Why boardroom departures have left Newcastle in an unusual position

Lee Charnley and Mike Ashley, right
Lee Charnley and Mike Ashley, right

There’s a large, black table in the boardroom high up at St James’s Park.

However, it hasn’t been used for a board meeting for a long time.

Records at Companies House have been updated to show that Fairs Cup-winning captain Bob Moncur is no longer a director of Newcastle United.

And the boardroom table is a little on the large side given that the club now only has one director – managing director Lee Charnley.

In fact, the change was made some time ago. This season’s Premier League handbook, published last summer, lists Charnley as United’s sole director.

Back in June 2015, Moncur was appointed to the board along with head coach Steve McClaren and chief scout Graham Carr.

Charnley said at the time: “This is a very positive step forward.

“There is a huge common desire for the club as a whole to move forward and succeed.”

Newcastle, however, went backwards. The four-man board wasn’t a check and balance on owner Mike Ashley, who, ultimately, makes all the key decisions at the club. And, from the outside, it looked like a PR exercise.

It is unclear how many times the board formally met before McClaren was dismissed in March 2016 following a disastrous few months on the field. Carr left the club last summer by “mutual consent”.

Newcastle is unique as a Premier League club in only having one director.

Elsewhere, decisions are debated and discussed at board level. That doesn’t happen at United, as Charnley can’t have a conversation with himself.

Moncur, at least, will continue his work as a club ambassador and patron of the Newcastle United Foundation.

“I’m staying in an ambassadorial role and will continue my work with the Foundation,” said Moncur, the last man to captain the club to a major trophy. “I’m very happy to do what I’m doing.”