McClaren safe as Ashley digs his heels in
Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley will remain loyal to under-fire manager Steve McClaren, managing director Lee Charnley and chief scout Graham Carr as they draw up plans for a risky January overhaul of the squad.
Carr and Charnley have both attracted intense criticism for the way they have conducted player recruitment, focusing entirely on young players from abroad, leaving McClaren floundering as he tries to improve results with a squad of dubious mental fortitude.
The quality of the four players signed in the summer at a cost of more than £50m - players described as "exceptional" and capable of making an "immediate impact" by Charnley in an email to season ticket holders - has also been questioned.
Carr was responsible for recommending all of them and his recent track record in the transfer market is poor.
But, rather than dismiss anybody, Ashley is determined to show he will not be swayed by public pressure or media criticism and will instead sanction more signings in the January window.