Is Newcastle United's management structure now out of fashion?

By Lee Ryder on Oct 27, 08 09:27 AM

So then, is it now official that directors of football in the Premier League are out of fashion?

How much can you read into Harry Redknapp's arrival at Tottenham Hotspur?

An appointment that was quickly followed by the exit of sporting director Damien Comolli and then the revelation that a traditional management structure is now the way forward.

Where does that leave us?

Certainly it doesn't leave Newcastle United's current structure looking good, especially with the club in disarray.

And even more so given that the most traditional manager of them all in Kevin Keegan, who was of course heavily influenced by figures like Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley and Arthur Cox, was forced out by a system that has always caused havoc at football clubs in the UK.

On a video clip below we see Big Ron Atkinson waxing lyrical about only one man being in charge (before reminding us that he's still a half decent singer as well).

In theory, a director of football is a great idea.

Somebody in a "hands off" role jets around the world to unearth young overseas talent that will save Newcastle millions of pounds in the long run.

But it becomes a problem when the director of football steps on the toes of the manager, ie the gaffer, the big chief or in some cases the guv'nor, and then thrusts players he doesn't want into the path of the man in charge.

And worse still it becomes a huge issue when the manager can't hand pick the players he feels he needs to improve the side and the persuade them that Newcastle United can still be the place to be.

Players of the future are vital in football.

But on Tyneside at the moment, it's the senior players at Joe Kinnear's disposal that are the biggest cause for concern at the moment.

Newcastle are heading for relegation as it stands.

It can't get much clearer with six points in the bag and the fact that Spurs have just appointed a manager that is capable of guiding his new side to safety.

A rethink is needed and if nobody is coming in to buy Newcastle, then perhaps it's time for the black and whites to go back to letting the manager do his stuff.

Keegan seems unlikely to come back so if Mike Ashley is going to stay then perhaps January is the time to back Joe Kinnear with a bit of cash and improve the squad.

A statement of intent is needed, whether that be short-term or long-term but something needs to happen quickly.

Or we could all be counting the cost of life in the Championship sooner rather than later.



ron lambert said:

It really looks as though the shambolic 'application' of the role of director of football has bombed in at least spurs and the toon. Possibly it might have worked in Ron Atkinson's depiction of it in your article, but Spurs' selling of top players and not replacing them has resulted in their worst ever start to any season. Same as us, lies, deceit and abuse of power knocked the wind out of a season that looked mouth-watering, pre-season that is. A pre-season where KK expected to bolster his tiny squad with a handful of good, exciting players to further impliment the good football he'd eventually got us playing towards the end of last season. As time silently ticks on by without any info on the takeover, Ashley is no doubt revelling in our anguish. With JK's new 1 month contract, a rolling contract could go on indefinitely, and Ashley is under no compunction to buy anyone in January. If my suspicions about him and his mafia are correct, then we won't see any newcomers and JK will just have to do his best with what he's got. My only satisfaction is that Ashley's boyhood heroes are bottom. Catchpa never works on first attempt Lee, even when you've got it spot on, is it making money for ncj each time?

Al said:

I agree Lee that the management structure is flawed at S.t James' but it didn't take a defeat to Sunderland to realise that. This problem has been completely unresolved since Keegan walked out the door which has been over a month ago now, and no-one has let wise go, or even tried to change the structure. I think there's only so long Ashley can wait for a sale before its a definate lost cause and we head towards the championship.

Forget the derby (in which we were unlucky) I think the most important game for us this season is the west brom match, we lose that then we're done for in my mind!


Ken Wilkinson said:

Okay, Lee, where do you see the problems on the pitch? Who's not good enough or, perhaps, not playing well enough?

Peter Dawson said:

IS someone going to buy newcastle or not? if not then why is kinnear telling us there were 8 bids...then all we get is silence from fat mackem...why doesnt fat ash realise that toon fans didnt like him cuz he wasnt straight up with us from day one and never has been...he thinks we're all stupid and he can throw up smoke screens to buy time... we need a structure at newcastle where Mike ashley doesnt have his hand up the managers jacksey ..tired of Mike ashleys silence... it seems like kinnear is being used as his mouthpiece to buy time ...ash tried that one on with keegan...but King kev got tired of force feeding us bullcrap....he needs to do something quick...cuz january fast approaching...if we dont buy players this window then we really are in the sh*t...

PS is anyone else "having fun" yet cuz im (fword) NOT!

M. Sebastian T. said:

Managing is like playing. There is no such thing as a superior system. The important thing is to figure out what works on a club by club basis. The present arrangement at NUFC sucks for them but could easily work elsewhere.

Happy Harry may not be quite so happy after a few games at Spurs who got a bit lucky last weekend with a helpful offside decision.


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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