The Newcastle United fans in the Transfer Tavern have been delighted with the progress made by their club in recent weeks, but Mike Ashley simply has to sell the club this summer in order to continue their development.
Rafa Benitez has been widely hailed as the mastermind behind Newcastle’s success in recent months and rightly so. The Spaniard’s expertise and quality have shone through at the right time for the Magpies, but his success may not continue into the long-term future if Ashley fails to sell the club in the near future.
Ashley announced that he had put the club up for sale in October 2017, and since that moment speculation regard his successor has been rife within the British media. Amanda Staveley appears to be the strong-favourite to take over, but there’s been little by way of notable development in recent months.
However, Ashley cannot afford to waste any more time as the club move into a future-defining summer break for Newcastle. According to recent reports in The Daily Mirror, Benitez wants a written guarantee that the board will back him in the transfer after Ashley failed to deliver on his verbal agreement regarding transfers last summer.
Without undermining the efforts of the Newcastle players who have been brilliant since the end of the January transfer window, it’s fair to say that Benitez is the key to the club’s future, but with Ashley in charge it seems he will pursue his managerial career away from St James’ Park. With that to consider, Ashley simply has to sell the club this summer in order to convince Benitez to remain on Tyneside.
Naturally, the owners who take over also have to be willing to back Benitez in the transfer market, but on the premise that they will have a war chest to bring to the table it’s likely that he would remain in charge following Ashley’s departure. Newcastle United are approaching a crossroads which could see them continue to jump between divisions or become a solid top-ten Premier League club, and Ashley’s decision will determine the direction the club will take.
If Newcastle want to establish themselves in the top-flight once again then they need Benitez to remain at the helm, so Ashley must sell the club to an investor whose ambitions match those of the manager during the summer window.
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