big Mike carries on as normal, what will the fans do?
    Nowt actually.
    They will moan a bit in their pints and a few hundred might chant “fat man out” in Northumberland Street. If things get really bad and more than a few hundred turn up, the fat man will talk about another takeover in November and might even buy somebody for 25 million in January.
    The fans are easily bought off. Check out how Almiron turned all the dissenters to mice.
    The fans are used to being dumped on and taking their medicine. They kind of expect it. An annual rite.

  • droppy in Wallsend

    Jun 20, 2019 at 3:30 PM

    Comment #36

    Just to break the monotony of no new Thursday.

    Is there a particular reason that so many people seem to want to prove that others are posting under multiple accounts?

    I vaguely understand the gravatar thing now, but what is the obsession?

    Is it not just a little sad to hide behind fake profiles?

    I’m still optimistic that we’re going to be happy but it’s a long old slog this.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jun 20, 2019 at 3:31 PM

    Comment #37

    Aye, but I think you know that I feel quite strongly about people using multiple accounts as they have nearly brought this place to it’s knees before, I’ve been using this blog since day one and no matter what people may think of my posts I’ve always been honest.

  • Bobbybee

    Jun 20, 2019 at 3:35 PM

    Comment #38

    Jail, I honestly don’t think anybody is doubting that, just on the wind up. People had a giggle then moved on. Don’t worry, be happy. (Is that the cue for a song?) 🙂

  • Captain AmeriMag

    Jun 20, 2019 at 3:38 PM

    Comment #39

    Don’t worry Bee Happy!! Bobbybee #34 it’s like you read my mind and wrote it down for me like a psychic Alexa!! Every single shred of official info points to a sale, everything else is made up negativity for clicks. It’s happening boys!! Let the positivity in, it’s good for the soul

  • RobLeenio

    Jun 20, 2019 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #40

    Ron I think with Rafa being so very careful with what he’s said during past transfer Windows it’s quite obvious he can’t talk about club business.

    Not sure about what he could say about his own situation, he could have a separate clause around ongoing contract negotiations. The situation he’s in is quite delicate, to say the least.

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