The Workaholic Odd Couple Recreating Newcastle

Rafa Benitez is in charge of Newcastle United on all football related matters, but he also has the staunch support at the executive level from Managing Director Lee Charnley and the two of them have struck up a good working relationship.

It seems like Lee meets Rafa at the Benton Training grounds two or three times a week, so they are in very close communication with each other.

That’s good.


Rafa Benitez and Lee Charnley

It was expected that Lee would even lose his job in the summer after the disastrous self-inflicted mess of last season that resulted in Newcastle being relegated for the second time in seven years.

But Lee kept his job and the main man wanting him to stay it seems was Rafa Benitez, who seems to have had an awful lot of sway with owner Mike Ashley at the end of the season.

There’s no doubt that Ashley wanted Rafa to stay on Tyneside after the former Liverpool manager did so well in those final 10 games, even though he failed to save us from the drop.

Rafa has been talking a lot this week during the second (news-free) week of the International break and he has again talked about his working relationship with the Managing Director:

“I am happy with my relationship with Lee, and the structure we have in place,”

“Every week, every month, every year, you try to improve something. You are always thinking, ‘If I can change this little thing, maybe it will improve this or that’.”

“You are always looking at little things, or the way that certain departments operate, but it takes time to change things.”

“But at the same time, I had a meeting with Lee this week where we were talking about the academy, scouting and people within the staff.”

“We are trying to manage the football club in a way that everybody is expecting.”

Certainly Charnley and Benitez working together have managed to get through an awful lot of work in the summer when we brought in 12 new players and basically the new manager transformed the playing squad.

They are basically recreating Newcastle from top to bottom with most of the creative input coming from the immensely experienced Rafa Benitez and it seems to be working very well.

Both of them are hard workers – in fact both of them seem to be workaholics who seem to have a lot in common.

It also helps that we have got off to a decent start in the league and after 11 games we have 22 points in third place in the table.

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Of course one of the amazing things about the transfer window was that Newcastle ensured we are in really good financial health b y making a profit of around £31M after we sold players like Andros Townsend, Gini Wijnaldum, Daryl Janmaat and Moussa Sissoko.

Here’s all the transfer business last summer with new players likely to be coming in during the January transfer window, when Rafa will concentrate on quality rather than quantity.

Matz Sels£4.5MKAA Gent
Dwight Gayle£10MCrystal Palace
Matt Ritchie£10MBournemouth
Jesus Gamez£1.5MAtletico Madrid
Isaac Hayden£2.5MArsenal
Grant Hanley£5.5MBlackburn
Ciaran Clark£5MAston Villa
Mohamed Diame£4.5MHull City
DeAndre Yedlin£5MTottenham
Daryl Murphy£3MIpswich Town
Achraf Lazaar£3MPalermo
Christian AtsuLoan - seasonChelsea
Transfer Fees In£54.5M
Gabby ObertanReleasedAnzhi Makhachkala
Sylvain MarveauxReleasedLorient
Steven TaylorReleasedPortland Timbers
Fabricio ColocciniReleasedSan Lorenzo
Andros Townsend£13MCrystal Palace
Remy Cabella£7.5MMarseille
Papiss Cisse£2.5MShandong Luneng
Gini Wijnaldum£25MLiverpool
Florian ThauvinLoan - seasonMarseille
Siem de JongLoan - seasonPSV
Kevin MbabuLoan - seasonBSC Young Boys
Henri SaivetLoan - seasonSt. Etienne
Daryl Janmaat£7.5MWatford
Tim KrulLoan - JanuaryAjax
Tim KrulLoan from JanuaryAZ Alkmaar
Gael BigirimanaFreeCoventry City
Adam ArmstrongLoan - seasonBarnsley
Emmanuel RiviereLoan - seasonCA Osasuna
Jamie SterryLoan - JanuaryCoventry City
Haris VuckicLoan - JanuaryBradford City
Sammy AmeobiLoan - JanuaryBolton Wanderers
Moussa Sissoko£30MTottenham Hotspur
Transfer Fees Out£85.5M
Net Spend-£31M

Comments welcome.

2 comments so far

  • lesh

    Oct 11, 2016 at 9:01 AM

    Comment #1

    That comment about looking at the academy, scouting and staffing suggests that Beardsley and his crew are under scrutiny.

    But then again, maybe they’re happy with it and its output?

  • Mag52

    Oct 11, 2016 at 9:07 AM

    Comment #2


    For me it will take a little longer for Lee Charnley to become a hero from a zero.


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