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Walking in a Shearer wonderland?

Posted on July 24th, 2009 | 9 Comments |

Biting his tongue?
Biting his tongue?
Does anyone really know what’s going at St James’? According to Big Al’s big pal, Rob Lee, even he hasn’t a clue.

Talking to the press, Rob had this to say:

“I speak to Alan every day and he’s frustrated to say the least. He’s coming to the end of his tether now. He’s waited for ages and been told that things were due to happen, but nothing has and he’s very frustrated.

“He organised all the pre-season games at the end of last season but he also had targets in mind that he wanted to bring in to the club. Now it looks like he will miss out on them.

“I’m amazed he hasn’t already told Newcastle that he doesn’t want the job any more, but there will come a point where he says, ‘You’re too late’.

“He still wants the job desperately but you can’t expect someone like that to wait forever. He’s not daft and they’ve had ample time to sort something out.

“Only half the stadium has been sold as season tickets and for a club the size of Newcastle that is bad. They’re in danger of being in the same situation as Leeds, who are stuck in League One and can’t get out.

“It could take a long time to sort themselves out, but nothing can happen unless the club is sold. Some of the players don’t want to play in that division, but they’re being paid £50,000 a week and you can’t sustain that.

“It is a horrendous situation and the longer it goes on the worse it will get for Newcastle.

“If things don’t change in the next three weeks they could have a very bad season.”

Other than stating the obvious, what Rob’s words imply is that despite all of our last hopes, Shearer is just as in the dark as we are. For weeks, we had first assumed and then blindly hoped that despite progress on the sale front, Shearer was being kept in the loop. That would mean that preparations were in place for the coming season.

There has been evidence on the field of fight and desire with the bust-ups at the Huddersfield game but that to me was an illusion borne out of a mix of frustration and coincidence. That’s not the sort of ‘fire in the belly’ we need to see. Nor do we want to see an inevitable ‘fire’ sale but judging by Rob’s comments, Shearer has been left in limbo since the end of the season after lining up targets. It’s unthinkable really that there is a very real possibility that either new or old owners will want to shift some of the high earners at the last minute and yet we don’t have replacements waiting in the wings.

It seems like Shearer is genuinely as frustrated as we are and as Al is not backwards in coming forwards, we can assume that he will have made his feelings known to the board. Whether this was Shearer’s way of communicating the situation to us is unclear but either way, we get the message.

The truth is that it’s not a great deal more than we didn’t already know. It seems at face-value that Ashley et al are genuinely trying to sell the club as quickly as possible. And that would make sense given the catastrophe of the last 12 months and the ill-feeling towards him. But it’s difficult to know whether they’re being unreasonable in their expectations. Whether promises have been broken or goalposts moves, who knows? But there have been conflicting messages coming out of St James’ and it’s still impossible to establish what will happen with this sale.

What’s remarkable is that the board haven’t been dynamic enough to build in contingency to allow us to be managed effectively throughout pre-season. The sale seems difficult enough. Moving players on and bringing players in has been halted due to a transfer embargo. Surely, moving the assets around is unlikely to cause too many more issues? It might delay the sale ever so slightly due to legal and financial considerations but surely providing everything else is in place, a new owner would be prepared to monitor the situation and react accordingly, particularly if it’s in their interests (and our’s)? And it’s hardly bounding along as it is, by all accounts.

Which means that perhaps the reluctance to have Shearer involved at this juncture is down to the current board and not Big Al. The simple solution of making him a temporary appointment or at least with clauses to protect new owner’s plans was seen to be a no-go (by the fans as much as anyone) because Shearer didn’t see the ‘temp’ agreement going beyond the last eight games. But surely if Al wants this as badly as Rob initimates then that could have been a solution even if it wasn’t Al’s ideal scenario and he could have been persuaded should he be informed that the sale would continue to drag. And of course that arrangement would have alleviated the issue of this black hole of activity within the club that has occured because the sale continues to drag on.

Despite what the majority seem to want, if the suitors haven’t pushed for his appointment and allowed him to be appointed by now, as implied by Llambias over a month ago and the current board are sickening him, then it’s likely this could all end in tears and tantrums. I’ll try my best to keep some decorum but I’ll probably be throwing as big a paddy as anyone. Not necessarily that Big Al hasn’t got the job full time but just at the sheer negligence going on with my beautiful football club. When will it ever end?

NUFCBlog Author: bowburnmag bowburnmag has written 234 articles on this blog.

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9 Responses

  1. hitman – it’s hard to disagree with you. Seems like the most likely outcome at the minute.

  2. thanks worky i was in particular looking for the slovenia v switzerland game (i wanna see vuckic)its my fault i said ANY game