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BREAKING: Rafa Benitez will depart Newcastle after June 30

After protracted contract talks, the manager will leave the club following the expiry of his contract.

Newcastle United v Crystal Palace - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

It’s official. Newcastle United have announced the departure of manager Rafa Benitez, who has decided that he will no longer work with Mike Ashley. It’s a sad day for Newcastle United fans around the world as we watch one of the greatest managers of all time and perhaps the best Newcastle manager of all time leave after three seasons with the club.

After three seasons, Mike Ashley had proven that his ambitions had not changed. His ludicrous transfer policy remains as a hindrance, and Lee Charnley had not managed to actually secure any deals for players that Rafa Benitez had given the go-ahead to sign. These reasons, among others, are why Rafa Benitez has decided he can no longer continue with the club.

We should all be angry. Furious. That once again, Mike Ashley has managed to take what was great about this club, and throw it in the trash. And if you renew your season ticket, you may be a Newcastle fan, but you’re not a supporter. You’re supporting Mike Ashley. You’re implicit in his reasoning to never let this club get out of his clutches.

Rafa Benitez meant the world to this club, and while he made every effort to stay, he cannot remain in an environment that is the antithesis of his philosophy.

We wish Rafa Benitez the best, and hope to see him win more trophies with whatever club he decides to depart for. And in the meantime, if you continue to buy shirts, tickets, merchandise and more, I feel sorry for you. Mike Ashley has you in his clutches as well.