Graham Carr has finally left Newcastle United.

With his departure ends seven years of cut-price signings, brought in with a look at selling them on for future profit. In recent years, it would be fair to say he has become a divisive figure at the club.

The majority of the clubs signings from 2014 onwards could be deemed as failures. His record looks to have decreased with time, the club’s signings in the final pre-Rafa years were particularly hit-and-miss. Whichever way you look at it, Carr has to take much of the responsibility for this.

Unfortunately, for every Cabaye there has been a Cabella. For every Demba Ba, there was an Emmanuel Riviere not far behind. It is hard to judge whether his whole time at the club was a success or a failure. On the pitch in Carr’s time at the club was not a great success. Equally, many of the players he was credited with bringing to the club, were sold on for a huge profit. He has managed to almost solely represent the Ashley era. Financially responsible (ED: Not sure where relegation fits into being financially responsible!!), yet wielding very little success on the pitch.

It does have to be remembered, for good or bad, that profits were made. Sometimes with incredible value. For example, selling Mathieu Debuchy for twelve million pounds to Arsenal looks an incredible price, especially considering the trajectory his career has taken since the transfer. Signings and sales like that made it look as if he was indispensable at the club, it certainly would have looked like that to Ashley.

This was perhaps part of his downfall. With original success came power at the club. As Carr’s position became stronger, he possibly became complacent. In the summer of 2013, the club failed to sign one player (bar Loic Remy on loan), the failure to continue improving the squad leading to an extremely mixed season, a disastrous one from January onwards.

Players like Riviere, Yanga-Mbiwa, Cabella and dare I say it, even Mitro, were simply not good enough to help the club continue to progress in the Premier League. It led to relegation battles and eventually the drop. Not all of our better purchases from the last few seasons came directly from Carr. It is also claimed that the handful of deals Alan Pardew was directly responsible for, include bringing in Ayoze Perez and Rob Elliott, two players that could still be key figures next season.

It’s not only the quality of the signings that can be questioned but also the character of those individuals that should be judged. Can we really be surprised at Moussa Sissoko’s apparent lack of commitment in the relegation season, or Yohan Cabaye once going on strike to force a transfer, when you consider Carr and Charnley sold the idea of Newcastle as a short-term move.

If you are offering yourself up as a stepping stone of a club, don’t be surprised if a few players stamp on you in the process. Thankfully, I can’t see Rafa putting us in such a position again, should he stay long-term.

Whether the departure of Graham Carr ends up part of a wider manoeuvring behind the scenes as part of a proposed Chinese (or whatever nationality of) takeover, will have to be seen (I hope it is).

For me though, his termination was a long time coming. It had become clear a few years ago that the strategy of recruiting players, primarily from France at low cost, was never going to produce a truly capable squad.

He must be given credit for some of the finds he did make but equally, I have no doubt that the time has come to give Benitez control on recruitment, particularly ahead of one of the most important transfer markets this club has ever had. This summer we need players that are ready for a fight, not ones looking to jump onto a bigger and better ship at the first opportunity.

With Carr’s up-and-down ride at the Toon now over, it is interesting to see what will happen next.

Will Rafa simply have complete control over all incomings and outgoings in the transfer market?

Will he work with Lee Charnley to find another chief scout?

Whatever happens, the outcome must be that Benitez is completely satisfied with the way the club are approaching recruitment. If not, we could have another scare story- similar to the one that popped up after the January window, doing the rounds regarding a Rafa abdication.

A scenario everyone connected with the club must avoid, particularly Mike Ashley.

You can follow the author on Titter @JackLaceyHatton

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])



  • Leazes Ender

    Will Rafa simply have complete control over all incomings and outgoings in the transfer market?

    He’s not doing the negotiations is he? Charnley is still there and he himself now has to have approval before rubber stamping deals.

    Will Charnley buy current internationals or someone you have to google?

    Is a Rafa target someone you would have to google?

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      with Penfold it most certainly is a Google job

  • Shipcote Willy

    Whether Rafa has total control over incomings and out goings is a moot point if Ashley won’t stump up the cash to sign Rafa’s choices. As several reports suggest today Rafa is unhappy at the lack of activity and some suggest he might walk. Perhaps he is finding out what his predecessors found that the owner speaks out of both sides of his mouth. Giving Rafa the authority to decide who comes and goes is meaningless if he has no control over the cash. It will come to a head in the next couple of weeks one way or another.

    • Tynewalker

      I wonder if Rafa is behind the story today as a way of putting pressure on Charnley.

  • Pelican

    “Graham Carr has finally left Newcastle United.
    With his departure ends seven years of cut-price signings, brought in with a look at selling them on for future profit.”

    This seems to imply that Graham Carr was in control of transfers, which was never the case. Also, it was not Carr that implemented the financial model that led to “cut-price” signings… it was Mike Ashley, who remains at the club. I have no idea why anybody thinks a scout departing the club signals a tectonic shift. Benitez either had/has control of transfers, or he doesn’t, irrespective of Carr.

    • Leazes Ender

      He identified the ‘bargains’ that Charnley sold for profit…. helping this regimes scandalous disregard for football….. along with Moncur and Beardley.

      • Pelican

        Yes, a scout identified players, that’s exactly what they are supposed to do. Carr didn’t decide which players should be signed. Perhaps we would have had Zouma, PEA, Delli Ali, Lacazette, amongst others playing for the club now, if Carr chose his own players and set his own budgets.

        Carr didn’t buy the players, and he certainly was not responsible for selling them. By Carr’s own admission, his job was merely to draft up lists of players and enter them into a database.

        Let the proportionate blame lay with those that had the proportionate control & influence.

        • Leazes Ender

          His role was beyond that of scout, at the end of the day he could have stopped the madness of running a club as nothing more than a shop which had the effect of undermining the poor beggars who inhabited the Head Coach’s chair. Likewise Bob Moncur has resided over this nonsense for years.

          The regime doesn’t speak except thorough its lawyers and the occasional programme notes and ultimately the squad is built to a certain strength by the owner, the board are merely vassals and paid in accordance.

          Ten years of silence…. now we know why…… the vassals were empty vessels with no regard for the fans or football.

          • Pelican

            “at the end of the day he could have stopped the madness of running a
            club as nothing more than a shop which had the effect of undermining the
            poor beggars who inhabited the Head Coach’s chair”

            What on earth are you talking about? How could Carr have stopped the “madness of running a club as nothing more than a shop”, he was a scout… not the managing director, not the owner… a scout.

            Can you give an example of Carr undermining any head coach or manager? Or did you just make this all up in some tangent daydream.

            Nice of you to portion some of the blame that rests entirely with Ashley and Charnley onto Carr. Yet, for some reason, you cannot back up this claim with anything resembling logic or fact.

            If you would like to stay on point, and refute my original point… that would be helpful. I will ask again. How does Carr leaving the club equate to the end of “seven years of cut-price signings, brought in with a look at selling them on for future profit.”

            Carr doesn’t buy the players, he doesn’t sell them, he doesn’t even choose which ones to buy. So remind me, how is Carr’s departure from the club a signal that Benitez’ powers have changed.

          • Leazes Ender

            That isn’t what I said, I was in agreement….Both Carr and Moncur have links to United….. both are supposed fans who were on the board.

          • Geordiegiants

            So you are saying Jabba choose’s the players as well?

        • Geordiegiants

          He was on the board that decided which players to buy. That is a tad more than a scouts role.

          • Pelican

            He was on the board, yes, what makes you believe he had a hand in the running of the club or choosing players? The board was created to act as a firewall, so as to remove the blame from Ashley. Ashley is still the club owner and head of the board.

            Moncur was on the board too, do you really believe Ashley would allow Moncur to have a say in which players the club signed?