The Magpies legend has been left baffled by the decision to let an experienced coach move on, with struggles now predicted at St James’ Park
Rafa Benitez was “worth 10 to 15 points a season” to Newcastle, says Alan Shearer, with the decision to let him leave branded “a shambles and a travesty”.
The Magpies have announced that their current boss will be leaving at the end of his contract.
A disgruntled fan base have been quick to air their disappointment at seeing an experienced Spaniard being allowed to move on, while Shearer has hit out at those steering the ship at St James’ Park.
The Newcastle legend fears that another relegation battle could now be on the cards, with some baffling decisions being made by those who are supposed to have the club’s best interests at heart.
“Like every Newcastle fan, I am devastated Rafa Benitez is leaving the club,” Shearer told The Sun.
“It is desperately sad news and a massive blow — and it is ridiculous it has to come to this.
“Newcastle were fortunate enough to have a world-class manager who was doing a very good job and they have just allowed him to walk away for nothing.
“It is a shambles and a travesty. It doesn’t make any sense.
“From the reaction on social media, you can see how angry the fan base is, but they will not blame Rafa for leaving and neither do I.
“He has been brilliant but he has completely lost trust in those he is working for, which is not the first time that has happened at Newcastle under owner Mike Ashley.
“You will see the propaganda come out from Newcastle in the next few days — we offered him this and that, we said he could have so many millions to spend.
“But as fans we know the truth. It has happened too many times at the club.”
Shearer added on a former Liverpool and Real Madrid boss who arrived on Tyneside back in March 2016: “Rafa did a top job there under very difficult circumstances.
“Despite his proven pedigree, he was happy to drop down to the Championship. And he got Newcastle up at the first attempt, then finished 10th and 13th in the Premier League on a limited budget.
“Rafa united the fans and gave them belief, which they had not had for a long time.
“He passionately cared for the club and the supporters, but above all, he knew the potential Newcastle carried.
“All Mike Ashley wants is for Newcastle to survive but Rafa is bigger and better than that.
“He doesn’t want to be fighting a relegation battle every year, he wants to take a team forward.
“Aston Villa have just been promoted and they have come in straight away and smashed their transfer record on a £22 million striker.
“That is what Rafa was up against.
“For Newcastle, he was probably worth 10 to 15 points a season. With him in charge, there was no way they would have been relegated.
“Now, you have to fear the worst.”
Newcastle are set to open their 2019-20 Premier League campaign with a home date against Arsenal on August 11.