To say I am absolutely devastated by today’s news is an understatement, but I can’t thank Rafa enough for his efforts over the past three years.
He was more than just a manager, the best thing that happened to use since Sir Bobby and the one reason we believed the good times could return.
That’s what makes his exit all the more unbearable, and absolutely unforgivable that Mike Ashley made no real effort to keep him.
He saw our potential, he gave us hope and he fought for change, but he clearly couldn’t win against a man who only saw pound signs. He constantly fought a losing battle, but he never gave up on us.
This genuinely feels worse than the two moments we were relegated. Why? Because Rafa leaving means all hope dies with him for as long as Mike Ashley remains. It’s the hope that kills you – and Rafa brought us so much, even in this torturous Mike Ashley era.
He stayed with us when we went down, he got us back up, he kept us up, he finally created a strong defence, he signed incredibly on such limited resources, he improved average player, he reconnected a divided fanbase, he challenged Mike Ashley and he made us believe that the good times may just be around the corner.
He wasn’t just a brilliant tactician, father figure for players and inspirational football manager, he was a man who ‘got it’, understood us fans and lived up to his position at the centre of the Newcastle community.
I hope to see him back the day new owners finally release us from the chains Mike Ashley attached to NUFC 12 years ago.
Sadly, Newcastle United isn’t a football club to Mike Ashley. It’s a business and a cash cow he’ll milk for all it’s worth. He treats it like a business and won’t change for no one – even if he drives out a world class manager and hurts fans in the process.
One man isn’t bigger than Newcastle United, but this club will remain dormant until he (Ashley) has gone, with the fans being the only thing ready to erupt at this stage.
Thank you for everything Rafa, you will be missed – it’s just an absolute travesty that the only person who couldn’t see that was Mike Ashley.