When it was announced last Monday afternoon that Rafa was leaving the club we immediately thought it was just crazy – and whether we could still somehow retain Rafa at the club.
It seems to us that owner Mike Ashley is doing things to spite the fans, much like he seems to have been doing during most of his 12 years tenure as the owner.
After all, if Rafa came back – say tomorrow – things would immediately calm down – and we would be celebrating again.
So it really is an easy and quick solution.
And not only are the fans so grieved at what the owner has done but so are the players who have created very close working contacts with our world-class manager.
Mick Martin is a former Irish midfielder for Newcastle who played for us from 1978 through 1984 – and he is active as a pundit and lives in Newcastle – and comments regularly on the club.
And there was an excellent article on Mick Martin in the Express recently where he said the following wise words:
“There’s a possibility people will boycott.”
“Just across the road from where I have my office there’s a pub, and the guy who runs the pub over there said to me: ‘Mick I’ve given in my 5 tickets… I’m a Newcastle fan.”
“I’ll be traveling away, but I certainly won’t be attending and spending money so Mike Ashley can have a few more quid in his pocket.”
“So, I think there’s going to be a fair few of them.”
“Some of them (the players) will be bit deflated because they put their trust in Rafa Benitez.”
“They worked hard for him at the back end of the season to maintain their status in the Premiership.”
“To come back to pre-season which is upon us now, under whoever it is that comes in, it’s going be very, very difficult for both players and the manager.”
“The problem you have facing you now is an appointment of a new manager.”
“Now a new manager comes in, straight away you have to hit the ground running because if he doesn’t, results aren’t good, then the crowds are going to start booing him, booing Ashley, and everything is going to be up in the air.”
“Whoever does come in has got to be strong and handle the pressure of replacing Rafa Benitez, because if he doesn’t he’s going to get buried up here.”
It’s an almost impossible situation Ashley has created at Newcastle – for those who matter – the fans and the players.
But we need to somehow get Mike Ashley to sign Rafa as manager – even for one year – that’s the first vital step.
And then we can get Mike Ashley out; he needs to do the deal with Sheikh Khaled – although he’s the one who has been holding up the deal for weeks – there is little doubt about that.
He probably wants free advertising for the next five years and will want to keep all the Sports Direct banners in situ at St. James’ Park and at the Benton training grounds.
Ashley needs to respect the club – and get out.