S
SEARCH
M
SW
Sunday, July 25

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley launches attack on Rafael Benitez

:Headline: Newcastle owner Mike Ashley launches attack on Rafael Benitez: ID:366235: from db_amp
Spaniard Benitez is now in charge of Dalian Yifang and has been succeeded at St James' Park by Steve Bruce.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has accused former manager Rafael Benitez of "taking the soft option" in moving to China.

The former Liverpool, Chelsea and Real Madrid boss left St James' Park after failing to agree a new contract – Ashley claims his preference was to tie him down to an eight-year deal – and promptly agreed a reported £12million-a-year contract with Dalian Yifang.

Ashley said it was impossible for Newcastle to have kept Benitez because of the demands he made as his deal expired.

"If you come out and say the things he did you would think it was football club first, Rafa second, money third. I'd say it was money first, Rafa, then the club last," Ashley told the Daily Mail.

"He took the totally soft option, took the money and went to China. That disappoints me.

"If he'd gone back to Real Madrid, or a top-six club in the Premier League, I get it, but it was about money and all he had to do was say that from the beginning.

"He asked for a 50 per cent pay increase and I think he did that because he knew it couldn't work.

“He took the totally soft option, took the money and went to China. That disappoints me.”
- Mike Ashley on Rafael Benitez

"And if we had agreed to that, I think it would have been something else. And everyone thinks we lost him because we wouldn't pay a couple of quid more. We couldn't have done any more.

"He had talked about what he could earn in China previously. We were not even slightly surprised by that move."

Upon his appointment in Dalian in early July, however, Benitez said: "I have had offers of greater financial significance during my career, but they weren't the project I was looking for."

Benitez's replacement, Steve Bruce, has received a lukewarm welcome from fans despite being a boyhood fan having been born just 16 miles from the city.

Ashley cannot understand why the reception had been so bad.

Steve Bruce has taken over at St James' Park (Owen Humphreys/PA)

"I expected the negative reaction to Rafa leaving but I was shocked by the reaction to Steve," he added.

"He doesn't deserve it. He's one of their own. I don't think the fans quite realise what they've got because I'm hoping he's the one.

"There's been some hurtful stuff, that he was our 11th choice. Actually, we had a short-list of three and Steve was one of them."

Ashley has been criticised himself for not selling the club despite a number of reported offers.

“I think I could own this football club forever. That is my new mental state.”
- Ashley on Newcastle

However, in the absence of any genuine bids he expects to remain there for some time.

"I have to assume I will stay running this football club. There are no offers," he said.

"I think I could own this football club forever. That is my new mental state.

"I will not stand in the way of Newcastle United. I will not stop that (sale), if it happens."

amp_article__366235 : Database Data restored...  : 
last updated article - 2019-07-27 06:48:30:
html db last update - 2021-03-10 18:38:28 :

ex - 7200 : read : read cache amp html

Click here for more stories about Mike Ashley

Click here for more stories about Newcastle United

Share this article now:

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
UC
Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Major League Soccer Table

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England1593328181030
2Nashville SCNashville1568124141026
3Orlando City147432314925
4Columbus Crew156631612424
5Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia156541915423
6CF MontrealMontreal146441916322
7New York City FCNY City136252115620
8New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls135351816218
9DC United145272018217
10Atlanta UnitedAtlanta152851418-414
11Toronto153482032-1213
12FC CincinnatiCincinnati143471729-1213
13Chicago Fire153391727-1012
14Inter MiamiInter Miami12228922-138

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England1593328181030
2Nashville SCNashville1568124141026
3Orlando City147432314925
4Columbus Crew156631612424
5Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia156541915423
6CF MontrealMontreal146441916322
7New York City FCNY City136252115620
8New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls135351816218
9DC United145272018217
10Atlanta UnitedAtlanta152851418-414
11Toronto153482032-1213
12FC CincinnatiCincinnati143471729-1213
13Chicago Fire153391727-1012
14Inter MiamiInter Miami12228922-138
Scroll for more - Tap for full version
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
X

We value your privacy

A part of our GDPR compliance we need to ask for your consent. We and our partners use technology such as cookies on Sports Mole to personalise content and ads, provide social media features, and analyse our traffic. Click below to consent to the use of this technology on Sports Mole.