Rafa Benitez is set to be handed a substantial transfer budget and full control of transfer dealings in the event of a successful takeover of Newcastle United by British business woman Amanda Staveley according to a report by the Express.
Magpies fans have been calling for current owner Mike Ashley to sell the club for years. The billionaire has been an unpopular figure in Tyneside since he bought the club in 2007 for around £134 million.
Ashley’s use of the club and its stadium to promote his sports shop, the ethically questionable Sports Direct, and his unwillingness to invest in quality signings which resulted in two relegations during his time as owner, have been the main causes of the fan’s unrest.
In ten years at the helm, Ashley has failed to top the £16 million paid for Michael Owen in 2005. Given the amount of money that changes hands for players these days and the huge amount of cash that has been injected into the Premier League through various television deals it’s astonishing that Newcastle United have not made any significant investments in their squad.
Manager Rafa Benitez has been on the brink of leaving for much of this season as he has grown increasingly frustrated at Ashley’s continued lack of investment and it’s interesting to note that the Spaniards willingness to walk away from the project is quite possibly one of the driving factors in Ashely’s decision to finally sell the club.
Benitez has managed to get Newcastle back in to the Premier League and the club are currently sitting quite comfortably in seventh place. With Benitez in charge Ashley might actually get somewhere close to the £400 million that he reportedly wants for the club. Without him they don’t look nearly as attractive an investment.
Ashley has stated that he is willing to take payment for the club in stages. This will allow whoever eventually takes over the club to free up some cash for transfers which, despite the clubs status as the only club in Newcastle and their devoted following, will be essential if the club is take the next step forward.
It is hoped that a deal will be completed by Christmas which will allow Benitez to get involved in the January transfer window and if he feels like he has the support of the new owners there is no reason to think that former Liverpool coach won’t be able to help this sleeping giant of a club push for the European places come the end of the season.
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