Fans have long asked questions over Lee Charnley’s ability to be successful in his managing director’s role at Newcastle United, due to his failure to secure signings and constant bungling of straightforward looking deals.
So it will come as no surprise to fans that a report out today from the Daily Mail suggests that the club are unwilling to offer more than £12 million for star loanee striker, Salomón Rondón.
The asking price is £16m. The asking price has always been £16m. And if West Brom are still a Championship side in May, the asking price will continue to be £16m.
It is not a secret. It is etched into his contract, and the Baggies, the player and his agent will all have told Charnley as much.
Naturally, Charnley being the tremendous transfer negotiator that he is [insert sarcasm here], mulls over the deal and comes up with the logic [!] that, with increased interest in the player mounting all the time, and competition for his signature in the summer, a way-short £12m offer will get the deal done.
If true, how much more incompetence must be shown before Ashley makes the decision to replace him with someone who has a football background, and knows what it takes to negotiate with clubs.
The problem is, Ashley, allegedly (as per the Shields Gazette), has Charnley on a salary that is dwarfed by other clubs, and he knows that to bring someone else in would mean paying out more money.
But surely, failure to sign a player who is currently at the club, insists he wants to stay at the club and has a sell-on clause in his contract, must spell the end for Charnley.
His counter-argument will be the Miguel Almirón deal. He made a take it or leave it offer to Atlanta — short of any asking price, of course — and stuck to his guns, until the MLS side caved and accepted the bid.
But his argument is not really valid. In this particular case, they had already brought in Almirón’s replacement and with only being allowed a certain number of franchise players, they had to move the Paraguayan out, but with little other interest, the only option was Newcastle.
And, had Charnley got the deal done quickly, for the sake of — in football terms — pocket change, he could have been playing for the Magpies throughout January.
He has become renowned with dragging deals out, and more often than not, seeing them end in the player going elsewhere.
Some may argue he is working with Ashley’s hand pulling the strings, but when it comes to deals, if the money is released, it is his job to get them done, and the owner takes a back seat.
As much as Ashley is to blame for most of Newcastle’s shortcomings, Charnley shares a portion of the blame, and needs to be held to account for his failings.
What do you think of Lee Charnley’s role at Newcastle? Should he be replaced with someone more knowledgeable? Who would you bring in? Let us know…