The Mirror are reporting a shocking claim by Mike Ashley that the reason he pulled the plug on Rafa’s new contract was at the behest of the Bin Zayed Group.
They are reporting that Mike Ashley claims that BZG did not want Rafa as the Newcastle manager when they completed the takeover. Therefore, in order to avoid paying any compensation to Rafa Benitez, Mike Ashley halted all negotiations and released his announcement on Monday.
This is what the Mirror claim as new exclusive information.
But MirrorFootball can reveal that there had been discussions between Ashley’s people and Sheikh Khaled’s advisors over the 59-year-old’s future. It became clear the Middle East-based group had their own targets, which included managerial rock-star Jose Mourinho and long-time Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, as we exclusively revealed earlier this month.
That would mean sacking Benitez and paying out hefty compensation of around £6million if he signed a new deal under Ashley and then had to be dismissed by Newcastle’s new owners once a takeover went through.
As there are no quotes attributable to Mike Ashley, we cannot verify the veracity of this report. However, this could be Mike Ashley’s attempt to deflect the growing outrage at him by Newcastle fans. A outrage that will not cease until he leaves this club. He can be certain of that.
Yesterday there were protests outside of his residence in Totteridge in which a group known as London Magpies staged a demonstration.
Here is some footage of this protest.
In Totteridge, some members of @LondonMagpies decided to pay a visit to Ashley’s house today.
— If Rafa Goes We Go (@IfRafaGoesWeGo) June 29, 2019
However, if the Mirror report is true it would mean that the Bin Zayed group are close to completing their takeover and that they truly did not want to keep Rafa Benitez as manager.
There have been too many reports over the past few weeks signaling that this takeover has not progressed to the level where BZB would be calling the shots on Rafa’s contract.
Also this scenario of Mike Ashley relenting to the wishes of BZG is not in character with his history of narcissism and self-interest. It also would counteract the Chronicle’s Chris Waugh and his very believable scenario of events that led to the announcement on Monday.
Chris Waugh’s report concludes that a series of terse emails between Rafa’s group and Mike Ashley led to a rankled Mike Ashley rashly sending out Monday’s announcement.
While under present circumstances this news would be welcomed as it would mean that Mike Ashley is that much closer to getting out of this club. However, we feel this would be harsh on Rafa Benitez and would be a bit torn on his account.
Though, the number one objective going forth for all of the Newcastle faithful is to get Mike Ashley out of this club. That is even more important than retaining Rafa Benitez because as long as he wields his malevolent control, the future is an abyss of neglect, torment, misery, and abject suffering for the best fans this world has to offer.