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Lee Charnley role at Newcastle United exposed by latest Mike Ashley move

1 year ago

There is no sight more depressing than seeing Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley sitting alongside each other at St James Park, grinning away.

At least we have been spared that this season so far, as the Newcastle United owner hasn’t been to a single match.

Lee Charnley was promoted to be Managing Director on 7 April 2014, so five and a half years in the job…

…but what exactly is the job?

Well what we do know is that Lee Charnley is paid a pittance compared to most others at Premier League clubs with the title of MD or CEO.

We know what he is paid because Newcastle United (the same as other clubs) state in the annual accounts what their top paid director earned. As Newcastle United only have one director…

Lee Charnley is paid £150,000 per year (excluding any bonuses) according to the last available accounts, whilst many of those at other clubs earn £1m or more.

Newcastle fans tend to see Lee Charnley in his role as a bit like Steve Bruce as manager/head coach, he has the job title but in reality little or no authority. With his low pay (compared to those at other clubs) reflecting that.

At a normal football club you have an owner and then a board of directors who help decide overall strategy and planning for the coming weeks, months, season, then giving the MD/CEO the authority and budget to put into practice that strategy/planning.

With Lee Charnley, it looks more like he is an office manager/caretaker, rather than a high rolling decision maker.

That appears to be backed up with a report this morning.

The Chronicle reporting: ‘Mike Ashley sent aide to St James Park for progress report’.

If Lee Charnley is indeed working as a proper Managing Director, surely then Mike Ashley would just ring him up…???

After all, if somebody does indeed have the power/authority to be making all the major decisions in running the club, then surely you would then be valuing his expert opinion.

Instead, Ashley has once again sent his Sports Direct associate Justin Barnes up to Tyneside to find out what is happening at St James Park.

Yet you still have people wondering why the club is such a mess on and off the pitch!

The vast majority of the media reporting as though Newcastle United is run as a proper football club, this latest Chronicle report a prime example.

Little wonder Rafa Benitez finally had to accept he was wasting his time at St James Park, a club with no ambition that will be always on the brink of disaster so long as Mike Ashley owns it.

The Chronicle report:

‘Mike Ashley sent aide to St James’ for progress report – and Bruce to be backed in January if needed

The Newcastle United boss will get the funds to rebuild should he need it – despite tough start to the campaign

Steve Bruce is set to get the backing of Newcastle United chiefs in the January transfer window – if he decides to bring in new blood.

The Chronicle understands that Mike Ashley is willing to give Bruce funding in the winter trading period as well as time and patience when it comes to turning things around on Tyneside.

Senior sources have indicated that there is a “calmness” around the club’s Benton HQ and the corridors of power at St James’ Park as Bruce gets on with the first phase of the job he took in July.

Ashley continues to take something of a back seat at United but has sent his close aide Justin Barnes to recent matches to gain an overview of the mood behind the scenes.

Bruce has been cut plenty of slack by Toon chiefs with those in charge above the head coach knowing that it would take time for things to settle down after Rafa Benitez’s departure in the summer.’


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