Whilst other clubs in the esteemed Deloitte 20 Richest Football Clubs list have signed players to improve their squads and have signed their key players to contract extensions, the 19th richest club in the world, Newcastle United, have purposely lost the jewel in their crown whilst also seemingly unofficially signing a NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) between themselves and their fan-base.

Newcastle United finally broke their self-imposed silence to inform supporters via a 136-word statement of the heart-breaking news that they and Rafael Benitez could not agree to a contract extension. Unfortunately, this was as heart-breaking as it was unsurprising given the incompetent liars who are tasked with running Newcastle United. Could it be that Ashley views appointing Benítez as one of his most regrettable decisions since unfortunately purchasing Newcastle United?

Here are some points that potentially back that theory:

  • The Benítez Appointment:

Contrary to the myth that we should thank Ashley for bringing in Benítez in the first place. It was Benítez who, after leaving Real Madrid, offered himself to a Newcastle United who were 19th in the Premier League. The only reason why Ashley agreed however, was to try and save his asset from losing value by falling into the Championship. Unfortunately, the damage had already been done via the very same football model the club are hell bent on reintroducing. Benítez’ appointment was not a move by the club that wreaked of ambition, Rafa was not appointed at the start of the season to tackle the Premier League and get as high as we can. It was a move for us to try to survive and finish 17th…. sound familiar?

  • The Summer Transfer Window of 2016:

The only time in the last 12 years where the club have acted like an actual football club. Benitez was afforded free reign to make swift signings with the budget allocated to him (whilst still making a very healthy profit). We were ambitious, cutthroat and signed players A (Gayle) and B (Richie) on Rafa’s wish list. The one time we acted in an ambitious manner coincided with Mike losing tens of millions by not being onboard the Premier League gravy train. Coincidence?

  • Ambition Fulfilled:

A recent Chronicle headline about Rafas departure read “How did it come to this?”, well I think this is the starting point. Sitting top of the league in January 2017 Benitez brought an idea to Ashley via Charnley which would ensure promotion, forward plan for future Premier League campaigns and also take advantage of a clueless Sam Allardyce. The plan was to steal back Andros Townsend for £16 million and use his Chelsea contacts to bring in Lofus-Cheek on loan. Neither happened. Ashley would not sanction either deal and reverted to type as his ambitions looked to have been fulfilled – the club being en route back to the Premier League to survive again. Six months after our £16 million bid, Palace rejected a £27 million bid from Leicester City and Loftus-Cheek is now a full England international. It’s almost as if Rafa knew what he was doing wasn’t it?

  • Summer Windows 2017 / 2018:

At the start of each summer we were indirectly informed that we would be shopping in the bargain bins around the continent. The reason cited was our relegation in 2016 – imagine both Rafa’s shock and ours when Brighton / Huddersfield started to spend more than us on their top targets. Then imagine our shock even more when we were told the exact same in 2018 after a full 12months of PL money but yet Fulham / Wolves / Cardiff were outspending us. It was in both summers that trust evaporated completely and Rafa maybe knew the writing was on the wall. He was causing them problems, asking questions they had no accurate answer to whilst enhancing his already strong relationship with supporters by not towing the party lines we have heard for so many years. Rafa wanted us to build on the back of a successful Championship campaign along with finishing 10th and fans dared to dream. Something the hierarchy hates us doing – rinse and repeat is their motto. Unless of course, we are in the Championship, the owner’s asset is losing money and so they want us to join the “Rafalution”.

  • The Spain Job:

Conference Room 4 in Shirebrook was probably booked out for this one. Messrs Charnley, Bishop, Barnes and Ashley will all have been wondering how they could solve the headache that was Benítez. The bond between fans and Manager had never have been so strong, questions were being asked but left unanswered. How they must have longed for Alan, Joe, John and maybe even Steve in the summer of 2018. The hierarchy at United got together and decided to try and do what no other club have ever done before: loan a country their Manager for the summer. Here you go lads, he’s yours, oh and we don’t want him back. The plan failed. He didn’t go, Lee Charnley being the laughingstock of footballing boardrooms somehow stretched to international level, the draft press release of “Rafa has left you, it isn’t our fault. Please welcome is your new Manager Gary Megson” was deleted and Rafa remained a nuisance to the hierarchy.

  •  Charnley’s Mission:

Imagine being at work and tasked with something that takes colleagues at other companies between a week or a month to successfully complete – yet it takes you over a year and a half, but the end product is that you have failed? Welcome to the life of Lee Charnley. The recent, largest lie that had been peddled out by United via sources to the press was that United wanted to keep Benítez. Charnley was tasked with the renegotiation of Benítez’ contract over 18 months ago and spectacularly failed – a huge sign of ineptitude, surely? Well, for this sign of ineptitude Lee been asked to find a “successor” for Benítez as well as picking up a healthy pay increase too. Charnley has done exactly what Ashley wanted him to do. Nice one Lee, job done.

Rafa Benítez allowed fans to dream, he gave us some much-needed hope and it has been willfully ripped away. I have noticed plenty of people rightfully thanking Rafa for his services; the main reason for thanking him is for giving us hope. That is surely the bare minimum a football fan can expect, isn’t it? Well, not under Mike Ashley’s perverse running of Newcastle United it isn’t. It won’t be long until the Fakeover will be unofficially leaked as collapsed – the fan base will be subjected to further intentional torment by the sadistic freak that is behind all of it. This boring process will be predictably repeated in December 2019 and again in April / May 2020 but we will be told for the umpteenth time that the prospective new owners don’t have a pot to piss in so talks have ended. They never do, do they?

Rinse. Repeat.

Jonathan Rookes