Charnley has insisted Benitez turned down a contract extension at St James' Park for more money at Dalian Yifang, while the Spaniard has refuted that claim and repeated his assertion that the club failed to match his ambition.
"What we have said is it is about priorities. There is a pot of money. Where is the greater need? At this time it's on the field," Charnley told the Chronicle.
"It's not unreasonable, the pot of money can only go so far. You go and spend it on the training ground, it means there is less to spend on the team.
"Spend it on the academy, there is less to spend on the team; spend too much on wages, there's less to spend on the team.
"That doesn't mean we don't spend in all those areas, because we do, but our view has been at this point in time, the priority is what goes on to the field."