During a rare interview released yesterday, NUFC’s managing director Lee Charnley admitted that Matt Ritchie only signed for the club after our relegation on the basis of ‘one year in the Championship then I am going to the Premier League”.
The interview mainly focuses on the big financial risk to the club took following our drop down into the second tier, highlighting just what could have happened at NUFC if we were unable to bounce back to the top flight at the first attempt.
Here’s what Charnley had to say when asked what would’ve happened if we didn’t earn immediate promotion, admitting that Matt Ritchie only signed on the basis that he’d be playing Premier League football the year after – regardless of what happened to us that season:
‘It would have been a catastrophe, a bloodbath,’
‘The manager would likely have gone. This was a one-season gamble from his view as well.
“Some of the players would have wanted to go. Matt Ritchie, for example, bought into this on the basis of, “One year in the Championship then I am going to the Premier League”.
Looking back, maybe this is one of the reasons why he was absolutely busting a gut every single week to make sure he got us back into the Premier League.
He didn’t leave a stable Premier League side in Bournemouth to play Championship football for more than a season!
Thank goodness for his outstanding debut year at NUFC. It looks like it’s kept both him and Benitez as St James’ Park.