Get your daily update and weekly newsletter by signing up today!


Lee Charnley New Year diary

2 years ago

Lee Charnley is the only Director on the board at Newcastle United.

Lee Charnley is the only senior executive that is named working at Newcastle United.

So what do we know about Newcastle United’s main, and only, man away from the playing side?

Jonathan Drape-Comyn has had a look at Lee’s latest diary entry…

Dear Diary,

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

As we move into the new year it is going to be a busy time for me.

Of course, I am busy every January signing players and trying to get a takeover completed for Newcastle United. This is the first time I am using my brand new diary that the missus got me for Crimbo. Thank you for all of the cards and kind messages. My favourite came from Mike, Keith and Justin who sent a joint card, as cards can of course be very expensive at Christmas time.

Last January I managed to outdo myself by bringing in a fine goalkeeper like Martin Dubravka. Remember, it was only 6 months ago that we splashed out a lot of money to sign him for £4 million pounds, one of the most expensive goalkeepers in the history of the club!

Martin has been brilliant since he signed and it would not surprise me if much bigger clubs like Brighton and Bournemouth were to take a look at him this month. Can we get £15 million for him? It will take some hard negotiating on my part but with cheap alternatives like Elliott, Woodman and Darlow waiting in the wings, it could be a good deal!

Some people don’t believe me at work, but I do have a computer and I do know how to work it, so from time to time I have a little read online by typing my name into google. I have duly noted some of the criticism I receive but if there is one thing that I can’t be criticised for, it is the amount of money the club has made from saleable assets during my time. From Andy Carroll to Yohan Cabaye in January, to Sissoko and Wijnaldum in the summer, I have helped to make the club lots of money.

Between you and me, I think Jamaal Lascelles is another one who I am sure the fans will be happy to see us make a big pile of cash from, especially considering I have brought in super cheap alternatives in Schar and Fernandez. He might not admit it but I think Rafa agrees with me too. If we can sell him for £30+ million, and then reinvest £10 million of that in a few loan signings, or a young player from France, then I think Rafa would be very happy indeed.

Some might say selling your captain is a bad idea, but from my footballing experience, we don’t believe captains are so important here at Newcastle United. Everyone should be a captain and we pay Rafa 6 million a year to sort that all out anyway. He’ll be fine.

Of course we will be looking to bring players in as we always do. I have spoken to my good friend Alan Pardew who has supplied me with a list of suitable left backs. It may be 4 pages long but that says it all about Alan. A well researched manager who it was a shame to lose. I still miss our weekly casino nights out.

Ki is going to the Asian cup, along with Muto, which is a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase our players to a massive audience in the far east. This will undoubtedly have huge benefits for the commercial side of the club which has improved so much under Mike… I think. With Mo Diame coming to his peak at 31, Jonjo Shelvey coming back to full fitness, and Isaac Hayden as happy as ever at the club, this is an area where I see no need for improvement.

Don’t forget as well that Sean Longstaff has recently come through our renowned academy, and if he puts in a few good performances, we may be able to flog him off to Liverpool for 35 million this time next year! That reminds me, I need to give Dave and Dave a call to see if we can get Andy back in on loan.

Fans were quick to be critical of our decision to make loan deals, but the form of Kenedy has shown that I was right not to let Rafa buy the player. I have given myself a nice pat on the back for that one. The same goes for Rondon, who we have managed to bring in for next to no money. When was the last time you could say Newcastle have brought in their number 9 on such a good cheap deal? I really don’t think we are getting enough credit here.

Nevertheless, I have been instructed by Mike to look for another centre forward in this January window. Having received around the best part of £30 million for Mitrovic, once you take into account the fact that Mike will take some money out of that having gave the club so much since he took over, that should leave around £12-15 million for a striker.

There are two players in the Championship that I really like the look of. The first is Kemar Roofe who has been scoring great goals at Leeds, but my eye is mainly focused on that Gayle lad who is at West Brom, I watched him score a hat-trick the other week, and I think he would fit in really well within our system.

Can we do a deal? Mike isn’t answering his phone at the moment but I am sure he will get back to me.

The missus is anbit worried about my own job, given the fact that there is a rumored takeover on the horizon. Little does she know though that there is no takeover. In fact there never was. I don’t know the details of ‘Keith’s idea’ which is what Mike calls it, but apparently the idea of creating takeover talk to quell fan unrest was all done in a week. Just like what Freddy and Sir John used to tell me, Geordies will believe anything you tell them, the fools.

So yes, for the minute, I will be staying here on my £150,000 a year job. A somewhat ‘cushty’ salary might I add. I have read a few bits on the internet of fans comparing my salary to that of other officials in similar positions at other Premier League clubs but I don’t mind how little I am paid.

I have to be honest, having watched the Man City documentary on Amazon, and the Sunderland documentary on Netflix, I don’t think I would want to work as hard as Al Mubarak and Martin Bain! They may have got more money than me, but hey, they do a lot more work for it. For the minute I am quite happy to play the messenger between Mike and Rafa, while Keith and Justin take care of the rest.

The last big job I have this month will be to have a word with Rafa about signing his new contract. The offer is there on the table, it’s big money, with a big project. He has been told by Mike that he will receive every penny the club generates and will have the final say on transfers. I know Mike has said this before, but do you know what, I really believe him this time and I think Rafa will too.

I look forward to catching up with everyone again at the FA Cup game against Blackburn this Saturday. In the past we have been criticised for fielding a weakened side in this competition. Luckily for us this year, we will be fielding a full strength team on Saturday. Is our full strength team a weak side anyway? Who knows.

Quite frankly, who really cares? I hear there is a Taco Bell opening in Newcastle soon…


You can follow the author on Twitter @JonathanComyn


If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]

Have your say

© 2021 The Mag. All Rights Reserved. Design & Build by Mediaworks