Friday 9 December 2016

Newcastle say they are not in crisis and are confident of avoiding relegation

Published 25/02/2016 | 18:11

Lee Charnley (left), managing director of Newcastle, who insist they are not a club in crisis
Lee Charnley (left), managing director of Newcastle, who insist they are not a club in crisis

Newcastle have insisted they are not a club in crisis despite approaching the final 12 games of the Barclays Premier League sitting inside the relegation zone.

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The claim comes from the minutes of the latest Fans' Forum meeting, which was attended by managing director Lee Charnley and club ambassador Bob Moncur.

In response to a question asking if the club was in crisis, they said: "The club disagreed but understands its current league position and acknowledged it was very disappointing.

"The club explained that the squad's recent training camp in La Manga, Spain, was designed to help find solutions on the pitch in the final 12 games of the season. The camp was wholly focused on training and recovery, as well as a game.

"The club appreciates the work required to move up the table and remains confident that it will remain in the Premier League at the end of the season."

The Magpies started the season having challenged new head coach Steve McClaren to target a top-eight finish and progress in the domestic cup competitions, but despite an investment in excess of £82million in the squad, the reality has been far more modest.

But the club's reply in the minutes, which were published on Thursday afternoon, was: "The club stated it is collectively reviewing all areas on an on-going basis in order to identify problems and learn from them.

"The club had previously stated it would not achieve all of its aims within two transfer windows but given its transfer activity to date, it absolutely accepted a higher league position was expected at this stage."

There has been disquiet on Tyneside since the closure of the January transfer window, during which Newcastle spent heavily on England international midfielders Jonjo Shelvey and Andros Townsend, as well as French counterpart Henri Saivet, but failed to add to either its defensive or attacking resources beyond striking a loan deal for Roma striker Seydou Doumbia and seeing a £21 million bid for Saido Berahino turned down.

The minutes said: "The club emphasised it had stretched its transfer parameters in January, but that a number of reasons were behind players not being available at that particular time.

"As well as defensive targets, the club also noted it had lodged a club-record bid for a centre-forward, which was rejected.

"Despite that, the club felt it had a very positive transfer window given the calibre of players it was able to attract and the clubs those players had dismissed in order to come to Newcastle United.

"The club accepted it sees the same weaknesses that fans do, but that not every change has been possible despite significant progress in the last two windows."

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