What a horrible, horrible day it's been for Newcastle fans - and that's saying something.
What seemed to be a summer full of promise only a month ago, when the Bin Zayed group announced their interest in buying the club, has turned into a nightmarish hellscape that shows no signs of abating.
Yep, instead of the Toon Army giddily wondering what number Kylian Mbappe will be donning at St James' Park next season, they'll have to deal with the rumours of whether it will be Garry Monk or Roy Keane to become the next manager of the club.
When the news broke on Monday afternoon, it's safe to say fans were less than pleased.
2014 - Lazio fans boycott game Serie A game en masse in protest against owner, after lack of investment in new players.— KTDT (@KTD89) June 24, 2019
Board offered talks with supporters less 10 days later. It’s time for us to do the same. pic.twitter.com/BEHxCfylv0
Disastrous.— antanddec (@antanddec) June 24, 2019
Those ‘at the top’ of our great club should be ashamed. The great shame is that they won’t be.
The way they are repeatedly able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory is astonishing.
Thank you @rafabenitezweb
Mike Ashley - get out of OUR club https://t.co/O0khI17op1
What is there to be a fan of? No Rafa, a cancerous owner, no funds, no signings, no takeover, and no doubt the players will have absolutely NO desire to play for a toxic club like Newcastle. We go away, that’s where we go.— Scott Wilson (@ScottW1110) June 24, 2019
Mike Ashley. You are a disgrace.— If Rafa Goes We Go (@IfRafaGoesWeGo) June 24, 2019
Get out of our club.
But more intrigue was to follow, as several journalists claimed that Benitez only learned that he would not be getting a new contract when the news broke on TV.
When Benítez’s deal expires on June 30 he will be gone and, for many supporters, hope will leave with him. The Spaniard was given no warning that today's statement from Newcastle was coming. #NUFC— Times Sport (@TimesSport) June 24, 2019
Rafa Benitez did not know #nufc were releasing a statement today. He heard the news when a friend alerted him to the announcement. He is now seriously considering going to China.— David Coverdale (@dpcoverdale) June 24, 2019
However, Telegraph reporter Luke Edwards claimed Benitez had refused to meet owner Mike Ashley over hashing out a new deal, so couldn't have been surprised by the news.
I’ve read stories saying he was surprised and somehow insulted. He can’t have been, he’d refused to meet them. This is what I was getting at over the weekend, the brainwashing is a little scary. I’m sad he’s gone, but come on, let’s not pretend he didn’t want to go.— Luke Edwards (@LukeEdwardsTele) June 24, 2019
I'm sure the full details of this monumental cock-up will come to light in the coming weeks, but for now one can only sympathise with the plight of each and every Newcastle fan.
This sucks. #AshleyOut.