Newcastle legend Alan Shearer has slammed the club for failing to keep Rafael Benitez, calling it ‘a travesty’.
The Champions League winning manager called time on his spell as Newcastle United boss on Monday, having seemingly failed to get the assurances he was seeking from controversial owner Mike Ashley about the direction of the club.
With his contract set to expire at the end of the month, the North East club announced that it was ‘with disappointment’ that the Spaniard had decided not to renew.
Speaking about the decision, former Magpies number 9 Shearer described the announcement as ‘a massive blow’.
“Like every Newcastle fan, I am devastated Rafa Benitez is leaving the club,” Shearer wrote in The Sun. “It is desperately sad news and a massive blow — and it is ridiculous it has to come to this.
“Newcastle were fortunate enough to have a world-class manager who was doing a very good job and they have just allowed him to walk away for nothing. It is a shambles and a travesty. It doesn’t make any sense.
“He has been brilliant but he has completely lost trust in those he is working for, which is not the first time that has happened at Newcastle under owner Mike Ashley.
“Such has been the breakdown in their relationship, I am told Rafa did not even know Newcastle were putting the statement out yesterday.”
Shearer went on to say that the ambitions of Benitez were bigger than those of Mike Ashley.
“Rafa did a top job there under very difficult circumstances,” he continued.
“Despite his proven pedigree, he was happy to drop down to the Championship. And he got Newcastle up at the first attempt, then finished tenth and 13th in the Premier League on a limited budget.
— Football Faithful (@FootyFaithful_) June 25, 2019
“Rafa united the fans and gave them belief, which they had not had for a long time. He passionately cared for the club and the supporters, but above all, he knew the potential Newcastle carried.
“I know Rafa can be political but the man delivers. All he wanted was what was best for the club. Most managers have issues with whoever they have to answer to, but you have to have some sort of rapport with someone at the club that shares your ambition.
“All Mike Ashley wants is for Newcastle to survive but Rafa is bigger and better than that. He doesn’t want to be fighting a relegation battle every year, he wants to take a team forward.”