Business magnate and inflatable sports icon Mike Ashley has today come out with a press conference to unveil his bold new plan to put Newcastle United FC back where they belong in the wake of the departure of the heroically over-qualified Rafa Benitez.

Grilled over the decision to let Rafa go, Ashley defended the move; “Do you know how much Benitez cost us each season? Millions! I’ve done my research and looking at the other managers in and around Newcastle, they don’t earn nearly as much. I asked the manager in my local Greggs and he was saying he earns only a fraction of what Rafa was costing us!”

Ashley went on to outline his plans for the summer transfer window, “Well hopefully we can make some signings. I know a lot of the fans will think – but Michael, why? We already have Joselu and Paul Dummett, what more could a team need? But I think there is room for some subtle improvements to the squad. I have already been on the phone to Chelmsford City and it looks like we might be able to get their back-up keeper on a six-month loan. Even better news is, I’ve negotiated a deal to pay his salary largely in remaindered Sportsdirect gear. Anyone who wants to come to Newcastle needs to get used to the idea they will mainly be paid with dodgy Umbro trackies.”

Asked how he planned to put Newcastle United back ‘where they belong’ without Rafa at the helm, Ashley finally outlined his plan “Well, I’ve got rid of him. By my estimates we’re right on track to get this club firmly back where it belongs. By which I mean, mid-table in the second tier.”