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Published: 08:34 | 12/5/16

Charnley devastated by relegation

Newcastle managing director Lee Charnley has apologised to the club's fans in the wake of their relegation from the Premier League.

The Magpies demotion to the Championship was confirmed on Wednesday night when derby rivals Sunderland defeated Everton 3-0 at the Stadium of Light.

It is the second time in seven years Newcastle have been relegated from the top flight and their return to the Championship has cast doubt over the future of manager Rafael Benitez.

The Spaniard is understood to have a release clause in the contract he signed in March but talks on his position are unlikely to take place until after the final game of the season.

"Tonight we are devastated at our relegation from the Premier League, as I know every single person connected to this football club will be," Charnley said in a statement.

"I want to thank all of the fans for the support you have shown for the Club you love throughout the season, in spite of this massive disappointment and underachievement.

"Your support throughout has been magnificent, but I want to pay particular thanks for the incredible backing you have given to Rafa and the team during the latter part of the season. Nothing more could be asked of you and I am truly sorry we have not given you the outcome you deserve.

"I also want to thank every single member of staff here. This Club is their livelihood, but they are fans too. To go through the threat of relegation last season and then to suffer a worse fate this time around has been very hard for them. I know that each and every one of them has done whatever they could to help us out of the situation we now find ourselves in.

"We know that supporters want to know what the future holds and will want to hear more from us as soon as possible. The process of scrutinising what went wrong and planning for what is to come has already begun.

"Right now, of course, Rafa and the team must prepare for the final game of the season but after that, please rest assured we will communicate more fully with supporters."

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