The Sun’s David Coverdale is reporting that Rafa Benitez will release a statement on Monday about the events that led to him leaving the club. This will be the first Newcastle fans have heard from Benitez in a while as he has remained professional and kept his silence throughout this ordeal.
However if Rafa does release a statement on his first day of officially being unaffiliated with the club and it delves into his troubles with Mike Ashley, you will have to believe that he is absolutely raging inside.
It will be very interesting to see what Rafa has to say as he has always somewhat held his tongue with regards to Ashley even though he has been obviously frustrated with his shenanigans as owner. He has not supported Rafa in the transfer market nor with the infrastructure necessary to move this club forward.
This is what Coverdale writes in his report:
But SunSport understands Benitez is set to release a statement explaining his side of the story now that he is a free man.
Benitez is also thought to be fuming at claims Ashley KO’d talks as potential new owner, Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nahyan, did not want him in charge.
The Spaniard says he left having not been given assurances over transfers and infrastructure — and because he lost all trust in Ashley.
This is quite revealing as reports of Ashley’s claim that Sheikh Khaled and BZG were the catalyst for Rafa’s removal as manager just broke late Saturday. If Rafa is “fuming” at these reports, we may have him publicly call out Ashley’s lie which we would not have expected Rafa to do.
Rafa Benitez– will he blast Mike Ashley?
We knew that Rafa would speak at some point but were under the assumption that he would mainly thank the fans and Newcastle for his time here while just lightly touching on the reasons that a contract agreement could not be reached.
However, it appears that there may be more substance in this pending statement about the contentious contract negotiations than we would have suspected.
It is also revealing that Coverdale writes that Rafa “says he left having not been given assurances over transfers and infrastructure”. This is what was always assumed as the reason until Mike Ashley allegedly threw the Bin Zayed group under the bus.
Due to what Coverdale has reported, we expect Rafa to defend himself a little more vigorously than initially anticipated. We would expect that part of the statement to be brief and to the point, but very clear.
We also expect Rafa to be very effusive in his praise of the Newcastle fans who he understood and grew to love.