Confirmation of Joe Kinnear appointment angers Newcastle fans

Ratification comes against backdrop of enduring public silence from boss Alan Pardew

Joe Kinnear has been appointed ‘director of football’ at Newcastle. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Joe Kinnear has been appointed ‘director of football’ at Newcastle. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

 


Newcastle United angered and astonished their supporters by finally confirming the appointment of Joe Kinnear as their director of football yesterday.

That ratification came against a backdrop of enduring public silence from Alan Pardew, the team’s manager, and only hours after Kinnear had given an extraordinary radio interview to Talksport.

Joe Kinnear on Talksport

Among a litany of outlandish comments, contradictions and falsehoods the 66-year-old claimed, wrongly, that Derek Llambias, Newcastle’s managing director, had recently resigned as director of football and called the team’s France midfielder Yohan Cabaye, “Yohan Kebab”.

‘A load of tosh’
Arguably, worst of all, was Kinnear’s reflection on Newcastle’s fans. “Some are talking out of their backsides, a load of tosh,” he said. “I’m not accepting it, as simple as that. I have certainly got more intelligence than them, that’s a fact.”

Rather than rendering his new role untenable, Kinnear was formally installed a few minutes before noon. If Mike Ashley, Newcastle’s owner, who apparently thrashed out a deal with the club’s former manager at the Orange Tree pub in Totteridge, north London, last week, remained undaunted, others saw things differently. The Newcastle Evening Chronicle’s front-page headline read “What a Joke”.

As fans threatened to boycott games and surrender season tickets, Chi Onwurah, the MP for Newcastle Central and a supporter of the team, summed up the general mood of bewilderment, albeit expressing her feelings more politely than most. “It does seem that Ashley moves in ways more mysterious than the Almighty,” she said.

Three-year contract
In a club statement which, significantly, lacked any input from Pardew, the club said Kinnear had signed a three-year contract and would report directly to the board as the senior executive in charge of all football related matters.

“Graham Carr and Alan Pardew will report into Joe,” it declared, which emphasised Kinnear is now the most powerful football figure at the club.

“The board is pleased to welcome Joe back,” said Llambias. “Joe has many years of experience working within the game and this experience will be of great benefit in achieving our objectives over the coming seasons.”