On May 24th in his Sky Sports interview, it looked like Mike Ashley was going to leave the running of the club and the football matters to the Newcastle Board of Directors, which is led by Lee Charnley.
And that seems to have happened in the summer, with Mike Ashley simply providing the funds to Lee and the Board making the decisions on who to bring in and who to sell – and just as important – who not to sell.
We not only managed to bring in four quality players for that £50M, but we also kept some of our best players – so we have a very decent squad this season.
Lee Charnley – this is how you look when you are running Newcastle
Steve McClaren has revealed that he has talked to Mike Ashley only once, since he signed on at Newcastle.
So it was Charnley and the then Board of Charnley, Graham Carr and Bob Moncur, who selected McClaren to be the Newcastle head coach and Charnley’s decision to fire the woeful John Carver and Steve Stone.
Steve has talked before the West Ham game tonight about when he met Mike Ashley before the Borussia Monchengladbach game, when it was reported at the time the owner had met with Steve before that game.
“I met him once before the Gladbach game.” We had 10 minute’s chit-chat, mostly about Sports Direct and how it makes so much money and how he’s turned this club around in eight years to be in profit.”
“And for us to spent £50M and not sell our best player in the last two days of the window.” “The rest, we’ve said. Lee Charnley is running the ship.”
“We’ve got a good relationship.” “I’m sure we’ll see Ashley if he’s got a problem, but hopefully not.”
“He’s kind of thrown it all over to Lee. It’s a huge responsibility.” “Lee, myself, Graham Carr and Bob Moncur have to stay very close and tight, which we have been and we are.”
The Managing Director under Mike Ashley has always been responsible for the day-to-day operations of the club, but Mike Ashley has removed himself from the Board, so that he doesn’t get involved in the football decisions at the club.
So Ashley has given Charnley a free rein, but he’s now (totally) responsible for how Newcastle perform from now on – with freedom comes responsibility.
And Steve is absolutely right – that’s a huge responsibility, but after all Lee is the top executive at the club.
It’s an excellent move by Mike Ashley and especially for Newcastle United – we hope it stays that way.