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Archive for category: Sir John Hall.

Newcastle United and one of the greatest blunders in football history

January 8th, 2015 | 64 Comments |

Bobby Robson and Kevin Keegan
Before it all went wrong.
There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.

Said Brutus in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, and so it was with Newcastle United when they missed football’s greatest tide, leaving themselves bound in the shallows and miseries of mediocrity ever since.

To elaborate, in 1997-8, in the early stages of the biggest ever growth in football finances, Newcastle United were the fifth biggest football club in the world according to the Deloitte and Touche ‘Football Money League’ for that season. To make it seem even more unreal when we look at Newcastle United today, they were slightly ahead of Louis van Gaal and Bobby Robson’s Barcelona, who the Magpies had beaten 3-2 in the Champions League at St James’ Park that season. They also made the FA Cup final, after finishing as runners up in the Premier League for the second year in a row and signing the world’s most expensive player in the previous season. However the signs were already there, they also finished thirteenth in the League that season, the club lost some great players, Les Ferdinand, David Ginola, Faustino Asprilla and certainly not least, a 36year old Peter Beardsley. Kenny Dalglish was then sacked early into the next season and things were to get even worse under his successor, Ruud Gullit. (more…)


Pardew’s eight year contract unspun…

October 2nd, 2012 | 144 Comments |

Alan Pardew, John Carver and Steve Stone.
Eight more years for the three wise monkeys.
If you have been reading Newcastle United stories in the media recently, you will probably have noticed the announcement that Mike Ashley has decided to give Alan Pardew and his backroom staff, John Carver, Steve Stone and Andy Woodman eight year contracts.

There has a recent precedent of course, with chief scout Graham Carr having already been given an eight year contract back in June. Both Derek Llambias and his Public Relations assistants in the the local (Trinity Mirror Group) media such as Lee Ryder and Mark Douglas have been getting excited to the point of tumescence about this latest round of contract extensions, with Douglas even having the impertinence to tell we fans, his readers, how we must think and behave from now on. He suggested that like all fans (and unlike Ashley and Llambias), we are simply primitive, bed sheet wielding “knee jerk” creatures of impulse, but that we must now bow down in obeisance to Ashley’s longterm plan and restrain ourselves from any form of criticism should the club have a bad run of results. (more…)


What must Debuchy and Cabaye think about this Anita deal?

August 16th, 2012 | 129 Comments |

Vurnon Anita.
It's that man again, but what about Debuchy (and Cabaye)?
So it has come from the horse’s mouth, well, Vurnon Anita’s mouth anyway, that Ajax and Newcastle United have agreed a fee of around €8.5 million, or around £6.7 million plus bonuses for Vurnon Anita.

A medical supposedly happened yesterday, though there doesn’t seem to be any definitive news as I write this on personal terms being thrashed out, or the Silver Supremo summit meeting requested by Anita, where he was looking for reassurances from Pardew about the nature of his role within the squad.

But what is going so right here that didn’t go so right with the Debuchy affair? And what must Debuchy himself, not to mention Yohan Cabaye, and even Danny Simpson think about it?

I must admit that I have written my fair share of criticism about the way Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias have gone about their business in some negotiations, and I still stand by it. However, credit where credit is due, it must be said that £6.7 million plus bonuses seems to be a fair and equitable fee for both sides in this case and they seem to have got their man. However, this isn’t to say that all being well, it shouldn’t be an excellent investment for Newcastle in the long term for a highly talented young player who’s value should appreciate further over time. (more…)


Mike Ashley vs Freddy Shepherd – Who’s better?

May 25th, 2012 | 64 Comments |

Mike Ashley and Freddy Shepherd.
"Satan's mirror has two faces."
Well, Newcastle United have finally managed to finish in the top half of the Premiership under current owner, Mike Ashley.

This is our first top ten finish, and qualification for European competition, since Glenn Roeder’s Intertoto “Dream Team” managed seventh, and Europe, after a storming finish in the 2005-06 season.

However, we fans are constantly reminded that this can only come at a very high cost, that the name of the club’s traditional home, St James’ Park, must be sacrificed to become a free publicity vehicle for Sports Direct, that we must also be subjected to a myriad of fit inducing signs publicising Sports Direct throughout games, that we must pay a £25 membership fee to purchase a season ticket, or even just one away ticket and so on…

Mirroring the spin department of the current administration at 10 Downing Street, everything is blamed on our previous administration for allegedly taking us to the edge of the financial abyss, with neither the world economic crisis, nor relegation to the Championship playing any part whatsoever. Even after five whole years, when controversial decisions are made, the spectre of the Byker Beelzebub himself, Freddy Shepherd, is constntly raised, and the club’s current owner is hailed as a messiah who has somehow led the club from the verge of complete extinction. So, now that the club has completed it’s fifth season under its current ownership, I thought I would put this to the test, measuring the performance of the current owner, both on the pitch and on the balance sheet, against his predecessors under the leadership of Shepherd. (more…)


Magical Magpie Memories: The 80s Part Two – Coming Full Circle.

February 12th, 2012 | 16 Comments |

“Jossys Giants” visit Bobby Charlton and Willie McFaul at St James’ Park – 1985.

Aye Bobby Charlton, not Jackie Charlton who had left the club as manager in the huff over player sales and such before McFaul stepped in and faced the same old problem.

After introducing the Jossy’s lads to McFaul the ex Northern Ireland goalie, Bobby then takes them through the bowels of the old St James Park, the old away dressing room with the old plunge bath, the old physio room and so on. A magical trip down Magpie memory lane. As you can see, Bobby’s no Al Pacino when it comes to acting; then again, he could probably teach Pacino a thing or two on playing against the likes of Eusebio and Beckenbauer! (more…)