The Newcastle United Blog

News and Commentary On Newcastle United Football Club By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

The Newcastle United Blog header image 2
Howay The Lads!!



Mort Has Big Plans for Newcastle

12:03 pm, Thursday, November 15th, 2007 by Ed Harrison · 18 Comments

Another great interview today that Chris Mort has given to the Newcastle Journal where he talks about the Newcastle United club and what he plans to do with the club in the medium term.

It looks like Chris is really enjoying the challenge, which is Newcastle United, and seems to be quickly learning about the passionate supporters of the club, who have not seen the club win a trophy in almost 40 years.

It looks to us as though Chris is bringing his considerable business and strategy skills to the club and certainly has big plans for the structure of the club. It will be interesting to see where we are in say 12 months time.

chris-mort-1243.jpg

Chris Mort - has big plans for Newcastle

Let’s take a look at what Chris had to say this morning.

“It’s a fabulous way to spend one’s time, running a football club. It didn’t take long for me to accept Mike’s offer to come and run the club and I have absolutely no problems having done so. I’m enjoying it. I’m working hard, but I worked hard in my London life, so that aspect is nothing new.”

“My mindset is not ‘this is only a game’, It’s that there’s a city full of passionate people who care very much about what happens here on a Saturday afternoon.” I know they look to the club to determine how their lives work out to a great extent. It’s part of our responsibility.”

Chris Mort and owner Mike Ashley have quickly become immersed in the passion for Newcastle United that washes over the city and the surrounding areas. That’s one reason that Mike bought the club, because he was almost guaranteed a completely full stadium at home games, plus the well known passion of the Tyneside fans. Seems to us Mike has quickly become part of that passion, which is just great.

Chris continued:

“I don’t come into work thinking ‘oh, won this week, lost last week’, but I’ve grown up enjoying football, so I don’t treat it in a way that perhaps we should, which is that it’s only a game. There’s more passion to it than that.”

“In my role I have to be determined to take a medium-to-long-term view and not be the guy texting in to the Press on a Monday morning saying everything’s gone horribly wrong. I have to look at it more long term than that.”

“It struck me, even after drawing at Boro and winning at Bolton for the first time for ages, that there is lots of negativity around. Lots of people are clearly waiting to see where this club is going.”

“Having been through last season and lots of people been unsatisfied, a lot of people have gone into this season wondering where the club’s going to go.”

There is a lot of negativity with the Newcastle fans, there’s no doubt about that. But a lot of that has been caused not only by not winning anything for close to 40 years, but also having too many false dawns.

Certainly under the Shepherd regime, the fans were not treated well and were too often taken for granted. There is that episode over the shirts, when both Shepherd and Douglas Hall criticized both the fans for overpaying for the shirts and even the woman of Newcastle. Yes, we know they were intoxicated and set up – but the truth comes out when you’ve had a few. The fan’s’ trust was lost right there and has not been forgotten.

Shepherd resigned over that but got back in as Chairman shortly thereafter. How Freddy came back into the chairman’s job after that disgraceful episode seems ludicrous and ridiculous, but that was Newcastle in those days. He should have been thrown out of the club – full stop.

Chris Mort has already stated that he wants to put some long term strategies in place for Newcastle United, to ensure sustainable success is finally brought to Tyneside. However, Newcastle supporters demand to see almost instant improvement in the club’s performances on the field, or at the very least to see ongoing improvement. It just takes a few defeats in a row for that improvement to look like it’s in reverse. That’s actually happened over the last few games, as we all know.

Chris continued:

“Is it going to continue as it is, is it going to go to a higher level. People are perhaps looking to judge it even quicker this season because they’re trying to work out where it’s going.”

“But it would be wrong for me to join the element that swings both ways, because I wouldn’t be doing my job properly if that’s the way my mind went.”

However, as well as Sam continuing to build up his own staff on the playing side, Chris believes the senior management at Newcastle also needs to be strengthened further. As well as Justin Barnes and Steve Hayward coming in as non-executive directors, Lee Charnley has been appointed football secretary with John Irving the financial controller of the club.

But Mort also wants to recruit a new management team to help him deal with the wide range of issues which require the club’s day-to-day attention.

Mort explained:

“I’m not looking to bring in a new chairman or anything. There are a couple of senior people I think we need to add to help the management of the club, which will make life a little easier.”

“It would enable me to move up to a slightly higher level in terms of strategy, but at the moment I’m getting down into the detail of lots of things, which is a healthy thing for me to do, to understand what needs to be done. Because over time I’d hope to be able to get a bit more management in there as well.”

Generally once you put strategies in place they need to be in lock step with targets or goals on the execution side. Only then can you measure your progress. So while Mort has said he is unwilling to put any targets in place for Sam this season you can bet they will have targets very soon. Getting into the top 4 and the European Champions League has to be one obvious target. While we’ll probably never see them, you can bet, at least before the end of this season, that the club has mapped out a strategy, linked with several goals along the way for the next 3-5 years.

Then all we have to do is execute that strategy ……….

This is an exciting time for Newcastle United because we now have talented people in place who are determined to bring success to the club. We think it’s going to happen. No, let’s make that a little stronger – we know it’s going to happen   :D

Comments very welcome.



Tags: Newcastle News





18 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jason // Nov 15, 2007 at 12:42 PM

    I would just like to say for a final time that……….

    Fat Fred could not have been thrown out of the club, even though his comments were degrading and embarrasing for the Toon, he owned nearlly 30% of the club.

    We have had to endure years of his drivel and false dawns but it has taken a mightly chunk of cash to get rid……….let’s not forget our past under him, as we did have a few good years but say thanks FF and FO.

    Lets concentrate on the furtue now and get fully behind the WHOLE CLUB now.

    We, for to long, have wanted success yesterday and demanded it. I for one am prepared for the longhaul, throwing stupid money at new managers and buying players just for there name, Big Sam seems to be building a squad and gettingt rid of some of the so called stars ,DIRE, etc Lets hope this trend continues. Let’s hope EMO is reading.

    Keep the faith………and Please before I die!

    The SCOREBOARD……Gallowgate End.

  • 2 Brisbane Mag // Nov 15, 2007 at 12:45 PM

    A good article and as stated, Mort needs 3 to 5 years to put his strategy in place. However, any strategy and its success is based on BSA and the Newcastle teams performance and success…..

    Ashley needs to provide funds for BSA this January as we need to buy top class players to improve the current team.

    The selling of Carr, Babayaro, Pattison, Ameobi, etc, will not bring in much money, so Ashley and Mort need to be realistic and purchase the players necessary to improve our current standing and hopefully get us into Europe next season.

  • 3 adam // Nov 15, 2007 at 12:56 PM

    great article. i have full faith in mike ashley and chris mort. they are smart successful people and this will rub off on the club which i have been praying for. great and successful sporting clubs first have their foundations right, with good example bing man utd, arsenal, barcelona.
    Common newcastle!

  • 4 Alex Brett // Nov 15, 2007 at 1:22 PM

    Lets just get behind the club, there is too much negativity!! I just like every other fan am very dissapointed and gutted by the last few games! but the season is not a ‘few games’ long it is 38 matches. we have won more than we have lost so far, other teams will have bad spells and drop points. We just need to ride it out and prepare for the next game, why look back when you cannot change anything? We need to look to the future, as ours will be very bright with Big Sam, Ashley and Mort. Ok it might take a year, 2 years 5 years but we will get there. We always do regardless of how we get there and how long it takes!!

    This season has filled us all with such optimism, with Big Sam in, Ashleys take over and good signings!! The club cant be transformed in 1 summer, well in our case half a summer!!

    We are in a much better position now as a whole football club and have the right people in the right places for once!!

    We will get back to the top i have every confidence!!!

    Howay the Lads!!!

  • 5 Bill f // Nov 15, 2007 at 1:35 PM

    An awful lot of chiefs at the top end, just hope they get the right indians at the other.

  • 6 Chris M // Nov 15, 2007 at 1:37 PM

    Alex Brett – wise words…..can i marry you?

  • 7 John // Nov 15, 2007 at 2:20 PM

    Spot on Alex…Our club need time to progress and we all should be moving in the same direction. We do get very negative at times but when you look at the bigger picture , we are very very Fortunate for what we have.

    A lot off clubs would love to be in our position, with a billionaire owner, Excellent chairman and i beleive the manager to take us forward up a level.

  • 8 Alex Brett // Nov 15, 2007 at 2:25 PM

    Big Sam will take us forward, he certainly cant take us back!!
    I’m 23 so back in the early 90′s when I was really starting to become interested in football I was used to seeing us at the top of the league challenging for the title! Then obviously we let that slip and have let it slip to new depths since. But I understand more about football now and the game is changing. As you say we have a billionaire owner now, a fantastic stadium to rival any in the country, Great Fans!! We will succeed, if we dont then it will just take a bit longer!!

    Keep the faith!! If its the last thing you ever do!!

  • 9 Chris M // Nov 15, 2007 at 2:34 PM

    Alex – so can i marry you then? A little young for me but if Hugh Hephner can dee it….

  • 10 Chris M // Nov 15, 2007 at 2:35 PM

    p.s. I am only jesting mind…..divn’t wanna get you too excited.

  • 11 Chris // Nov 15, 2007 at 4:50 PM

    I say we stop our bickering and calling for managers heads and just give them the 5 years they asked for. The way i look at it, we’ve got something Manchester, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Arsenals’ owners can only dream of; absolute devotion despite poor results. We are the greatest fan base in the WORLD!

    And hey, before they took over what were we gonna be doing in 5 years w/ Fat Freddie? Losing anyway. Mighty as well give the new regime the 5 years too right?

    Why Aye man!

  • 12 Bill f // Nov 15, 2007 at 5:02 PM

    Blimey an online romance, fantastic.

  • 13 dan // Nov 15, 2007 at 5:23 PM

    i’m impressed by this guy. seems like a great bloke!

  • 14 Chris M // Nov 15, 2007 at 6:32 PM

    @ dan.- you talking about me there chief. Awfully kind of you. Think you’re a canny lad too.

  • 15 Alex // Nov 15, 2007 at 7:44 PM

    Mike Ashley is a very successful man, who knows how to make a success of a buisness and that will flow through the entire club.He has appointed an intelligent chairman who really seems to understand what the club means to the geordie nation already .This for me is the most pleasing thing of the takeover.Unlike most other premership clubs we were taken over by an Englishman and not from somebody from the otherside of the world who does not understand english football .Would the American, Russian or Thai owners of certain other clubs stand proud with the supporters with a club shirt on, when being refused entry to the directors box because he wanted to wear the colours of his team?Mike Ashley seems to be loving the club already and it looks like he is in for the long term .i have no doubts under Mike we will be winners he understands .Ashely, Newcastle United and the Toon army its a team built to win.

  • 16 Bill f // Nov 15, 2007 at 8:41 PM

    Just as a matter of interest who did he used to support, (or still support)

  • 17 Len // Nov 16, 2007 at 3:45 AM

    I also like Ashley and Mort. They will succeed. The reason I am concerned is this. As a matter of observation managers who have some short term success may be successful long term. Managers who fail short term are without exception a disaster long term. Short term failure is not an essential element of long term success. Anyone asking for 3 to 5 years should be sacked on the spot. And if we werent negative what would we have to talk about? Bill I read he used to support HotSpuds.

  • 18 jiM Baker // Nov 16, 2007 at 11:06 AM

    Ashley and Mort…very good.
    Big Sam….Unsure.
    Lets get back to the glory days where we win nothing, but look good trying, right untill the very end that is where we fall apart!
    I’m in a bad mood today…is it obvious? haha
    I just hope i get to see us win something apart from the Intertoto Cup and Promotion from 1st Division in my life time….just one cup and i’ll be a very happy man!




previous post: Given Likely to Face Wales

next post: Norwich Sign Newcastle’s Pattison on Loan