In a shocking announcement, Newcastle United informed that Rafa Benitez will be leaving the club when his contract expires on the 30th of June.
It is with disappointment that we announce manager Rafael Benítez will leave Newcastle United upon the expiry of his contract on 30th June 2019.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) June 24, 2019
In his 3-year spell with the club, he managed to win promotion at his first attempt while overseeing two full campaigns where the Magpies showed intermittent promise of something bigger and better.
Joining in March of 2016, he failed to rescue the team’s plight as the severely underperforming squad dropped down to the Championship. But a sparkling season in the second tier led to an immediate promotion. And in the following two seasons, he managed to infuse a sense of positivity and pride at St James’ Park despite operating on a severely restricted budget.
Truth be told, the Spaniard was forced to perform his duties amidst a cloud of uncertainty with Mike Ashley’s indecision regarding his own future at the club cutting across the footballing scene.
The prolonged takeover saga seemed to be finally heading to a conclusion this summer though, with Abu Dhabi based Bin Zayed Group confirming concrete interest in a £350m takeover. This led to hopes that Benitez will be tied to a long-term contract during which he will oversee the transition of Newcastle United attempting to build a squad capable of challenging for the top honours in the future.
But progress on that front has been painstakingly slow and with the news today, the fans are rightly aggrieved and have understandably lashed out at Mike Ashley on Twitter while professing their appreciation for the outgoing manager.
Let us take a look at a few of them.
Rafa Benitez is the most underrated manager itw! He has done it all! Done wonders with Valencia, Liverpool, Napoli and especially Newcastle! True fans of all these clubs appreciate him and love him and that is true success in the end of the day #rafabenitez #RafaAppreciationWeek
— Red Believer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (@Blue_X_BLu) June 24, 2019
It’s not over yet. Over the next few months we will have a cheaper replacement and will have sold off Perez, Lascelles, Schar, Dubravka and possibly also Almiron for profits which won’t even be reinvested.
— Franimal (@franmolloy11) June 24, 2019
— AndyGRFC (@Hugh26166334) June 24, 2019
Thank you for restoring some pride, belief and passion during your 3 years with us. Gutted our terrible onwer cant do the simple & right thing in backing you and your team. Your an absolute wonderful person and the best tactical manager I’ve ever seen with us. You will be missed.
— Mark Reading (@dj_hakka) June 24, 2019
Don’t think it will happen, but there are folks who have been saying for a fortnight that Rafa Benitez was Chelsea’s first choice #DCFC
— Stuart Forsyth (@sjforsyth) June 24, 2019
Oh dear Rafa Benitez is leaving and Mike Ashley, the parasite, will continue to bleed Newcastle United dry! Don’t buy your season tickets! Boycott Sports Direct!
— Richard Wiseman (@The_RichWiseman) June 24, 2019
Sunday – Roy Keane leaves Nottm. Forest to pursue his own career in management
Monday – Rafa Benitez leaves NUFC
For the sake of the Toon Army, I really, really hope so.
— Graeme McDonald (@GraemeMcDonald3) June 24, 2019
Rafa Benitez is one of the world’s best tactical managers. He did a great job at Newcastle United. Will be interesting to see his next move. As for Newcastle, the supporters will be hoping for a high-profile appointment or the fear of a long struggle awaits. #Rafa #NUFC #Benitez
— Simon Wright (@Siwri88) June 24, 2019
Im gutted to hear that Rafa Benitez will be leaving Newcastle United in a few days. This will most likely see us relegated in coming season.
Mike Ashley is dragging this club into the abyss. The supporters deserve so much more.
— RayOye (@Rayoye) June 24, 2019
Mike Ashley has just pressed the AZ-5 button. We have a Geordie meltdown in progress. #rafabenitez
— Clartin Munes MBE (@DaneCon1892) June 24, 2019
MIKE ASHLEY YOU HAVE KILLED A CLUB, A CITY, THE FANS. RAFA WAS THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO THIS CLUB IN A LONG TIME AND YOUVE MESSED HIM ABOUT, LIED TO HIM, LIED TO US AND TOOK THE PISS FOR TO LONG. I WILL NOT BE GIVING YOU ANY MORE OF MY MONEY. ITS TIME FOR ACTION.
— Chris ‘no comment’ Whild (@whild13) June 24, 2019