With the lack of transfer activity at Newcastle United so far, there have been a fair few comments from fans and Journalists talking about ‘the board’.
As in, asking what ‘the board’ will be doing to assist Rafa Benitez and what decisions are being made to help the club make a smooth transition to the Premier League.
This is when you realise that so many people don’t realise just how different Newcastle United is…
At most clubs they will have either one or two boards of directors.
Those that have a couple (of boards) will have one that helps dictate overall policy and budgets, meeting maybe less frequently but deciding the club’s main objectives.
The other one will be more of a ‘football board’ that meets more frequently, even monthly, and they have the job of deciding how those budgets are spent throughout the season, as well as making decisions throughout the club on a regular basis and dealing with any issues that arise.
For those with just the one board, they pretty much cover everything that the two boards do for other football clubs.
To carry out the day to day running of the club, you then have the best possible professional team of people led by a (hopefully) dynamic CEO/MD to implement the decisions made by the board(s).
At Newcastle United we don’t bother with any of that nonsense.
There is a board because there has to be one, at least in name only, but other clubs would struggle to recognise it as one.
Newcastle’s board currently lists three directors at Companies House: Lee Charnley, Bobby Moncur and Graham Carr.
If this board ever met is open to question but Head Scout Graham Carr has now left the club anyway, so his directorship will formally end soon.
You would have to be pretty naïve to think that former Newcastle skipper Bobby Moncur is anything but a director in name only.
Which leaves us with Lee Charnley.
That is Lee Charnley who is also the Managing Director and the only person at the club with (supposedly) any degree of power/authority.
When you look for leadership and accountability, who else is there at the club? The FUN88 shirt sponsor deal was sorted through an agency and as Mike Ashley has his retail empire using every other avenue of promotion/advertising via the club, there is no proper professional team employed to try and bring in extra revenue streams.
When Lee Charnley also refuses/isn’t allowed to speak in public, apart from Rafa Benitez there is no leadership anywhere else within the club.
What are the objectives of Newcastle United, who is tasked to try and make them happen, driving them forward?
Do we have any, apart from staying in the Premier League and banking the TV cash, as well as continuing to promote Ashley’s retail empire?
When anybody voices concerns, so many people simply say ‘In Rafa we trust’.
Of course we trust him but he is on a hiding to nothing, whatever his abilities, if NUFC continues to be run as simply a shell of a club with a skeleton staff and no accountability.
Does anybody really honestly believe that Lee Charnley both decides on the overall running of the club and oversees the spending of the transfer budget & everything else?
Instead, Mike Ashley has faceless people pulling the strings on his behalf at St James Park and we are left wondering whether they are going to make a mug out of him (Rafa Benitez), just as they did with Pardew, Carver and McClaren before him.
Ask the board.