Newcastle fans are fearing the worst about Rafael Benitez’s future, after the manager said the Magpies should be targeting a top eight finish.
For every ounce of adulation Newcastle fans have for Rafael Benitez, there is an equal amount of disdain for the man holding to key to his future – Mike Ashley.
Ashley has been bashed to no end by fans for his smug demeanour, refusal to invest heavily in the transfer market, and the constant conflicting reports on whether or not he will sell the club.
The 53 year-old businessman, who bought the club back in 2007, has shown no signs yet of extending Rafa Benitez’s contract, and fans are now worried after the manager’s latest comments.
“To do the right things, as I have said many times before. That means to clarify our ambitions going forward,” the manager said.
“What I will say is this, and I have said it many times before: this is a massive club. If we want to compete in the Premier League, and at a good level, then what we have to do are the ‘right things’ – and that’s it.
“Then we cannot be thinking that our position is: ‘Oh, we are safe, great.’ No. We have 52,000 fans at St James’ Park, between 3,000 and 9,000 fans at away games in the Championship.
“That shows that this club has to be competing to be in the top eight or higher.”
While the fact that Benitez is targeting big things for the club is certainly a good sign, fans don’t expect Ashley to share those same ambitions, and they’re worried these conflicting ambitions will result in the Spaniard leaving the club.
Some of the best Twitter reactions can be found below…
He's pushing FMA into a corner. There will be an end game this summer. I really don't think it's going to end well.
— neilB (@neilTheMagpie) May 6, 2018
The fact that the club are dragging their heels and not rushing to meet Rafa's demands and secure his future speaks volumes.
— Joolio Geordio (@JoolioGeordio) May 7, 2018
It's all going to end in tears…as my nanna used to say 👍
— Gary Hardy (@hardy1473) May 7, 2018
If he's got any sense he'll be away
— Lee Anderson (@RealLeeAnderson) May 7, 2018
He’ll go #NUFC. Ashley can’t resist wrecking a good thing.
— gavinquinlan (@gavinquinlan) May 6, 2018
It’s really simple this. Current owner of NUFC just wants to stay in PL. No more. Rafa wants trophies. Rafa is leaving.
— LeLouvre (@LeLouvre) May 7, 2018
Rafa wants #NUFC to progress and achieve success but…
Ashley doesn’t want to spend, just sell…
The two don’t go together!
Can’t blame Rafa if another, big club with ambition comes knocking.
— Stephen Gordon (@SteeGee) May 7, 2018
Absolutely no chance that Ashley would finance that ambition. 17th season after season would be perfection for the rotund muppet.
— Giles Phrase (@GilesPhrase) May 6, 2018