Newcastle Could Create Director of Football


There is news in the Mail on Sunday this morning, that Leeds United boss Dennis Wise is being linked with Newcastle United as a potential Director of Football, in a new position to be created at the club.

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Chris Mort – probably behind Director of Football Position


The Mail on Sunday says Wise is the leading contender to become Director of Football at Newcastle in a structure that is not unlike European clubs, and is really needed in today’s game.

The new Director position would be responsible for the recruitment of players and have authority over almost every aspect of the football side of the club, except the first team.

This would be an excellent move for Newcastle United because when Kevin was last here, he didn’t seem too interested in the youngsters or even the Reserve side. But we think Chris Mort has already discussed the structure they want at the club, because they want a real concentration on scouting, youth development and recruiting good both experienced and young players from across the world.

We have no idea if Dennis Wise will take the position, but we’d be very pleased if that structure was set in place – and it’s not something Alan Shearer would either want or be suited for. So it’s still possible that Alan could become Kevin’s second in command.

But Leeds chairman Ken Bates is unlikely to let his manager and close friend go quietly, with Leeds United now looking as though they could even get promoted, in spite of starting the season with a 15-point deduction for breaking insolvency rules in place.

We’re not sure Wise would be a good choice, but reports still say he’s high on Kevin’s list, but an experienced coach like Gerard Houllier, who already has worldwide contacts, would seem to be an excellent choice for the club. A younger Bobby Robson would have been perfect for this position, although he probably wouldn’t have wanted it.

This new Director position would have huge responsibilities at one of the country’s biggest clubs, and would provide Newcastle United with sufficient resources to ensure they continue to bring in the best talent from around the world. We have already seen 3 top youngsters join our ranks this January. 😀

We like the idea very much, but don’t think Dennis Wise would fit that position, because he doesn’t have enough experience or worldwide contacts in the game.

What do you think?

Let us know – and who would be a good choice.

Comments very welcome.


16 comments so far

  • Vitorbarbosa

    Jan 20, 2008 at 9:02 AM

    Comment #1

    I am not sure if this is a good move. I’ve seen in other clubs, this position might create some discontent to the manger in charge.

    Of course, if this is true, I believe KK himself must has agree to it first before the person is appointed.

    Getting good youth players are not an easy task at all. We need to compete with the likes of European Giant which of course attract more youngster than we could do. Setting a good academy might be a starting point. Look at what Southampton and PSV did. They have numerous of good quality young players. Bring them in, train them properly and we are on the right track.

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  • JC

    Jan 20, 2008 at 9:03 AM

    Comment #2

    I’m not convinced by this system in the English game yet. We’ve already seen managers undermined by their Director of Sport. Ala Martin Jol..

    Surely the best person to decide who goes into the first team, someone who suits the style of play, is the Manager himself.

    If the focus is on youth players, however, then I suppose it could work.

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  • Gilly

    Jan 20, 2008 at 9:03 AM

    Comment #3

    Please not Wise, what with him and Barton we could have our own fight club.

    Good spot Ed, Houllier certainly has the contacts.

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  • Gateshead Glenn

    Jan 20, 2008 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #4

    A DoF may well be usefull to allow KK to concentrate his time and energy on first team affairs. However, it’s vital that the person in that role gets on well with KK and is trusted by him. KK must have the final say in terms of what players he wants/needs for the first team squad (based on his judgement + advice from his own scouts). Once a transfer target has been identified, then he should be able to leave the financial negotiations to the DoF to finalise the details. As far as I know, there’s no connexion with KK and Dennis ‘the Menace’ Wise. I suspect this story is being generated by Wises agent?

    KK was widely criticised for getting rid of the reserves (and not paying much notice of youth development) last time. If I remember right, his logic then was that big euro clubs in Spain and Italy didn’t have reserve teams, as such. Also it used to damage the SJP pitch as Res. fixtures were played at Gallowgate. I don’t know if his views have changed any since then.

    The owner and chairman seem to be prioritising youth development which is essential for the long-term health of the club. However, as long as someone at the club is taking responsibility for this (presumably the Academy Director), I don’t see that KK has to have a ‘hands-on’ involvement. Obviously, the Academy should be run with a similar philosophy as the first team. Ideally, it should produce young players with excellent technique, good strength, fitness and discipline + with some tactical awareness.

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  • big pea ov the weab

    Jan 20, 2008 at 9:37 AM

    Comment #5

    this will be a bad idea

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  • Hadrian

    Jan 20, 2008 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #6

    hate this system , its not something keegan would do aswell .
    why appoint keegan only to bring in wise above him? its dumb lies imo .
    manager love the uk so much cos they can pick the players they want to sign , look how bad this sytems went on at spurs .

    no, we brought kev in to sort this team and pick flair players, not farkin dennis wise .

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  • Jesper

    Jan 20, 2008 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #7

    It is a good idea… but get Sir Bobby Robson for that role!!!

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  • geordiohulio

    Jan 20, 2008 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #8

    Where do they get this rubbish from? The press are a bunch of fools and the commentary by Setanta was a joke yesterday! Telling the fans to be realistic, it’s them pouring fuel on the fire. I thought the performance was 10x better than the crap served up by alladyce despite the draw! The press need to shut up criticising every move we make!

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  • AdamCF

    Jan 20, 2008 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #9

    I suspect we may see a slightly different Kevin Keegan too guys. The Board seem to have a specific path they want to go down and, no doubt, this would’ve been discussed with KK before he came on board.

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  • Craig Allen

    Jan 20, 2008 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #10

    Those two idiots on tv commentating during the game with their snide remarks and scripted one liners took jabs at the fans throughout the game. They used every and any opportunity to belittle and criticise us and it made me sick to a point where I turned the sound off – only problem is you miss out on the atmosphere so I turned it back up. Where do they get their info from? What do they know? They know as much about the Toon Army as what Big Sam knew. If you don’t get it – shaddup and don’t comment on it. Instead of using any incident during the game to lead to a comment on the fans. The idiots!! (I tried my best to keep this as clean as I can, Ed – but I’m just so p’d off at the commentary it was unbelievable!)

    As for the Director position- I’m not sure if it will add any value to us but one thing I’m sure of is that Dennis is not the man. Sir Bobby might have been ideal – but other than him – I can’t think of anyone else that can hold their own against the legends Keegan and Shearer. Whoever they choose – if this is indeed true, better be very good at what they do to not fall under the shadows of those two. My gut feeling is that this could potentially open up the doors to ego wars. I hope if this is decided on, however, that it becomes a success as we need all the help we can get at this point.

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  • Leo*

    Jan 20, 2008 at 11:41 AM

    Comment #11

    loved it during the match that we were singing keegan give us a wave keegan keegan give us a wave

    and he did. legend

    there was loads of fights in the ground today, never usually any… what was going on?

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  • Ed Harrison

    Jan 20, 2008 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #12

    Craig – the commentators got to me too.
    But we could use that to our advantage. All Kevin and the club have to do is be successful – and I even think it makes Kevin even more determined to succeed. He was right when he said the press doesn’t understand Newcastle and never will. That’s what we should remember – and pity them 😀 😀

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  • ObaFan2

    Jan 20, 2008 at 1:47 PM

    Comment #13

    Wise? You’re having a laugh !

    KK in years to come as DoF yep, only name that jumps out for me atm is SBR but he’s to ill for any major job. Bless SBR.

    Also Ed plz KK was forced to stop the reserves because they had nowhere to play and was probably the worst decision he made while at SJP last time ( apart from the timing of Tino’s signing, although a great signing it unsettled a winning team @ the time)

    The commentators were a disgrace yesterday, at one point they said the fan’s couldn’t get on the teams back or KK’s so they turned on the ref!!!!! fgs the ref was a disgrace. Nolan and co. had him in their pocket from the onset.

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  • Yorkie Dave

    Jan 20, 2008 at 2:25 PM

    Comment #14

    This is a really good position to have within this club, but dennis wise!!!! please give the toon credit surely we trust the board not to go for such a bad appointment who we should be going for GERRARD HOULIER for this position!!!!!

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  • ObaFan2

    Jan 20, 2008 at 2:42 PM

    Comment #15

    Isn’t Houllier doing that kind of role for France atm? So can’t see him wanting to do it here although I do like him.

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  • Duncan Biscuit

    Jan 20, 2008 at 10:24 PM

    Comment #16

    Excellent Excellent idea. Wish i’d thought of it myself…hmm

    Having a ‘director of football’ doesn’t necessarily cut the manager out of the equation (in terms of bringing players in…) In fact, the manager can set the ground rules for the ‘type’ of player that ought to be brought in & really the director of football would be responsible for bringing in the best possible player that fits in with the overall philosophy of what the manager wants.

    It would be crucial that whoever is brought in is on the ‘same page’ as Keegan otherwise it won’t work.

    Too many past managers at this club have wasted mountains of money on players that have not cut the mustard. Barton was always going to be a disaster IMO. No ‘sane’ director of football with ‘all the available info’ would’ve spent $5.5 million on a trainwreck like Barton.

    So time for something new I says. Its a model that’s a bit different from whats seen in the English game, but it has been very successful elsewhere.

    I also agree that the youth academy needs attention. I think the club needs to invest more in ‘development programs’ in the local/surrounding North-East areas from a young age (perhaps aimed at 8 y-o+), so that you’re getting kids that more advanced in their development when they get to the academy.

    Just seems like the kids who get to the academy generally aren’t up to it. So it would seem that investing more into developing these kids (at least offering opportunities for development/school programs etc..) from a really young age would help their cause.

    Perhaps there ought to be two ‘directors of football’. One for the the Senior team, and the other in charge of the youth setup who is also responsible for setting up ‘development/talent programs’ in the local area. I think it would be too much for one person.

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