Lee Charnley is once again piggy in the middle.

His job to ferry messages between Rafa Benitez’ representatives and Mike Ashley’s people, as Newcastle fans wait to see whether we can relax this summer, knowing the club is in safe hands with a Rafa Benitez who is going to properly backed in the transfer market.

Aside from that, Lee Charnley appears to have all the power of what say a Sports Direct branch manager might have.

The widespread belief/understanding being  that when it comes to decision making at the club, underneath Mike Ashley, it is the behind the scenes moves of shadowy figures such as Ashley confidantes Justin Barnes and Keith Bishop who pull the strings on the owners behalf.

Newcastle have no recognisable management team compared to other comparable sized clubs, with only Lee Charnley holding the keys/paper clips.

Whilst when it comes to having a proper board of directors to help steer the club, Mike Ashley doesn’t even bother to pretend, with…Lee Charnley the only named director at the minute.

Two years ago a list was published of the highest paid director at each Premier League club, with most clubs having a highly paid main man/woman, whose job it is to manage a top business team on behalf of the owner(s).

The Mail put together the following table based on the annual financial accounts (for 2013/14) published by all clubs, which included the remuneration level of their top-paid director, even though they don’t always name them.

(The exception was Crystal Palace, where the owner-directors didn’t draw pay.)

Highest paid Director at every Premier League club for  2013/14 season:

lee charnley
Many of you will look at the above and make the conclusion that if you pay (relative) peanuts you get….

Moving forward two years and The excellent Swiss Ramble (a Swiss based English bloke who collates information and writes great pieces on the business of football) has published a table showing what the highest paid Director at each Premier League club was paid in 2016/17.

lee charnley

As you can see, no surprise to see the likes of Tottenham, Man Utd and Arsenal all paying millions to their main man, but to see Sunderland’s Martin Bain picking up £1,244,000 as they were relegated from the Premier League…

As for what Lee Charnley was paid in that season, we still don’t know, as Newcastle United have still not revealed their accounts for the 2016/17 season, even though it is now almost six weeks past the deadline for them to be filed at Companies House. Something which attracts a fine but which is…peanuts to Mike Ashley.

However, we can look back at past NUFC accounts and make assumptions.

Each set of accounts shows what all of the directors got paid in total, then it also gives a figure for what the highest paid one got.

2013/14 – Total £190,000 and Highest paid £107,000

2014/15 – Total £296,000 and Highest paid £150,000

2015/16 – Total £1,956,000 and Highest paid £1,674,000

So Lee Charnley was paid the £107,000 in 2013/14 and then £150,000 in 2014/15.

The change in 2015/16 was that we had the shambles of Steve McClaren supposedly being a director with power, even though when he was appointed, the club made clear he was only a ‘Head Coach’ with not even any say in transfers.

So anyway, along with Graham Carr, Lee Charnley, and Bobby Moncur, McClaren was listed as a director.

So when it came to the accounts, that is how the club chose to show what he was paid.

So out of that £1,956,000 paid to the four directors, £1,674,000 was paid to Steve McClaren, with £1m of that compensation after he was sacked.

So in actual fact, that left £282,000 to be shared by Lee Charnley, Graham Carr and Bobby Moncur, which was actually less than the £296,000 shared between directors the previous season. So safe to believe that Lee Charnley got no more in 2015/16 than he got in 2014/15.

The bottom line is that both things are ridiculous.

Sunderland’s top man getting  over £1.2m per year when the club was failing on all fronts, whilst equally ridiculous that Newcastle fans are led to believe that Lee Charnley on over £1m less, is going to somehow supposedly drive NUFC forward single-handedly.

The figures just don’t add up.



  • Monkseaton Magpies

    So you want us to waste more money paying directors inflated salaries. Mike Ashley rewards his directors in business and the football club on performance not splashing out millions when they get relegated. Sunderland are in a big financial mess which is set to continue.

    • Guest 2

      Oh really? Where does that show up in the accounts then? Go on, show us all where it is.

      Anyhow, Charnley’s performance proves he’s not worth 30 bob let alone £150k.

      A football club with no Board, one Director and no Finance Director but influenced by two un-elected non employees. Makes me think you would have been happy living in the former Soviet Union, or perhaps North Korea. Cheap Dictators seem to ring your bells.

      • porciestreet

        Surely this whole lousy set up is totally unfit for purpose.
        Just proves to me how totally crooked Cashley is..
        Jail is too good for Ashley.
        Heard that somewhere before…! Perhaps good for a book title.

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Top ten finish for a bonus.

        • Guest 2

          Aye, avoid the question why not. Where’s his ‘bonus’ accounted for?

          • FatParosite

            Do yourself a favour & block that Bishop drone….

    • Billmag

      Office boy who only got out of bed early when HMRC came calling, he couldn’t negotiate who’s turn it was for the beer’s 🍺🍺

  • ghostrider

    Anything to slate Ashley. Absolutely anything.
    It goes beyond frenzy.

  • CaptainCaveman

    Can we go at least a few days without mentioning the mackems?

  • Lord

    The comparison to Sunderland is frivolous at best but the underlying point is sound; we should have a more experienced (and more expensive) executive team in place to take the club forward and start generating more commercial income other than simple matchday receipts and TV revenue.

    Peanuts in = peanuts out.

    • Guest 2

      Should have? We have double the un-appointed non employees in charge as we do employees!

      Barnes & Bishop v Charnley. The club doesn’t even have a Finance Director any longer!

    • Kneebotherm8

      The owner doesn’t want the club to be taken forward…..

    • FatParosite

      Yeah that skeleton team have been doing a fantastic job in the last 11 years..

  • mentalman

    would you rather we paid charnley the same as other clubs do?

    • Leazes.

      I don’t think he’s saying that!

  • Leazes.

    You would think that with an accountant in charge that the figures would add up….. no director of football, the club is an empty shell. An accountant who pays the bills running the whole ship, the merchandise and property shipped out has left him with little to do…. then you have Keith Bishop who is there to find positives to feed compliant journalists and Justin Barnes who is a taskmaster accountant….

    ….Where are the football people?

    • Guest 2

      Is he even an accountant?

      • Leazes.

        If he’s not certified he should be.

        • Guest 2

          I’ve never been able to find out what he is qualified in or as.

          • Leazes.

            I can’t find anything on his qualifications at all, but he was Russell Cushings assistant…. I don’t think you need qualifications to do a companies accounting spreadsheets anyway.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            It’s Ok, I’ve blocked you, I can’t see it.

  • Guest 2

    £125k too much for that useless little Minnion.

  • Oldgit

    He is a office boy, but he is trusted by Ashley. If club is purchased do you honestly think he will be around, the company will have their own guy in place and will most likely be on over 1m then everyone will claim that’s too much.

  • Leazes.

    Gutierrez legal case: Newcastle managing director Lee Charnley was described as “evasive and lacking in credibility”.

    • FatParosite

      That’s a good review if you ask me.

    • Cockneytrev

      Exactly!!!!

  • Rich Lawson

    He probably makes the catering staff do a questionnaire about why we need more coffee and biscuits just to fill his time in.

  • robbersdog

    I don’t feel the animosity towards Charnley that others on here do. He pre-dates Ashley, and he can’t be blamed for the owner’s refusal to invest in the squad.

    Basically, I reckon that he’s a decent, unassuming guy who does what he’s told in order to keep hold of a job that he probably loves. It would be interesting to see how he performs in the role if we get a new owner, and his services are retained.

    • Coach Clagnut

      Apparently Charnley is on a performance related package. Basically, the more he keeps the more he makes.
      If that’s not obvious in the constant failure to secure transfer targets, the take it or leave it attitude to negotiations and the rigid age/pay structure imposed on transfer dealings then there is little left to contemplate other than gross incompetence. I don’t believe any of it but the club are happy if you swallow the line that Charnley is a blurt.
      He’s lining his pockets and Fatty’s by under investing intentionally. Charnley is every bit as complicit as the gluttonous pig who pays him.

      • robbersdog

        You’ve missed the central point of the article; Charnley is clearly NOT lining his pockets.

        Obviously he’s running the club according to the guidelines given to him by his employer, but I don’t buy in to your the more he keeps the more he makes premise. Like any employee at any company, he’s paid a salary to do a specific job a specific way, and there’s no evidence to suggest that his comparatively small salary is in any way performance based.

        • Coach Clagnut

          I don’t recall exactly when/where I read it but I distinctly remember, and I think it was Fatty who said it not long after Charnley got the job, that he is on a performance related package.
          The less we spend or, in an alternative reality, the more profit he manages to hoard, the more he gets paid.
          Fatty has 99% of his minions on performance pay and Charnley is one of them.

  • Antenociticus

    Charnley must be a few French fries short of a Happy meal.
    Ashley pays him peanuts (relative to his “peers”) and Charnley takes the fall when HMRC come calling, even getting lifted from his own home to help with enquiries. Who else would do that?

    • porciestreet

      He’s on zero hours mate.

  • FatParosite

    The figures do add up if you ever get to see the right audit. Ashley could bend gravity around his books. The chipmunk director getting a secretary’s wage because he’s doing a secretary’s job.

  • MadMag83

    I have no sympathy for Charnley. Here are some probable reasons as to why he doesn’t get paid as much as others.

    • He has no say on policy, less responsibility equals less pay.

    • He isn’t particularly good. Otherwise why would he stay in a job where he is the fall guy? Surely a competent MD could get better elsewhere.

  • Desree

    Rafa has dropped using the ‘Lee and I are working closely together line’ this season.

    Its all politics, Charnley is a Patsy. Corporates rarely hire the best people in the top jobs. They usually hire the person with least risk associated and who will be thrown under the bus. Female executives call this the glass cliff.