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Mike Ashley is incredibly succeeding with Lee Charnley bluff yet again

4 weeks ago
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Lee Charnley is doing a tremendous job at Newcastle United, for Mike Ashley.

Quite incredibly, the Newcastle United owner is once again getting away with it.

Ashley is still getting criticism of course but quite amazing that as we head towards this new season, just how much is diluted/deflected thanks to Lee Charnley.

I find it comical and a very depressing that so many Newcastle fans are still falling for this.

Newcastle fans commenting on Lee Charnley on Twitter:

‘Lee Charnley is doing a fantastic job getting our transfer business over the line this summer.’

‘Lee Charnley is one of the most incompetent men involved in football today.’

‘Lee Charnley is totally inept and should have been pedalled a few year ago.’

‘Lee Charnley is useless.’

‘The man is completely incompetent, a waste of space.’

‘Two weeks until the season kicks off and Charnley missing out on signing after signing.’

Lee Charnley – surely the worst negotiatior known to man.’

‘Lee Charnley is a total joke.’

Lee Charnley is part of the problem, not part of the solution, for sure.

However, he is NOT the reason Newcastle United are failing to make credible signings this summer.

Lee Charnley is not an MD / CEO as you get at other Premier League clubs, with the power / authority and control of budgets to get on and run the club, he is a messenger who follows orders, he is not the decision/deal maker on which this transfer window stands or falls.

Scouts and/or agents present transfer targets to Newcastle United and then agents help set up potential deals with the players and the other club(s).

It is laughable to suggest that Lee Charnley is the one that then decides how much Newcastle United are prepared to pay on wages and transfer fees.

Mike Ashley wants you to believe this of course but you’d have to be pretty naive to still believe ‘Yes I know Mike Ashley is the big villain but it is Lee Charnley who is to blame for these players not being signed.’

Ashley must be laughing his head off that people still see Lee Charnley as the sticking point on transfers.

Maybe it should be no surprise that Mike Ashley gets away with it.

When writing this piece, I had a look to see when Lee Charnley was given his ‘Managing Director’ role at the club, a meteoric rise from being club secretary…

It was 7 April 2014 and I came across these Lee Charnley quotes (allegedly from him anyway) in the official club announcement.

Quite hilarious really a lot of what he says, though sadly not very funny in terms of the health of Newcastle United.

He says he is proud that the club made a profit for a third successive season (no change there) and talks of his pride at staying within FFP rules. Not exactly difficult when all you have to do is not spend very much money on players! At the time he was appointed in April 2014, Newcastle hadn’t bought a single player in the previous two transfer windows.

Back then Lee Charnley declares: ‘The Club has never been in such a stable and healthy financial position..’, within two years it was relegated and look at the mess now.

Charnley continues: ‘…we will continue to be prudent in our transfer dealings. This is the reality of a well-run football club like ours.’ You couldn’t make it up.

Back then in 2014, Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley made no secret of the fact that the manager / head coach had no say / power in deciding which players were signed: ‘As a board we will continue to make the final decisions on all player transfers.’ As we are now, Steve Bruce has absolutely no say on players no matter how much he claims this to be he case, even claiming he had given the ok for Joelinton!

How about this one: ‘…our intention for the first team is to sign one or two players per year to strengthen the squad’, well at least they were up front about it back then!

As for the state of the art training complex announced by Mike Ashley in 2013 and which was said to be essential to NUFC being able to compete: ‘Supporters will be aware that we have recently announced plans to build a new multi-million-pound state-of-the-art training complex which we hope will be completed in early 2016. This is our vision and strategy for the years ahead.’

Communicating with the fans? ‘We are also committed to our current strategy in relation to communication between the Club and its supporters’, yes we continue to see that commitment even now…

Transfer policy: ‘Our transfer policy and strategy is very clear and will remain unchanged. We will focus on identifying and recruiting young players whose best years are ahead of them, which in nearly all cases means players in their early to mid-20s and not beyond.’ Six years later and the sum total of the transfer window has been two 28 year olds arriving on free transfers, plus giving new contracts to the likes of Andy Carroll who is in his 30s…

What you see below is just further proof of how Mike Ashley and his minions simply make it up as they go along. No long-term plan whatsoever and simply trying to crawl from one season to the next, making no investment on the club’s future, on or off the pitch.

Newcastle United announced the appointment of Lee Charnley as the Club’s new Managing Director on 7 April 2014 and these were some of the quotes the club put out at the time, allegedly from Lee Charnley:

“It is a real honour to be confirmed as Managing Director.

“I have been with the Club for almost 15 years and have seen a great many changes in my time here.

“The Club has never been in such a stable and healthy financial position, which gives us the best possible platform from which to grow.

“I am confident that with our dedicated, hardworking and loyal employees, together with Alan Pardew and his backroom staff, we will progress the Club, both on and off the field over the coming years.

“Looking ahead to future seasons, our primary focus will remain the Premier League.

“Our preparations for the summer transfer window have already begun of course, and our challenge is to make sure we spend the funds we have available in a careful and considered way in order to ensure that we get the maximum benefit from every pound we invest in the squad.

“We will continue to operate in a financially responsible manner and live within our means. This Club is financially strong and there is money to spend if the deal is right and we are confident a player can add quality to the squad.

“That said, we will not pay over the odds or make knee-jerk decisions. Every player we sign represents a major investment and mistakes are costly which is why we will continue to be prudent in our transfer dealings. This is the reality of a well-run football club like ours.

“We can be proud that we already meet, and in fact exceed, the requirements of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations and in our latest set of published accounts we recorded a profit for our third consecutive year.

“We will continue to manage our finances in this sustainable manner and will not accrue debt in order to achieve short-term gains.

“It is also important that we don’t over-promise and under-deliver for our supporters, players and staff. False expectations lead to disappointment and frustration, hence why we will keep our transfer business confidential and will not be drawn into commenting on the media speculation and rumour that exists in this digital world.

“As a board we will continue to make the final decisions on all player transfers. Clearly, however, the manager and his team have a very significant involvement in such decisions and will be instrumental in making recommendations in relation to the squad.

“Our transfer policy and strategy is very clear and will remain unchanged. We will focus on identifying and recruiting young players whose best years are ahead of them, which in nearly all cases means players in their early to mid-20s and not beyond.

“We don’t look at transfer windows in isolation, but rather as a full trading year, and our intention for the first team is to sign one or two players per year to strengthen the squad.

“In addition, we aim to strengthen the squad underneath the first team in order to make sure we have a strong group of players pushing our regular first team for a starting place each week. This is essential to bring out the best in everyone and provide an important element of continuity to the squad for the longer term.

“To achieve that it is crucial that we have a youth development strategy that is producing home grown talent who can develop and feed into the system, thereby contributing to the depth within our squad. We have invested heavily in our Academy…

“We are also committed to our current strategy in relation to communication between the Club and its supporters. At the beginning of the season we launched a new Fans Forum, with members representing our diverse fanbase. It has been an open, honest and productive forum and it will continue to be our primary means of direct supporter communication and engagement.

“We will look, where possible…to invest not just in the squad, but into improving other areas of the business, including the stadium and its facilities, the Academy, the first team Training Centre and more.

“Supporters will be aware that we have recently announced plans to build a new multi-million-pound state-of-the-art training complex which we hope will be completed in early 2016.

“This is our vision and strategy for the years ahead. The purpose of this statement is to communicate with our supporters in an open and transparent manner and we hope that it provides a clear outline of our intentions.

“I can assure supporters that the board and everyone associated with the Club aim to make Newcastle United the best it can be, pound for pound.”

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