Football: Benitez reveals Newcastle relegation clause

Benitez (above, in a file photo) was officially unveiled as Newcastle’s new boss at a press conference on Saturday.
Benitez (above, in a file photo) was officially unveiled as Newcastle’s new boss at a press conference on Saturday.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez has admitted there is a clause in his contract that allows him to leave the struggling Premier League club if they are relegated this season.

Benitez was officially unveiled as Newcastle's new boss at a press conference on Saturday and he was immediately quizzed about reports he is able to quit St James' Park in the event the Magpies fail to win their battle to avoid relegation to the second tier.

The 55-year-old Spaniard, who has taken over from the sacked Steve McClaren, confirmed that was the case but he is convinced the break clause will not be needed as he attempts to pull off a 10-game rescue mission, which gets under way with a daunting trip to leaders Leicester on Monday.

"Yes, but some people can see this as special, but it's normal," Benitez said when asked if he had the escape clause.

"I am coming here trying to do my best to stay in the Premier League and if I have a compromise for the future, it's because I am convinced that we will do well.

"I want to stay here - that means that I want to win from Monday."

Newcastle went into the weekend sitting one point adrift of safety in 19th place and former Liverpool and Real Madrid boss Benitez knows he faces a massive challenge to drag the club to safety.

"I am here because I believe we can do it, for sure. I said before, we have enough quality in the squad," he said.

"We need to give confidence to our players, to organise the team in the way that we want to do things, and I think we can do it.

"It will be difficult, for sure, but again I will say the atmosphere of the fans, everybody in the city is helping, so hopefully we can do well."