Date: 27th June 2019 at 10:30am
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Mick Martin shared how he was feeling about Rafa Benitez leaving Newcastle United and shared he thought the whole saga had been an absolute disaster for Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley.

The 67-year-old, who played 147 times for the Magpies during his playing career, revealed he had been stopped on the street by fans who wanted to know what was going on, and predicted that pre-season wouldn’t go well.

“I am getting stopped in the street by fans asking me what’s going on,” Martin told the Chronicle.

“It is an absolute disaster for Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley.

“They should have had it done and dusted.

“To have a good pre-season and get ready for the new campaign is what the club desperately needed, now that may not happen.”

Martin then added that after the club had made a mess with the exit of Benitez, he stated that the powers that be at the Magpies should give fans a proper explanation sooner rather than later.

“They have made a mess of it so far so let’s see if they can do this better,” added the former Magpie.

“I think it’s only fair that the fans get a proper explanation from the powers that be sooner rather than later.”

OPINION

Martin understands the mood around St James Park better than most as you don’t play over 100 times for the Magpies without learning to understand the supporters. While there is no explanation that Ashley or Charnley could give that would stop fans being upset that Benitez is set to exit, a little communication would at least make the situation somewhat clearer. The Magpies released a brief statement to confirm Benitez will exit when his contract expires on June 30th and that a hunt for a new manager has begun, but surely they could let fans know a little more? For example, what exactly went wrong in negotiations with Benitez and why did it take so long, with the team on the brink of returning for pre-season to make a decision. While their answers probably wouldn’t lighten the mood, at least it would stop people summarising and help the confusion about Benitez’s exit go away. However, given that Ashley has rarely commented publicly on stuff in the past; it’s hard to imagine the powers that be at the club heeding Martin’s advice.