Newcastle United

Newcastle confirm Lee Charnley departure

Graeme Bailey
Lee Charnley has departed Newcastle
Lee Charnley has departed Newcastle / Stu Forster/GettyImages

Newcastle United have confirmed the departure of long-term managing director Lee Charnley.

90min revealed in October that Charnley had been told early on that he would be departing, but he stayed on to help the new owners and indeed he helped conduct their manager interviews.

Amanda Staveley, one of the new directors of the club, said: "I would like to thank Lee sincerely for his support and professionalism during this time of change. His knowledge and assistance have been hugely appreciated by the club’s new Board.

"Lee ends a long association with the club and on behalf of the Board, staff and players, I’d like to wish him the very best for the future."

Lee Charnley added: "To have been at Newcastle United for 22 years has been an honour and a privilege, and the club, its people and our city will always be very special to me.

"As it enters a new chapter in its history under new owners, I wish Amanda, the rest of the Board and everyone connected with the club every success."

Meanwhile, Newcastle manager Eddie Howe has backed the club's plans to bring in a sporting director, with the Magpies hopeful of making an appointment before the New Year.

90min revealed earlier this month that former Chelsea chief Michael Emenalo was in talks and one of the leading candidates for the job.

It is understood former Lille sporting director Luis Campos is also keen, and they are the top contenders due to the likes of Ajax’s Marc Overmars and former Liverpool man Michael Edwards ruling themselves out.

Newcastle’s owners are concentrating on appointing a sporting director after the arrival of Howe and his backroom staff, and sources have told us that they 'hope' to have a deal finalised before December.

And Howe, although not involved in the recruitment process, has backed their decision to bring in a sporting director and says he will ‘embrace’ the chance to work with whoever comes in.

"I have worked with Richard Hughes who was technical director, in effect a sporting director and that worked really well," Howe revealed at his first pre-match press conference ahead of their clash with Brentford.

"It is essential you have a structure that works for your club. You need people in positions that can help you manage.

"It's not my decision and not my call, but if it did happen it's something I'd embrace."

Howe revealed that he would be involved in the club’s transfer activities going forward.

He said: "I never signed a player I didn't want but it was always a collaborative effort. We made some good signings, some that weren't so good.

"You need to get more right than wrong and if you went through them at Bournemouth we did. Sometimes the negative ones get highlighted more than the positive ones.

"You can't be everywhere watching targets. The people around you need to do good work."