Fractured, infighting, disillusioned anything but united. 

The departure of Rafael Benitez was always going to have a grave impact on Newcastle United supporters. The former Liverpool manager didn’t deliver a much desired major trophy, however, Benitez did deliver a sense of hope. Hope, a small word with a huge meaning to a set of supporters who felt disconnected from their beloved club.

As soon as Benitez walked through the exit door, the cracks that had been glued together during his three years on Tyneside, quickly came unstuck. Supporters quite rightly vented their frustration at an avoidable situation and a distinct lack of ambition from Newcastle United.

The club is titanic and Mike Ashley is the iceberg. The hierarchy had ample time to steer the ship to safety, instead they chose to sink. 

This is by no means Steve Bruce’s fault. Seen by many as another “Yes man”, the former Sheffield Wednesday manager has taken charge of his boyhood club. Having turned down the job before, he could not do so again. Bruce has the impossible job. The fault starts and ends with Ashley. 

Any manager stepping into Rafael Benitez’s shoes would have a daunting task ahead. Time is running out for Newcastle to make signings before the transfer window slams shut. The club are now left scrambling to try and get players of that famous line.

Ashley who claims he has been “Enchanted” by the new Newcastle manager. If those claims are true, he must back the manager. All the false promises and blatant lies must end. Though, Ashley stated that he has learnt a lot from his many mistakes, yet the Sports Direct tycoon continues to make them.

It really is time to put up or shut up for Ashley. He will never be able to rebuild the relationship between himself and the supporters but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t try. 

Being a self sufficient football club is all well and good if that business model is a proven success. However, that’s just it, Newcastle United is not like any of Ashley’s other business ventures, it is a proud and historic football club. With a set of supporters crying out for an owner to come along and instantly “Get it”. Rafael Benitez “got it” and that’s exactly why his departure is incredibly hard to take.

By Graeme Bell