The Newcastle United ownership saga’s taken a new twist. A terrible one at that.
Mike Ashley, openly looking to sell the club, has taken a u-turn in now deciding to stay as their owner. Indeed, a decision which will definitely have polarizing opinions, it’s also going to have an effect on disgruntled manager Rafa Benitez.
He’s clearly not been entirely happy at how Ashley’s treated him at Newcastle and his lack of ambition displayed earlier this season, creating a painfully awkward situation in many a press conference earlier on in the campaign. While the Spaniard’s done a commendable job in getting the Magpies out the relegation zone and giving rise to prominent youngsters, he’d reportedly want more guarantees before committing to the club.
Benitez’s complained about not being given enough resources to rebuild Newcastle’s squad, as Ashley’s been very tight in terms of financing moves, everyone knows that. However, the point is more that Newcastle are a club who haven’t been allowed to dream under his ownership.
Under Ashley, the Magpies are asleep, but they aren’t dreaming. If anything, it’s more like being in a coma.
While latest signing Miguel Almiron has certainly displayed his sizzling ability for the Magpies, they obviously need more to compete higher in the Premier League.
The Spaniard cannot afford to be undermined by managing a lower-table team, which itself is hampering his reputation. Unless and until Ashley gives him better assurances of making key signings which can help Benitez reshape Newcastle for the better next season, he could witness his manager leave.
He’ll find work elsewhere without problems, possibly in bigger clubs looking for experienced candidates. Ashley, however, will find it difficult to replace Benitez with a man of similar qualities. He needs to give into the Spaniard’s demands and give positive responses on the future business of Newcastle or be ready to bid adieu to Rafa in the summer.
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