By Harry Sykes
Karren Brady has claimed in the Sun that Newcastle United are going places with their dream team of Mike Ashley and Rafael Benitez.
The West Ham vice-chairman, who is one of the longest-serving executives in Premier League football, is convinced that the newly-promoted club have the ingredients to thrive upon their return to the top flight.
Newcastle bounced straight back from relegation in 2015-16 to not only clinch automatic promotion but also win the Championship.
The north-east giants released a statement last week from owner Ashley in which he said manager Benitez will be backed to the hilt in the transfer market this summer following talks between the pair.
Sports Direct tycoon Ashley is an unpopular figure among the Newcastle fanbase after a controversial decade in charge but Brady says that from her experience Newcastle have the calibre of manager and wealth of owner to make a big impact next season.
“Newcastle are lucky to have Rafa Benitez as manager and the 57-year-old is lucky to have Newcastle with their huge and deeply loyal following,” Brady wrote in her weekly Sun column in her dispatch for last Thursday.
“I sense Benitez is happy at a club with a similar working-class character to Liverpool where he is still regarded with much affection, not least for winning the Champions League.
“In Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley, he has the best financial means to give the Premier League a real go next year.
“Mike talked about ‘making your own luck’ but in football you also need a good manager and great players.
“He has at least one of these ingredients. And in my experience the rest follows – as long as you have a big cheque book, which Mike certainly has.”
Newcastle are expected to be big spenders in this summer’s transfer market after Benitez was told he will be given every penny from sales and club profits to reinvest in the playing squad.
In other Newcastle United news, the club have hijacked Everton’s move for a coveted 23-year-old, with a £75,000-a-week contract to be offered.