Cautious Lee.

Just for those who are yet to read the Lee Charnley interview, here it is below.

      1) Why is it taking so long to make a decision?

Some people won’t believe this but the approach for Alan from Crystal Palace came as a surprise to us. We didn’t expect it. People have asked us whether – because of the way the second part of last season went and the way we started this season – we had a contingency plan in the background. We didn’t. I didn’t have a number of candidates/options in the background, which some clubs do have when a Manager has a difficult period. There was no deal already in place for someone we could bring in. His leaving at this time was unexpected.

In safe hands?
In safe hands?

During the difficult periods our focus was on supporting Alan. I hope people are starting to realise now that when we feel we have the right person in that position, indeed any position, our focus is on supporting them in order that together we can ride through the rough periods that, inevitably, come.

Everything is not always going to be great or perfect but we think that as an organisation, one of our strengths is how we react and the support we give people when things aren’t going particularly well. The majority of which is private and behind the scenes which in my opinion is the way it should be.

People may well say that the position we now find ourselves in isn’t ideal and I accept that to a point, but as I have stated Alan’s departure came as a surprise. I must stress and repeat that we parted with Alan on very good terms.

I would re-iterate the quote I issued at the time of his departure in that we moved on significantly as a club during his four years, on and off the field, and Alan played a big part in that and I thank him.

2) Has there been interest in the job?

We’ve had about 80 applications of people interested in the role. That’s people within football.

Clearly a number of those can be easily discounted but what has been left is a good number of individuals who have different qualities, experience and strengths – some of those are willing and available to come now, others not until the summer.

The important thing to stress here is that there is a process I have been working through the same as I would if I were looking for any other senior member of staff. It’s not a case of someone getting the job because he’s a friend of a friend or he knows someone.

It is a proper structured process which I believe will in the end give us the best individual for the job.  When we put the statement out when Alan left we chose our words very carefully in terms of what we would be looking for as a replacement.

We are looking for a head coach – that will be his role – we’re moving away from the traditional manager, in terms of title and perception.3) Can you explain the role of head coach at Newcastle?

3) Can you explain the role of head coach at Newcastle?

Our overall strategy and structure won’t change – we’re looking for someone who will work within our parameters and will buy into and work with us in terms of what we do and how we operate.

The traditional English manager who would want full control is not what I’m looking for – they don’t fit within our structure or strategy.

This isn’t something new but it’s a refinement of the role Alan Pardew had. It’s a greater clarity for whoever gets the job, in terms of what they do, what their role is and what they can speak to the media about.

That way everyone – players, supporters, media – are clearer. He’s the head coach, not a traditional manager. He doesn’t have the final say on transfers and doesn’t get involved in every aspect of the business.

His job is to coach the players and implement and oversee a philosophy that goes through the first team, the reserves and down through the Academy to improve the players and to ensure we get the best out of them.

4) Will the head coach have some say on transfers?

The new head coach will have to set out to us what his playing style is, what his philosophy is and what he looks for in his team because that then impacts on what we look for in terms of recruitment. It all works together.

The head coach picks the team. We don’t interfere in that. If the relationship works in the right way and everyone is going in the same direction and believes in our strategy and policy then there is no point in us buying a player that the head coach doesn’t want because he doesn’t play him and we don’t get the best out of our investment.

When someone says: ‘Does he have any say on transfers?’ Yes. Does he have the final say? No he doesn’t. There’s a difference there.  We hope it’s a happy marriage.

We want someone who sees the bigger picture because my thinking will always be medium to long-term. When people talk about what we’re going to do in this transfer window, I am looking at the next transfer window and the window after and what impact it will have on that.

Are there better opportunities if we wait three or four months rather than committing now?  It’s trying to find that balance but also an individual in a head coach that trusts us. If we say ‘You aren’t going to get that now but you will in the summer’, it’s someone who is prepared to say ‘OK’ and trusts us to do that.

It’s also someone that for example, if we were to get an offer for a player that is at a value that we want to take, isn’t nervous about getting a replacement. There has to be a trust.  We want to make things better and improve things but sometimes our timelines might not meet.

His requirements might be short-term but our view on some occasions may well be we’d rather wait because we can get better options and better value. Between me and the head coach and Graham, it’s a relationship that will have to develop. He will have to trust and believe in what we do.

5) Is this another long term appointment?

We see this as a long-term decision.

We’ve got a number of options: clearly my preference is to try and find someone to bring in now. However, because it will be a long-term commitment, if I have to wait until the summer for what I believe is the right individual then I would rather wait than actually take someone now who I think isn’t the best fit.

I’m not going to take someone who is free and available now if we have a better option and options by waiting until the end of the season. I know that won’t be an entirely popular point of view but for me that is the most sensible thing to do. It is about the medium to long term and ensuring we get the ‘right one’.

6) How close are you to making a decision?

I hope that by the end of this week I will have a better indication of where we sit.  I’ll know the really, really credible individuals who would be of real interest to us and from there, whether a decision can be made now or whether that decision can wait until the summer.

There’s a wide range of options. There are some people who genuinely can’t move now, whether that be for personal reasons, contractual or a whole host of things – they can’t come now.  There are some that can, whether they are tied to other clubs but have a compensation element involved or are out-of-work.

What I have done so far is go through them, with Graham’s input, and really refine the candidates. I needed to make sure those individuals understand what the role is, understand what is expected of them here, understand the pressures that come with this role and understand what their philosophy is and the culture they would create and develop here.

7) Are you going to appoint a “yes” man to this position?

I’m confident at the end of this process the individual will be best suited for what we’re looking for and can work within the structure we have. I don’t think anything works and you’re never going to move forward if you have ‘yes’ people in key positions.

I know people label me as someone who says yes all the time, but believe me, if I said yes to everything suggested I wouldn’t last very long. It doesn’t work that way. They have to challenge me, I have to challenge Mike over things – that is how management works. That’s what I expect from all of my heads of department.

But do I want someone in who will continually try to change our strategy or put obstacles in our way? Clearly not. They will have to aligned with what we are doing.

8) What types of candidates are Newcastle looking at?

I know that the individual who comes in will be credible and best suited for this role. First and foremost, they have to be a good coach and with a track record of developing players and giving young players a chance is important.

For me, style of play is important. How they conduct themselves is also important as the head coach will play a key part in how the club is perceived through his conduct on and off the field.

9) What will happen in the January transfer window?

I saw the stuff Gary Lineker tweeted saying we’re hanging back from appointing a head coach so we don’t have to sign anyone which isn’t correct. Are we delaying to get through the January window? Absolutely not.

In all honesty, the January window is not one we ever envisaged being particularly active in. That’s partly because of the amount of business we did in the summer but also because January is a difficult market to operate in.

There are very few options whereby a club can achieve the quality required and also get value. There is often a reason as to why a player might be available in January.

We were forced to bring players in a couple of years ago in January because of where we were in the league and some of those transactions we brought forward from the following summer at significant cost.

As a general principle, January’s not an attractive window.  Another important thing to note and something often not mentioned is Premier League teams are only allowed to name 25 players – we’re currently at 25.

10) Will Newcastle sell any players?

I would never, ever rule out selling anyone because the worst thing I could do is over-promise and under-deliver. You will never, ever get me saying never but I would say we’re very difficult sellers.

We make it very difficult for people to get our players. We put them on long-term contracts. We are not easy sellers, despite that perception.  As we sit here today I can’t envisage any player we want to retain leaving.

11) Are you looking at new ways that Newcastle can communicate?

I think we do communicate but we need to find a better way to communicate.

Our view was that Alan was the one who was front and centre and will take all of the questions on all areas of the club. Alan was then left, sometimes, in a difficult position answering questions that he probably wasn’t best suited to answer.

This is an opportunity for us with a new head coach coming in – there’s more clarity about his role and what he does. His role is coaching and that’s what he can talk about.  If that’s the case it’s only right that I then support him in terms of the messaging going out.

If I’m saying ‘Only talk about team selection and the games’ there needs to be another voice. I think the information has been out there, through the fan’s forum and through the statements, but it’s how we get it out there that needs to improve.

12) Will you be taking a more prominent role personally?

I’m not someone who courts the media or has relationships with journalists giving them on or off-the-record information about players or any other elements of club business. I want to go about our or my business quietly and professionally. That’s where I want to be.

I do however accept we need to look at how we communicate and I think if we do that it will certainly help on lots of different levels.

Contrary to popular belief we don’t disregard people’s views – however our intention and focus and what we always aim to do is make decisions that we feel are in the best interests for the football club. They won’t always be popular and won’t always be liked but we make them for what we believe are the right reasons.

13) Has the role of Chief Scout Graham Carr changed?

On the football side we look at it as a triangle. That’s me, the head coach and Graham.

Graham’s role won’t change. In terms of this process he will be heavily involved and will support me with his knowledge, his feedback and his contacts to get some background information on the people we’re speaking to.

This will support other research and feedback we have sought and will seek on our preferred candidates. It’s a joined-up process we’re in. Clearly he will continue to be an important part of what we do in order to move forward on the field and his relationship with the head coach is something that needs to be strong.

14) Is Mike Ashley going to sell Newcastle and buy Rangers FC?

There is nothing to say on this other than to repeat what we said in the statement in September – I’d refer everyone to that.


To be honest it is nice to actually hear something from the man himself but it doesn’t really tell us much more than we already know. To me there is not enough communication from the club and it results in hearsay and wild speculation becoming truths. Also many fans have already made their minds up about the regime so no matter what is said publicly, it will be met with derision. It may well be a lose, lose situation regarding the clubs communication with fans. Say nothing and get slated for it, speak often and get slated for it. The club has created this current situation and how they go about building trust and friendly open lines of communication are any ones guess.

What are your thoughts?

654 thoughts on “Cautious Lee.

  1. alot of fans were brought up on the sjh and keegan era,and use that as a bench mark,but totaly forget the years of total fkin miss managment but for ashley the worst owner we have had mybe but mybe not.


  2. No respect when it comes to your views on Ashley.. plus I have already explained how from my simple statement you immediately turned it into an argument about the SD advertising. . You can’t let it go, it’s an auto response as soon as finances are mentioned.


  3. Aussie you never accused me of changing your subject you accused me a few times of twisting what you said, for me twisting someone words is totally different than changing the subject.
    As for not letting it go ? When it is harming the club I love no I wont let it go, maybe you dont mind seeing our club lossing out on £10mil a year or as you call it chicken feed, but it does annoy me because its holding our club back.


  4. Aussie – That pathetic attempt to answer my question is a sad indictment on you and also the wrong answer to the wrong question. I actually asked you which other owner is not interested in success for their football club. What a Moby!

    As for that list – All them owners tried to do what they thought would bring success, some of them using money they didn’t have, but at least they got the grasp of what a football club is.

    The Venkies? Well they made decisions based on their desire to improve the club. They got it wrong but they didn’t sack their managers to take them down, they did it because they thought it would improve the team. They didn’t know about football but tbey wanted Blackburn to be as successful as they could be. Theyre also paying for the sponsorship their company have.

    Next free lesson, Aussie will be on the subject of your choice!


  5. MM @448 Pendower born and bred,you Scotwoods lot were a rough lot,mammy and daddy never allowed us to mix with the Scotwood lot lol,bloody rough diamond you are,used to walk to SJP them days had to be there by 12.30 to make.sure we got a good place in the que,like you I don’t go now won’t spend a penny while jabba is there ,oh how I would love to get that feeling back (hope)


  6. Hitman@451, I remember Lord Westwood mate, and whereas that bloke was probably just as much of a pirate (excuse the pun) as Ashley, due to the present day media coverage we can all voice our outrage in the public, in those days we just had to rely on the Chronicle :-)… So Ashley gets his earful plus a bit nowadays… I suppose at the end of the day it’s the same “media exposure” which helped make him a gazillionaire, I’m sure I’d have pretty thick skin if I had a couple of gazillions in the bank. A few thousand daft geordies getting pissed off is peanuts at the end of the day.. 😉


  7. Icedog, I know mate, I was from the toon end of Scotswood Road. The Denton Burn end of the Scotswood Road, Denton Road etc that was like the broncks mate. Remember playing footy against Grainger Park and the Bobby Shaftoe…or Scotswood Club on a Sunday morning…that was way out of order… 🙂
    In my sprogdom I could walk to the match from wor hoose in 20 minutes, and smell the hops from the brewery. It was brilliant in those days. I remember hearing the roar in wor garden when the toon scored…brilliant mate.
    Plus the young entrepeneurs kindly offering to look after your car for you while you were at the match 😉 😉 That’s probably where Ashley started out 🙂

    Queue the hovis advert music anyone 😆 😆 😆 😆


  8. Stuart79 ….are you going to give up your season ticket mate ?
    Or are you too deeply in there ? 🙁 🙁

    I suppose it’s easier for us ex-pats, or blokes living away, cos the decision is often made due to the distance. It must be tough living in the toon, but I’m sure I wouldn’t go to the games…


  9. I’d take Ronnie de Boer as a manager. Hopefully he’d bring a good style of play to the club and also have the style reproduced throughout all levels.

    I’m sure that reproducing an Ajax-style academy in the UK would appeal to Ashley.


  10. Stuart79, do you think you are falling out of love with football in general mate, or is it purely 100% down to the toon and Ashley ?

    I personally hate the media smarming around the big money clubs… throw in the Ashley factor and it doesn’t really make following the toon an easy job. That’s what makes me have so much more respect for toon army fan groups from abroad etc… I met 10 Polish lads in Gelsenkirchen, all of them absolute toon die-hards. At the end of the day the media pressure to pick a glory-hunter team like Chelsea or Man City is huge… Maybe the toon just attract the heed the balls ? 😆 😆


  11. Bris, have you swapped your Brisbane Roar onesie for a Western Sydney Wanderers onesie ? 😉 😆 😆


  12. As for not letting it go ? When it is harming the club I love no I wont let it go, maybe you dont mind seeing our club lossing out on £10mil a year or as you call it chicken feed, but it does annoy me because its holding our club back.

    Wow, you don’t twist words eh… the context was, chicken feed money compared to what the big clubs earn (read back if you want)… but heh, lets be honest, the 10m figure is a figment of your imagination, so I don’t know why you keep bringing it up like it is a factual number.. love it when people argue a point based on something they have made up.. there is a number of crew on here that do it…


  13. Another gem, Oz: “love it when people argue a point based on something they have made up.. there is a number of crew on here that do it…”

    And they mistake this for reality.


  14. Aussie your wrong yet again I never made the figure up, as I allready told you it was an advertising/ rebranding expert that said it, try reading what I said before wrongfully accusing me of making things up 😳


  15. Munich – i am seriously considering giving my ticket up. I’m so bored watching them and don’t look forward to the games anymore. I just don’t see the point as we aren’t improving and don’t look like we want to improve.

    I’m not sure we can compare the previous owners as they certainly didn’t have the huge TV revenues coming in now. But I would be very surprised if they wouldn’t have spent them in the hope of improving the team and attempting to win something.

    Another question; What’s the point in a football club making big profits if they don’t invest them on the football pitch?


  16. MM: Ah, ok, though it doesn’t help me shed any light on the query. Why would I change to being a WSW fan?

    Actually, though, if the Aleague had started 6yrs earlier and of course if WSW had been part of it, I would have been a WSW fan. That’s where I lived and/or played football for 20-odd years


  17. Bris, I was just teasing you mate, cos it looks like the Roar have fallen from grace 😉 nothing more sinister than that.
    I’m not an Ozzie basher 🙂


  18. MM

    I was born a mile away from Scotswood Road also. Bottom end of Swalwell in Gateshead. I lived closer to SJP than Brett Strength who was born in the toon. 😆


  19. Stuart79@470, I can believe it mate.
    A combination of blind genetic faith of falling the toon does become eroded with time…throw in the Ashley factor, the apparent sterility of going to toon games, overzealous stewards telling you how to behave having invested your 50 quid in an afternoons “entertainment”…and the constant fawning from the media over the money clubs….

    I wouldn’t buy a season ticket, and wouldn’t go to the home games, though I live the toon as much as the next man.

    The days of standing behind the goal with 10,000 like minded souls, and having a damned good day out are long gone mate…


  20. Aussie accuses everyone of not answering questions. It’s quite ironic really cos everyone accuses Aussie of not the same thing. 😆

    It’s almost painful watching him cringe, squirm and wriggle. I’m loving the strike force of Big Dave & Stuart 79. 😆


  21. MM maybe I played against you as I played for Grainger park boys as a wee sprog,if you have scars on your shins and had a couple of broken toes Ime sorry hope you still don’t have a limp,part of the game eh lol,hope you got your Dickmans pies on the way to SJP 😆 😆


  22. I cannot be a OZ basher I’ve lived and worked there a couple of times and have a brother living in Brisbane (40)yes but I will say they are very bad sportsman but will stand their ground if they think they are right and nothing will shift them from there beliefs,so they do have some good in them,imo like 😀


  23. eh,ya come on here every day moaning about ashley,and telling people whats the point of supporting the club,and your a season ticket holder who pays ashley money every… the team not the regime eh stu.


  24. Hitman – How can you support the team without supporting the regime? I go to the matches and I cheer the team on. I come on here and voice my gripes. Fair enough I think.


  25. what ever you says mean nowt to me,i took a stand like others and never been back. but your the biggest moaner on here but still pay for ya st and that shows ya support for ashley.mug


  26. the team and the regime are one of the same you support one you support the other.thats why we are in this mess.fkin hell ashley could put 11 monkeys in toon tops and you would get some fans paying to see it.


  27. Saints make just one change to league team for FA cup match v Palace, so nice to see a club pick a strong team and take it seriously.


  28. I think the whole point is that I don’t have a go at the players when watching, I do all my ‘Moaning’ via this medium and I think that’s a fair way of doing it. Not sure ‘Mug’ really covers it, but it does show your intelligence or maybe your age ❓


  29. Brett

    I must be a Geordie. I’ve got a tattoo on my chest in 4 inch letters, Proud to be a Geordie. 😀


  30. ok mug boy.if someone is going to mug me of my money i dont want to see it coming,but if you see it coming and let it happen that makes you a mug..i couldnt sleep at night knowing i was given money to this regime..


  31. Hitman

    Not a day goes by where you don’t let yourself down. There’s nothing wrong in criticising others opinions but once you start name calling it gets pathetic. If we all took your stance the blog would degenerate into an abusive slagging match.


  32. as where you are abusive to the women bloggers on here,would you talk to women like that in the real world,your nothing but a gob ****e troll who brings this blog down.


  33. Hitman

    If you would kindly explain where I’ve been abusive to a lady please?

    As far as bringing this blog down you do a pretty good job yourself.


  34. how many times have you been pulled up for the way you have went on with kim…..

    funny ive only just started coming back on the blog the past few month.


  35. Give me one example where I’ve been abusive to Kim.

    I’m blunt and forthright to anyone. Whether male or female. I don t really believe is offended by anything I’ve ever said. It’s a blog. It’s for forthright opinions.

    So u asked you to provide me an example of where anyone has told me not to speak to Kim in the way I do.

    I don’t expect you to find an example but I do expect t some abuse from you out of frustration

    You shouldn’t take yourself so seriously Hitman. I don’t take you that way.


  36. pardew likes to get 2 or 3 wins under his belt before he goes on a long losing run.

    it’ll end end tears at the palace.

    your right hitman

    troy is always trying to bully kim – i don’t think he likes the idea of a woman knowing more than he does about footy.


  37. like i told you the other day ya fk all to me,your the blog troll.
    and its all there the way you have talked to its all there that you have flipped about like a fish on dry land when it comes to percy.


  38. Crapper

    I don’t believe for a second that Kim would want me to speak to her any different to anyone else.


    Regarding being a troll. My understanding of a troll is someone who deliberately writes to get a reaction whether they believe or not what they are writing.

    I don’t do that. I believe in what I write.

    I’ve got to be honest. I haven’t got a clue what your views are on nufc. That us because your posts must be boring. I’m pleased you know my opinions on nufc. That suggests you read them. 😉


  39. Football. Bloody hell. What a day of results. The sort of day that makes me love the cup, but gets me boiled up about us not even trying to win at Leicester, since if we had, then that could now be us in the fifth round, with most of the usual finalists out…Tell me Ma, me Ma. Bollocks.

    As for the ‘can’t support the team bit’, Ashley is far from the worst owner we’ve had in my time – the Westwood and McKeag years weren’t noted for their ambition, let alone competence, where we are today looks like a paradise, by comparison. The Halls and Shepherd had ambition, yes, but each time a decision had to be made prioritised paying dividends and bonuses to themselves over investing in success – left alone they would have seen the club into administration. No, there’s no ambition to the Toon now, except to stay mid-table and deliver a pathway to ambitious players and a hoarding for SD, and I hate that. I wish they would change view and just go for the cups, that would do. But I can’t help keep on keeping on supporting the team.

    Born to it.


  40. Stu @488

    I understand you love to watch the toon but constantly whinging about the regime and then going to the match is a total contradiction. I don’t think doing your complaining on here is enough. But that’s fairs do’s mate. there are probably 40+k also doing it…and this is why Mike will most definitely stay.


  41. Brett

    Was that a polite way to say Stuart is a mug? 😆

    Take note Shitman. There’s ways and means.


  42. I must admit Troy you have spoken some unkind words to kim in the past, a little sexist, belittling etc. 😉 just saying like


  43. @Troy

    both you and Stu have backed Pardew to the hilt and keep making comments that its our fault.. (he walked)

    but you (troy) admitted yesterday you wanted him to walk twice while Stu sounds like a battered housewife whining about Ashley but still goes. 🙄

    Its like going to a domestic abuse anonymous meeting then buying your husband a hammer and a bottle of whiskey on the way home 😆


  44. i must admit i used the wrong words there with stu and i apologise stuart,that was wrong of me…
    but i stand by everything i have says about the troll.he has insulted many people on here.


  45. I mentioned earlier, that if I lived in the toon I am 100% sure I wouldn’t buy a season ticket, and wouldn’t go to the games. I’ve been debating fir ages about buying a toon top, but decided against it.
    I’m proud to say that in his 7(?) years at the toon, Ashley has probably received 25 quid from me.


  46. Wave you’re hands in the air if you’re paying into the Mike Ashley retirement fund.
    A pair of fluffy black and white striped donkeys ears will be sent out with the new season ticket renewall slips 🙄


  47. @MM don’t buy anything. The shop merchandise is owned by SD we make nothing…

    I made a stand. bought all my Christmas stuff from JD even though it was slightly more and just bought a pair of trainers from JD. I refuse to give the fat t*** any of my money until he shows he has our best interests at heart.


  48. GTE @ 505
    a sensible post getting lost amongst the bickering.

    look at Aussie’s link @ 446 for confirmation


  49. AGAM, Ashley gets none of my money mate, don’t worry about it……

    though last year I bought one of those travel bags which you can fit into an overhead locker on a flight, cheap as owt it was as well…and in the same shipment I got a SD coffee cup. I hoyed it straight in the bin (the coffee mug that is)…didn’t want any tat in wor hoose… 👿


  50. @MM aye, ive had one of those cups. theyre huge.

    My auld man turned up on Christmas Morning with a slazenger zipped hoody on. I said, what you wearing that ****e for, its cheap crap and its from SD. he handed me a present and said “you’ll not enjoy opening that then” lol the same hoody.. 😯 😳


  51. Shitman

    Stop being a ninny and wet lettuce. YCMIU
    I can’t abide adults crying on like wimps.

    You’re a professional stirrer. I take no notice of any aspersions you throw at me. I can imagine you as the little kid in the playground egging everyone on to fight, thereby keeping the bullies away from you. 😉


  52. @Troy.
    two wrongs don’t make a right 😉 behave with dignity 😉

    Stirrer? where have I stirred. I speak the truth. anyway, its rich you calling me a stirrer 😆


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