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It’s Lee Charnley’s Job To Manage The Finances, Why Is He Making Excuses?

The topic of updating the training ground has been a high profile one at Newcastle since Rafa Benitez made some comments to George Caulkin in the Times after his departure from Newcastle. Despite assurances from Mike Ashley when Rafa decided to stay on as manager in 2016, Benitez asserted that only a few walls had been painted.

It seems that Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley are very sensitive to what Rafa had to say in that parting interview. They have come out over the past few days to try and combat almost every point Rafa made in the Times. However, they have chosen the beginning of a new season with a new manager in place as the time to do it.

Lee Charnley is at it again and has made some further comments in the Chronicle. Earlier today, he made some comments defending the appointment of Steve Bruce. We took no umbrage with Lee defending Steve, as that is what he should be doing. We just found the timing to be a bit late.

Now Lee Charnley is defending the club’s reasoning on not updating the training facilities. This is what Lee has said to the Chronicle:

“What we have said is, it is about priorities.

“There is a pot of money. Where is the greater need? At this time it’s on field.

“It’s not unreasonable, the pot of money can only go so far.”

“You go and spend it on the training ground it means there is less to spend on the team.

“Spend it on the Academy, there is less to spend on the team.

“Spend too much on wages, there’s less to spend on the team.

“That doesn’t mean we don’t spend in all those areas, because we do, but our view has been at this point in time the priority is what goes on to the field.

“It doesn’t mean we don’t want to update the training ground.

“Does it mean at some point in time we would like to update the training ground? Absolutely, yes.

“It is about priorities. It doesn’t stop us doing what we need to do on a daily basis.

“Our pitches are very good, our gym is perfectly adequate and functional.

“Do we have a swimming pool or water facilities? No.

“Would we like to have it at some stage? Absolutely.”

The issue with the training ground is that it desperately needs to be updated. It is no longer fit for purpose and if not upgraded soon, could become a hindrance to getting quality players to the club. It has, quite frankly, become an embarrassment for the 19th richest club in the world.

If it is currently not a priority, it needs to become one. It is Lee’s job to manage the finances of the club. Using the excuse that it would come at the expense of the playing squad, is just a transparent attempt to pull the wool over people’s eyes.

As managing director, it is up to Lee to not only get players to the club but to also ensure they have adequate facilities to train at. Other clubs can manage this without issue, so we expect the same from this one.

69 comments so far

  • ronaldo aarons

    Aug 14, 2019 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #1

    Hail Ronaldo!

  • Genjikai

    Aug 14, 2019 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #2

    Rolando agree i enjoyed rafas tactical football being truthful always thought we were in with a shout.
    Like nicky has said i would of been happy with carrolls return with we had added joelinton, st max ontop of keeping perez and singing rondon.

  • Jib

    Aug 14, 2019 at 11:59 AM

    Comment #3

    “The training ground is no longer fit for purpose”

    Hogwash , Balderdash and Claptrap .

  • Genjikai

    Aug 14, 2019 at 11:59 AM

    Comment #4

    Rolando a bet you never used the backboard in basketball, always just swish, 3pointer.

  • ronaldo aarons

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #5


  • beefman13

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #6

    The owner is a multi billionaire Lee, it is sacrilege saying we would like to have a swimming pool but you know, things are a bit tight, how disgusting is that, you do not want to spend bot all on the training facilities as the are adequate?
    Pure cheap Charlie’s.

  • Mag :P

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #7

    Why go all out for a swimming pool and proper water facilities when you can settle for a paddling pool and some wheelie bins?

    Right Charnley? 😀

  • one fine day

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #8

    “Hogwash , Balderdash and Claptrap .”
    Careful with that jib
    If they are available on a free and under 24 charnley will have all three holding up the shirt in January

  • beermonkey

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:07 PM

    Comment #9

    so ashley wnated rafa to sign off on joelinton and to make that happen offered to pay 20 mill of the fee
    so no rafa i presume the club paid all 40 for him
    why cant ashley give that 20mill to get the training and academy sorted

    then again we never spent all the budget for the summer take some of that and atleast get it started

    it will take time do it in stages it does not have to be paid for in one lump

  • Reilly

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:08 PM

    Comment #10

    Smaller clubs than us seem to manage to buy players and fix up there training grounds.Why carnt we!

  • Jib

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #11

    Newcastle council bought Bullocksteads in 2017
    I’ve often thought it would be better for NUFC than Benton
    Kenton Bank foot is much handier for the majority of players
    who tend to live in the Ponteland/Darras Hall area.
    Surely some sort of deal involving a swap could be engineered

  • hibbit

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #12

    i suspect Jibs not happy with Neil’s utterances against the regime and his hero,

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #13

    Yeah, it’s cheap, it’s bollocks, and its obvious. If Ashley can afford to bail the club out when it gets relegated. He can afford to give Rafa what he needed to take us back into Europe and in contention for some silverware.

  • #BoycottAshley ( OP)

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #14


    When did you last go to the training ground?

    I think I’ll listen to Rafa over yourself, broken gym equipment dodgy plumbing.

    It’s like when people way SJP isn’t that bad, ask a builder what he thinks and you’ll get the facts, ask you and itll be some fiction you’ve dreamt up.

  • Tenbytoon

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #15

    The problem is though Chumley, that the whole time the goal is solely to avoid relegation then the training ground will never be a priority because the team will always need the funds

  • ilovetoon8788

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #16

    Frankly there are championship sides that have better training facilities than us

  • hibbit

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #17

    The next Mike Williams

    your assuming to much, Posada lost his blob with one poster *Online Guy* and one word *Moron*
    since then its snowballed out of control, a situation idiots like you aren’t helping with your silly assumptions .

  • Mindshaft

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #18

    Jib – charnley says himself the gym is adequate and they have no pool or water facilities – come on man , even you must know that to update the training facilities to even the standard of public gyms such as virgin active would cost way less than 10 million –
    Charley should stop embarrassing himself – now I know why he’s never communicated in the past

  • Rob1971

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #19

    A well spotted comment from Ashley on Twitter:

    Replying to
    Mike Ashley declared in his Martin Samuel interview that he was going to personally pay for £20m of Jeolinton’s transfer fee and that leftover £20m would be going into the training ground improvement.

    So that’s either a lie or has completely changed in the space of 2 months.

  • stan anderson

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #20

    How much would it cost to bring in KK,s entertainers at todays values?
    Dya think the slug would allow us to bring them in?
    Thought not.

  • lesh

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:29 PM

    Comment #21

    Jiblets posted this link to a pic of some Chicago Mags and asked Balloony to identify himself.


    Have a look at the guy at the front left. Doesn’t he look like Ashley? There you have it, it black and white – Tony Baloney’s clearly a son of Ashley. But, Ashley’d deny that – wouldn’t you?

  • DubaiMicky

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #22

    Crazy thing is, the training ground could be massively improved with a million or so quid, that would cover a pool and sauna etc. He really is taking the pi55.

    Anyway, what can I do? I’m getting somewhat ambivalent about the team I’ve supported for 45 years or so, I won’t give a cent to ashLIE in any way shape or form, I don’t buy shirts from them, I don’t go to games, I watch the games free of charge, so i don’t give a penny to him.

    I can’t start a protest movement here against Sports Direct (which is a franchise anyway, I don’t know who owns them yet but could be someone like Landmark Group (you know, the people who joined forces with ashLIE to force a Debanhams guy off the board), or it could be someone like Al Fattain (now he IS rich)), because if I did I’d be arrested – street protests are illegal here.

    Guessing that makes me a third rate supporter then, life style choice to not live in the North East (anyone ever noticed, wherever you go in the world, you go into an expat bar and there’s always a Geordie – I credit our seafaring heritage), and don’t/can’t put cash in ashLIE’s pocket.

    So what can we do from affar? be it here, Singapore, Chicago etc.? Nowt, not a thing, we can only look on and advise, but, as third class fans we’re ridiculed.

    What to do?

  • martoon

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #23

    ArtyH Aug 14, 2019 at 10:20 AM Comment #51

    “The true supporters boycotted and did not renew their season tickets, good on them”

    I think you could also argue that the true supporters are still there supporting the team despite everything!

  • Jib

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:35 PM

    Comment #24

    I don’t think you are ridiculed as a fan

    Folk ridicule you for being an ITK

  • lesh

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #25

    Charley’s said that the training centre facility improvement’s on the agenda but there are more immediate priorities when money’s limited.

    Of course people like the Frog’ll continue asking where’s the money gone or going. The subsidiary questions should be:

    * why is there insufficient money?

    * what’s to be done to maximise income?

    * how can clubs that are seemingly less rich than NUFC:
    – afford upgrades;
    – pay the going rate in wages and transfer fees?

  • dougie

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #26

    Charnley talks total bollocks,it’s all about spending as little as possible whilst staying in the Premier League to advertise the slugs tat.For 12 years Jabba has held back money that the club has generated and trousered it instead of building a competitive side and updating our facilities.If they had invested the money properly from day one we would have a team to be proud of and facilities to match.what we’ve got now is a team that will be lucky not to get relegated,embarrassing training facilities and a manager that no other team in the premiership would touch with a bargepole.Ghost club,no ambition.

  • #BoycottAshley ( OP)

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:41 PM

    Comment #27


    Are BZG silent over there?

    I know you aren’t in the loop or anything just wondering if theres anything, not expecting a sale just find it strange they’ve disappeared without a trace so to speak.

  • DubaiMicky

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #28

    #BoycottAshley ( OP) The guy I knew who worked for them left in May for a new role in Singapore, so nope, not a squeak.

  • #BoycottAshley ( OP)

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:44 PM

    Comment #29


    Thank you, obvs your on the ground over there, youd here stuff we don’t.

  • Wor_Shearer

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:44 PM

    Comment #30

    Lies, damned lies and Lee Charnley.

    The NUFC Board and the British government seem to be run by the same gaslighting BS’ers. Trying to hoodwink everyone by just confidently spouting bald faced lies.

    We can see right through you Charnley…now F off!

  • #BoycottAshley ( OP)

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #31

    I do find it peculiar that no other statement or sounds have come from BZG, their first statements were filled with promise now they’ve disappeared, strange.

  • Jib

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:46 PM

    Comment #32

    Liverpool Fc have sold Melwood for housing
    The majority of the money raised has gone
    towards a new new training ground in Kirkby
    Surely Benton is a prime housing area ?

  • one fine day

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:51 PM

    Comment #33


    Sportpark Ajax training complex .
    They don’t even feature in the top 30 Forbes list ( we are 19th) last time I looked .
    wonder how dejong felt when he saw the wheely bins for the first time .

  • Tony Baloney

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:53 PM

    Comment #34

    Dubai Micky: if your contact left in May why were you doing ITK stuff in June and July?

  • DubaiMicky

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #35

    #BoycottAshley ( OP) #31. So do I marra, I really don’t get it, due to the way things are done here, projects don’t get cancelled, they get put on hold (see for example the Marvel Theme Park and many others), cos if a project is cancelled that shows the company in a bad light. That’s what I suspect is happening here (just my thoughts after 14 years of dealing with the Government here).

    BZG couldn’t, or more likely refused to, get the deal over the line (“What’s another £10million?”), so they’ll forget it and move on to different things, but will never state they “failed” as that is how it will be seen, and let’s face it, a Royal Family member here can’t be seen to fail can he.

    Interesting that BZG launched a $2bn or so construction project in the Far East around the same time though – to deflect any mud slinging and show they’re still wealthy perhaps????

  • Tony Baloney

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #36

    I do believe Dubai Micky was sincere even though he gave out Charnley’s address. You can forgive the odd lapse. He is not dumb every day like Lesh or think he is a comedian like Tsunki, who is about as funny as sitting on a wasp.

  • DubaiMicky

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #37

    Tony, you don’t ever speak to your ex colleagues? I know I do, even from 30 years back.

  • ronaldo aarons

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #38

    From 2008-2017, club spent on infrastructure a vast sum of £10m. To put that in perspective, in the same time period, Preston, reading, qpr, derby, Brentford, Cardiff, Bristol city spent more with few others like villa, Leeds, Fulham.

    I think it was still at £10m in 2018 too but can’t be bothered to check right now.

  • ronaldo aarons

    Aug 14, 2019 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #39

    Averaging about 900k-1m each year.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Aug 14, 2019 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #40

    OK the training ground may be adequate and from pictures I’ve seen yes they are (adequate) but that’s not the point is it. We are (supposedly) one of the richest clubs in the EPL (if not the world) and our training facilities should match that status.

    Charnley probably does genuinely believe his own statements, but I think he’s very myopic in his thinking and should be a bit more open minded. As someone else has already said a million or two out of the kitty isn’t going to make a difference to the transfer (Or shop buying) pot.

    Just get the builders in Lee, as a side benefit it would help the local economy, now that would be good PR.


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