Tensions are higher at Newcastle United than they ever have been, and anger is reaching unprecedented levels for fans, who have lost their hero in Rafa Benitez this week.

For most, it is too late to build bridges, and they will never be able to forgive the owner for his treatment of Benitez, as well as his general running of the club.

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

He would certainly never be welcomed for a night in the Bigg Market again, as he once did shortly after purchasing the club over a decade ago, and he will never be given the Freedom Of The City.

But if he genuinely “cares for Newcastle”, as his friend – and equally unpopular character on Tyneide – Dennis Wise said last week, there are a few ways he could try to relieve the animosity between himself and the Geordie population.

Sell the club

For most, this is probably the only way he will ever see his stock rise among the Newcastle fan-base.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

His continual mooted sales, followed by slamming the door in the faces of prospective buyers, only increases the depth of distrust and dislike for the derided owner.

If there is any truth to the current speculation surrounding interest in the football club, he must surely accept that his time is up at Gallowgate, and give the fans what they truly want – a new owner of the football club.

With Rafa gone, pulling the plug on any potential deal this time, could have ramifications that even he has underestimated.

Appoint a successful, big-name manager and let him manage properly

Benitez, undoubtedly, had to do his job with one hand tied behind his back.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United)

Ashley simply must learn from his mistakes, and when a new man is appointed, he must be given the tools to do a proper job.

The current transfer policy must go, and the new manager must have the freedom to build his squad, his way.

If that is with players over 25-years-old, then so be it. If they are given a decent contract which may see them have a depreciative sell-on value, then so be it. If they are the manager’s choice and not one of the scouting team’s, then so be it.

Replace Lee Charnley

Many feel Lee Charnley gets away with a lot, due to the fans’ running feud with Ashley. But that should not be the case.

(Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Charnley’s failure to get transfer deals done quickly, or refusing to meet an asking price, has cost the football club over the years.

His lack of a football background seems to continually hamper the club during transfer windows, and at least someone with a better knowledge of the game will know a proper player when the manager recommends one.

Add to that, Charnley’s seeming disrespect for the fans, by constantly postponing and cancelling Fans Forums – often at only a few hours’ warning – and you have someone seen as nothing more than a puppet whose strings are being pulled by Ashley.

Remove stadium adverts for his brand and sell space to outside companies

Fans have long-hated the amount of space that is taken up at St James’ Park by Ashley’s store brand.

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Even before he had the sheer audacity to try to change the name of St James’ Park, his brand was emblazoned on what appeared to be every blank and available space.

Those spaces could be sold to an outside organisation, who would pay for the advertising, and any money received could go towards improving the available transfer budget of the new manager.

Show ambition and prioritise the cups

Fans are fed up with having to endure continual relegation scraps when playing in the top flight.

(Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

By showing some ambition, and – for once – putting the potential of the football club ahead of making a profit, relegation fights could become yesterday’s problem.

Loosening the purse-strings and showing a desire to achieve a modicum of success would go a long way to creating a happy fan-base.

Building a decent – not title-winning – squad, that had some strength in depth would allow the new manager to focus on the domestic cup competitions.

We may be a million miles away from winning the league, but a couple of decent cup runs should not be beyond a club the size of Newcastle United.

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