COMMENT

Stability is hardly a word that any Newcastle United fan would associate with their club but they are as close to it as they have been over the last couple of years.

The last decade has been tumultuous to say the least, with controversy lurking around every corner, especially when it appears the coast is clear.

Aside from Mike Ashley’s desire to sell, which brought about the winter’s farce of a takeover bid with Amanda Staveley and co, things have been running pretty smoothly, and it all comes down to the stewardship of Rafael Benitez.

The Spanish manager has been a galvanising presence to supporters, drawing their anger away from Ashley and turning their passion into support for the team, which has seen St James’ Park bouncing as hard as it has done in years.

He also has built a hard working and determined squad, a far cry from the mercenaries and primadonnas of yesteryear who lined the benches of the Magpies’ dressing room.

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However, their stability is hanging by a thread.

The Chronicle have revealed on their website that Benitez, who put pen to paper on a three-year deal back in 2016, had a £6million release clause included in the terms of his contract, a revelation which will bring any Newcastle fan out in a cold sweat.

The stunning reveal might seem a lot for most but for a football club, £6million is nothing, especially for a proven Premier League manager who has a Champions League title to his name, and a contact list as long as any in world football.

It may be considered a shock that no one has triggered the deal yet, but for as long as it remains in his terms, Newcastle are walking a very narrow tightrope, the consequences of falling off not worth thinking about.

It needs to be sorted as soon as possible, especially ahead of the summer, when managerial changes may well be rife.

In other Newcastle United news, fans have been left raging by Thursday’s official announcement.

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