Journalist claims this will be Mike Ashley’s “next move” at NUFC – This could end badly..

According to the Northern Echo’s , Mike Ashley’s ‘next move’ will be to personally reach out to Rafa Benitez and his representatives in the hope he’ll agree to sign a new contract before the year is out.

Ashley’s intervention may just be what Rafa and his team need to see, with his previous back-seat role likely to have sent the wrong message, however I think he’s got another thing coming if he’s expecting Rafa to agree to this BEFORE the January window.

As we saw in May, Ashley promised Benitez ‘every penny’ the club generated in the summer, yet we ended with a net spend of -£21m despite making over £100m as a club over the 2017/18 season.

In an ideal world, Benitez will be keen to sign a new contract and extend his stay at St James’ Park, but he’s not going to let Ashley make a mug of him any longer. He’ll surely need proof that Ashley is willing to change his ways in January before agreeing to any deal.

Here’s a snippet from the Northern Echo’s piece this week:

‘Mike Ashley wants to tie Rafael Benitez down to a new five-year deal – and is determined to break the current impasse over the Newcastle United manager’s future.

‘Ashley is keen to initiate a new round of discussions, and is even prepared to take a much more hands-on approach to negotiations if it helps facilitate a breakthrough.

‘His next move will be to reach out to Benitez and his representatives, although it remains to be seen how the Newcastle boss reacts if he is challenged to attend new discussions.

‘Three key sticking points prevented talks from progressing at the start of the year – the extent of Ashley’s financial support in the next few transfer windows and the scope of Benitez’s ability to dictate transfer decisions, an overhaul of the club’s academy structure, and a series of physical improvements to Newcastle’s Darsley Park training ground.’

This, coupled with Ashley’s return to the scene at St James’, perhaps shows that we finally have his attention, with him realising action is needing to be taken on a few fronts, however Rafa won’t be fooled.

He can buy all the free pizzas he likes and congratulate the team after important wins, but the trust that may have once existed between Benitez and Ashley has surely eroded.

Personally, I can’t see a world where Rafa signs a new deal before Ashley puts his money where is mouth is in the January window – and rightly so after so many false ‘promises’.

(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.

2 thoughts on “Journalist claims this will be Mike Ashley’s “next move” at NUFC – This could end badly..

  1. Aye, because salaries and overheads can wait. Players and staff don’t need paying do they? Just give it to Rafa.

    “….despite making over £100m as a club over the 2017/18 season.”


  2. The Chronicle are supposed to be professionals, who do quality journalism, yet they come out with tripe like this. No wonder Ashley gets away with being a liar and bully – no-one does the hard yards research to expose his duplicity, deceit, unprofessional misconduct. When have the Chronicle ever gone through all his financials and commercial dealings that relate to NUFC, or tracked all his statements/promises and failures, or scrutinised him on his personal/ethical dealings – and really exposed him with hard hitting facts. Have they been bought off, scared off, or just not very capable?
    Keep up the good work, Olly, you’re about the only free and articulate voice speaking. 😉


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