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Opinion

Lee Charnley can’t be reminded often enough about these weasel words by Newcastle United media

5 months ago
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Lee Charnley is an absolute disgrace.

At times I even think I detest him more than Mike Ashley. Yes, that bad.

We all know that Lee Charnley is the monkey and Ashley the organ grinder BUT you still think Charnley would have at least some dignity.

I find it remarkable how little stick the media, especially the local newpapers, give to Lee Charnley.

Although, there again, you could say the same about how they cover Mike Ashley. Even though the media are only fed scraps by the NUFC owner and lackeys that he employs at St James Park, they are very reluctant to criticise and be seen to be exerting any kind of ongoing pressure.

What is it they are afraid about losing? The chance to ask Federico Fernandez whether he prefers Coco Pops to Shreddies?

As for Mr Charnley in particular, I want to take you back 10 months ago, the very first day of the 2019/20 season.

Newcastle at home to Arsenal and Lee Charnley having his very own column in the match programme.

Lee Charnley in the match programme for the Arsenal match on Sunday 11 August 2019:

“We go into today’s match following changes on and off the pitch over the summer months.

“I appreciate it has been at times, and certainly during the early part of the break, a period of uncertainty for supporters.

“We want to communicate clearly and proactively, but it is important that we do so at the right time.

“Sometimes we must adopt a ‘no comment’ policy and I accept that can be – and has been – frustrating. There are reasons behind that approach.

“Often, there are legalities at play or we may take the decision in order to respect the integrity of a process or the individuals involved. What we won’t do is fuel speculation by offering a running commentary.

“Instead, when we have something definitive to say, we will say it, as we did as soon as Rafa’s position became clear.

“We understand and expected the disappointment that Rafa’s departure caused. We strongly believe we went beyond what could reasonably be asked in order to keep him. But let’s be clear, he moved to China for money.

“Whilst I have stated above that I felt our approach during the summer was necessary, I accept we need to do more from a communication perspective moving forward.

“There is certainly a need to communicate more as a club and to let fans know where we are heading collectively.

“That goes beyond the responsibility of just the head coach or manager in isolation; something we have relied on far too heavily in the past.

“We want to give you more of an insight into what happens across the club and you will therefore be hearing more from me, as you are today…”

That Lee Charnley column was really only about nine words of course, to try and make out that Rafa was the villain of this situation: ‘let’s be clear, he moved to China for money.’

Lee Charnley (words by Keith Bishop?) admitted that communication from the club to fans had been shamefully lacking and promised that this was now a new era when they most definitely would be keeping Newcastle supporters abreast of what is happening…”I accept we need to do more from a communication perspective moving forward. There is certainly a need to communicate more as a club and to let fans know where we are heading collectively. That goes beyond the responsibility of just the head coach or manager in isolation; something we have relied on far too heavily in the past. We want to give you more of an insight into what happens across the club and you will therefore be hearing more from me, as you are today…”

You can’t get clearer than this can you?

Ten month on though and things are worse than ever.

You have the actions of Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley…

Then you have the refusal to communicate in any way with the Newcastle fans, even via friendly local media.

In light of the virus situation, money worries for so many NUFC supporters and doubts about when the 2020/21 season will start and when fans might be allowed into stadiums, fan groups such as NUST pleaded with Mike Ashley and his minions back in March to delay taking full season ticket payments for the 2020/21 season by direct debit. They still took them.

They asked Lee Charnley and his boss in March 2020 to call a halt to taking advance monthly payments for 2020/21 season tickets. They still took them. Now in June 2020 they are still taking them out of the bank accounts of supporters…

Refunds on individual tickets for Sheffield United, Man City and Bournemouth, refunds on the remaining five games of the 2019/20 season tickets.

Newcastle United the only one of the 20 PL clubs not to be refunding the money as we speak, all the other 19 clubs doing this now / already.

Lee Charnley not saying a single word.

Why aren’t the media badgering him every day?

Demanding to know why nothing is happening and at the very least reminding him that he made that promise to communicate with fans and to stick by it.

We also of course had / have the furloughing of non-playing staff and refusal to keep paying casual matchday staff (as decent clubs have done).

Instead, absolute silence when it comes to all of these important issues.

Mike Ashley is a disgrace but he is not alone, Lee Charnley is absolutely shameless.

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