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‘Newcastle are a laughing stock under Ashley’ – Quinn slams ‘diabolical’ decision to let Benitez leave

8:27 PM IST 25/06/19
Rafa Benitez Newcastle 2018-19
The former Magpies striker considers some of the decisions being taken at St James’ Park to be ‘diabolical’, with all credibility being lost

Newcastle have become “a laughing stock under Mike Ashley”, says Micky Quinn, with the decision to let Rafa Benitez leave the club branded “diabolical”.

The Magpies have announced that their current manager will be moving on at the end of his contract, which expires on June 30.

An apparent reluctance to meet the demands of a proven coach has been widely condemned by a loyal fan base and former players.

Quinn is among those who consider the current regime to be a “nightmare”, with some baffling decisions being made that do the collective cause at St James’ Park no favours.

The ex-Magpies striker told talkSPORT of Benitez’s departure: “I’m not surprised at all.

“As the days were ticking towards the end of Rafa’s four-year contract and not having anything sorted by this stage, I think it was inevitable he was going to leave.

“He is a world class manager, and this guy was the comfort blanket like a baby has to the fans.

“Benitez put the pride back in the Newcastle shirt after the appointments, and we’ve had some bad ones, we’ve had under Mike Ashley.

“With Rafa leaving, it’s all up in the air again and the fans are devastated.

“The Newcastle fans were proud to say he was their manager and that respect was everything at Newcastle, after almost becoming a laughing stock under Ashley.

“It’s just a nightmare. I can’t believe a club of this stature can let a manager of that stature go. It’s embarrassing.

“It just doesn’t make sense, but it’s Newcastle United.

“I know for a fact he loves it up there and he wanted to take the club to the next level, but he’s had no investment compared to a lot of Premier League clubs.

“The teams that went down – Fulham and Huddersfield – and Brighton as well, they all outspent Newcastle last year. It’s an embarrassment and it’s the fans who miss out because the club’s credibility goes out the window.

“It’s just another farce in the Mike Ashley tenure. The footballing decisions have been diabolical.

“He isn’t good enough for Newcastle, he doesn’t care about Newcastle. All the fans want someone like Rafa, who got Newcastle.

“Rafa wanted to invest in the youth development, and Ashley wouldn’t even do that – it’s just madness.”

The likes of Jose Mourinho, David Moyes and Chris Hughton have been mentioned as potential successors to Benitez, but Quinn is not convinced by any of them, saying: “All the names mentioned, they couldn’t lace Rafa’s boots.”