Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has thanked Rafa Benítez, the players and the club’s supporters following the club’s tenth-place finish in the Premier League.

The Magpies secured a place in the top half with a 3-0 victory over Chelsea at St. James’ Park on Sunday.

The owner said: "I would like to thank Rafa Benitez for his magnificent achievement this season.

"I would also like to applaud the players, led fantastically by the captain Jamaal Lascelles.  

"On many occasions throughout the season they have been described as a Championship side, which I personally consider to be derogatory.

"Rafa, as always, has my full support, and contrary to some media reports that portray me as a pantomime villain, I will continue to ensure that every penny generated by the club is available to him.

"I hope very much that Rafa will remain at Newcastle United.

"Finally, I would like to thank the fans for their unrivalled support of Rafa and the team throughout the season."

photo: itv.com