Richard Keys says that Mike Ashley has plenty to be criticised for and he has had plenty of goes in the past at the club owner.

However, the former Sky Sports presenter says that ‘the current shambles’ of almost certain relegation falls on the shoulders of somebody else.

The person Richard Keys blames as the man most at fault is…Lee Charnley.

Yes, the man who holds the title of Newcastle United Managing Director but who isn’t allowed to speak to the media and no fan has ever heard speaking on behalf of the club in a TV interview.

Many quotes are attributed to Lee Charnley in club statements but then the club admitted afterwards that Joe Kinnear didn’t really write his programme notes, despite them appearing under JFK’s name.

Whilst Lee Charnley is quite obviously part of the problem and not part of the solution, as by far the lowest paid Managing Director/CEO in the Premier League (some clubs paying their club bosses 20 times more than Lee Charnley gets and Sunderland six times as much) it is hard then to accept that he really is the person who has the most say in the running of the club.

Some fans and especially media, such as Richard Keys, are happy to see Lee Charnley as the person to blame.

However, I think the vast majority of Newcastle supporters see Charnley as a convenient scapegoat and hapless figurehead at the club, given the title of being in charge but in reality his main role to take any blame that comes along – instead of….Mike Ashley.

Keys sees Charnley as having now overseen what looks a certain relegation alongside Aston Villa, with it down to Norwich or Sunderland to join them.

richard keys

Richard Keys writing on his website:

“I am sorry for Villa fans. It has been an awful season, but the re-building starts now. That’s the only consolation.

“I’m convinced  the Toon are going.

“Geordie fans also have my sympathy.

“I have been critical of Mike Ashley previously, but the current shambles has to fall on the toes of Lee Charnley. Time to go Lee.

“It’s either Sunderland or Norwich now isn’t it? Palace will find another win somewhere and they’re all safe above them.”