Football Article

Newcastle & Rafa Benitez part ways

Newcastle & Rafa Benitez part ways Photo: TT
Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez arrives at Craven Cottage before the Premier League match between Fulham and Newcastle United

Spanish manager Rafa Benitez will exit English Premier League club Newcastle United after the two parties failed to reach an agreement on a new deal.

Benitez has led the Magpies since March 2016, guiding the club to 13th place in England’s top flight last season.

The Spaniard couldn’t keep Newcastle in the Premier League after taking over in relegation trouble in 2015/16, but he took them to immediate promotion and a 10th place finish in 2017/18.

“We have worked hard to extend Rafa’s contract over a significant period of time,” Newcastle statement read.

“However, it has not been - and will not be - possible to reach an agreement with Rafa and his representatives.”

“We would like to thank Rafa and his coaching team for their efforts over the last three years and their significant contribution to what has been collectively achieved.

“We would also like to thank our supporters, players and staff for their patience during a period of uncertainty.”

The decision has been met with criticism from Newcastle fans as well as Magpies legend Alan Shearer who labelled the club as a “shambles”.

“A world-class manager. A manager who performed so well in very difficult circumstances. A manager who understood the fans. Thanks and good luck Rafa Benitez, you were brilliant for the Toon,” Shearer wrote.

There has also been criticism of owner Mike Ashley for his part in the saga.

Ben somerford
Ben Somerford Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford

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