Rafa Benitez has admitted that the club struggled to compete financially with fellow mid-table sides over the summer due to them being able to pay fees and wages we simply ‘couldn’t afford’, but has urged fans to stick together and stay behind the team despite their frustrations, realising the importance of staying up this season – with a bigger transfer kitty awaiting next year once NUFC receive the big influx of TV money and secure potential new ownership.
Speaking to The Chronicle, Benitez admitted that Newcastle’s summer business was limited over the summer – hence why he had to settle for £5m deals for Joselu opposed to £10m deals for Jovetic – but he believes that we will be able to ‘compete’ against teams in the market once again next year, with the influx of TV money set to hand NUFC a big financial boost:
“After some months this team will be stronger because they continue to work very hard.
“Then we will stay in the Premier League, we will get money from the TV and we can compete (next summer/season) against teams we couldn’t this year because of wages and transfers.
“You can talk about players at Bournemouth or Burnley that we couldn’t sign because we couldn’t afford the fee or their wages.”
Interesting to hear Rafa admit that one of the key factors behind his frustrating summer was the fact we couldn’t compete with the fees and wages being shelled out by the likes of Bournemouth and Burnley – who had clearly been reaping the rewards of the megabucks Premier League teams now receive from the huge TV deals.
Moving forward however, Benitez is clearly aware of just how big this season is, knowing that survival would take him into next summer in a much stronger position – with TV money on top of a transfer kitty from potential new owners likely to be at his disposal to take us to the next level in the near future.
Benitez then stressed that we are still in a good position at present – and at 11th in the table he’s not wrong.
His message is clear however, asking fans to stay calm and continue to support the team, understanding fans frustrations following our poor transfer window (with many fans suggesting that is to blame for our lack of goals), but urging us to all stick together to secure safety – which remains key in enabling us to move onto bigger and better things next season.
“We are now in a really good position and we have to enjoy it, stay calm and support the team – we are not at the bottom of the table.
“It could be worse and could be better but we must stay calm.
“Can you guarantee we’ll score goals? No, you can’t, because other teams set themselves up to defend.
“We have to learn that we are a team working hard and giving everything for the fans and the club – Home and away – they appreciate that.
“We can’t control what they (people/fans) are saying on social media now because there’s a lot of people on there.
“But the real fans were upset on 1 September because we didn’t have a massive transfer window.
“The only way now for us to compete and stay in the Premier League this year is to stick together.”
Not only will this increase our desire to see Amanda Staveley and co. on board – who look capable of offering Rafa a bigger transfer budget on top of any TV money – but for now, it puts the need to simply stay up into perspective.
This seasons really is all about survival and consolidation first and foremost.
If we can stay up, see Ashley replaced by new owners and have a happy Rafa Benitez at the helm with money to spend, the future would look bright at NUFC.
Let’s take Rafa’s advice and stick together folks!