Newcastle United fans have not heard a lot from managing director Lee Charnley during his time at St James’ Park and when he has spoken out it has usually been to try and temper the rage of the Toon Army.
Mike Ashley’s right hand man is the individual pulling all the strings on Tyneside, running the club under the businessman’s watch, and it would be fair to say he has not been Mr Popular among the supporters for the decisions made.
The lack of spending in the transfer market has been highly criticised by both Newcastle United fans and those outside the club, but Charnley has finally broken his silence on the finances at the club.
What has he said?
Lifting the lid on how the Magpies collect their money from the likes of television deals from being in the Premier League, the Newcastle chief insisted that the manner of payments means that they are not hoarding away cash and instead are covering payments that the club makes throughout the season.
Speaking to offthepitch.com he said: “There remains a lack of understanding about the Premier League and how the television money comes into your football club, the perception that £125million drops into it each summer is not right.
“It’s not that we’re sat on this big pot of cash waiting for a rainy day. Money comes in, money goes out, what is left is available to spend. In July, around £30 million arrives in the bank accounts of top flight clubs. A further payment comes in January, based on television appearances and then a further tv bonus landing in May.
“All the while there is around £4 million-a-month coming in from the tv deal, and then there are overseas television rights. It doesn’t all land at once. Where does it go? Wages, of the players, of staff, on transfers and on the running costs of the club.”
Unfortunately for the Newcastle faithful, it all sounds like excuses rather than reasons not to spend the money – after all, the club have been in the Premier League for two seasons now and will have been televised more than all but the top six clubs in the division.
It is not like Ashley has been splashing the cash over the last couple of years and so the question on everyone’s lips will be ‘Where is the money?’
Why should Newcastle fans be fuming?
Simply put, this is another attempt to shift blame away from Ashley and to suggest that there is not as much money in the pot as there should be.
Other clubs fund big money signings and manage to show ambition in the Premier League without mega-rich owners, so why are Ashley and Newcastle different?
Only those with an intricate knowledge of the club’s finances know exactly where the money is going but you can be pretty sure most of the time it is on a one way trip to Ashley’s pocket and not back into the club.
Charnley had his chance to be transparent and honest with the Newcastle United faithful – instead he hides behind excuses and tries to spin the story the way he – and Ashley – wants.
Are the Toon Army going to fall for it? Pull the other leg.