Journalist reveals the deals Mike Ashley refused to sanction for Rafa Benitez over the summer

According to North-East reporter Luke Edwards, Mike Ashley felt there was ‘no point’ signing players on ‘long-term deals’ over the summer – feeling this would make no sense if Rafa Benitez wasn’t willing to commit his future to the club.

It was reported this summer that Benitez would only sign a new deal if Ashley released transfer funds, while Ashley would only release funds if Rafa signed a new deal – suggesting an impasse had been reached between the two.

This story only emphasises that, with it seeming that Ashley was refusing to back Benitez with any long term investments until Rafa committed his long term future to the club.

Here’s a snippet from The Telegraph’s latest piece on the matter:

“Ashley’s view was that there was no point signing players on long-term deals if the manager who brought them to the North East was not going to commit his own long-term future to the project.

“That led to the imposition of a sell-to-buy policy that left Newcastle more than £20 million in profit when the window closed at the start of August.

“Critics have argued Ashley’s stance was an act of self-harm as it deprived Newcastle of the same sort of investment enjoyed by the other Premier League clubs looking to survive this season.

It’s a self harming and petty approach from Ashley.



For a man that claims to be so keen to keep Benitez at the club, it’s hardly an act that suggests he has his backing.

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at [email protected] & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

12 thoughts on “Journalist reveals the deals Mike Ashley refused to sanction for Rafa Benitez over the summer

  1. Bull****e. We’ve always operated this way and always will until fatty leaves.

    There were still many players we could of signed on loan but didn’t and signed Muto permanently

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  2. Gashley:
    Bull****e.We’ve always operated this way and always will until fatty leaves.

    There were still many players we could of signed on loan but didn’tand signed Muto permanently

    Have we?

    What about all those 5-year-deals we’ve been handing out over the last few years?

    Aside from Dubravka (who the club know they’ve signed for a bargain), every permanent summer signing was a two or three year deal.

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  3. Olly, it isn’t just that Ashley doesn’t understand football ownership, he doesn’t care to. Owning NUFC is all about having a cash cow with lucrative media exposure to support his other business interests. Rafa is too much a football genius and icon for Ashley’s modest (footballing) ambitions and just ruffles his (Ashley’s) feathers. He wants rid of Rafa and was setting him up to fail. It’ll take more than ruffled feathers to shift this mongrel dog away from his juicy bone, he fancies himself as a bruiser so is prepared for some financial pain and biffo, he loves a bit of brinksmanship so sneers to the attempts to investigate his ownership and management of the club. He won’t go until he is actually convicted of something and sent down. He doesn’t play the odds, he tries to bully his way through, meaning no back off, just a big fail at the end. But he will go down still swinging til the last and when its obvious all is lost, and he has nothing left to lose, then you see him at his worst, …can’t wait, really. :mrgreen:

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  4. Shirley a businessman of Ashley’s standing could arrange mutually inclusive contracts. ie in Rafas Contract there would be written guarantees of funds, timings, personnel etc. Then Rafa would have signed. But Fat Mike wouldn’t want that as then he would be forced to hand over money and not be able to go back on the deal.

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  5. No reason that Rafa couldn’t have committed to get the players he wanted .. two massive ego’s at play here and Rafa has lost. He could have signed up to a new deal, got the players he wanted .. then if it went well he was a genius and could stay on anyway, if it went pear shaped he would find a new club regardless of any contract in place as that’s how football works these days. Both at fault in my opinion.

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  6. This is bull**** Mike didn’t release the money because he was holding it back in his bank account because he believed that rafa will keep us in the Premier league. He wants to sell at 350-400 million and if you factor in the transfer and TV money he will have made a couple of hundred million on the deal now that is his logic. He has fleeced the club for the last decade.

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  7. Ashley has said he will not be investing in the club, and is apparently selling up.
    By putting the blame on Rafa he once again tries to deflect away from his shocking tenure at NUFC where he has allowed the infrastructure to get into such a state that any new owner will need to spend a small fortune to bring it up to standard.
    I took some clients last season into the corporate hospitality, and it was shocking, now we go to the pub in town and then seats in the Leases.

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  8. ASHLEY is a bully boy ,he’s got a few quid and thinks he can treat everyone with contempt, hope the ******* has a heart attack so the Newcastle fans can liss on his grave.
    If ASHLEY was sitting watching a home match and had a heart attack, everyone whould just carry on watching the game, it wouldnt be any more than he deserved.

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  9. That’s a very misleading headline Olly… “Journalist reveals the deals Mike Ashley refused to sanction for Rafa Benitez over the summer”… Exactly what deals did you reveal in your story? Not one ‘deal’ is revealed here.. I would have expected better from this site…

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  10. “It’s a self harming and petty approach from Ashley.”

    It’s also a NUFC-harming and petty approach from Benitez.

    Balanced reporting

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  11. Allan:
    ASHLEY is a bully boy ,he’s got a few quid and thinks he can treat everyone with contempt, hope the ******* has a heart attack so the Newcastle fans can liss on his grave.
    If ASHLEY was sitting watching a home match and had a heart attack, everyone whould just carry on watching the game, it wouldnt be any more than he deserved.

    That’s an appalling comment. I imagine you are feeling pretty embarrassed about writing now

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  12. “Olly, it isn’t just that Ashley doesn’t understand football ownership, he doesn’t care to. Owning NUFC is all about having a cash cow with lucrative media exposure to support his other business interests.”

    Unfortunately, that just proves that Ashley *does* understand football ownership. He knows that by owning a football club, he has a cash cow to exploit. He understands that most NUFC fans will never desert their club, so there is never any danger of him losing money.

    NUFC fans just don’t understand what a shrewd and ruthless individual Ashley is. He has already outwitted Rafa Benitez several times.

    And this is part of the problem: because fans love Rafa, he can do no wrong. Because fans hate Ashley, everything he does must be wrong. And Rafa is therefore a “genius” and Ashley is stupid.

    Fans also don’t appreciate what a divisive figure Rafa is. He repeatedly goes whining to the press about lack of transfer funds, knowing the fans will lap it up and back him. He does it all the time and it doesn’t help the club. Part of his job is to manage the assets allocated to him.

    That isn’t said to justify Ashley, who is an appalling owner of NUFC but Rafa is clearly at fault as well.
    After all, he signed a contract that stitched himself up, he believed the promises made by an owner when history would suggest otherwise and now he can’t keep his mouth shut.

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