Rafa Benitez’s reign at Newcastle is now consigned to the history books, but the drama surrounding his departure shows no sign of abating, with him refuting claims around him leaving, in his column for The Athletic.
The Spaniard claims after an initial meeting at the end of the season he “knew they would not come back with a serious offer”, and he “like every fan” was “hoping there would be good news about Newcastle’s prospective takeover”.
He said: “When we met after the end of the season, they didn’t make me an offer I could accept. They [Newcastle] told me they didn’t want to invest in the academy or the training ground.
“After that meeting, I knew they would not come back with a serious offer and, when it arrived, 19 days later, it was for the same salary as three years earlier and with less control over signings.
“After three years of unfulfilled promises, I didn’t trust them… so I was waiting until June, like every fan, hoping there would be good news about Newcastle’s prospective takeover.”
Fans will always believe Benitez over Mike Ashley
Between Rafa and those in charge, the supporters will always side with their former manager, and questions will be asked of Charnley when the fans forum takes place in the coming weeks.
The distrust between Rafa and the football club is mirrored by the fans, and this will add fuel to the fans’ protests against the club.
But many will be hoping this is the end of the public feud, and the whole sorry scenario can be put to bed.
The fans will continue to apply pressure on those in charge at the club – and rightly so. But Rafa is in China now, and being the man that he is, even if a takeover happened, he would not break his contract there to make a triumphant return to Tyneside.
We all hope that their will be a new owner – sooner rather than later – and that one day, Rafa will make a return to his rightful place in the Newcastle United dugout.