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Toon fans want Benitez to stay


Rafa Benitez. Photo: Reuters

Rafa Benitez. Photo: Reuters

Rafa Benitez. Photo: Reuters

Newcastle fans have pleaded with Rafael Benitez not to activate the release clause in his contract and stay with the relegated club.

The Spaniard has been unable to keep the Magpies in the Barclays Premier League after accepting an initial 10-game mission to fight off relegation and further ahead, a three-year contract.

However, Newcastle could face a fight to persuade him to launch a new battle in the Sky Bet Championship and the club's Fans' Forum has addressed the 56-year-old directly. In a statement, it said: "Message to Rafa Benitez - whilst we fully accept that the short term prospect of life in the Championship may not be as appealing as other offers that you may be presented with, we can certainly promise you that the potential rewards of the longer term would exceed any position that you consider."

Owner Mike Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley have borne the brunt of criticism aimed at the club in the wake of a second relegation in seven years.