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


  • jack1x

    I’m afraid with the Ayew debacle this season where transfers are concerned will be exactly the same as previous seasons , don’t hold your breath on Austin , or any other quality player mentioned , they will all end up elsewhere , we will end up with the scraps as usual. I think charnley should have went with carver and stone , he was the one responsible for putting them in the positions they occupied .And if anyone believed a word of Mike Ashley interview it’s time they removed their blinkers .Nothing will change , nothing has changed ,

  • Are we in for one of those summers where people constantly moan about everything? Yeah probably…

  • magpiefifer

    Are we surprised at how things are panning out – not a bit!
    OK,I’ll judge at the end of the transfer window,but my prediction is that we will end up with similar standard players while quality signings are made at Swansea,Southampton,West Ham,Aston Villa etc.
    Like so many I didn’t believe a word of the staged Ashley interview on Sky,and the make-up of the new board is a total sham with yes-men everywhere.
    Ashley will always pull the strings while he owns NUFC and his words about winning something (on the pitch) are totally hollow – he’ll always prioritise winning the ‘balance sheet trophy’

  • A lex

    Roberts Grey Pants As if, in each and every recent summer, we’ve not had anything to moan about?

  • magpiefifer dont get me wrong there is probably a strong chance we could yet again get to the end of the window and not have done the business we need to.

    Fact is though we won’t know until then, the transfer window is a long game for most clubs that don’t have silly money to throw around.

    Surely we have to see how it pans out before criticising? We are 2 weeks into June and literally have just appointed a manager so I think its a bit soon to be worrying yet.

    People seem to change their opinions very quickly – read plenty of comments from people saying they don’t want us to be a stepping stone for players and we don’t want mercenaries etc yet 1 player we had half an interest in goes to Swansea clearly because he has been offered a shed load of money and clearly to probably follow Bony out of the door in a year or two and the same people are saying its a disaster we haven’t signed him.

  • Happyharrys2011

    I absolutely detest the current set up Jabba the butt, penfold and even shcteve. But People keep going on about this player. He was free from his contract yes, but got a £10m signing on fee then agents fees. These are not free transfers. From what I have read he is also very disruptive influence. So as much as I get the drift we should be signing decent players he really wasn’t good value for money, this is coming from someone who would never support Jabba or anything connected with our current group of nodding dogs  McLaren included.

  • magpiefifer

    Roberts Grey Pants magpiefifer  My posts on the subject have been consistent – not changing opinions – I’ve been against Ashley for 7 years and refuse to renew my season ticket until he goes.What is wrong with criticism if it has justification – do we just sit back and accept the mediocrity that this odious regime feeds us!?
    As paying customers we have every right to voice our concerns at the way our club is run,and I for one will not cow-tow to the Ashley propaganda while he treats us (and the media!) with contempt.

  • A lex

    I get the general sentiment of the article, but it’s very contradictory.

    So, “……it’s down to Charnley’s actions…..” or “……bottom line comes down to Mr’ Ashley’s….”?

    It’s no use whatsoever criticising Charnley’s actions – they are exactly in line with what Ashley is wanting. If Ashley had sanctioned any of these moves, and Charnley messed up in their execution, then he’d be fired immediately.
    The fact is that he’s doing Ashley’s bidding to a tee, and is performing perfectly admirably in his role according to the one person that pulls his strings.
    If we fail to get the quality players (6 at the very, very least) that we need, it’s not because of Charnley or McClaren or Carr, it’s because Ashley has reverted to type after his desperate speech on Survival Sunday.

    Where these three people detest me is that their (and I’ll allow McClaren the benefit of my doubt for a few weeks) compliance and culpability with the attrocious model Ashley has merely condemns NUFC to the level we’ve reached.

    As I say, for McClaren, I’ll wait and see – but only for a few weeks. If he’s not given the right tools to take us to where he says we will be, then he’s just another puppet who has taken the job because he’d reached the end of his particular street.

  • A lex not saying we won’t end up disappointed as usual and won’t have something to moan about come August but I just think now is even a little premature even by some of our fans standards.

    Just not sure I can take reading an article everytime someone that we have apparently have had an interest in goes somewhere else and it is treated as if we have lost out on the next Messi every single time.

    Ayew has gone to Swansea clearly for a load of wedge – nobody actually knows if we ever had a real interest in him anyway but if we did then we have clearly decided we don’t need him or he isn’t worth the ridiculous wage he was probably asking.

    If we are going to moan every time another team signs a player we have had some remote link to then it is going to be a long long summer…

  • mactoon

    If Charnley messed up in their execution, then he’d be fired immediately. – Doubt that, he almost got us relegated and he wasn’t sacked!

    As for the new era it has started by banning the press from McClarens press conference and now were haggling about Charle Austins price. Nothing has changed yet and it doesn’t bode well

  • magpiefifer not got any qualms with any of that. People are free to have their views on Ashley and the regime etc and of course you don’t have to sit back and just accept it.

    Just think that 13 days into June and with a new manager in position less than a week it is a little early to treat every single transfer rumour as evidence that it is going to be another disasterous summer.

    Personally not losing any sleep over not getting this Ayew to be honest, pretty sure if he is any good he will be moving on in a season or two anyway like Bony etc.

    Surely got to at least give it a month or so and see what business we do or don’t do before being able to criticise?

  • mactoon

    Roberts Grey Pants magpiefifer  most clubs DO have silly money to throw around due to TV money, but were one of the only clubs that dont so we constantly fall behind those that do

  • mactoon im talking silly money as in Chelsea and Man City type silly money. Im not saying we shouldn’t be spending cash but the transfer market for any club outside of those couple of clubs is about the long game and trying to get the best deal.
    Look at any club and transfers rarely all happen at the start of the window because deals are often linked together and you get a domino effect etc.
    Frustrating as a fan but just the way it is really.

  • ArtyH

    OK lads if there was going to be a new begining for the club you would have thought MA would just give the board say £40m and let them get on with it like the real clubs do, but no he will have to medlel and haggle and the best players will go to a better club as no one wants to be associated with our bargain bucket setup.

  • A lex

    mactoon As I’m trying to say, I very much doubt that it was Charnley’s decision to run with Carver. Pretty confident that was Ashley’s instruction. 
    If Ashley had said, “Get me a manager” and Charnley had replied, “No, wait until the summer, Mike”, and then we’d have been relegated……well, I’m pretty sure Ashley would have been mildly annoyed with Charnley for costing him millions and would’ve been out the door sharper than anyone.

  • Americanmag

    And the great Gomez hasn’t exactly set the Heather on fire at Swansea either

  • blackfriar1

    Do not buy season tickets early only to be dissappointed newcastles response to transfers.With regret i dont believe a word from a regime that  have told lies on a regular basis.

  • McClaren will be expected to get the most from the players we already have and with an eye on season ticket sales , Ashley is preparing  to spin the wheel again .

  • v0ices

    jack1x to be fair he never really says it will change all he said was its not my fault and continue with the same level of investment which is 0.

  • v0ices

    Roberts Grey Pants magpiefifer people use the evidence of the last  8 years not the last few weeks for thinking the transfer window will be a disaster.

  • keeganRescueUs

    I was really optimistic things were going to change after Ashley spoke before the West Ham game. It was something new and different, surely this WAS a new beginning? Then the unveiling of McLaren to a select audience, the walking away from a deal for Ayew show nothing has changed. I’m truly gutted

  • Jezza_NUFC

    magpiefifer  Absolutely spot on. For 8 years Ashley’s policy at NUFC has been to sacrifice footballing success for financial gain and that is never going to change.

  • ArtyH

    keeganRescueUs Thats the kind of thinking MA relies on to continue his money making scheme at nufc at fans expense,  literally. He is relying on mugs to continue believing his diatribe of sewage which will lead to more sales of season tickets which is of course more money in his bank balance. Good bank balances never win cups or keep your club in the EPL. Its all crap and prepare for more excuses for failed signings………I believe nothing he says especially when I see his lips move…

  • RaySte

    keeganRescueUs Well perhaps it would be sensible to wait a little longer. The bookies have us at 1/10 on to sign Charlie Austin.

  • Michael Maximus Moose

    Shyte for Brains Charnley hasnt a clue !!

  • Michael Maximus Moose

    Until Charnley leaves nothing will

  • v0ices

    Michael Maximus Moose keeganRescueUs but hes doing the job ashley wants driving down costs, dont forget at the moment we just fired two coaches and brought in one new head coach to replace the one who left at the start of the year.

  • Toonarden

    Roberts Grey Pants magpiefifer
    So let’s get this straight, are you saying that we shouldn’t be signing any good players as they are going to ‘be moving on in a season or two anyway’. That policy’s really going to progress this club isn’t it?

  • magpiefifer

    Toonarden Roberts Grey Pants magpiefifer  Where did I say anything about not signing any good players!?

  • mrkgw

    I suspect that Ashley should entrust someone other than Charnley to pull the strings. The club need experience at the top if we are to stand any chance in terms of recruitment.

  • ArtyH

    Michael Maximus Moose Yes correct, just where is his background? Obviusly NOT in football.

  • ArtyH

    RaySte keeganRescueUs I used t believe in Santa but then I grew up and saw the world as it is not the way some portray it.

  • ArtyH

    Michael Maximus Moose keeganRescueUs Yes Michael its because he knows no different.

  • ArtyH

    A lex Good points and I agree, but would give McClaren till xmas as he has inherited a load of poo and will likely be dumped some more as I doubt any decent footballers will want to come and play under the constraints in existance at our club. Hope I’m wrong but the clock is ticking and the longer it does our hopes go down the drain.

  • ArtyH

    v0ices Roberts Grey Pants magpiefifer To true mate my thinking also, if the money is truly there, get in and get the deals done early, learn from past mistakes and do the club and fans some long due justice.

  • ArtyH

    jack1x Spot on mate, history will inevitably repeat its self and we will be made fools of again by the fat one, anyway who believes all that the media say, its all just spin and supposition to sell papers etc. I think MA gets muppets to leak info to the media t make it look like there is interest but its just an effort to make the club look like its trying to do business but without any intent. Bit like someone pulling out a gun with no bullets, looks the business but ultimately for show only.

  • RaySte

    ArtyH RaySte keeganRescueUs Aye right, and of course the bookies haven’t got a clue what’s going on either then? Get a grip you condescending mug. We’re gonna sign players this summer, just give it time.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    ArtyH A lex McClaren knew where he was coming. He said he was ‘impressed’ by what Ashley had to say on Sky.
    If you agree no decent players will come here because of the constraints which exist, why will you give Schteeve until Xmas? He knows the constraints far more than anyone else now and it begun when he signed on the dotted line.

  • tino o

    With charnley in charge of transfers probably yes. if Ashley was serious in his only interview he would have [email protected] this idiot off immediately! !

  • Sickandtiredstill

    RaySte ArtyH keeganRescueUs The same bookies who made Vieira odds on favourite?

  • Jarra MIck

    Harry as I have said many times before all modern top level players are cnuts who have been told by sycophants everything they say or do is right. The skill is in managing these children, to not sign them because they have personality issues means you would never sign anyone.

  • Jarra MIck

    Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by that son of York (McLaren)

  • Happyharrys2011

    Lee Charnley believe it or not has been at Newcastle nearly his whole working life. He worked under the Sheperds and the Halls. He has now been moved up the ranks by Jabba, yet another move from him to try and save money by promoting an office junior. A bit like Carver to first team coach, he couldn’t find anyone cheap enough so he grabbed the first person he saw on the training pitch with a track suit on. 
    Why wasn’t he cleared out with Carver and stone?

  • ArtyH

    Happyharrys2011 wow mate I find it absolutely incredible that someone can be around for so long an know absolutely nothing about what is going on around him. Another case of being promoted way beyond ability in a big way. Do these clowns not realise with a bit of investment they could be the toast of Tyneside,  eh well maybe it’s past that stage now but you know what I mean.

  • ArtyH

    Sickandtiredstill ArtyH A lex Quite simply because I think McClaren is a reasonable coach and that will be his job, we still have a small squad of half decent players and I am curious to see how he will incorporate tham in with whoever we get. I would not have chosen Mc for coach but he is here now so we’ve got to make the best of it. I stopped going to matches a few years ago when I formed the opinion we would get now where with Ashley in charge, and my views have not changed. If he started to invest in the club and respect the fans I may change, but leopards and spots eh?

  • Happyharrys2011

    The only conclusion I can come up with and its getting more and more clear season by season is he doesn’t want success.

  • ArtyH

    RaySte ArtyH keeganRescueUs Well its mugs like you who keep Ashley at the club by buying season tickets and believing everything he says and thanking him for it. I am old enough and worldly wise to see what he has been doing the last 5/6years to know its hurting our club, but I am gracious enough to know everyone has their own ways of expressing themselves,  we all want a great football team, I cannot see it on Asleys watch.

  • RaySte

    ArtyH RaySte keeganRescueUs People on this site… you say one thing slightly against the grain and suddenly you’re a Ashley advocate who has a Wonga poster on his bedroom wall. I don’t have a season ticket. If you’re thinking of renewing yours, I’d certainly say wait and see if we’re gonna sign players. I hate Ashley and the regime over the last 8 years. WTF does this have to do with the question of whether we’ll sign players? I think we’ll sign players this summer – I think Ashley is too smart not to. That said, I think we’ll see a lot of transfer activity this summer and then none whatsoever for about 2 years once the TV money inflates the market. That’s all I’m saying – we will sign players this summer. I don’t love Ashley. I don’t approve of how the club is run. Ridiculous use of a strawman. 

    As for sick and tired, don’t be foolish – McClaren was odds on favourite for about 6 months and Viera was favourite for about 4 hours.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    RaySte ArtyH keeganRescueUs McClaren certainly was not odds on fav for 6 months.
    Even Carver was still in the bookies top three weeks before Schteeve was appointed. That’s how uncertain of Ashley the betting men were.

  • Demented_Man

    Sickandtiredstill RaySte ArtyH keeganRescueUs 
    Make no mistake about it – McClaren was their second to last resort.  Carver was the last.
    No-one else would touch NUFC with a bargepole.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    Demented_Man Sickandtiredstill RaySte ArtyH keeganRescueUs I’m sure Schteeve is already wondering what he has gotten himself into after the press fiasco and a gagging order on him. Not how he has done things before.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    RaySte ArtyH keeganRescueUs  “Get a grip you condescending mug. We’re gonna sign players this summer, just give it time”

    Followed by -” I’d certainly say wait and see if we’re gonna sign players”.

    No doubt we’ll sign players. Who they are and what good they’ll be is anyone’s guess.

  • Toonarden not saying that at all, I am saying we should be signing players that actually want to come here and play rather than mercenaries that arrive already with their eye on their next move.