It has been well document in past years that Newcastle Football Club owner Mike Ashley is far from desired by fans on Tyneside.
The recent events at the north east club will do nothing in a way of enhancing his reputation with the Toon Army. After failing to come to an agreement with the board over of a new deal, fan favourite Rafael Benitez was allowed to leave the club, leaving not only a managerial vacancy, but also a gaping hole.
Initially, the club were linked with moves for managers including the likes of Jose Mourinho, arguably one of the greatest managers to take to the dugout. However, in a dramatic turn, it now seems very likely that Sheffield Wednesday gaffer Steve Bruce will take the helm.
To disregard Bruce’s achievements during his managerial career would be outrageous, although, when you think of both names together, it’s hard to argue over who is the more astute coach.
Looking from the outset at the club as a whole, it appears as if there could be a crisis brewing. From disgruntled fans, to a board wanting out, as things stand there isn’t too much to look forward to in preparation for the upcoming Premier League campaign.
In fairness, the Toon Army have been known in years gone by to back their club no matter what, with over 50,000 fans regularly turning out even in the Championship. Current conditions though will provide a major test to the patience of their loyal supporters, many of whom begrudged the club’s approach with now ex manager Benitez.
Upon his decision to move on from the club, the Spaniard provided a damning assessment of the hierarchy, stating in a message to the Newcastle fans via his official Instagram page that he wanted to stay. It read:
“What we have had here – your support, your affection and your passion – has been unbelievable for me. St James’ Park has been always special, the 5-1 win against Tottenham, 15-05-2016, was so emotional that since that day I have always felt as though I belonged at Newcastle and I thank you for making me feel so welcome and at home.
“Thank you to everyone at the club who has helped the team and of course to the fine players who grew and fought with us and to the staff (one of the best I have ever shared time with).
Following from thanking the fans and those involved directly with him at the club, Benitez later went on to shed light on his reasons for leaving, with a breakdown in relationship between himself and the board made clear. He stated:
“From winning the Championship, to our season in the Premier League, fans, staff and players have all been United. I wanted to stay, but I didn’t just want to sign an extended contract, I wanted to be part of a project. Unfortunately, it became increasingly clear to me that those at the top of the club did not share the same vision.
“I’m very sad about that, but I do not regret for one moment my decision to come to Tyneside and I’m very proud about what we achieved together.”
The former Championship winning manager proved very much to be a favourite amongst the fans, capturing the hearts of many on Tyneside.
(Image via http://www.nufc.co.uk)
By James Miller