In Brief

Today’s back pages: Toon barmy! Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle reign ends

A round up of the sport headlines from UK newspapers on 25 June

Newcastle United have confirmed that manager Rafael Benitez will leave when his contract expires on 30 June. 

Benitez had been in talks with the Premier League club over a new deal but fans were left shocked by a statement issued yesterday by the Toon.

The statement said: “We have worked hard to extend Rafa’s contract over a significant period of time.

“However, it has not been - and will not be - possible to reach an agreement with Rafa and his representatives.”

The 59-year-old has been in charge at St James’ Park since March 2016 and led the Toon to a 13th-place finish in the Premier League last season.

Rafa gone

The Chronicle dedicates 12 pages to the Spaniard’s departure. The Newcastle-based newspaper reports that fans have been left “furious” following the club’s statement. 

With its headline “Toon barmy”, the Daily Mirror says that Benitez was not told by the club that they wanted him out. Metro’s “Loony Toon” headline has a similar take on the situation. 

The Times adds that Newcastle are “in disarray” and do not even have a shortlist for a new manager.

While the Daily Express says that fed-up fans are threatening a season-ticket boycott against club owner Mike Ashley.  

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