In a worrying update from the Chronicle’s Mark Douglas, it’s been revealed today that Mike Ashley is demanding that Rafa Benitez signs a new long-term contract before he’ll hand him money to spend this summer – leading to a stand off between the two parties.
In short, Ashley won’t back Rafa until he agrees to a new deal, but Benitez won’t entertain any new contract until Ashley proves he’ll show ambition this summer.
This really is frustrating. Given their previous failings and the broken promises Benitez has been dealt, it’s to be expected that Rafa wants to see proof of their intentions and ambitions before agreeing to any new deal.
It sounds like Ashley is being awkward and unreasonable once again, however, leading to a stand off between the two parties.
Here’s what NUFC editor Mark Douglas has had to say on the situation today:
“A stand-off has developed between club and manager, with Newcastle seemingly asking Benitez to sign a long-term deal before committing funds in the transfer market – something the Magpies chief is reluctant to do before he sees evidence of their desire to address the footballing issues he has outlined to them.
“It’s understood talks are “ongoing” between Benitez’s representatives and the club but with Lee Charnley due in North Yorkshire for the Premier League’s AGM it’s unlikely there will be any imminent breakthrough on that or further transfer business.”
The incompetence of those in charge at NUFC is mind-boggling. It’s a completely nonsensical mindset and completely unreasonable to expect a man to commit his long-term future to a club when he has no proof that those in charge will give him what he wants (and needs to make us a success).
Infuriating stuff. Let’s hope Ashley buckles and reaches an agreement with Raf.
Time is ticking and we’re already in danger of making the same mistakes we did last summer – something Rafa will have been so keen to avoid.