I couldn’t help feeling there was something odd about the story of Patrick Vieira coming to Newcastle, as there is about most unsubstantiated football stories.
Some fans seemed to believe it though, even embroidering it further to their own tastes as it gathered a momentum of its own in a few short days. My curiosity piqued, I looked but I couldn’t find any real evidence that Newcastle United made an approach for Patrick Viera to be the next ‘head coach’ at St James’ Park. Even the guff I’ve read about Steve McClaren coming to Newcastle (and I’ve read alot) seems to be based on the same kind of unsubstantiated “it is understood / sources say” style drivel we see so much of nowadays in the media. Concentrating on the Vieira story first though, I traced the threads of it back to the beginning as I usually do, and in this case it was ‘broken’ by North East Sky Sports reporter, Keith Downie with two tweets below on 30th May, though it seems like longer: (more…)
Most Newcastle United fans are now familiar with the sight of Newcastle United’s PR consultant, Keith Bishop, who seems to have become a permanent figure at the right hand side of Mike Ashley. But who is he? And how did Keith Bishop PR get the job despite being a small celebrity PR company that would be totally out of its depth with a large Premier League club? Finally, what does former Newcastle United managing Director Derek Llambias have to do with all this? Below are a few answers.
First to correct a few possible misconceptions from the local media though.
Keith Bishop PR has been described as “one of London’s most well-known PR agencies” by Mark Douglas in local newspaper, the Chronicle. In reality it is more of a C-Z list celebrity PR outfit than a proper PR company like Bell Pottinger, Edelman, Ogilvy PR and others who are commonly retained by top companies, including large Premier League football clubs. Bishop is more like a poor man’s Max Clifford, more suited to representing celebrity has beens and wanabees than a large Premier League football club. When asked by ‘Features Exec’ in April 2013“Who are some of KBA’s most well-known, or respected clients?” he replied “Newcastle United, Glasgow Rangers F.C., Flavia Cacace, Kristina Rhianoff and a few soap stars!” Other top clients of Bishop are Les McKeown of the Bay City Rollers (he’s still going!), Sven’s ex, Nancy Dell’Olio, Pat ‘the mullet’ Sharp and Lord Brocket from “I’m a Celebrity”, North East Sky Sports reporter David Craig and Gary Newbon. The figures of Keith Bishop PR also indicate it is a quite a small time operation too. Whilst it is true that Bishop can also boast of having Leeds United and Rangers on his books, like Newcastle, they are also something of a PR disaster area at the moment. (more…)
In the piece I ask if they are now in danger of losing their momentum after their first march almost a month ago, which made more of an impact than they might have imagined due to Mike Ashley’s childish and ludicrous overreaction to their little stroll through Newcastle before the game with Liverpool on 19th October.
Entitled “Is Kinnear scouting Ferguson a Sunderland spoof?” or alternatively “Did the Joe Kinnear scouting Shane Ferguson story come from a mischievous Sunderland fan?” (they seem to think that two titles are better than one over there), it originally had the same title as this piece but never mind, at least I’m getting paid!
Anyway, in it I take a look for the origins of Alan Oliver’s laughable story about Joe Kinnear allegedly going to watch Birmingham City’s League Cup victory over Swansea and asking about signing Shane Ferguson. Of course, as Kinnear and all Toon fans know perfectly well already, he is already a Newcastle United player who is currently on loan at the Midlands club. (more…)
Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle. Date: Sat 2nd Nov, 2013. Kick off: 12.45pm. Referee: Lee Mason. UK TV: BT Sport.
Of course, the Chelsea Pensioners will be huge favourites for this one, just as the Manchester Citizens were in Wednesday evening’s League Cup clash. However the Magpies weren’t too shabby at all in that one for the first hour or so and held the Citizens to a 0-0 draw at the final whistle, finally succumbing in extra time. There’s no extra time today so will the Magpies be able to keep a clean sheet against moneybags Chelsea this time?
Meanwhile off the pitch, there has been talk of another protest, this time at Mike Ashley’s banning of the biggest local media house from the St James’ Park media facilities. After that, they also banned fans organisation the Newcastle United Supporters Trust from the club’s “Fan Forum.” This was allegedly for having the cheek to take their own minutes of the meeting, though we all know, it that it was really for their involvement the recent march before the Liverpool gane back on the 19th October. Fans have been urged to take one of NCJ media’s local titles, The Chronic, the Journal or the Sunday Stun to the game and wave it at Ashley and his acolytes in the director’s box just before the kick off. (more…)
Dear reader, if you haven’t seen it yet, my latest piece on Mike Ashley’s childish and pathetic attempt at censorship was published yesterday on metro.co.uk and you can read it by following the link below:
Just for the record though, the titles are not my own. I would never say that a media ban was more important than losing twice in a row to that lot! Also, I have never described the club I have supported since the 1970s as a “laughing stock” just its owners and a few other clowns who have been associated with it down the years.
Since I wrote that piece, there have been quite a few stories from a vengeful press pack over Mike Ashley’s crass attempt to muzzle the media. It takes a really nasty piece of work to actuallly make the fourth estate look like the good guys nowadays, but, alas, it’s a cakewalk for the odious Ashley with his laughable spoiled brat tantrums. Thanks to his latest blunder, he has now made a small march with only around 1000 participants at most into a major event in the national media, and even overseas. To borrow an American expression, Way to go, fatty! (more…)
As I wrote at the time, with Newcastle United, the club of smoke, mirrors and downright lies under current owner, Mike Ashley, there are things we still do not know about the Yohan Cabaye kerfuffle at the start of the season.
In an interview as part of the France squad at the side’s Clairefontaine HQ, Cabaye made some rather suggestive comments about what Alan Pardew called “the situation” at the time. If you recall, Pardew made a series of simlarly suggestive statements, implying that Cabaye refused to play in early season games in order to allegedly force a move to Arsenal. However, he steadfastly refused to mention it outright under the pathetic pretence that he was “protecting” Cabaye, even though he was actually hanging him out to dry with innuendo. When interviewers did ask for a direct answer, interviews were quickly halted by a female press secretary and they quickly got the message.
However, the fleet-footed Frenchman has now cast doubt on the Pardew’s and the club’s narrative, suggesting that only he and Joe Kinnear know the truth of what really happened, challenging Kinnear to play “Deep Throat” and finally come clean on what really happened in the ‘Cabayegate’ scandal.
Below is the full exchange about Cabaye and the Newcastle United imbroglio (translated by myself):(more…)
Tweeting on his Twitter page earlier today, the BBC’s James Pearce claimed the following:
I’m told Mike Ashley let Cabaye listen to phone negotiations last week + he heard Arsenal say: “25 million a lot for a reserve” #moodchanger”
Of course, it was rapidly retweeted all over the Tooniverse, with the story being repeated on quite a few web sites, based solely on the tweet you see above. However, none of stories I saw seemed to ask the obvious question. Presuming for a moment that Pearce is actually telling the truth and someone did actually tell him that, then who was it and WHY?
After all, the club have placed an iron wall of secrecy around what has really been happening with Cabaye. If someone did actually tell Pearce that, and I have doubts about that, I would also seriously doubt that it would be something that was picked up by a cleaning lady who was hoovering under the desk or dusting the shelves at the time. It would be far more likely that it would be someone FAR higher up the hierarchy at the club if they were privy to that information. It also fits in perfectly with the constant stream of carefully crafted but ridiculous and insulting innuendo put out by Alan Pardew in recent days suggesting that Cabaye has been on strike, but that he can’t say that outright because of his wish to “protect” the player from the fans, even though he is letting the cat of the bag merely by mentioning it. (more…)
A radio programme which is well worth listening to if you’re a Newcastle United fan is BBC Radio Four’s “the Lending Game,” a 40 minute look at Wonga’s controversial sponsorship of Newcastle United.
This is what the online blurb for the programme says:
“As Wonga moves into the mainstream with its sponsorship of Newcastle United, is the so-called payday lender responding to, or shaping, changing attitudes on money and morality? Chris Bowlby goes back to his teenage home on the Tyne to look at the rise of Wonga through the lives of the Toon Army.”
Amongst other things, it contains a fairly revealing interview with Newcastle United financial director, John Irving, who told Chris Bowlby that the clinching factor for working with Wonga was the company’s desire to “work with us on fans, the Academy and the Newcastle United Foundation,” who work with the Wonga customers of the future, youngsters from underprivileged families in the North East. However, the interview with Irving is abruptly halted later in the show by a female press officer (possibly Wendy Taylor) when the interviewer brings up controversial subject of former refusenik, Papiss Cisse, who was still in discussions with the club over wearing the shirt when the programme was being made. (more…)
“It has been a very difficult time for me and the Club, and also for the fans. I have had some useful discussions with my Club, my family and Islamic teachers in the last few weeks. After a huge amount of thought and reflection I have made the decision to follow my teammates and wear the kit.
“Now I think it is important for the team and the fans that we concentrate 100 per cent on football. Although I did not go to Portugal on the training camp, I was back here working hard on my fitness and preparing for the start of the new season. Since then it has been great to be training with my teammates again. I feel great and ready to go, and cannot wait to be out there against St. Mirren on Tuesday and to play my part for the team.”(more…)