It appears as though, in the classiest of fashions that only Mike Ashley can produce, Rafa Benitez was not aware of the announcement given by Newcastle United this morning of the end of his tenure.
Here are some tweets doing the rounds on Twitter at the moment:
Rafa not actually told that the statement was going out by #nufc today. An exchange of emails was last contact between parties. First @rafabenitezweb and team knew about todays statement was a good friend ringing them to tell them it was on sky. Classy Very classy??
— steve wraith (@stevewraith) June 24, 2019
So that's that. "No way back" according to Rafa's camp. As reported elsewhere today's statement was a surprise to him. The Spaniards priority was still to remain at #nufc. China move now looking likely. Again, a tremendous job done by @rafabenitezweb at SJP. Sad end.
— Pete Graves (@PeteGravesSky) June 24, 2019
Rafa Benitez did not know #nufc were releasing a statement today. He heard the news when a friend alerted him to the announcement. He is now seriously considering going to China.
— David Coverdale (@dpcoverdale) June 24, 2019
If Mike Ashley got upset at Rafa and sent out the announcement when Rafa Benitez was still expecting further negotiations, then the situation at Newcastle is even worse than we thought. And we didn’t think that was possible.
In an interview earlier this morning, Luke Edwards of the Telegraph reported that Rafa Benitez was refusing to come in and Mike Ashley was resigned to the fact that Benitez would leave.
However, it may be that Mike Ashley was frustrated with Rafa’s negotiating tactics and thus, out of spite hastily released the statement this morning.
If that is actually the case and Rafa Benitez has been prematurely let go by Mike Ashley while there was still hope of him staying; then Mike Ashley is a bigger wretch than we thought he was. And we didn’t think that was possible.