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Rafa Benitez Comments On Historic Project With Passionate Fans

The Chronicle have a report with Rafa Benitez’s comments issued on his website after joining Dalian Yifang. With the exception of commitment from the top, it sounds very much like he is describing the club he just left.

Below are some of the comments if his that we find interesting and relevant:

“The challenge now is to create the foundations for success both now and for the future. We know it won’t be simple as there are some big rivals, but we are confident that there is huge potential and great commitment from the directors of the club to create something great at this club.”

This quote sounded like something Rafa would say when first joining Newcastle up until the part about “great commitment” from the directors.

As it was the absolute apathy for success from Mike Ashley that has led to Rafa accepting this position in China.

“What I have found at Dalian is an incredible project that has arrived at the perfect time and this has been a major factor in my decision. We’ve accepted the challenge of leading a superb project with the full backing and confidence of the club’s leadership team.”

It is interesting that Rafa references the “project” at Dalian Yifang twice in the preceding statement. He also used the adjectives “incredible” and “superb” in describing the Chinese club.

Rafa had mentioned to George Caulkin that he desired a project at Newcastle but that it was obvious those above him did not share the same vision.

He also again mentions the “full backing and confidence of the club’s leadership team”.

“Dalian Yifang is an historic club in one of the most football passionate cities in the country, so this is an added attraction. Everyone says how loyal the Dalian fans are and we’ve witnessed this passion for the club from the very first moment. Without doubt coming to a club with such great supporters was another key in making this commitment.“

Remove the words Dalian Yifang and replace it with Newcastle United and this again sounds similar to what he said three years ago.

We are sure the Dalian supporters will grow to love Rafa Benitez as he is a world class manager and a meticulous professional.

He will be supported by a crowd in a stadium with a capacity of 61,000. However, he will find that it will be nothing even remotely comparable to Newcastle United.

Dalian Yifang was founded in 2009 and China does have a growing league with a lot of well-known talent.

However, it is not the Premier League and it is not Newcastle United.

We think Rafa will miss Newcastle but he has been forced to make this decision. And we can’t blame him for it but these comments do make it hurt that much more.

107 comments so far

  • toon22

    Jul 2, 2019 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #1

    It’s never MAs fault

    Hiya KBA

  • one fine day

    Jul 2, 2019 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #2

    Sorry but “incredible history”? Eh!
    They were formed in 2009 ?
    I’ve got socks older than that

  • c-dog

    Jul 2, 2019 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #3

    Takeover looking less likely by the day

  • geordietom

    Jul 2, 2019 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #4

    Bants …

    is that all you’ve got . going off a post Genjikai put on …

    you sound a bit like TOON22 one of his alts

  • geordietom

    Jul 2, 2019 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #5

    Bants where do you go on holiday Seaham habour . or Durham jail …

  • c-dog

    Jul 2, 2019 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #6

    Speaking of prison
    Where’s bladeuser these days?

  • toon22

    Jul 2, 2019 at 11:46 AM

    Comment #7

    What shop do you think we will buy this season ?

  • Genjikai

    Jul 2, 2019 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #8

    One fine day.
    It may mean incredible history since 2009 compared to nufcs history since 2009.

  • beefman13

    Jul 2, 2019 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #9

    Wow, new horizons, new challenges, new opportunity’s says Benitez, as many scousers will tell you he plays the fans and media like a fiddle, very clever, footballing reasons for his move? my arse as another famous scouser said.
    I wonder when we went down if he had ov been offered 12m a year in Chinatown if he would have took it, you bet your sweet Aunt Bessie he would have.
    Played the situation at the toon perfectly, no match my money no stay at toon, slides off to Liang shang po land, now, giving it the bigin to them how great and how much potential they have etc etc, that made me feel a wee bit sick when I read that, bit of a sociopath our Mr Benitez I feel.

  • geordietom

    Jul 2, 2019 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #10

    pmsl @ c-dog

  • toon22

    Jul 2, 2019 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #11


    It’s Rafas fault MA is asset stripping the toon

    Hiya KBA

  • Bills Son Is Back

    Jul 2, 2019 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #12


    You say we didn’t have money in the 60’s and 70’s… exactly the opposite was true.

    In those days 99% of a clubs income came from gate money, the rest from pies and bovril and even that was probably ran by caterers.

    There was no sponsorship or Sky money in those days or corporate boxes, bars or all the other money making stuff that clubs get now.

    With regular 40,000 -60,000 crowds we were in the top 4 supported clubs in the country and had the money to match. The problem was the McKeags and Westwoods trousered a ton of it and kept us fans happy with the odd big signing like Wyn Davies,. Jimmy Smith and Supermac.

    They even sold a young Alan Suddick, who looked as if he was going to be a gem, to Blackpool and bought three £20,000 players with the money. They all made their debuts away to Spurs and we got thumped 5-0 with Greavsie scoring a hat trick.

    If there were ever owners who thought just staying in the old 1st Div or even getting big gates in the 2nd was good business, it was the McKeags and Westwoods.

    We had the money to easily compete with Liverpool and Leeds, the giants of their day, but Joe Harvey said he was always 3/4 players short of a great team because the greedy two families kept the bulk of the dosh for themselves.

    It eventually backfired, the cracks starting when Supermac was sold for a record £333,333, to Arsenal with McDermott and Kennedy having been sold to Liverpool for big profits as well. Relegation and crowds slumping to below 15,000 followed as we were graced by some of the worst players ever to put a black and white shirt on.

    The McKeag’s and Westwood’s were Geordie toffs who didn’t give two flying fcuks about the working men and boys who lined their pockets.

    Without doubt, they were the worst owners ever of our club.

  • toon22

    Jul 2, 2019 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #13

    As we’re proper stupid you see

  • toon22

    Jul 2, 2019 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #14


    Yeh MA isn’t that bad ?

    Hiya JIB

  • Bobbybee

    Jul 2, 2019 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #15

    Missed the bus by miles.


    Jul 2, 2019 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #119
    Bills son, I’m with you mate. Newcastle is my life. When I could no longer manage the 320 mile round journey for home games, I had a choice. Stop going or move back up here. I moved from where I’d lived since 1990. We left some of our lasses family and a lot of friends so I could carry on going. I’m not stopping now.
    We have seen much worse. Nine seasons of second division football when it was truly shit. Not like the championship is now.
    If people want to quit, it’s their choice. If I want to carry on going, it’s my choice. I’m 62, I make my own choices. It’s my money. I’ll spend it how I want. The majority on here know how I feel and get it. I respect that. The rest can f**k off. I could not possibly care less. Call me Ashley supporter, I’ll call them plastic fans. It works, both ways. People should respect that to people like me and you – and many others – we see shit owners like shit players and shit managers – we’ve had plenty. Some think the only good owner we ever had – the man who saved the club and built the stadium and a great team – was a shit owner. They never suffered the rest.
    It’s all about perspective. We all have differing views. We’re all different. My health is deteriorating. I don’t know how many seasons I have left. I’m not giving up now. It’s my business, nobody else’s. Personally, I don’t understand how anybody can stop going, I’m addicted to it. It’s my life. That’s it.

  • geordietom

    Jul 2, 2019 at 11:53 AM

    Comment #16

    Genjikai …

    asking you the same question as i asked that Bants …

    do you recon my patta’s shite because i said my wife’s got cancer? …

    and is my patta shite because she wants to go to Pompeii ?… on holiday i might add …

  • one fine day

    Jul 2, 2019 at 11:54 AM

    Comment #17

    Fair point .
    Two relegations and balance sheet champions takes some beating mind 🙂

  • DubaiMicky

    Jul 2, 2019 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #18

    Just seen return flights to Dalian are 12 hours and £500 hmmm, that could be fun, a small group of vociferous Toon fans near the dug out… China’s cheap as chips when you get there….

  • Bills Son Is Back

    Jul 2, 2019 at 11:59 AM

    Comment #19


    When did you start supporting the mackems?

    Does you shill pay for your season ticket, can’t be that much in the 1st Div.


  • toon22

    Jul 2, 2019 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #20

    Hiya Bills

    Your mate MA ain’t a bad owner ?


  • toon22

    Jul 2, 2019 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #21

    I doubt Vlad the Impaler would be worse

  • Genjikai

    Jul 2, 2019 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #22

    Never said that mate, i think your patta about kebabs and your crusade against toon22 when your trying to be funny i think it just fails. And is quite the opposite just not funny.
    Im not trying to be disrespectful here but i think it your age showing on the internet mate.
    Some of your patta should be just for your facebook or whatever you use. But some of yous enjoy that, thats for yous to decide.
    Like i find some of your nufc related stuff quite good mate .
    And when you said you hockle at your local sd store window, even though disgusting shows that you love the toon mate. I respect that im assuming that the hate that ashley brings out of you makes you do an action that you normally wouldnt.
    Sorry to here about your missus.
    Wore lass is 25 mate and shes just had to have a quater of her cervic removed so i dont know anything about your lass but fingers cross both make a recovery.
    If you remember i mentioned ages ago that your patta was boring and that was months ago.
    Hopefully no hard feeling mate and i do apologise if ive caused you any undue stress.

  • Bills Son Is Back

    Jul 2, 2019 at 12:08 PM

    Comment #23


    Great post.

    From the heart.

    You can’t take take the hope, and especially the passion, out of a true supporter.

    Good health and may we both live to see a trophy won or God pray a league title.

    Two of the most gut wrenching times in my life were being beaten by Man U at home when I knew then we’d lost the title and Poyet’s goal in the cup semi final just after the ecstasy of Lee’s equaliser when I just knew it wasn’t going to be day.

    Not far behind was going on honeymoon 10 years ago just after we lost to Villa and got relegated. Seriously, I was in such a bad mood for days that my wife and huge barny and she nearly flew home.

  • Bobbybee

    Jul 2, 2019 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #24

    Genjiki, I’ve given you a heart for that comment but every time I refresh, it vanishes. Dunno if it’s shown up on your device . Very odd. 🙂

  • Genjikai

    Jul 2, 2019 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #25

    Your situation is very unique and ive applauded you on many occasions believing the club should honour fans like yourself. Your story of support is quite astonishing.
    Howare man you relocated to come home due to health. Just know 52k are clapping you mate and people like you. Because we are the the toon.
    You deserve to watch the toon mate its ur right as a geordie and i hope in your remaining time you get to see some glory bud.
    Like you say we are are all fans, we all have our own choice.

  • geordietom

    Jul 2, 2019 at 12:11 PM

    Comment #26

    Genjikai …

    wor lass has had more or less the same as your lass cervic ops ect 6 times she had ops lazer ect i know what your going through mate . but hers has spread again looks like she’s got to go under the knife again …

    respect to you and you missus …

    i dont use face book twitter or owt like that . i come on here as i like the varied views ect …

    facebook more like 50 facebook mate …

  • Munster Mag

    Jul 2, 2019 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #27

    Ya Jail, Spurs and Arsenal would not have been happy to get a manager who is known for defence above all else, despite your silly protestations to the contrary. I told you we were the best gig he would get in England but I thought a club like Galatasaray wud come in for him. Lots of noisy fans like us. But a team none of us have ever heard of did. Not exactly AC Milan eh? the sad thing is , he suited us, but thats ashley for you.

  • Bobbybee

    Jul 2, 2019 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #28

    Bills son, I’m still hoping for a takeover. A lots happened. Too much to be a hoax. Whether it will go through in time is the only problem, but I think the attempt is genuine. As always, time will tell.

  • geordietom

    Jul 2, 2019 at 12:14 PM

    Comment #29

    any way gotta go out with the missus to hockle on some windows …

  • Munster Mag

    Jul 2, 2019 at 12:14 PM

    Comment #30

    Good man Billson. I think the most sickening was watching Fenton score or the Liverpool 4-3 . Listening to David Kelly scoring to save us was wonderful. And being at Grimsby when he won promotion was wonderful too. Its good to remember happy days.

  • Munster Mag

    Jul 2, 2019 at 12:14 PM

    Comment #31

    bobby im deffo not writing off the takeover. no way.

  • Madmag

    Jul 2, 2019 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #32

    Somebody said this …

    “Stopped caring means you couldn’t give a fcuk what happens, including relegation.
    Fans of my era, supporters during the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s have seen far far worse times than what is happening now.

    That is why gates regularly fell to below 15,000 when the ground held 60,000. It was only the diehards, like me, who still went to games home and away – even though we hardly ever won away. I don’t blame anyone for jumping on the KK bandwagon and supporting the club during that era and later on SBR’s but they are just the type who are likely to think armageddon has arrived now. It hasn’t.” Yet I wonder just how many of you would go of we were in the Championship or lower”

    This comment is spot on but of course he was immediately told ion no uncertain terms he was a MA stooge.

    LOL I come to this blog when I need a good laugh and you (Jail, Toon22, Hibbit, et al.) never fail to produce, what with your conspiracy theories etc.

    As for the ITK’s it strikes me a lot of internet con tricksters have appeared here and are practicing their trade here.

    I too like the comment someone else made…

    “Is Dalian near the Wirral?
    Seems funny now that we were counting up how many hours Rafa could get back to the Wirral from various clubs like Celtic, PSG and West Ham and some even saying he wouldn’t sign for various teams because they were too far away. Seems the commonly accepted knowledge that he didn’t want to be far from Liverpool wasn’t that true.”

    We’ve lost a manager (a relatively good one) but lets be honest here, its some time since he won anything serious (apart from Italian Cup and Super cup) the last major INTERNATIONAL honour he won was the champions league in 2005 that 14 years ago. I like the guy but to treat him like he was a god and saviour of Newcastle is IMO wrong, he a good trainer but very defensive.

    Here’s another thing us lurkers puzzle about, what’s with all the “Fat Slug” “Ashlie” “Fat Cockney Bastard” “Cockney
    Twat’ insults do you actually belief he reads this rubbish or has other people reading it for him etc.(Toon22 for example) I guess it makes you feel a bit better o insult him but really it’s a bit childish IMO

    The main thing I don’t understand here is… MA is a Billionaire he saw an opportunity to make some money by buying a Football club, his only objective (remember he is a businessman) was to make money

    He’s not a Fan and as far as he is concerned as long as he can make money from the club he will continue to do so
    I’m afraid you will all just have to ‘suck it up’ till he goes”

    Like all bad previous owners he will eventually disappear but it will be a time of his choosing

    Someone just said this …Rafa is a man in great demand! You won’t catch him begging for a job anywhere. He called Ashley’s bluff and moved on and Ashley didn’t even have a plan b!

    For gods sake MA’s Plan b is to continue what he’s been doing over the years i.e Maximising Income to MA

    I visited Newcastle last week for the first time in a year and the strange thing noticed was the lack of NUFC shirts on display, although some did appear on the Saturday

  • martoon

    Jul 2, 2019 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #33

    I love posters like IrishRob who say they are not going to tell people what to do and then proceed to do so anyway! I understand why so many people are giving up their season tickets but i honestly think it won’t affect Ashley one bit -yes his revenue streams will be reduced from shirt sales, catering etc. but he can afford it. However the people it will affect the most are nufc staff – admin, box-office etc. when they are made redundant and they definitely CAN’T afford it!

  • Novocastrian66

    Jul 2, 2019 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #34

    Bill son; we weren’t getting 60,000 or even 30,000 in the 80’s. Relegation in 78 was a disaster especially after finishing fifth the previous season. The club was broken then and is broken now. The club was skint then it isn’t now. There’s never been as much money in the game as now. Fact.
    The difference between the 1st division and the 2nd division is nowhere near the chasm it is today.
    I had dreams in the 70’s and 80’s. I don’t do dreams anymore and deal with reality. The reality is Ashley has everything at his disposal to take the club forward and the financial rewards have never been greater however because of his misguided ideologies he not only taking the club backwards he could potentially destroy it because of his parsimonious strategy.
    I don’t think you’re wrong by sticking by the club, I admire it, I’m only trying to explain why I cannot. I’m not the new breed of supporter who has only known the Premier League and all seater stadium. I’m old school. I have seen the shit you talk about and I feel the club is worse now than it was then. I felt I belonged. I don’t now.

  • Bobbybee

    Jul 2, 2019 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #35

    Genjiki, cheers mate, a very mature attitude – more so than some a lot older who should know better. Nobody has the right to question my loyalty to NUFC. I hate Ashley probably more than they do – he’s spoiling one of the few pleasures I have left. But stopping ain’t an option.
    I saw a comment from a mackem in The Mag. They put up stuff like, that. He said “What would they do if they had to put up with what we’ve had to put up the last couple of years”. Double relegation, stuck in division one. Hate to say it, but he has a point. We’re in the PL and a takeover could still happen. Could be worse – could’ve been born a mackem 🙂

  • Optimistic Oryx

    Jul 2, 2019 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #36


    Your patter is shite full stop.

    I couldn’t give a funk about your wife and I dont understand why you’d expect a bunch of strangers too care.

    Especially as you like to insult a lot of them and post utter drivel whilst attempting to suck upto jib.

    Sad little man

  • Bobbybee

    Jul 2, 2019 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #37

    Novo, I get it mate. I do, we all have to do as we see fit. I only ever dig back, I’d never dream of having a go at anyone who wants to quit. We all have a choice and people should respect it like you are.

  • Return of the Geordi

    Jul 2, 2019 at 12:28 PM

    Comment #38

    Bills #12

    I’m with you the McKeag’s and Westwood’s were the worst owners I can remember with Ashley a close 3rd. Treat the fans with utter contempt and lined their own pockets. I think the worst football I’ve watched was probably under Bill McGarry

  • dig-n-dig22

    Jul 2, 2019 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #39

    Ashley needs to realise that without the fans the club would just die, when the fans get behind the team they are engine that drive the club forward, now the fans are applying the breaks. this is the last time you will be able to walk away with a big profit by selling the club. If you don’t heed the warning , we could be freewheeling all the way to the Championship but this time will be different we will just park up until you get the message, so it’s up to you Fatty.

  • Bills Son Is Back

    Jul 2, 2019 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #40


    I said we had 40,000-60,000 crowds in the 60’s and 70’s when Lpool and Leeds were in their prime, not the 80’s.


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