Rafa Benitez has reacted to the protests from Newcastle United fans angered by Mike Ashley’s refusal to back him in the transfer market.
Benitez is having to sell to buy in this summer transfer market.
And United’s manager – who has a year left on his deal – is concerned that the club is being left behind by rivals who are investing heavily in their squads.
Benitez has been involved in a stand-off with Ashley, who wanted him to sign a new deal before agreeing a transfer budget.
Supporters have voiced their discontent and the #IfRafaGoesWeGo hashtag has trended on Twitter.
Asked about the campaign, Benitez said: “Everybody is expecting that you will improve the team and improve the squad.
“All the Premier League teams are spending big money, and they know how important it is.
“I said last year, and I’m saying this year again, that when you’re talking about so much money from the TV, it’s crucial to stay in the Premier League if you want to compete.
“If you go down, the next year is even more difficult because the difference in money is massive. Hopefully, we can do well in the next weeks and we can improve the squad enough to at least be competitive next year.”