Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has slammed Rafa Benitez of being money motivated.
“If you come out and say the things he did, you would think it was football club first, Rafa second, money third,” the Newcastle owner told the Daily Mail. “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.”
“I’m not the thickest person on the planet. Why wouldn’t I want excellence? Why wouldn’t I want this manager? Accuse me of many things, but not that. We couldn’t have done any more.”
“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,” he said.
“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.”