Are we in for another one of those summers or can Lee Charnley actually get something right?

Following the appointment of Steve McClaren the pressure is all on Charnley to deliver. Sure, he’s delivered a manager that we think might do okay, and he’s given Carver and Stone their P45s, but the bigger hurdles are still to come.

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From the outside looking in, our MD’s handling of transfer negotiations appear to be cack-handed, short sighted and laboured. It’s scary how slowly he seems to move for deals. Other clubs get players sorted while NUFC grind to a halt. Cutting their noses off for the sake of that extra million.

Take the case of Andre Ayew, a player reputedly tracked by Newcastle for two years. Ayew, a Ghanaian international of very decent ability, was available on a free transfer after his contract at Marseille had expired.

He has since ended up at Swansea City, with local journalists in the North East briefed that the deal ‘didn’t represent value for money’. There they go again with that freebies cost too much routine. Sorry if I’m being cynical, this is, after all, a new era, right?

Charnley needs to buck his ideas up and oversee a big improvement in the speed at which transfer business is conducted. He needs to avoid on/off sagas and there has to be more flexibility in the haggling. You have to pay the market rates for quality. Walking away from deals and making the selling club sweat is clearly not working.

Can we also avoid another summer of silly season transfer bingo?

You know, when we get linked with Carroll and some centre half at Stuttgart we’ve not heard of. When national newspapers tell us deals are ‘close’, or ‘almost done’, only for the Chron to say ‘our understanding is that United have walked away from it’. Let’s see something concrete before pre-season starts.

The bottom line comes down to Mr Ashley’s…bottom line.

Will he sanction any investment that will unbalance the books? His track record would suggest that he won’t. Ashley may have resigned from the club’s ‘football board’ but he’s still the autocrat. The pound shop dictator.

He has the power of veto over everything – and no, I didn’t believe a word he said in that TV interview on Sky Sports. Not a single word of it.

So it’s down to Charnley’s actions to prove a few people wrong and get the seven new players Newcastle need.  No pressure, Lee.

You can follow the author on Twitter @DavePunton

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