Newcastle United’s Premier League campaign gets underway today when they host Tottenham Hotspur in the early kick-off [12.30 pm] at St James’ Park.
Of course, off-the-field controversy is never far away when it comes to the Toon Army. Their summer has been blighted by a transfer window which yielded the lowest net spend of any Premier League club; -£17.8 million.
At the end of last season, Mike Ashley promised that “every last penny” generated by the club would be available to Rafa Benitez but despite substantial broadcast revenue and money generated from player departures such as Alexandar Mitrovic (+£20 million), Benitez was left frustrated with signing players well down his priority list on paltry permanent transfers or loan deals.
There’s also the issue of Benitez’ contract which expires at the end of this season, according to many local reports, the Newcastle hierarchy would only provide more funds if Benitez would sign a contract extension.
All of this has led to despair for Newcastle United supporters, who believe that under Ashley’s ownership, the club will continue to battle relegation every season.
With the ‘If Rafa Goes, We Go’ movement gathering further pace, supporters have held a protest outside one of Ashley’s Sports Direct outlets in Newcastle’s city centre.
Check it out below:
Protesting Newcastle fans in fine voice outside Sports Direct on Northumberland St. pic.twitter.com/4CxcjHGmch
— George Caulkin (@CaulkinTheTimes) August 11, 2018