Newcastle’s Chris Mort To Act as Peter Kenyon at Chelsea

Newcastle’s new Deputy Chairman Chris Mort has given a very good interview to the People this morning and there’s some interesting points he makes in the interview. Mort has said he will put a stop to the lavish excesses of a club that has spent money like water over the last 10 years with very little to show for it.

Looks to us like Newcastle United are going to become a club well run by very good businessmen – headed up by young Chris Mort – we’re all for that.

We’ll look at what Chris told the People newspaper today.


Newcastle Deputy Chairman Chris Mort

As we all now know Newcastle cannot stop star strikers Michael Owen and Obafemi Martins leaving the club – because of the deals that brought them in. Owen can go for £9M and Martins can go if £13M is received. Mort, installed as Deputy Chairman by billionaire Mike Ashley, will take over full power from Freddy Shepherd in the next couple of months.

This is what Chris told the People today – beginning with those get out clauses in the contracts of Michael and Oba:

“We need to go forward and clearly we would prefer not to have those kind of provisions in the contracts,” “The guys who brought players in felt they did what they had to do to get them through the door.

“However, the debt levels have got a bit too high and I don’t think it will do any harm to have someone coming in with a fresh pair of eyes.

It’s understood that Newcastle have debts of up to £80M – and Mike Ashley has made a point of saying those levels have to be reduced as one of the initial priorities of the club following Mort’s strategic review. It would be nice if Ashley can wipe out some of those debts with a nice fat check 😀

Mort went on:

“I think it’s a combination of things. Clearly, the debt has been raised with some of the player transfers. “I will look at whether it would make sense to bring in any specific individuals in specific roles to improve things.

“The intention in the initial period is to look at how the club is currently run but I intend to stay beyond that – I’ve not come in with a view to stepping down in a couple of months’ time, this is absolutely longer term than that.

“It’s a fabulous challenge we’ve taken on. There are negative aspects to it, but they are far out-weighed by positive aspects.”

Mort, a 41-year-old lawyer from London, has already admitted he will act like Peter Kenyon does with Roman Abramovich at Chelsea. Chris will also warn manager Sam Allardyce if he feels some deals are not right – for any reason.

Mort said:

“Am I strong enough to say no to Sam? Yes, absolutely,” “If I want to do my job properly, I’m not going to come in a confrontational way. “Sam and I are going to work together.

He’s clearly going to lead the charge on who the player targets are. He has the skills to do that. “Sam’s appointment happened before we got involved. Sam was already the manager when we started talking to Sir John (Hall).

“But Sam has to be given time. I think one of the difficulties the club has had is it’s lost some stability over the years. If we can give him some stability, I think that would help him to take the club forward. “Sam is a big enough name to do that.

From what we’ve seen Chris Mort seems an amiable but tough business man – a very potent combination. Being so young makes him a good figurehead for the club and we personally are pleased that Mort will be staying on after he completes his strategic review of the club. The combination of Sam and Chris seems to have every chance of being a good one for the club. Chris is a business professional – and Sam provides that bite and burning ambition to move the club forward and get the players playing for Newcastle as though their lives depended on it (we wouldn’t have it any other way).

Mort went on:

“Is it similar to Abramovich and Kenyon? Yes, potentially. I’ve been asked to run the club on a day-to-day basis, so I guess it’s comparable in some ways.“I think the fans would love to get at the top of the table and that’s certainly the desire.

“But I think those expectations aren’t there currently because that’s not what the club have been doing in recent years.”

Well another good interview from Chris Mort and he says some very sensible things and obviously has an inbuilt respect for manager Sam Allardyce. This interview goes with the many interesting and factual interviews Sam gives quite regularly – and of course we love to cover. Roll on August 11th – we feel this season is going to be an enjoyable one for Geordie fans everywhere. The club looks like it’s going to be extremely well run – both on the playing side and the executive side – and that’s a nice change.

Comments always welcome.

6 comments so far

  • steve

    Jul 8, 2007 at 8:56 AM

    Comment #1

    I cant believe it! Some real sense and perspective coming from Mort. I really feel that we may at last found the perfect recipe to take this club back to where we belong.

  • Arthur Prince

    Jul 8, 2007 at 9:27 AM

    Comment #2

    A breath of fresh air . Or rather a Gale full !!
    Properly run club from a business and playing perspective will create real progress and I agree that BSA must be given time to develop a winning formula . A great season expected, the whole atmosphere will change and there is no doubt that the rest of the Premiership will soon be sitting up and taking very concerned note of what is happening at SJP . Howay the Lads !! Top 6– perhaps better this season . So no pressure than Sam !!

  • Ed Harrison

    Jul 8, 2007 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #3

    Yes – of course at the end of it all – it all depends on how we do in the league – but Sam knows wins is what we need.
    Proof of the pudding is in the eating – proof of football is in the winning. I hate draws in any case.

  • Lew Davies

    Jul 8, 2007 at 6:19 PM

    Comment #4

    If Big Sam can get the players playing like their lives depend on it, then this alone will be progress.
    Any cup and/or a good finish (top 8) will be a great start considering the dross that has been served up week in week out over the last three or four seasons.
    Its good to hear common sense from both Chris Mort and Big Sam.
    At last things are looking good for the Toon, and now the players have to deliver also.

  • Lew Davies

    Jul 8, 2007 at 6:22 PM

    Comment #5

    Ooops! That was supposed to say top 8
    dont know how I did that?

  • Ed Harrison

    Jul 8, 2007 at 8:03 PM

    Comment #6

    Lew – top 8 would be fine because Sam is building the club from the bottom up. Then improve the squad next year as he is doing right now and we’ll be at least top 6 the next season. 😀


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