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24th Jun 2019

Newcastle United confirm departure of manager Rafa Benitez

Wayne Farry

Benitez and the club have been unable to agree terms on a new contract

Newcastle United confirmed on Monday morning that manager Rafa Benitez would be be leaving he club after failing to agree terms on a new contract.

Benitez will leave the club when his current contract expires on 30 June.

The Spaniard took over at the club in March 2016 with the club mired in relegation trouble, but was unable to keep them in the Premier League despite ending the season with a six-game unbeaten run.

He remained with them despite dropping down to the Championship and succeeded in returning to the Premier League at the first attempt, with a late charge seeing the Magpies pip Brighton & Hove Albion for the Championship title.

Benitez successfully kept Newcastle in the Premier League during the two season since their promotion, but his tenure has been plagued with question marks over his relationship with club owner Mike Ashley.

The main point of friction between the two, and the reason given by many for their inability to come to an agreement on a new contract, comes down to club structure and recruitment policy.

“We would like to thank Rafa and his coaching team for their efforts over the last three years and their significant contribution to what has been collectively achieved.

“We would also like to thank our supporters, players and staff for their patience during a period of uncertainty,” read the club’s 136-word statement on the matter.