Charlie Parker became the secretary-manager of Preston North End in 1906. Parker's first decision was to make Joseph McCall team captain. He was fairly short for a centre-half (5ft 8in). However, he made up for this deficiency with other talents. McCall was a great organizer and leader of men.
With Peter McBride in goal and Joseph McCall at centre-half, Preston had a good defensive record under Parker. However, the club had difficulty scoring goals and at the end of the 1911-12 season, was relegated from the First Division of the Football League.
Parker arranged the transfer of Alf Common, the former English international, from Arsenal for £250, half-way through the 1912-13 season. Common scored 7 goals in 21 games and helped Preston North End win the Second Division title with 53 points. Common also scored against Sunderland on the opening day of the 1913-14 season. He was now 33 years old and only played in 13 more games before retiring from football. Preston finished in 19th place in the 1913-14 season and were relegated once again. Freddie Osborn, who Parker had bought from Leicester Fosse at the beginning of the season, ended up as top scorer with 26 goals.
Preston finished second to Derby County in the final season before the First World War. One again Freddie Osborn was top scorer. This time he scored 17 goals. However, the club had to wait another four years before they could take their place in the First Division.
During the war Parker worked for the civil service as an accountant. When the Football League resumed in 1919, Vincent Hayes was appointed manager of the club. Parker remained as secretary until becoming manager of Third Division North side, Southport in May 1926.
Charlie Parker was later secretary-manager of Manchester Central.