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Report – Rafa Knew In May He Was Leaving Newcastle

In an interview with the Daily Mail on Sunday, Rafa Benitez claims he knew after his end of season meeting with Mike Ashley that he would not be returning as Newcastle manager.

However, the shocking part of the interview is that Rafa Benitez claims he told the club a few days after this May 16th meeting that he would not be returning.

This is what Rafa has said:

“I would like not to talk too much about Newcastle United because we need to move forward. They need to think about the new season and I have a great challenge ahead of me. But I will say after the meeting in London on May 16 it was a clear decision for me and a few days later we told the club that we would not extend the contract.”

This news goes against a lot of what has been reported previously as it was understood that they were in contact by email and that negotiations were ongoing.

John Barnes, the former Liverpool midfielder who also spent a couple of seasons at Newcastle, made the following statements to the Chronicle recently:

“It was a surprise because I was with him for four or five hours, and he never mentioned [quitting] to me.

“I fully expected him to be there at the start of the season, so it was just a big a shock to me as it was to everyone else.

“He was speaking about what a great club it was and he’d had a great time, and was looking forward to the season, that was it.

“I wasn’t given any other reason to think otherwise [that he wouldn’t be staying] – he never mentioned anything about leaving or staying but he never indicated to me that he wasn’t going to be there so it is a big shock to me.”

So if what Rafa says is true, he kept very quiet in public about his decision as to not arouse suspicion that he was leaving. So he must have not fully decided but had made the club aware that his departure was likely.

Rafa Benitez– knew he was leaving when this picture was taken

The report also claims that it was Rafa Benitez who would only agree to a one year extension.

The report states:

They (Benitez) were only ever prepared to sign up for one more year because they felt trust was minimal and wanted to see how the season panned out. They asked for an £8million-a-year salary plus bonuses for staying up. It has been said that Benitez wanted £9.5m but that figure would only have been achieved if every target had been met.

We were under the impression that it was Newcastle who were just offering a one-year extension to his current deal. However, it appears as though the one-year contract was coming from Rafa’s side.

The report continues with information that would lead us to believe Newcastle wanted to tie Rafa down for longer than just the one year.

While Benitez had always accepted that the board would want to sell an existing player if an offer was good, he wanted to direct the recruitment for next season. Newcastle told him that was unrealistic given that he was only prepared to commit to one season.

We knew information would soon trickle out about what really went on at Newcastle during the clandestine period between the end of the season and the announcement of Rafa’s departure.

It was all silence and the Newcastle fans were left with what now may seem like a false sense of optimism. If this is the case, then it is a disgrace that “no comment” was the club’s motto.

Also, Newcastle are again left in a state of disarray with no manager and a search that has begun far too late if this news is true.

A search should have begun in May, at least preliminarily, even if Newcastle thought that Rafa would eventually sign the one year deal.

You just don’t put your club in this type of risk but Mike Ashley has done it time and again.

60 comments so far

  • Diddly

    Jul 7, 2019 at 8:13 AM

    Comment #1

    Dubaimickey. Was interested in the bending in the reads quote.yeh he he’s playing one against the other. Let’s hope he gets stuck in a corner like a rat. Always good to get an opinion from over there as not much to be read hear just journo being fed off Ashley s people i wouldn’t even say NUFC staff as they know as much as me. cheers

  • #boycott Arsenal

    Jul 7, 2019 at 8:14 AM

    Comment #2

    I’ll spare the repost.

  • Captain AmeriMag

    Jul 7, 2019 at 8:15 AM

    Comment #3

    Sunday morning plane watch news for all you flight fans out there, plane N9895 is still in Luton!
    I can’t remember the number for Ashley’s but I’m assuming it’s still there or it would have been all over Twatter.
    Dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s over the weekend with a money transfer and announcement tomorrow?? I bloody hope so!!
    The utter silence is deafening to me. After Rafa leaving surely big players would be unhappy? Transfer requests would be in, agents would be making noise in the press, other clubs would be bidding to test their resolve? But nothing, absolutely nothing!
    Takeover must be happening, nothing else makes sense to me.
    Any day now BZG please, we’re more than ready for you!!
    Ps Jose Mourinho has allegedly just turned down a mega money deal to manage in China for “family reasons”. Toon family reasons maybe??

  • Moonraker15

    Jul 7, 2019 at 8:15 AM

    Comment #4

    For me this doesn’t change much. Rafa wanted more control of transfer activity and a bigger budget. We knew this all along.
    The question is why didn’t the club start a preliminary search for his replacement sooner?
    Pure incompetence!

  • Diddly

    Jul 7, 2019 at 8:18 AM

    Comment #5

    Captaiamerimag I think it’s GMOAL or similar. News soon keep the faith. Got too there’s nothing to hang onto otherwise

  • Jib

    Jul 7, 2019 at 8:20 AM

    Comment #6

    #boycott Arsenal
    So the club have had nearly two months to find a manager

    You believe Rafa knew he was leaving 2 months ago
    Yet he kept the club and fans in the dark until 30th June
    your idol has been a bit of a twat methinks

  • toonedout

    Jul 7, 2019 at 8:24 AM

    Comment #7

    Unless I hear a verbal statement from Rafa I will believe nothing that I read or any comments / statements released by the club – why would they break a habit and start telling the truth now

  • MarkBro

    Jul 7, 2019 at 8:26 AM

    Comment #8

    @Captain AmeriMag

    My auld man reckons we often get private planes from Abu Dhabi, especially during the summer. Newcastle is a beautiful city, surrounded by the lakes, coasts, shops etc.

  • Moonraker15

    Jul 7, 2019 at 8:29 AM

    Comment #9

    If Rafa told the club he was leaving how does that make him a”bit of a tw@t”?
    It’s not for him to announce but the club had 6 weeks to start looking for a replacement!
    Rafa told the club what he wanted and they wouldn’t give way. The only tw@ts here is Ashley! Oh and you!

  • toon22

    Jul 7, 2019 at 8:30 AM

    Comment #10




  • Jib

    Jul 7, 2019 at 8:31 AM

    Comment #11

    The plane wasn’t from Abu Dhabi
    It was a top of the range exec jet from the only
    VIP private airfield in Dubai

  • #BleachTheLeech

    Jul 7, 2019 at 8:32 AM

    Comment #12

    Funny how after the contract ended he spoke to the media, not before.

    This to me says he couldn’t not wouldn’t as some are suggesting.

    Anything to take the blame away from ashLIE it seems

  • dig-n-dig22

    Jul 7, 2019 at 8:33 AM

    Comment #13

    I think Rafa would have realised way back when we won promotion to the Prem that he wouldn’t get another contract out of Ashley, it looked obvious to me Ashley tried forcing Rafa out the door to get him off the wage bill and claw back £6 Mill if Rafa walked but Rafa didn’t budge.

  • Jib

    Jul 7, 2019 at 8:34 AM

    Comment #15

    It says he was resolved to leave
    He told the club he was

    He tried to keep the club and the fans dangling until
    30th June it was only when the club realised what was
    happening that they made the announcement of his
    leaving on 26th June

  • MarkBro

    Jul 7, 2019 at 8:36 AM

    Comment #17

    Yes sorry Dubai, apparently owned by an American? So my sources say ?

  • #boycott Arsenal

    Jul 7, 2019 at 8:38 AM

    Comment #18

    Speaking to The Mail on Sunday, Rafa Benitez has claimed that within days of last season ending, any realistic chance of him extending his SJP contract was over – and that the club were fully aware of that.

    Are you suffering from those comprehension difficulties you love to bandy around Jibbers.

  • MarkBro

    Jul 7, 2019 at 8:39 AM

    Comment #19

    I enjoyed Rafas time here, some of his footy was a little negative at times but you could blame his tools.

    Lets not get too carried away though, not much emotional attachment when 12mil tax free is offered.

  • MarkBro

    Jul 7, 2019 at 8:41 AM

    Comment #20

    I know quite q few die hard fans that aren’t renewing their ST.

    Hopefully, everyone else will realise theyre fuelling the Ashley fire by continuing to go

  • kev1664

    Jul 7, 2019 at 8:42 AM

    Comment #21

    So we all assumed Justin Allen’s leak was from the Buyer or the premier league. This revelation now allows us to think it could be Ashley who leaked this story, which he does have previous for, which is why BZG felt the need to come out and clarify.

  • Jib

    Jul 7, 2019 at 8:42 AM

    Comment #22

    Rafa says the club were fully aware
    Yet he was still communicating with the club
    up until 26th June when they probably got
    the whisper about Dalian.

  • optimistic prime

    Jul 7, 2019 at 8:44 AM

    Comment #23


    He told the club in may, stop your shit stirring

  • optimistic prime

    Jul 7, 2019 at 8:46 AM

    Comment #24


    Are you Lee Ryder?

  • Tsunki

    Jul 7, 2019 at 8:48 AM

    Comment #25

    When Rafa approached the club it saved Ashley a tin of bother in his lost gamble. He had a manager who nearly yanked him out of the clarts but then got the club back in the PL.

    Since then he has been anathema to Ashley – the polar opposite of what he likes in a manager, asking for better facilities and being promised them only to (literally, Tony) a bucket of whitewash. Asking for player funds to compete, bring promised “every penny” then finding only pennies were actually available.

    They’ve been counting the days until his contract ran out. Benitez will have been hoping vainly they’d see sense but Ashley is not one to be moved from his tried and tested course. I’m not surprised there’s no manager, he gambled he would have sold by now but despite his scheming he hasn’t pulled it off.

    No, I’m inclined to think stories like this are designed to inflame opinion against a great manager for us who genuinely had the teams future (and certainly contributed to the region) at heart. And it seems a few on here are pouncing greedily onto it already. PR machine is hitting the gears now, be ready.

  • toon22

    Jul 7, 2019 at 8:50 AM

    Comment #26


    Let’s blame Rafa ?


  • Captain AmeriMag

    Jul 7, 2019 at 8:51 AM

    Comment #27

    @markbro definitely mate they come over to shoot in the country side a lot. I could be wrong but I don’t think that season has started yet. More to the point tho that plane was from an exclusive royal airport, stayed overnight and then flew to Luton airport (pretty quick countryside tour!) The day before Ashley’s helicopter flew from Shirebrook to Newcastle Airport, landing 15 minutes after an Emirates flight (which may or may not have 1st class but surely Midhat could slum it on business class for one flight to finalise a deal of this magnitude?) and then also flew to Luton airport. Mike Ashley’s private jet also flew into Luton airport on one of these days (can’t remember exactly which day) all points to face to face negotiations to me. Long way to come if you aren’t confident of sealing the deal

  • toon22

    Jul 7, 2019 at 8:52 AM

    Comment #28

    The fans are that stupid we’re going to swallow the blame Rafa guff ?

    The clubs had MONTHS to sort this, what did MA do ?
    Pretend to sell and run away and hide


  • toon22

    Jul 7, 2019 at 8:53 AM

    Comment #29


    Hiya JIB

  • Jib

    Jul 7, 2019 at 8:54 AM

    Comment #30

    Ha ha ha got to love the idiots on here
    Constantly slag the Daily Mail off until
    it says something they want to hear

  • Tsunki

    Jul 7, 2019 at 8:55 AM

    Comment #31

    You might now be able to understand the frogs vigilant stance. Little grumbles here, a cutting aside there, a few suggestions of Benitez abandoning ship and cashing in etc. It’ll all start coming now. Deflection, misdirection, the club’s “woe is me” stuff.

    Meanwhile let’s talk reality.

    Ashley, the pillager of nufc’s stock and parasitic owner is still here.

  • hibbit

    Jul 7, 2019 at 8:55 AM

    Comment #32

    Captain AmeriMag

    they come for the The Glorious Twelfth…… which is the twelfth day of August, the start of the shooting season for red grouse.

  • BlacknWhiteBarmy

    Jul 7, 2019 at 8:56 AM

    Comment #33

    Reading between the lines i think rata was going after the May meeting …….. Unless fatboy changed his ways. Fatty boy knew all along what it would take to keep rafa. Once again our owner played black and red turned up.

    Boycott every televised game to get rid of this cretin

  • optimistic prime

    Jul 7, 2019 at 8:58 AM

    Comment #34

    So Rafa told the club he wouldn’t be renewing his contract a couple of days after the London meeting on 16th may.

    When was the leak of the BZG bid?

    So they knew he wouldn’t sign a extension and wanted a new contract with certain guarantees yet the still continued to only offer a 1 year extension.

    The club/Ashley have had no intention of giving Rafa more control and have been happy to let his contract run down without making any headway on a new manager.

  • #boycott Arsenal

    Jul 7, 2019 at 8:58 AM

    Comment #35

    Despite what the club via Lee Ryder say about wanting to keep Rafa they couldn’t wait to see the back of him unless he signed up to Pardew type conditions If they’d really wanted him to stay they’d have started work on a new training centre and bought him a couple of more players in January to ensure we beat the drop. Instead they’ve had their monies worth out of him and now it’s time to get back to how it was with a new patsy hoping they’ll get it right this time.

  • optimistic prime

    Jul 7, 2019 at 9:02 AM

    Comment #36


    I’m not certain if the Daily Mail would miss quote Rafa in a interview but you on the other hand are notorious for it.

  • Tsunki

    Jul 7, 2019 at 9:04 AM

    Comment #37

    Let’s hang some of this on Benitez eh? It was evidently apparent that Ashley was not going to play the football game, and stick to his marketing game. Benitez basically called Ashley’s bluff. The good thing is Rafa didn’t quit, he didn’t down tools and toward the end of this season we had some pretty decent displays. He didn’t leave the side in a shambles, he could have sorted another job out ages ago. He gave Ashley every chance to jump in and say to Rafa “ok, here’s your budget, this is the purchase order for the academy refurb, here’s a deal…” But of course he didn’t. So it was inevitable. If you know your days are numbered in a job, do you work your butt off and not look for other jobs until the day you are thrown out the side door? Ha ha ha.

  • toon22

    Jul 7, 2019 at 9:05 AM

    Comment #38

    It’s never MAs fault

  • Ron Knee

    Jul 7, 2019 at 9:08 AM

    Comment #39

    Jib’s a contrarian. (“No, I’m not.”)

  • Tsunki

    Jul 7, 2019 at 9:12 AM

    Comment #40

    Best place to start if you want to demoralise fan unrest is to undermine the focus of their admiration, the thing that United them against Ashley and epitomised the gulf in ambition.

    All so predictable.


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