Newcastle's Fans Forum issues statement after '˜concerning' events at club
Newcastle United's Fans Forum has issued a public statement calling on the club to back Rafa Benitez.
Benitez revealed last week that he is having to sell to buy in the transfer market.
And the statement says members of the Fans Forum are “deeply concerned” by recent events.
United manager Benitez has been involved in a summer stand-off over a transfer budget with owner Mike Ashley, who wants him to sign a new contract with his deal expiring next year.
However, Benitez – who guided Newcastle to a 10th-placed finish in the Premier League last season – will not commit to the club unless he is satisfied its ambitions match his own.
The Fans Forum statement read: “As a group, we are deeply concerned with current events at NUFC.
“There are reports that the manager is having his summer budget withheld as he has not committed to sign a contract extension.
“The Fans Forum fully supports Rafael Benitez in his right not to sign a new deal until he’s seen sufficient evidence to support his and the fans’ ambition.
“We also feel that the club’s board need to support him now more than ever to show him that they are ambitious and are willing to be a stable top 10 club pushing for European qualification and for domestic cup success.
“We’ve seen season-ticket prices rise significantly, England’s most expensive replica shirts and little evident appetite to attempt to compete in the transfer market whilst clubs around and below us significantly invest.
“We sincerely hope the manager gets the assurances he seeks and signs a long-term deal.”
The Fans Forum meets with club officials several times a year to discuss issues on and off the field.
Meanwhile, former Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul is set to join Championship club Norwich City.
The 30-year-old left Brighton and Hove Albion this summer.