Glen Roeder believes Rafa Benitez will never get big money to spend while Mike Ashley has the club up for sale – feeling the NUFC owner could never add £100m to his asking price after spending big on star signings.
The former Newcastle boss probably makes a very valid point here, although there’s no doubt the club would naturally be a more attractive prospect to potential buyers with the right investment.
Here’s what Roeder’s had to say during his chat with the Chronicle this week:
“You do fear if Rafa gets an offer from another club that will be able to offer him top 10 or higher then he will be off.
“Any current manager looking at Newcastle will now see that Mike Ashley won’t put fortunes into the club.
“When you put your house up for sale, do you pay £100,000 on improvements or do you leave it for the person coming in spend it?
“That is exactly how it is for Newcastle as long as they are up for sale.
“If he spends £100million on players he can’t add that to the sale price.”
While I don’t agree with Roeder’s initial comment (I don’t think Rafa would join any other ‘top 10’ side so easily), he’s probably quite right about Ashley’s reluctance to spend when the club is ‘up for sale’.
That said, the lack of progress on the takeover front has made many question if Ashley is actually actively trying to sell the club.
After all, if my house was worth £250,000 and I put it on the market for £350,000, I’m not exactly being realistic about a sale, am I? The same could apply with Newcastle United.
It’s a great club with a world class manager, incredible fans and a 52,000 seater stadium, so you can’t help but feel Ashley’s price tag must be the one big thing putting potential buyers off.
Roeder then commented on the challenge Benitez may face when it comes to breaking the top 10:
“The problem with Newcastle is they don’t have four or five players of Champions League quality. If you want to get into the top 10 comfortably you need that.
“Look at Manuel Pellegrini, he won the title at Man City but he won’t be winning anything with West Ham.
“What Rafa Benitez has shown is that he can get the most out of what he has.
“He can motivate them enough to challenge for the mid-table area and avoid relegation.But it’s getting more difficult.
“Man City have spent a billion and have the best coach in the world. Liverpool are able to spend £75million on a centre-half who has changed the entire defence on his own and has been worth it.
“Newcastle won’t spend £75m in total.
“Tottenham are in great shape and are spending and producing their own players.
“The top six is the top six and it feels like a battle to get that last Europa League spot or into the top 10.”
That last line is the big issue facing any Premier League club aiming to show ambition.
The top six seems so difficult to break these days and the gap is only getting bigger. Rafa Benitez is capable of getting us competing again in the top 10 and beyond, but he can only do so much with his hands tied by an owner unwilling to spend big.