There’s been a lot said about Mike Ashley during his tenure as Newcastle United owner, very rarely will it be positive! But what if he isn’t the main problem at the club?
Now hear me out on this. I am aware this may sound like I am an Ashley fan, but that couldn’t be further from the truth, the bloke has renamed St James Park, has hired some outright idiots to the club, and has plastered Sports Direct in all the crooks and crevices of our once hallowed ground!
Yes Ashley is fully to blame for lack of improvement to the infrastructure of the club, in terms of training facilities and state of the stadium….although the recent ‘improvements’ are looking smart.
However, a few years back Mike became a background or silent owner so to speak, leaving all football related issues to the one man band that is Lee Charnley! A person who when Ashley bought the club was club secretary and now holds the most powerful position at the club.
So essentially Charnley, or Penfold as he is affectionately known, is in charge of signings, new contracts, and being a go-to for the manager to discuss club issues. History has shown us the bloke hasn’t got a clue how to do his job!
You get the feeling that he is way out of his depth, and as transfer fees are getting bigger, he isn’t competent in finalising the bigger transfer’s and everything that comes with that. This was backed up by something recently said on the ‘All With Smiling Faces’ podcast (in my opinion the best one out there) that Charnley dithers about and struggles to keep up with the pace required to finalise a transfer, or enough transfers in time.
Now this could be the first bit where it seems I’m defending Ashley! But Mike has said in the past that any manager can have all money generated by the club! Leaving Charnley in charge of spending said money, while working with the current manager and Head Scout Steve Nickson.
What if everything said by Mike in this regard is correct, and Penfold just isn’t good enough at closing a deal the money just sits there unspent? This could be proven in the fact that the owner stepped in to help finalise the Miguel Almiron deal in January!
This could also lead you to believe that any deal over say £20 million has to go through Ashley is absolute bull****! It could be (and I’m guessing here) that in order to hide his incompetence this is the line Charnley has fed people, to detract all the anger from the manager towards him, and focus it above in the way of Ashley.
What I have noticed about Ashley in all forms of his business, is that he relies heavily on the people around him. In his business world, it seems that he sees a business he wants, sends his people to buy it and it is done within days!
Now if Mike was to use this at the club, by sacking of Charnley, and get a board in of deal makers and football people to spend the clubs money, I honestly think it could be a step in the right direction. One of the issue has always been the speed at which things are done, with more qualified people running our club and his business, they could be an improvement in football matters!
This doesn’t take away completely Ashley’s many faults as owner, but this small improvement could see things move in the right way!