Former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has been told to sign players with his own money if he wants to improve Newcastle United, rather than rely on penny-pinching owner Mike Ashley.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Ex-Sky Sports presenter Richard Keys made the claims in the aftermath of Newcastle’s narrow defeat at Chelsea.
He tweeted: “If Rafa loves Newcastle as he says – spend some of his own money. He’s got enough. Management is about teamwork – why should it always be Ashley? Buy it. It’s still for sale. They’re in the bottom 3 & Rafa is responsible. He picks the team.”
Even by Keys’ standards, that really is crazy. Rafa has done an incredible job for Newcastle – without him they would be in the Championship. To suggest he should just buy the club is insane – how much money does he think Rafa has?
Newcastle’s players are not at Premier League level, truth be told, and when Rafa says it would be a miracle for them to stay up, he’s absolutely spot on.
Rafa never gets the credit for the job he does, but this is something else.
It comes around the same time that Rio Ferdinand launched a similarly bizarre defence of Ashley, saying Newcastle fans should be grateful to him and should be thanking him.
He also falsely claimed that Ashley spent his own money to get them out of the Championship – when in fact it was generated by selling the likes of Gini Wijnaldum that summer.
Sometimes the incredible things pundits say almost don’t seem real – but this really is another level.