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?

Lee Charnley.

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.

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  • Geordiegiants

    There has only ever been one person to blame, and only ever will be one person to blame!

    • JonMag

      and his lieutenant

      • mactoon

        that’s two then :)

        • Mark Potter

          Plus Carver. And Mclaren. Pardew. Kinnear and Wise, the Wicked Witch of the North and Uncle Tom Cobbley.

      • Geordiegiants

        His lieutenant has nothing to do with the final say. It’s all down to Jabba alone.

  • John

    Its looking more and more like we will be blessed with gifts if are to get a striker although have a team needs to be bought to ensure pl survival. Leave it to Mike Ashley.

  • Albert Stubbins

    Spot on. Charnley has aboot as much clout at newcastle united as I have at harrods.

    • Mark Potter

      Are you the Director of Harrods? Being too poor to shop at Harrods isn’t the same as managing the shop.

      • Albert Stubbins

        Charnley is a puppet. He has no say in transfers. He has no say on team affairs. He has no say full stop. He is paid penny’s in comparison to men in same position at other clubs. He’s a fall guy and he accepts it as he has about as much integrity and self respect as his paymaster.

  • robbersdog

    I don’t really have an axe to grind with Lee Charnley; it’s not his fault that Freddie Shepherd sold out and he ended up with Mike Ashley as his boss. I think he’s doing his best under very difficult circumstances.

    • Guest 2

      HMRC do – they arrested him!

      • Mark Potter

        And he’s not been charged with any offence. He’s innocent until proven guilty of a crime. And in this case it is not even clear that anyone, let alone anyone connected with the club, has even committed any crime.

        • Guest 2

          You get arrested when there is evidence to indicate a crime has been committed. Go look up the Police and Criminal Evidence Act.

          • Mark Potter

            When there is reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed. But HMRC have not proven that their suspicions are correct. They still haven’t charged anyone with any offence, never mind proven it in court. Until they do so, everyone involved is innocent.

          • Guest 2

            Reasonable suspicion indeed.
            The investigation is still ongoing as is the norm – yet you seem to have written off any suspicion at all despite a lawful arrest based on that premise..

          • Mark Potter

            Having a suspicion that a crime has been connected, does not prove a crime has been committed. In most criminal cases it’s obvious a crime has been committed, investigations then take place as to WHO committed the crime. That’s not the case here.

            HMRC have not shown that any players avoided paying taxes. That’s the first step required before you could prove that their agents conspired with them to avoid paying taxes. And that’s the second step required before you could prove that the club conspired with the agents, to pay them money which the club knew would ultimately be paid to the players to avoid paying taxes. It’s these intermediate steps that mean that the suspicion is incredibly weak.

            When HMRC successfully prosecute one of the players for tax avoidance, then we might see that their suspicions MIGHT have some substance.

            Nevertheless, reasonable suspicion and lawful arrest do not prove guilt. Charnley is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

          • Guest 2

            Sure, sure. Do you have fan posters of Charnley and Ashley on your bedroom wall?
            Proof will follow (perhaps) the investigation – which follows arrests and interviews based on reasonable suspicion. Financial crimes are time consuming and labour intensive as so much data needs to be trawled through, particularly when it’s international in scope.
            But none of that seems to matter to you as you clearly believe he is already innocent.

          • Mark Potter

            He is innocent. It’s a fundamental part of the British constitution since time immemorial, that all men are innocent until proven guilty of a crime in a court of law.

          • mactoon

            Get one thing straight, it is not illegal to AVOID paying tax. It is illegal to EVADE paying tax due. The players are not under investigation although they could become involved. The club is being investigated for allegedly setting up tax schemes with the aim of EVADING the payment of tax due when Charnley was Secretary and Llambias was Chairman. HMRC were granted warrants to seize documents because they believe NUFC were committing tax fraud and the case is ongoing.

          • paul mclaughlan

            You can get arrested over suspicion. I know a bloke who was arrested for murder, he was all over the news. Yet was never charged as there was no evidence. So as much as I dislike Penfold he’s completely innocent until he’s charged and then found guilty.

    • Munstertoon

      Freddy Shepherd did not sell out. Him and his brother Bruce were minority shareholders, and it was the majority shareholders John and Douglas Hall who did the dirty on the Shepherds, while Freddy was in hospital with a collapsed lung. Under stock exchange rules, the Shepherds were obliged to sell their shareholding for the same price that Ashley paid the Halls. So, besides Ashley, surely the real villains of the piece are the Halls.

      • robbersdog

        Thanks for that.

    • mactoon

      Hang on a minute! Freddy Shepherd did not sell out, he was in hospital with pneumonia and a collapsed lung when JOHN HALL sold out and pulled the rug from under Shepherd’s feet. Shepherd was then made an offer for his 28% of the shares and was too ill to fight Ashley. I would hardly call that selling out.

  • East Durham Mag

    Penfold is just a Minion, Fatty is the daddy. Uughh a dreadful image.

  • JonMag

    Penfold gets a bonus based on income of the club & second the guys an accountant. he couldn`t run a bath & 3rd he`s a willing party to anything the fat [email protected]@ker does

    • Mark Potter

      His salary is published in the accounts. There is no mention of any bonus based on income. Where did you get that from?

      • Guest 2

        No it’s not – not by individual name nor breakdown.
        Ashley paid some of his SD people through personal ‘off the books’ deals.
        Unless of course, you really do believe that Charnley is the MD of a PL club for only 90 grand a year after tax?

        • Mark Potter

          Director’s payments are not usually listed by name, though you can usually guess the salary of an MD will be the highest. In this case Newcastle United Limited only has one Director. The total payments to Director’s and the highest payment to a Director are the same, and must be going to Charnley. In 2016 it was £150,000. In 2015 it was £247,065, in 2014 £189,771. That suggests to me that his basic salary is £150,000 and he was paid performance related bonuses probably related to league position. Receiving no bonuses when we were relegated.

  • Peter Stabler

    If Penfold is pulling the strings, we are in big trouble, I agree he is trying to do a difficult job in a cack handed way, brinkmanship to feed the macho ego is the only game in toon.

    • Guest 2

      “I was only following orders” That excuse hasn’t worked out well in the past…

      • Peter Stabler

        I’m not apologising for him ! Ashley is so tight fisted and keen on a gamble that we are scraping barrels, Benitez’s expertise means it might work but Penfold doesn’t seem up to his task or is part of a PR consriracy. I would always suspect uselessness before conspiracy and Penfold is out of his depth. I just hope Rafa can see past the current oaf.

        • Guest 2

          “The squad needs to be stronger and they have acknowledged that to me.”

          “John Carver insists that he has been told by Newcastle owner Mike Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley behind the scenes that more money should have been spent in this season’s two transfer windows.”

          Not uselessness either therefore – it’s all entirely purposeful. There’s no other way to view a 11.5 million net spend and one loan player signing since those comments were published.

          • Peter Stabler

            Who were those quotes from ?

          • mactoon

            first one from Rafa during his recent phone call with Ashley. The second from an interview with Carver which was on Sky I think

          • Guest 2

            All of it from Carver – though of course it’s the same old pony which Rafa is receiving.

          • Peter Stabler

            They need to get their act together in the next 3 days – this is so stupid, playing into the selling club’s hands.

          • mactoon

            no they aren’t. They have no intention of spending big bucks during the transfer window so going for a player who is valued at more than they are prepared to offer means they have NO intention of buying said player but it makes it look as though they are trying while the transfer window closes

          • Peter Stabler

            If you are right they are shooting themselves in the foot.

          • mactoon

            Given the history of past transfer windows do you believe they will do anything differect ?

          • Peter Stabler

            I don’t know, I hope so! Depends how loudly common sense is shouting really. I know I won’t be holding my breath for 3 days. I don’t believe anything this regime says I’ll just go by what happens.

  • Guest 2

    Howay man, according to Rafa he still doesn’t even know, nor has been told, what budget there is! What kind of MD does that make Charnley then?
    He’s as complicit and guilty as Fatty himself.

  • Waxi

    No more business for NUFC this window and we are supposed to take it lying down. Of course it’s his fault and we all know it as he is the MD who can’t see what the rest of the football world can WE NEED PLAYERS.

  • ghostrider

    Can anyone tell me which clubs have done business and which one’s haven’t in this January window?

    • mactoon

      As of a day ago the only clubs who haven’t brought anyone in are:

      Bournemouth
      Brighton
      Swansea
      Tottenham
      Watford
      West Brom

      • ghostrider

        And 5 of those clubs are in trouble.
        It’s all about who dares to panic buy and sign players that are willing to take a massive pay cut in case of relegation and who won’t set a contract to leave if relegated.
        It’s a dodgy window to deal in and I don’t blame any club for not buying outright.
        Loan deals are the January way forward for me.

        • mactoon

          or unproven foreign players who can double their wages

        • HarryHype59

          Agreed! So when is this club bringing in a loan striker? The clock is ticking.

          • ghostrider

            We don’t need one. We have a perfectly good striker in Mitrovic.

      • Danimal

        Pretty sure Brighton have.

        • mactoon

          so they have, that list was out of date

  • foggy

    Charnley is a spineless yellow bellied suck hole. If he had any guts he’d speak out about the FCB’s running of the club. Without a few quality signings this window the toon will be relegated. I guess relegation means naff all to Charnley as long as the fcb’s pieces of silver are being payed. Charnley is the fcb’s willing partner in this sorry tale with as much spine as a jelly fish.

    • Mark Potter

      Five of the relegation threatened clubs haven’t brought anyone in. Newcastle has got Kenedy, who looks to be a significant upgrade to Aarons. We are not in the bottom three, and have a far better goal difference than several other clubs. The window is still open, and most reports still say that the Jorgensen deal will take place.

      • Soldier

        you really are a pr1ck

      • Mxpx

        Are you Mike Ashley ?

        • HarryHype59

          Probably works for him in some capacity.

      • HarryHype59

        Yes nowt to worry about! Everything is just hunky dory, couldn’t be better. The fact the club is one point off being in the bottom three is a minor concern. Everything is rosy and relegation is but a distant threat.

        You really are a complete WUM!

        • Mark Potter

          You really are pessimistic. Not saying we won’t get relegated. But I’d prefer to make an assessment at Easter. Before then every club in the bottom half of the table is under threat. This was always going to be the case when we have just been promoted. Rafa remains calm. He has confidence in himself and his team to get enough points. But no-one is saying it will be easy. This is sport, there are no guarantees.

          If you want to get to this stage of the season and be guaranteed to stay up then go and support a top six club.

          • HarryHype59

            It’s not pessimism, just objectivity. If an EPL standard had been recruited, then the club just may have survived. Failure to strengthen, will result in the third relegation in nine years.

            It is down to a combination of under investment and bad buying.

          • Mark Potter

            And as I said, while other clubs around us with less points and worse goal differences are not strengthening their squads, then there is no need to panic. No-one said that avoiding relegation the first year back would be easy. If you wanted easy, support Man City.

          • HarryHype59

            Why is that who you actually support Potter? This club is massively under achieving! I don’t expect Man City type success. However, I do expect more than being perrrenial relegation fodder.

          • Come&TakeIt1836

            My concern comes from the fact we don’t play W Ham, Stoke, or Swansea again. The majority of the teams we have a history of getting points from are already played and except for a tie against Liverpool, we haven’t exhibited any likelihood of earning ‘surprise’ points.

          • toonnap

            Major problem with that is when you get to Easter and think we are going down what do you do? Sign a player or 2? Sack the manager?

      • mactoon

        The Jorgensen deal is dead as we will not match their valuation, we have scored 22 in 24 games and that is relegation form. We need a striker and I can’t see the club paying for one. I wish they were selling those rose tinted glasses you are wearing :)

  • mactoon

    Charnley is not solely to blame but he is certainly not blameless. He is given the names Rafa wants (with 2nd and 3rd choices for each position) and it is his job to negotiate the deals but his approach of offering way below the selling club’s valuation does not work and indicates to me that he is working under Ashley’s instruction and has to get agreement to proceed on a deal by deal basis. Also, if Rafa doesn’t know how much he has to spend how on earth is he supposed to plan his transfer choices out?

  • FatParosite

    Charnley is doing a fantastic job…. for a fat hamster way beyond his pay grade.

    • Kneebotherm8

      The job he’s doing ,he’s on the equivalent of zero hour contract compared to other clubs..

  • GToon

    He’s an embarrassment.

  • None of us believe Charnley has any voice in any matter. We all know he’s a YES MAN for Ashley and doesn’t answer or cares what anyone else thinks.

  • Mike

    he is part of sorry mess including Moncur and Pedro.

    • mactoon

      now I TOTALLY agree with that

  • Jimmy

    Charnley May have no clout cash wise transfers etc , but he will have plenty clout if there’s anyone taking the wrap for tax shenanigans , mug