Transfer Window Reaction #2: A Sense of Dread

by • September 1, 2017 • tf blogsComments (20)1322

Another window closes and I’m left, once again, with an overwhelming sense of dread. Ashley has lied to yet another manager, the fans have been duped again and the state of confusion and negativity that Ashley seems to enjoy directing has ONCE AGAIN enveloped a significant section of the fanbase. When Pardew was in charge I never got as riled about his treatment (given his public displays of sycophantic dedication to his paymaster) as I do now about that being dished out to Rafa by the axis of shite, the swinging-dick, macho 70s jobs-for-boys bastards of Barnes, Bishop and Ashley.

Rafa Benítez is a world class football coach. His record is one of the best in the business. He is a man of integrity and honour. He could’ve left Newcastle after relegation and walked in to another job. If it had been about the money he could’ve gone to China and trebled his salary. He wanted to stay at Newcastle United because of the untapped potential. He saw NUFC as a long-term project, a club that needed a root and branch change that he was willing to direct. He ultimately saw a day in a not-too-distant future in which NUFC would once again be challenging for honours. He set out a vision for the club, a realistic plan and he presented it to Ashley. He was convinced that Ashley was behind him. I was with Rafa 100% of the way – if it was good enough for him then it was certainly good enough for me. I was so disillusioned with the consistently abject mismanagement of the club from the summer of 2004 up to McLaren’s sacking that I had barely bothered attending a match during the period. The appointment of Benítez, a coach I had followed since his early days at Valencia (living in Spain during his glory years at the club in which the Barcelona/RM hegemony was temporarily smashed), sucked me right back in. This was the manager of whom I told a mate back in 2002 that I wanted to see at Newcastle after Robson, and a manager who, by February 2016, I thought was way beyond our reach.


Last summer was fantastic. Rafa got the players he wanted, got rid of many of those who clearly didn’t want to be here, made a profit and was assured that he’d have money to spend in January. January arrived and, as the ominous reappearance of the barrowboy-got-lucky Ashley had suggested, he wasn’t given the support he was promised. The non-arrival of Andros Townsend for what now looks like a very cheap fee of £13 million clearly pissed him off spectacularly. However, his professionalism ensured he got on with the job at hand and we still got promoted, even winning the Championship on the last day of the season in spectacular style. January was but a distant memory and the ‘every last penny’ promise seemed to appease Rafa. No-one expected £100 million but Rafa clearly thought there was enough to get on with the job in the way he wanted. And then Abraham and Caballero were set-up by Rafa. And they fell through. And the Lejeune deal took longer than it ought to have done. And the rumblings of discontent got louder and louder and culminated in the shitstorm that this transfer window (yet another transfer window) has been. Rafa kept his part of the bargain and has shipped out much of the parasitical deadwood. His colleagues in the board room couldn’t even get him a left back. A truly pathetic performance and, if Rafa walked, he’d have a nailed on case for constructive dismissal. He has had the piss well and truly taken out of him and ask yourself what you’d do if your boss had consistently lied to you and, I don’t believe I’m being hyperbolic here, publicly humiliated you by putting it out there that you were to ‘shut up and get on with it’.


The consensus at present is that Benítez is still here because he’s made promises to those lads he did bring in this summer and because of his bond with the fans. However, in here lies the possible crux. How does a fanbase express discontent with a regime whilst simultaneously supporting the team on the pitch and the management in the dugout? I know that my reappearance at matches and my reignited enthusiasm for the team is down to Benítez and his management. As long as he’s here I will be 100% unequivocal in my support of him and the team as, regardless of the charlatans he works for, he wants this club to win football matches and the squad of players he has contains a majority who genuinely care and give there all on the pitch. I am in no doubt that as long as Benítez is here we’ll have no trouble staying up. Just staying up won’t be enough for him though and, given his record and standing in the game, why should it be? If Benítez walks and/or leaves us for a club with ambitions befitting a manager of his stature will we continue to accept ‘just staying up’?

Norman Riley


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20 Responses to Transfer Window Reaction #2: A Sense of Dread

  1. Anton says:

    Sorry to sound negative, but there is really only one way to get rid of Ashley: a couple of successive relegations. The loss of value will be catastrophic; there would be nothing to cash in on once you play against Oxford United – no free TV advertising, no TV money, no sponsorship.
    Yes it will be heartbreaking, yes it will be traumatic, yes it will take a new owner a decade or more to get the club back to normality. But you can rebuild a broken home if you get the right people in and if the supporters stand by the team (NUFC supporters always will).

    • kenny says:

      couldn’t agree more mate, id go down to conference to get rid of the bastards. i’l keep going till Rafa goes, it’s the least the bloke deserves as he is only staying for us now ! but leave he will, prob at the end of the season, then that’s me to. No Fuckin More

  2. tomb says:

    I’m confused why any fans or even Rafa expected things to change?
    The same discussions take place every season.
    If you keep renewing your season tickets you are helping support Ashleys regime whether you like it or not. By the end of the season we will have more hollow threats from fans to jack it in but a few rumours of signings will keep people coming in.
    Why should Ashley change his policy?
    He can take the mickey out of the club and still 50,000 come through the door. He gets the Sky money. He knows champions league is out of reach. So why would he change?

  3. tomb says:

    I think Rafa got the money last season only as Ashley knew significant money was coming in for Wijnaldum and Sissoko. Make no mistake of these players weren’t sold the money would not have been provided for Gayle and Ritchie etc. I believe if Rafa walks he would have to pay off his contract so he might well stick it out. I am still surprised that Rafa believed Mike who has been proven as a liar in court with no moral compass. He is a good enough manager to keep our below average squad in the league which will suit Ashley fine.

    • Mike Dixon says:

      I’m not sure Ashley has been proven a liar in court, and I’m not sure Rafa believes anything. I would like to look forward to all monies generated next year to re invested, but somehow I don’t think it will.

  4. Mikey says:

    We can do better than Rafa, for some reason he doesn’t seem to have the magnetic pull he used to possess? I’m not sure why that is? I along with a few others thought that were nailed on to entice Ronaldo during his spat with the Spanish Government over his tax issues but like Abraham and Caballero he decided not to come.
    It can’t be the club which is turning the players off signing for us? We have the best, loudest and most loyal fans in the world absolutely bar none, the best ground in the North and a City with amenities which are the envy of everyone outside of London. They only choose Man City and Man United over us for the money and don’t get me started on Liverpool. I can only conclude that Rafa’s stock has fallen since he did quite badly at Real Madrid and it’s probably time for him to move on and we replace him with someone like Andre Villas-Boas, a young, hungry and talented European Manager with serious contacts.

    • Ian Summers says:

      Are you being serious?

    • Mike Dixon says:

      Who on earth thought Ronaldo could be enticed to come to Newcastle??
      It certainly can be the club turning off players signing for us, AND the geography.
      We don’t have the loyalist loudest fans etc, we have great fans but don’t delude yourself.
      Newcastle is a canny city but not the envy of everyone outside of London, get real.
      As for letting Rafa move on cos he didn’t do so well at Real Madrid ?? and replace with the likes of AVB who had such a great time at Spurs?? you’re just an idiot.

  5. Brian says:

    I agree with ANTON. As hard as it will be for us to be relegated again, I believe we will only be rid of this piece of shit Ashley, and his cockney hangers-on like CHARNLEY and nasty piece of work BARNES, when we drop down to the lower levels.. I will still support United in ANY LEAGUE, as long as we can kick this bastard out of our club.
    I’m sure I speak for a host of fans, in saying that Rafa and us do not deserve such shocking and disrespectful treatment by such a piece of shit.
    I sincerely hope that Rafa walks away soon, to a club and its management who deserve him.
    After him, it makes NO difference who comes in, because we’ve seen it all before…..the man will fail

    • Mike Dixon says:

      Lee Charnley ain’t no cockney mate. He was at the club with Shepheard.
      If anyone really supports the club they will not want them to drop down to any level other than the prem League. God help us if Rafa walks, don’t be so stupid to suggest he should.

  6. mikey says:

    Ashley epitomises all that is wrong with Britain for me. He personifies the shite that we’ve turned into.

    Short Termist, self interested, dishonest, and values nothing but money, not loyalty, not beauty, not success, not passion, history, heritage, the future, cooperation, common purpose, togetherness a sense of purpose and belonging.

    I hate him. And he is the worst of Football

  7. Andy says:

    West ham are odds on to pay the get out clause, I have for years tried to work Ashley out and I’m no closer to it, he couldn’t care who he upsets,

  8. So again it will come down to do we have enough people who care enough to act to save our club. Last time we did not. So we will see what happens this time as things draw to a head again! We have known for years there is no future with Ashley at the helm and we have to accept whatever consequence befalls us in getting him out. Once the battle starts( ie Rafa leaves), then we need to ignore the PR from Ashley, the media and everyone else who does not value our club like we do. It is our time to fight for our club. He wobbled last time with only 1000 protesting because his Sports Direct shareholders were worried. That is his achilles heel and we need to capitalise on that. And if we still do nothing ,then we have no right to moan.

    On a lighter note Laurel and Hardy are on Sky 343 tonight at 8.15pm. Blockheads. The politest words we could use to describe Ashley!

  9. Mark says:

    Disrupting Sports Direct stores via peaceful sit-ins during match days in whatever town we’re playing in and bringing attention to the Victorian working practices of his true love Sports Direct is the only way to really hurt Ashley as that will affect shareholder confidence and share price, the very thing that allows him to lord it over us. If it’s done with everyone wearing Newcastle colours the message will start to get through. Can you imagine the Sports Direct store having to close in Newcastle every match day because of repeated protests and the media attention that might bring?

    • FK says:

      Couldn’t agree more on the above few posts. SD is all he gives a toss about and is quite correctly described as his achilles heel. And this approach would negate the support the team not the regime argument. UK uncut successfully targeted tax dodging corporations with similar tactics and relatively small numbers, especially compared to how many we could potentially get on board considering the fan base.

      Needs to happen before Rafa leaves though imo.

  10. That is a very good plan Mark. Hopefully others will think so too. Sports Direct disruption is our chance of revenge and of increasing the heat on Ashley. He gets too easy a ride at the moment. We need to change that.

  11. John says:

    Question for the author, you state re Rafa, “as long as he’s here I will be 100% unequivocal in my support of him and the team as, regardless of the charlatans he works for”, so did you participate in any of the boycotts etc. before Rafa was here, when things were just as they are now.

    The problem with the majority of our season ticket holders is they will rightly criticise Ashley, but keep handing over £500 – £600k per season, and trot out a myriad of excuses as to why they still go. Ashley must piss himself laughing at you.

    The only way to get rid of Ashley is to stop going, it wont take long. Do something proactive instead of simply whinging on year after year after year after year.

  12. Rich says:

    A few bedsheets outside silvetlink won’t make any difference. 52k making disparaging remarks about SD to a global audience will get his and the shareholders attention. Let’s use the free advertising to our own advantage and see how he likes it.