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Volume 6 No. 214
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Newcastle Manager Rafa Benítez 'Expecting The Money' Promised By Ashley

Premier League side Newcastle Mangaer Rafa Benítez told Owner Mike Ashley that he must honor "the cash promises he made in the summer" to protect the club's EPL status, according to Martin Hardy of the London INDEPENDENT. Ashley was photographed after meeting financier Amanda Staveley "in a curry house" last Wednesday. It "is believed to be the first time the pair have met" as Staveley looks to convince Ashley to sell her the club for £250M ($334M). The Christmas deadline originally favored by Ashley to conclude the sale "has now effectively passed and there is only the possibility of any sort of agreement" before the end of January. That is "potentially a major problem" for Benítez as he "looks to steer Newcastle away from the relegation zone." There was a "major falling out at the club in the summer" when he believed "more should have been spent on players following promotion." A figure of £70M "had been mentioned" following a meeting in Shirebrook with Ashley. Just over £40M "ended up being spent." Benítez: "I'm expecting the money we weren't spending (in the summer) could be available, so hopefully we can sit down and see where we are. I think it's obvious that we have some positions that we have to reinforce" (INDEPENDENT, 12/8).