So we are almost at the end of June 2019.  There have been continuous rumours about a takeover finally appearing to happen.  A popular manager is days away from being out of contract just before pre-season starts.  Yes I said 2019 not 2009!  The roller-coaster of Mike Ashley feels a bit more like a roundabout as we return to a point where it could be so easy to build and start to be competitive but instead stubbornness could prevail.

For those of you who either follow me on twitter or have read previous articles you’ll know I’ve been pretty confident that Rafa will sign, however as the days run out like everyone else my confidence is waning, but I go back to a previous statement.  “we must unite against the common enemy”.

For the first time this summer there have started to be a shift and blame is starting to be pointed at the manager.  Let’s remember his situation:

Champions League Winner
Stayed when we were relegated
Kept us up last two seasons with little net spend
Was promised “every last penny” and “control over transfers” – which most of us agree he probably hasnt had
Been offered double his current wages to work in China

It’s really easy for us to think about the situation emotionally but have a think about what we would do in our own lives.  We work somewhere not as prestigious and we have more experience which should add more value. Our opinion is ignored.  Despite that we like the environment and enjoy the people we work with and the customers we serve.  But we’re wanted by other companies who are willing to pay a lot more.

I know it isn’t that simple but I struggle to put myself in a situation where I can blame Rafael Benitez for this situation.  I truly believe he wants to stay but at some point if he continues to not see what he needs to he’ll stop voting with his heart like most of us would in our own professional lives. In my opinion he’s already shown loyalty to the fans and the club beyond what most others in his situation would.

The Club have been clear with their “no comment” stance both publicly and behind closed doors.  The way I look at it now is we don’t have long to wait now until we know what’s happening with Rafa one way or another.  If he leaves and we don’t have an APPROPRIATE replacement ready to go on 4th July the NUFC hierarchy only have themselves to blame.  That leaves us 5 weeks of the transfer window left to get the squad ready for another tough season.

I’ll be voting with my feet one way or another.  For the sake of NUFC I hope it’s to back another Rafa Benitez led season.  If not the blame lies solely with the Owner and the Club’s board.”

Jon Lane

@jonlane86