Mike Ashley being a cheeky b***ard.
Ashley Criticises Benitez
Mike Ashley has hit out at former Newcastle United and Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez.
Benitez left St. James’ Park this summer to join Dalian Yifang in China after his contract expired.
On the breakdown in talks over a new deal, Ashley said: “If you come out and say the things he did you would think it was football club first, Rafa second, money third.
“I’d say it was money first, Rafa, then the club last. He took the totally soft option, took the money and went to China. That disappoints me.
“If he’d gone back to Real Madrid, or a top six club in the Premier League, I get it. But it was about money and all he had to do was say that from the beginning.
“My view always was we had to keep Rafa. For my own personal safety we had to keep Rafa.
“I thought he had us offside, he had us cornered, it wasn’t fair, it wasn’t right, I’ve been totally out-manoeuvred, I probably shouldn’t own a football club, it’s ridiculous, but I’m a big boy.
“Yet every time with Rafa it was impossible – there was always another thing, and the next thing, and the next thing. He asked for a 50 per cent pay increase and I think he did that because he knew it couldn’t work.
“And if we had agreed to that, I think it would have been something else. And everyone thinks we lost him because we wouldn’t pay a couple of quid more. He had the microphone and we didn’t.”