Date: 11th May 2018 at 11:33am
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While Newcastle United fans will always hold hope that Mike Ashley provides Rafael Benitez with the sort of financial backing he desires, the likelihood of it happening is slim.

The Sports Direct supremo keeps the purse strings at St James’ Park closed tight as he looks to run the Magpies on a shoestring budget – a decision which has infuriated the Toon Army for much of his decade in charge on Tyneside.

He invests very little, if any, of his own cash into the club, meaning Benitez is primarily reliant on player sales and other sources of income to fund the Magpies’ spending over the transfer windows.

However, while last season’s Championship winning campaign offered little in terms of rewards for their top place finish, the same does not apply in the Premier League, where the club’s final position equates to a relative boost to the coffers from prize money.

Heading into the final match of the season, the Magpies are on course to pick up £22million for their 10th place, as claimed on Sky Sports’ website, but are on course for a massive battle on the last day of action before the summer break.

As revealed on Sky Sports’ Twitter account, the Magpies could drop as low as 15th if they lose to Chelsea and other results go against them, and with each position worth £2million, that £10million would be a big loss for Benitez were that to be the case.

The difference between £12million and £22million is huge when it comes to the transfer market, especially when that money is likely to be one of the prime sources of income for Benitez.

Sunday’s game against the Blues at St James’ Park is worth so much more than pride – it could define the Magpies’ summer.

In other Newcastle United news, the club are at the centre of a £25million transfer hunt for a powerhouse.

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