Newcastle's Fans Forum issues statement in wake of relegation

Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez

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Members of Newcastle United's Fans Forum have issued a statement in the wake of the club's relegation.

The club last night lost its place in the Premier League after Sunderland beat Everton 3-0 at the Stadium of Light.

And the forum's member called on the club to do everything it can to keep manager Rafa Benitez at St James's Park.

Their statement read: "We are completely devastated to lose our position in the Premier League.

"Our fans have many concerns. Whilst the fans generally expected this fate, it was quite apparent that the club failed us miserably in the time that it took to make a decision to terminate Steve McClaren’s employment and bring in Rafa Benitez.

"Now is not the time to discuss these failures. We will do that at our final meeting of the season.

"However, the reason for this statement is to make it perfectly clear that we want every possible resource thrown at an attempt to retain the services of our current manager.

"Rafa Benitez has demonstrated his ability to connect with the fans. The fans of this club deserve the respect of the board and current owners of Newcastle United. This group of fans can make a huge difference to the club and have demonstrated this on several occasions."

"Message to Rafa Benitez: Whilst we fully accept that the short term prospect of life in the Championship may not be as appealing as other offers that you may be presented with, we can certainly promise you that the potential rewards of the longer term would match any position that you consider.

"Message to the owner (Mike Ashley): Whilst we accept that to retain the services of Rafa will come at a price, we urge you to look ahead to the longer term benefit of Newcastle United.

"Installing Rafa as manager will have shown you the lift that it gave to our club, albeit maybe too late.

"It is imperative that you act swiftly. We need actions not words – a PR feelgood statement is not want the fans want to see. We need you to demonstrate your business acumen and your intent to not let this one slip away."