Lee Charnley is the main man at Newcastle United, or at least that is what Mike Ashley wants you to believe…
Ashley’s ownership of the club has seen a procession of people appointed to positions, or at least given titles, that seemed way beyond their capabilities.
The message always – Do as you are told and follow orders, the job is yours.
Alan Pardew, Steve McClaren and John Carver quite happy to go along with this.
Little wonder when you looked at where they were plucked from when given the job of manager/head coach.
Pardew sacked by a club in the third tier, McClaren sacked by a club in the second tier, and Carver…just happened to be already her and willing & ready to carry on the Pardew patsy role.
Say Mike Ashley is great, that the club is run really well, and fans should be grateful etc etc.
It really is embarrassing when you look back at the pre-Rafa days and sums up why every Newcastle fan should be grateful he is here, as there is absolute certainty for me that if he left we would find another McClaren, Pardew or Carver appointed.
Managers happy to pretend that they played some part in choosing which players were bought and sold, willing to talk absolute rubbish in press conferences in support of the owner, whilst allowing their names to be put to pathetic emails sent out to fans.
Whilst Mike Ashley is meeting his match with Rafa Benitez when it comes to team affairs and transfers, with the manager willing to go public when let down, nothing has changed apart from that at the club.
Newcastle’s Managing Director and figurehead is Lee Charnley, yet Mike Ashley doesn’t even let him talk to the media.
Little wonder as the likes of Keith Bishop and Justin Barnes (and others no doubt) from Ashley’s Sports Direct inner circle are pulling the strings at Newcastle, not Lee Charnley.
However, come the transfer window and who are many Newcastle fans blaming for no players bought in so far?
Like Joe Kinnear was put up by Mike Ashley as a joke figure to be blamed, the owner is happy for Charnley to be taking the flak.
Some people are actually willing to believe it when Mike Ashley and his PR machine put out the message that Rafa will be backed and signings can be made, then look to blame somebody else when they don’t happen.
When not a single player was bought in the Summer 2013 and January 2014 transfer windows, the story that Ashley wanted you to believe was that it was because Joe Kinnear had simply failed to make the buys as Director of Football.
Media friendly to Mike Ashley, including those working for Sky Sports, claiming after these windows that Ashley was disappointed nobody was bought by the club because he had made funds available.
Rafa was misled in January 2017, told he would be backed with signings but not a single one made, not even a loan.
Right to the end of the Summer 2017 window Benitez was saying he hoped Mike Ashley, NOT Lee Charnley, would keep his transfer promises.
The same is happening now, Mike Ashley has told Rafa that signings will be made but not one player bought yet.
If this is still the case at 11pm on Wednesday, it will be only down to one man and that is the owner, not the hapless Lee Charnley.
I’m not saying it is a two minute job but buying players simply comes down to paying the club and player what they want, agents set deals up and then it is down to those holding the purse strings to say yes or no to a deal happening.
Lee Charnley may well have the keys to the stationery cupboard but to claim he has any say on transfers is laughable.