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Opinion

Another transfer window masterclass from Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley

1 year ago
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Like a young a urchin in some Dickensian novel, our faces are pressed up hard against the glass of the posh cake shop, we are watching on, green with envy as other football clubs gorge themselves.

You see, those clubs operate normally. They have credibility. They bring in players. No mess. No fuss. They have boards of directors who know the rudiments of football business. They recognise they have to pay market rates.

They know that team strengthening in each and every transfer window is of paramount importance. They have money. Money to spend. They’re not left wondering where all the bloody money is at their clubs. Most have owners who invest to ensure survival and don’t penny pinch and try to stay up on the cheap – a plan which usually fails.

By contrast, we have Lee Charnley, the former club secretary. The lowest paid MD in the Premier League, isn’t he? The other board member? Bob Moncur. A legendary player, for whom I have the utmost respect, but what is he bringing to the party in terms of a dynamic approach needed to operate a football club like Newcastle United? The answer looks like very little.

We have an approach whereby the manager hands in a list of targets for January at the very beginning of the month and nothing gets done until a week before deadline. Do they do any planning?

And then we have the embarrassment of these low offers for players, which are well below the clubs’ valuations, in this instance the Dane, Jorgensen. This trend goes back over numerous transfer windows. The bids are derisory. There is a feeling among many NUFC fans that this mob are trying to fall short on player transactions on purpose in order to avoid spending.

It’s all being held together by Rafa at the moment. The whole ship is steadied by the Spaniard, but how far will his own goodwill extend? Three windows running he has basically been shafted.

Do they not realise new signings settle the fans down? They bring progress. They boost the morale of the entire football club, including the players. Instead we’re an outfit that bumps along the bottom, surrounded by deals that never happen. The glacial pace that the club moves at in the transfer market defies belief, reason and logic.

The irony being that our owner ran Staveley and PCP out of town over their alleged low offer to buy the club, and yet he does the very same thing just days later, when chasing the goal scorer we oh so desperately need to remain in the top flight.

Make no mistake about it, I can see fan protests re-emerging. If they don’t get their act together before deadline day that Burnley game will be interesting to say the least, even more so if we were to lose it – having not added a target man. For want of a better expression, there could be hell on.

The Mike Ashley regime specialise in new lows and this feels like another one. It may have been worse but it’s still way off what we all want the club to be.

When the team, and Rafa, paraded that second tier title last May before a jubilant St James Park everyone was filled with joy. As I made my way home afterwards my mind immediately turned to the one thing that would/could ruin this new era: Mike Ashley and his minions.

You can follow the author on Twitter @DavePunton
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