Sam Allardyce has explained why Rafa Benitez will not walk away from Newcastle, while also praising the Spanish coach for his ‘bravery’ in standing up to owner Mike Ashley.
Benitez, the former Liverpool boss, spoke out over a lack of transfers on Wednesday, after he watched his side thrashed 4-0 by Braga in a pre-season friendly.
Newcastle were routed by Braga on Wednesday
A day after the game, Japan forward Yoshinori Muto was awarded a work permit and completed his £9.5million move to Tyneside.
Speaking after the defeat to Braga, Benitez said: “When things are not going well off the pitch you can see a reflection on the pitch.
“Everything – I’m really worried,” he continued, when asked if he was referring to a lack of recruitment.
Benitez remains unsure as to whether he has any money to spend: “I have no idea. The fans have to be concerned, we are concerned. I’m really worried.”
It was a clear message to Ashley, the Newcastle owner, and comes on the back of Benitez refusing to sign a new contract until given assurances over the club’s budget, and Allardyce feels it was a brave thing for the Spaniard to do in the current footballing climate.
Allardyce said on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast: “You’re a very brave man if you go out and criticise the owners, which to be fair is what he is doing.
“You have to be very self-confident in that you are criticising Mike Ashley with what you are saying. I don’t know whether they were going to sign anybody on or not.
“So if you’re taking that stand, you have to be very conscious of what you are doing, and what you are trying to do is publicly force the owner into spending more money.
“And doing that as a manager in today’s world is extremely dangerous; I couldn’t see anybody else doing that!
“But Rafa’s brave enough and experienced enough to do it.”
With Benitez refusing to put pen to paper on extended terms, Newcastle fans are worried he could leave the club over disagreements with Ashley.
Allardyce can see Benitez moving on from St James’ Park, but only if another team comes in for him. Due to the terms of his contract, the former Magpies boss cannot see Benitez walking away any time soon.
“I think if a bigger club had already been in for Rafa he would have been gone,” Allardyce continued.
“Walking is another matter. The contract is so tight it would probably leave Rafa paying the compensation himself, and I think that’s probably one of the reasons he wouldn’t walk.”