Former NUFC striker Mick Quinn has slated Mike Ashley’s ‘joke’ of an approach to the January window, suggesting that he has left Benitez in an ‘impossible’ position – with Rafa STILL yet to be told what his budget is this month.
This comes from Mick’s passionate column in the Chronicle today, where he has called out the NUFC owner and questioned his approach to such a vital few weeks for the club.
Here’s what he’s had to say, starting with his ‘laughable’ lack of support for Benitez, with the Spaniard admitting this week that he’s still unsure of how much he’ll have to spend:
“Mike Ashley’s approach to the January transfer window is an absolute joke.
“How can a football club get four days into the January window, which only lasts for 31 days, and still not have decided upon a transfer budget?
“It is laughable – and it leaves Rafa Benitez in an almost impossible position.
“How is Rafa supposed to convince players to join Newcastle United if he doesn’t even know if he is going to be able to afford them or not? “
He’s not wrong. Benitez and our group of scouts will have been identifying targets for months now, but they have their hands tied once again until they get the go ahead from Ashley – a man whose currently away on holiday while we worry about a crucial period for our club.
Quinn then goes on:
“Mike Ashley is a businessman, and he knows better than anyone how important it is to set out in advance the exact finances available in order to plan properly.
“I know for a fact that Rafa and his scouting team have been scouring Europe in search of players he believes can improve his squad. But is he going to be given the finances to sign them?
“He can’t go and commit to signing someone like Kenedy at Chelsea, because if he does that then he might be left without any money for wages in order to sign the striker he desperately needs.
“It’s a farcical situation and it just proves once again that it is best for everyone that Ashley sells up this year and gets out of the club.”
Finally, Quinn states that he is perplexed by his apparent approach to the January window, believing it is now in his interest to invest in the squad in a bid to protect his asset and improve his chances of a sale:
“What I don’t understand about his approach to January is that it is in his interests to invest. It is in everyone’s interests.
“If Newcastle remain a Premier League club beyond the end of the season, that is better for Rafa, it is better for Amanda Staveley and PCP Capital Partners Ltd, it is better for Newcastle fans – and it is better for Ashley.
“He will get a higher price for the club if they survive in the Premier League, and he is more likely to be able to complete a takeover if they are.
“Why put all that at risk for the sake of one more window of investment? It’s a joke – it really is. He needs to let Rafa know his exact budget – and as soon as possible.”
This final bit from Mick is absolutely spot on. He may prefer not to spend money on a club he wants to sell, but is he really stupid enough to risk our relegation. If we didn’t survive, he’d lose Staveley, Rafa and see the value of the club half (at least!).
We all know Ashley to be unpredictable, but surely even he can’t do the unthinkable and fail to invest in the squad this month?!