A question on a lot of NUFC fans’ minds and one that seems to have been asked a lot in recent weeks. Indeed, Dean Wilkins’ in his excellent article in The Mag raised the question three weeks ago and still he’s not surfaced.
We all know that had the takeover taken place, Charnley would have been history. In fact it was even reported at one stage over the summer that he’d cleared his desk out and had made his departure plans!
But the takeover didn’t happen and Mr Charnley didn’t lose his job – although we haven’t heard a squeak or a peep from him since. This from a man that went as public to publish an article in a Match Day Programme vowing to speak out more!
Yet despite that there’s been no clarity from him on big issues like Benitez’s future over 18 months ago, lingering takeover talk, ticket refunds, players with COVID etc, etc, etc.
Add in the fact that Ashley clearly has his head in the sand and doesn’t care about the fans and even the Club or the Manager as long as we’re above the relegation zone. Which begs the question what does Charnley actually do?!
I find it remarkable how little criticism or even mentions the media, especially the local newspapers, give to Charnley. Although, there again, you could say the same about how they cover Mike Ashley in general as well.
Mr Charnley in the match programme for the Arsenal match on Sunday 11 August 2019 had this to say:
“We go into today’s match following changes on and off the pitch over the summer months. I appreciate it has been at times, and certainly during the early part of the break, a period of uncertainty for supporters.”
“We want to communicate clearly and proactively, but it is important that we do so at the right time. Sometimes we must adopt a ‘no comment’ policy and I accept that can be – and has been – frustrating. There are reasons behind that approach.”
“Often, there are legalities at play or we may take the decision in order to respect the integrity of a process or the individuals involved. What we won’t do is fuel speculation by offering a running commentary.”
“Instead, when we have something definitive to say, we will say it, as we did as soon as Rafa’s position became clear.
“We understand and expected the disappointment that Rafa’s departure caused. We strongly believe we went beyond what could reasonably be asked in order to keep him. But let’s be clear, he moved to China for money.”
“Whilst I have stated above that I felt our approach during the summer was necessary, I accept we need to do more from a communication perspective moving forward. There is certainly a need to communicate more as a club and to let fans know where we are heading collectively.
“That goes beyond the responsibility of just the head coach or manager in isolation; something we have relied on far too heavily in the past. We want to give you more of an insight into what happens across the club and you will therefore be hearing more from me, as you are today…”
Sounded great didn’t it?
The reality has been drastically different with him in complete isolation and emitting total silence. Indeed, when there was a Newcastle United Official Statement on the 1st December 2020 about the Aston Villa game, he wasn’t even quoted on that!
I passionately believe if you screen wrote the story of Ashley’s tenure and his bit part players – which include a multitude of Managers and goons behind the scenes – and presented it to a Film Producer you’d be laughed out of their office as living in fantasy land.