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So who's actually in charge at United? what the removal of a club director will mean.

Byline: CHRIS WAUGH NUFC Writer chris.waugh@trinitymirror.com @CHRISDHWAUGH

THERE has been a change in the Newcastle United boardroom this week.

A Companies House update has confirmed that one of the club's directors has now left their position on the board.

With all the uncertainty surrounding the takeover situation at the club, which has dragged on since Mike Ashley officially placed the Magpies up for sale in October, naturally some fans have proposed that there may be a connection between the two.

But all of this also begs the question: who is actually on the board at Newcastle? Ashley is the club's owner, Lee Charnley is the Magpies' managing director and Rafa Benitez is the manager. But who is the board comprised of? Here, NUFC Writer Chris Waugh runs us through who is on the Newcastle board - and what the removal of one of the club's directors means for United...

Has there been a reshuffle at boardroom level? Well yes, and no. 'Yes' in the sense that 1969 Fairs Cupwinning captain Bob Moncur has now officially been removed as a director, as a Companies House update confirmed on Monday.

But 'no' in Lee Charnley the sense that there has not necessarily been a material change.

Does Moncur still have an official position at Newcastle? Yes. The ex-Magpies defender remains as one of the club's mostprominent ambassadors, including retaining his match-day duties - such as hosting in his own Moncur Suite.

Moncur also works closely with the club's Foundation, and he still enjoys a positive relationship with Mike Ashley - who asked the club legend to lift the Championship trophy last season.

So who is actually on the board? Charnley. And that is it. At least officially. According to the Premier League's official website, the only director listed is managing director Charnley. And it is understood that he is the only member.

What happened to the 'Football Board' which was created during the summer of 2015? Why wasn't Rafa ever appointed on to it? Soon after Steve McClaren was confirmed as Magpies 'head coach' during the summer of 2015, Newcastle also announced the formation of a 'Football Board'.

The board comprised of four members: Charnley, McClaren, chief scout Graham Carr, and Moncur.

McClaren had to resign from the board when he was sacked as head coach in March 2016, while Carr gave up the position when he left United last summer.

Moncur, meanwhile, was still technically registered to be on the board until this latest announcement - yet, in practice, he has not been actively involved in decision-making at the club over the last 18 months.

There were suggestions that Benitez would be elevated on to the board when he took on the role of 'manager', but that has not happened.

Though it has never officially been confirmed, the Football Board has been defunct in all but name for the best part of two years now.

Do we expect anyone to be added to the board? Moncur may now no longer be a director, but the confirmation of a change at boardroom level is unlikely to see a replacement appointed. It is understood that Charnley is the only officially-registered member of the 'board' - if it can be called that, given that it only has one member.

The reality important must ratified or at least his close What does this mean in practice? How does the NUFC board actually function? To put it in simple terms, Newcastle do not really have a fully-functioning board in the conventional sense of the term.

There are no board meetings as you would see at most companies - which in itself is surprising.

Instead, Charnley is the man at the helm. It is believed that Benitez submits requests to the managing director, who in turn seeks approval from Ashley - usually via Keith Bishop, who handles the businessman's PR, or trusted aide Justin Barnes - particularly when it concerns decisions involving significant levels of finance.

Is that the way Ashley wants the club to be run? Why is the owner not on the board himself? Ashley could be on the board if he wanted to be, but he has stated in public on at least couple of occasions that he is not involved in the "day-to-day running" of the club.

is that decisions still be by Ashley, one of aides Yet the reality is that important decisions must still be ratified by Ashley, or at least by one of his close aides.

However, it is not entirely unusual for the owner of a club not to appear as an official director.

Farhad Moshiri, who is the largest shareholder at Everton, is not on the Toffees' board, for example.

Seemingly Ashley likes this arm'slength approach; he does not want to be tied down with the minutiae of running Newcastle.

Charnley is Ashley's man at the helm at Newcastle, while Barnes holds an influential role too - albeit in an unofficial capacity, given that the club have never confirmed exactly what the lawyer's role is.

It is believed that Ashley often perceives board meet- ings to be laborious and unproductive; he likes decisions to b e made and actions taken, and does not view official summits as essential.

How does Newcastle's board compare to those at other Premier League clubs? The Magpies are the only topflight club to have just one 'director' listed on the Premier League's website.

Watford and Crystal Palace have three apiece, while the other 17 clubs have at least four - with Manchester United having a top-flighthigh 12 members on their board.

Does Moncur leaving the board have anything to do with a potential takeover? IT does not appear likely, no.

As has already been mentioned, Moncur has not been an active member of the board for more than 18 months - so his official removal is unlikely to be a precursor for a sudden development in the takeover.

With Newcastle's top-flight future still uncertain, and the final two packages of the domestic broadcast-rights deal still unsold, any movement as far as a potential

confirmation of a boardroom level is replacement is this practice? club to be owner not himself? Ashley the he club. Yet that the reality is that important decisions must still be ratified by Ashley, or at least one of his close aides

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Lee Charnley

Bobby Moncur still enjoys a positive relationship with Mike Ashley, even though the former Toon skipper has
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 7, 2018
Words:1065
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