Allardyce Gets £50M – Chris Mort In Control at Newcastle


Sam Allardyce will be provided with about £50M to restore Newcastle United’s fortunes next season after Mike Ashley completed his takeover of the club yesterday.

In a number of developments yesterday – following the day long board meeting on Monday – Mike Ashley assumed full control of Newcastle United and installed his own people as directors, although Freddy Shepherd is to remain as chairman – but only on a temporary basis estimated at only 3 months.

mike-ashley-5.jpg

Newcastle Owner Mike Ashley

Ashley’s business adviser Chris Mort will handle Newcastle United’s daily affairs from now on – and the 38-year-old lawyer has been appointed Deputy Chairman. Presumably that means when Shepherd leaves – Chris Mort will become Newcastle’s Chairman.
Steve Hayward, a marketing manager for Sports Direct – who has also had involvement with Coca-Cola’s football sponsorship program – becomes a non-executive director.

As corporate partner of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s leisure sector group, from which he will now take leave, Mort, 38, advised Ashley on his £133 million acquisition of Newcastle. He has no football experience and is expected to work closely with Shepherd, who accepted Ashley’s invitation to stay on in a paid capacity.

However, it is now becoming clear that Mort will effectively run Newcastle on Ashley’s behalf. Sam Allardyce will now report directly to Mort and the two of them are already working closely together. This is good because Sam will now be getting help from Ashley’s people – but obviously Sam has identified all the players he needs from the playing side – which is exactly the way Allardyce wants it to be (and how it should be). However, since Mort has little experience it does put some pressure on Sam – but he will no doubt continue to get on with what he knows has to be done at Newcastle. We think Sam has performed admirably since his appointment in what have been extremely difficult circumstances for any manager.

As we reported last night Mort issued the following statement on Tuesday:

“I am delighted to take on this role,”
“Newcastle United is a fantastic football club with a wonderful set of supporters.
My first task is to lead a review of all aspects of the club and I look forward to starting that work immediately.”

With Allardyce needing to quickly strengthen the squad (training starts next week) and the club planning a £300M ground development that will increase stadium capacity to at least 60,000 and include a hotel and conference center being built on adjacent land, some continuity at the club is required. Shepherd will provide that continuity – but his remaining tenure is expected to last only a matter of months.

Priority will be given to improving the squad, back-room staff and playing facilities. Allardyce has already criticized the club’s facilities at Little Benton and will no doubt be discussing that with Mort.

Inside sources again confirmed last night Mike Ashley’s determination to “build the biggest and the best and be successful” at Newcastle.

That’s got a certain ring to it don’t you think?

Comments welcome – as usual.



You can share this articleShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePin on PinterestDigg thisShare on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on Tumblr

41 comments so far

  • Fredrik

    Jun 27, 2007 at 8:15 AM

    Comment #1

    £ 50 mil is simply wonderful. Can`t wait `till the season starts. Let the defender-hunt begin. I suggest Habib Beye, Bakari Sagna, Wayne Beidge, Wes Brown and Nicky Shorey.

    0
  • James

    Jun 27, 2007 at 8:17 AM

    Comment #2

    Oh Yes

    0
  • Aaron D

    Jun 27, 2007 at 8:24 AM

    Comment #3

    £50 million that good news, expect us to be linked with all the names under the sun now it is confirmed. Need CD,LB,RB, can get good ones for about £6m each (Sagna, Drenthe and Davies). Leaving £32m to spend on SuperStars (Van Der Vaart, Huntelaar, Diego etc). Hopefully going to be a good close season from this day on.

    0
  • Beastie

    Jun 27, 2007 at 8:28 AM

    Comment #4

    would love to see vanden borre, miguel, davies, hyypia, etc etc etc new era howay the lads

    0
  • Steve

    Jun 27, 2007 at 8:29 AM

    Comment #5

    Bridge or Shorey at left back and Gary Neville (injury permitting) at right back would be my next 2 targets. A player of the quality of Scholes and an out and out winger would be next. Happy days are here again

    0
  • Ben

    Jun 27, 2007 at 8:35 AM

    Comment #6

    biggest and the best eeey ….bring on next season!!

    0
  • Ben

    Jun 27, 2007 at 8:40 AM

    Comment #7

    personally id love to have lita, shorey,davies,huntelaar and bring in young talent for the reserve/youth team

    0
  • Cicero

    Jun 27, 2007 at 8:46 AM

    Comment #8

    I think £50 million is Press talk, I can’t see the new board of professionals announcing to the world how much they are going to spend, prices would double instantly. I think there will be considerable funds available but Ashley and the new board will only know the exact amount.

    One signing I hope Big Sam does get is Mike Forde Bolton’s performance director. Here are a couple of articles that give an insight into what Sam is trying to build at NUFC; it’s not Bolton but Milan that’s his model.

    http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/sport/2007/04/23/milans_scheme_to_help_the_aged.html

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/premiership/bolton/article756913.ece

    0
  • Tony_D

    Jun 27, 2007 at 8:51 AM

    Comment #9

    Great news, my only concern is that SA spends it wisely and buys a couple of big names that will fit in with the squad rather than a bunch of £2 – 3 million players that we haven’t heard of but have potential. It is the first time he has had such a large budget, so the pressure will really be on him now.

    0
  • Cicero

    Jun 27, 2007 at 8:52 AM

    Comment #10

    With funds now being released I think we will see movement on the transfer front. If we are looking for an experienced premiership central defender I’d rather prise Sol Campbell away from Portsmouth than Hyypia from Liverpool. Pity we didn’t get him last year for free.

    0
  • Dan

    Jun 27, 2007 at 8:57 AM

    Comment #11

    Announcing to the world that we ve got £50m to spend is gonna push up players price, a little descretion may have been advisable, that said its great news. Lets hope he brings in some quality experience and talanted youth.

    0
  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 27, 2007 at 9:01 AM

    Comment #12

    Yes – we certainly will be linked with any and all transfer targets from now on – and it will be even harder for us to sort out which are real and which are there to sell papers. But we should now expect quality (expensive) signings before the season starts – we thought this wouldn’t happen until next season but it looks like Sam has already targeted these upper echelon players.
    It also appears with 50M that Ashley indeed wants Newcastle to be challenging for Premier league title within 3 years.

    0
  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 27, 2007 at 9:05 AM

    Comment #13

    Dan – good point – but it hasn’t stopped Sam from getting 3 bargains already and Beye for 2M would also be good. He has a knack of getting good players for good prices – but yes – is now under pressure to continue that. Wouldn’t it be great if we could somehow know his target list after yesterday’s meeting. It also means that if Owen goes we can bring in somebody better – but I’m getting carried away (again) 😀

    0
  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 27, 2007 at 9:08 AM

    Comment #14

    Cicero – maybe we can now tempt Harry Redknapp with a little bit of money for Campbell – he’s obviously Sam’s first choice – and he would be a fabulous tutor for Steven Taylor – and could be a first teamer for 2 years at least – unlike Hyypia – and we want to have lots of competition for places. Also maybe we can now go after Wayne Bridge from Chelsea – who has always been my favorite for left back – he’s be great at Newcastle.

    0
  • Jon c

    Jun 27, 2007 at 9:10 AM

    Comment #15

    Tactically I think we should go for a massive signing to show some real intent. Test Barca with a bid for Ronaldinho or go for Riquelme somebody who is a real superstar and then the out of contracts or year to go on contracts will want to come and play for us and Owen and Oba will want to stay. It is these kind of people who win matches rather than having a team of 4 5 or 6 million pound players. Spend 20 mill on the defence and 30 on someone special.

    0
  • ChrisL

    Jun 27, 2007 at 9:15 AM

    Comment #16

    I’m not sure I want to see us going for a “real superstar”. I want stars on the rise… not ones that have nothing to prove.

    0
  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 27, 2007 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #17

    Cicero – I just put up a piece on both Mike Forde and Mark Taylor.

    http://nufcblog.com/mark-taylor-and-mike-forde-joining-sams-newcastle-revolution/

    0
  • nightfall

    Jun 27, 2007 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #18

    shorey (or bridge, baines), coloccini, beye and 1 defensive midielder…that’s all we need…20 mio is more then enough… especially this season when we don’t have as many games… sol? hyypia? no thanks…they’re good players, but coloccini is better..and younger…he’s only 25 and had ayala for his mentor… olympiakos made a bit for him for only 2,6 mio…so we could get him way under his value…
    sam…what are you waiting for??

    0
  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 27, 2007 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #19

    ChrisL – i think we need both.

    0
  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 27, 2007 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #20

    nightfall – as you know we think it would be great to get Coloccini – surely the guy would be only too pleased to come to Newcastle now – and he wouldn’t cost more than 3-4M at an inflated price!

    0
  • Darren

    Jun 27, 2007 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #21

    The last thing we need is more trophy signings.

    We need to build a team not just cobble together players who only signed to come here for the money, that has been our problem since SBR left.

    0
  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 27, 2007 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #22

    Darren – exactly – well said – but I think that’s what Sam will do.

    0
  • aviluck

    Jun 27, 2007 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #23

    Superstars like Ronaldinho would not come to us at the moment. Priorities of BS r obviously defenders but i think we should get Torres.

    0
  • Gateshead Glenn

    Jun 27, 2007 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #24

    Ed,

    I’m disappointed this site’s turning into a ‘tabloid-style’ forum, propogating wild and fanciful stories to excite gullible fans. No-where have I seen any quotes from the club about a £50M transfer ‘kitty’. As Dan said earlier, it would be stupid of the club to anounce how much it’s got to spend on new players.

    The supposed £50M figure is either an invention of the media or some leak from an unofficial source or ‘insider’ as a PR exercise by the new board. I don’t doubt that Big Sam will eventually get substantial funds to buy new players. Hopefully this will be very soon, though the quotes from the club suggest that the first priority will be the “review of all aspects of the club” which has only just started.

    Realistically, we can’t expect to buy ‘world-class’ players this season anyway. We need to spend wisely and make sure we break into the top 6 and qualify for the UEFA Cup first. Then we can make a bigger push to go for Champions League qualification at the end of next season.

    Come on Ed, don’t sensationalise these stories (like the picture of Big Sam with a made-up ‘quote’ saying he’s “got £50M to spend”). Many of our younger, more naive fans will believe it to be fact rather than fiction, like those who read a news-paper story and thought we’d already signed Alan Smith when we hadn’t!

    0
  • […] our piece on the outcome of yesterday’s board meeting at Newcastle. Allardcye will be given up to £50M […]

    0
  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 27, 2007 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #26

    Gateshead Glen – point taken – but the 50M is what’s being reported and don’t see why it’s not real. But hey – i’m listening – don’t want to end up like the Sun – the Sam quote was meant to be funny – but guess not.

    0
  • Andy T

    Jun 27, 2007 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #27

    Lets take a quick look at the fact checking that went on at author and editorial level on this one, along with the proof reading shall we?

    “Chris Mort will handle Newcastle United’s daily affairs from now on – and the 41-year-old lawyer has been appointed Deputy Chairman”……..”Mort, 38, advised Ashley on his £133 million acquisition of Newcastle.”

    So Mort is both 41 and 38. Pinch of salt with the figures in this article? More like the entire road maintenance’s winter reserve!

    0
  • Steve

    Jun 27, 2007 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #28

    Agree with Gateshead Glen, we need to take this with a pinch of salt especially when the source is the hacks at the Daily Mirror (weren’t they the ones who said Smith was a done deal) – I’d certainly hope BSA has been given a huge pot of cash but to start publicising this will only end up that we play 6 million for a 3 million player etc.
    That said I’m really looking forward to next season (especially as I’d all but given up hope in the latter of Reoders management career – c’mon the toon

    0
  • Mick G

    Jun 27, 2007 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #29

    If NUFC need a superstar I think Teves would be ideal he is proven, hard working and would be A Legend. We’ve got the money lets think big and try and tempt him.

    0
  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 27, 2007 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #30

    AndyT – Mort is 38 and Hayward is 41 – updated it. Hey – i’m not a professional journalist – but maybe you’ve already noticed.

    0
  • Andy T

    Jun 27, 2007 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #31

    Ed – Sorry,

    I assumed you had taken them from a news article – you see with mix ups like that you could be a professional journalist 🙂

    0
  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 27, 2007 at 12:07 PM

    Comment #32

    Hey – I don’t think it’s too important whether Sam has 50M, 40M or 30M or even 25M – because the point is that Sam shouldn’t be restricted by money this summer. If he does identify a player worth 20M say – I’m sure he would be backed 100% by Ashley – and that’s how it should be. Whether it’s worth it for Sam to bring in a big player this year – it’s really up to him – and i’d support whatever he thought wa right. But the point is – funds are not a problem to him this summer – wonder what Sam feels about this – having been so restricted at Bolton?

    0
  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 27, 2007 at 12:08 PM

    Comment #33

    AndyT – that’s scary.

    0
  • […] our piece on the outcome of yesterday’s board meeting at Newcastle. Allardcye will be given up to £50M […]

    0
  • Andy T

    Jun 27, 2007 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #35

    Ed,
    Mirror – Smith

    need I say more 🙂
    par for the course nowadays – don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story.

    0
  • Gateshead Glenn

    Jun 27, 2007 at 2:01 PM

    Comment #36

    Sorry to be ‘picky’ Ed, but what makes you think Sam “shouldn’t be restricted by money this Summer” and that “funds are not a problem”. Like many managers Sam will have money to spend but even Chelski are working to a budget now. Hopefully our budget will be greater than most but it’s not going to be unlimited. Only Man U have spent huge amounts of money so far and they’ve only done that by major season-ticket price-rises even tho’ they’ve increased their ground capacity.

    Whilst the exact amount available for transfers may not be “too important”, let’s not join-in with media-hype and political ‘spin’. We’ve had enough of all that with Tony B-liar who may be moving-out to join you in the states soon? At least you are a real Newcastle supporter tho’ Ed, not like Blair!

    P.S. — don’t take my criticisms to heart. I do enjoy your web-site, I’m just a bit irritated by all the hype in footbal (and life in general?!) these days. Keep-up the good work and hope you manage to come over ‘the pond’ for a few games this season as I think it’s gonna be an interesting / exciting one. Cheers!

    0
  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 27, 2007 at 3:35 PM

    Comment #37

    Gateshead Glenn – If we assume we can get Beye for 2M and Geremi for a free Sam will have bought 5 players for a net outlay of less than 4M. That’s great in our opinion. He is not used to laying out big cash for players in any case – and at Newcastle – before even Ashley took over – he was said to be given 20M plus anything he could get from players – and he’s already taken in 7M for Parker – so I really believe if Sam wanted a really expensive player (from his viewpoint) – like 10M – he’d have the money because since the 20M was promised Ashley is in control and presumably has more money available – you just have to assume that. Also Mike said he wants Newcastle to be the biggest, best and successful. So I don’t think there’s much argument with that statement. However – I’ll take back the unlimited quote – obviously that must have been after my 5th coffee – and getting carried away again.
    OK – will try to play down the hype (and reduce the caffeine intake!)
    I do want this site to be down to earth and for the fans – so we can judge what’s real and what’s not – and view the news from the fans viewpoint – and decide what the news – if it is true – means to the club – that’s an important thing for all of us interested in the success of Newcastle. 😀

    0
  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 27, 2007 at 3:44 PM

    Comment #38

    Gateshead Glenn – thanks – my bonnie wife will be over for 3 weeks in July to see her family – but she’s already sick to death of Newcastle – word is her husband is a Geordie fanatic – so not sure she’d want to go to St. James’ 😀

    0
  • Ashton

    Jun 27, 2007 at 6:24 PM

    Comment #39

    oh yeah i think we shuld get ( appiah , barzagli , emanuelson , sagana , van der vart , coloccini )

    c u

    0
  • nightfall

    Jun 27, 2007 at 8:08 PM

    Comment #40

    ashton – good selection of players

    0

You must log in to post a comment.