Newcastle fail to confirm Joe Kinnear’s appointment

Silence from St James’ Park hints at a hitch

Newcastle United have still officially to confirm Joe Kinnear’s controversial appointment as director of football.

The installation of the club’s former manager as, among other things, controller of transfers was expected to be rubber-stamped yesterday morning. But by evening the silence from St James’ Park hinted at a hitch.

Part of the problem appeared to be that, despite Kinnear maintaining Alan Pardew was "delighted" by his impending arrival, Newcastle's manager had failed to supply any comment for the official press release. While Pardew was briefed in advance about the 66-year-old's role and seemingly accepted it was "a done deal", it is understood he did not envisage Kinnear's remit being as extensive as the incoming director imagines.

Senior figures at Newcastle were apparently slightly taken aback by the considerable sphere of influence Kinnear claimed he would enjoy on Tyneside when he spoke to television and radio reporters on Sunday. With a club statement scheduled to be released yesterday and Kinnear due in Newcastle on Thursday it had been thought he would keep his own counsel until everything was finalised.

Although Derek Llambias, the Newcastle managing director, has been involved in transfer discussions with Kinnear, the decision to hire him was down to Newcastle owner Mike Ashley. The owner first recruited the former Tottenham full-back in 2008 following Kevin Keegan’s departure.

Heart problems ended Kinnear’s five-month stint as boss but, to the dismay of the bulk of Newcastle fans, he is now en route to the northeast to oversee operations. These include final say on transfers, a job previously shared by chief scout Graham Carr, Ashley, Llambias and Pardew.

“Before I had a meeting with Mike, Derek said he’s informed Alan and Alan said, ‘Great news. I’m delighted with that’,” claimed Kinnear. Guardian Service