Chairman on Newcastle Developments Off The Pitch

Chris Mort talked about developments off the pitch at Newcastle United this season, and specifically about the management structure changes Chris has made.


Chris Mort and the new Recruitment Team – in January

This is what Chris Mort had to say in his program notes in yesterday’s program for the final game of the season against Chelsea.

“In addition to the team playing much better football and getting much better results on the pitch, I am delighted with the progress we have been able to make this season off the pitch.”

“With an executive director with responsibility for football and a second executive director focused on the non-football operations of the club, we have put in place a structure which should help put the club in a position of strength and stability for the long-term.”

“Dennis Wise and his recruitment team have been busy seeking out the best footballing talent across the country, elsewhere in Europe and further afield and we will see some of the benefits of those efforts this summer.”

“In addition to strengthening the first-team squad, we will also continue to recruit younger players for the future to ensure the club is built on more stable foundations for the long-term.”

“With many new recruits, including a new executive director – operations, financial controller, customer services manager and head of HR, we have sought to put in place a professional management team that can run the club highly effectively behind the scenes.”

“Hopefully, supporters have already seen some of the benefits of this focus, with more efficient ticketing operations and more interaction with supporters.”

“Two topics on which we get consistent feedback from supporters is for considerably more seating to be set aside for children in an affordable section of the ground, and to have an affordable section of the stadium where the noisiest of our supporters can congregate to give their vocal support to the team throughout the game.”

“Although seating in the stadium is always a sensitive topic, we will seek to accommodate these wishes in the next round of season ticket renewals.”

“One of the recruits which had the most immediate impact is Graeme Danby. Graeme is the acclaimed English National Opera performer who gave a rousing version of The Blaydon Races on the pitch before the Sunderland game.”

“I asked the staff to find me an opera-singing Geordie who would wear the shirt, carry a large NUFC flag and walk down the pitch singing The Blaydon Races. Graeme was made for this task.”

The changes Chris has made in the structure of the club we think are first class, and particularly in the recruitment area.

The recruitment team, with Dennis Wise in the lead, will be a great help to Kevin in the summer as we try to attract the very best players to Newcastle United.

23 comments so far

  • Hamas (51times)

    May 6, 2008 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #1

    It’s one of the things this club has been lacking for a very long time.

  • Graeme

    May 6, 2008 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #2

    WOW its been a very long time since one could put the words “Professional” and “Newcastle United” in the same sentence.

    Its great to see it happening and has to bode well for the future.

  • adam - i HATE tottenham

    May 6, 2008 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #3

    chris mort is doing a very good job. hope your watching and learning freddy

  • craig chisholm

    May 6, 2008 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #4


    to be honest, i am getting a bit arsed with mort and our lack of being able to attract any top players to our club. also, keegans own words regarding owen dont sound too good either. he says that he asked in no uncertain terms that the board tie up owen weeks and weeks ago but as of yet they have not even approched him… or taylor fro that matter. also, keegan says he has not been told how much money he will have to spend even though we long since been premier safe. am i daft thinking this or does anyone else share my view. does anyone else see tell tale signs that KK is a bit arsed off with lack of listening to what he has to say??

  • George

    May 6, 2008 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #5

    Now as the season draws to an end, many of us frustrated supporters are more relaxed about next year.
    At first when Mike Ashley and in particular Chris Mort, there was a lot of p*** taking especially the accent that Chris has and crys of “toys for the boys”.
    Now, these noises are have been silenced, through pure professionalism. MA & CM have went about their jobs quickly and quietly.
    KK has been promised funds and i do believe they will be there, BUT, to what extent will KK use them. A lot of paper talk about him being after this one and that one, but after his open and honest quote yesterday we may not see as many come through the gates of SJP as we have all thought.
    Without Doubt, we are more professional now than ever before.

  • broon ale

    May 6, 2008 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #6

    which 4 fools voted for alan smith as the best player against chelsea

  • Hadji

    May 6, 2008 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #7

    I wouldnt like if Mort went publicly by saying that KK will have 60 mill available in the summer.That will give other clubs idea to inflate the prices of the players we’re interested in.
    Smart move.

  • George

    May 6, 2008 at 12:36 PM

    Comment #8

    Quite right Hadji, we should never say how much is in the transfer kitty, i also think this is partly behind KKs speech about the quality we can attract.

  • Bill F

    May 6, 2008 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #9

    I just hope that the recruitment team are really looking at the prospective targets.

    I just want to repeat a comment I made in a previous blog.

    I watched the highlights of the Liverpool/ManC game on MOTD and was totally unimpressed by Dunne. He was as I have said many times slow and clumsy and he wasn’t even able to stop Torres by several fouling attempts. What really clinched how bad he his as far as I am concerned is that he bottled every shot coming at him, turning his back every time instead of trying to stop them. I hope KK saw the game and looks elsewhere for a centre half.
    Edgar is far better than him now but if KK is wanting fresh blood there has to be better options.

    If players like Dunne are the pinnacle of KK’s ambition then we will be lucky to get a top ten place next season.
    The R/T should be able to see this.

    On the other hand I do think Riise may be a good signing. A lot of his games for Liverpool have been as a sub. which does not help a players form.

  • staffsmag

    May 6, 2008 at 12:53 PM

    Comment #10

    broon ale – think it must have been his mam and dad plus two people hit the wrong button !!! lol its up to 5 now – someone is taking the p**s

  • GM

    May 6, 2008 at 1:04 PM

    Comment #11

    not reading much in to the paper talk about not having funds, rift with KK, MA & CM. The papers as we know know nothing, KK saying that he is unsure of how much if any transfer funds he will get seems to me like a smoke screen.

    We have already lost out on one player to the yids after it was splashed all over every paper, so I am not suprised at all that there is an information blackout from the club, KK is just playing along with it all….I hope !!

  • broon ale

    May 6, 2008 at 1:09 PM

    Comment #12

    ramage, carr and troisi have been released.

  • GM

    May 6, 2008 at 1:15 PM

    Comment #13

    any news on the chocolate fireguard ameobie p!55ing off to stoke, useless tw@t

    Just need viduka who’s finished at this level to put smith, duff and geremi in his car and drive off into the sunset then we should be shot of the chaff from the team

  • nufctj

    May 6, 2008 at 1:16 PM

    Comment #14

    “to be honest, i am getting a bit arsed with mort and our lack of being able to attract any top players to our club.”

    Delusional. Anyone who says things like this can only be described with this one word. It is daft to think that just because we we have gone from near the drop zone to 12th in the table that all of a sudden we are going to attract “top” players. Add to the equation that we are a full 30 points from the fourth CL spot, and 19 points away from the UEFA cup spot. I know we are all frustrated and longing for success, but we must be realistic and we must be patient. When we show that we can achieve a consistent level of success with regular appearances in European competition we will then be able to attract some of the players we that are bypassing us right now. Put yourself in Thierry Henry’s shoes, would you come to Newcastle after playing for both Arsenal and Barcelona? He is 30 years old and I doubt he wants to be part of a 2-3 season rebuilding process. Even when we do start getting more consistent results it will still be a struggle to snag players when our main competition are London based teams. Take Everton for example, are they attracting “top” players? Do you hear Henry, Deco, or any players of their caliber saying “I want to be a Toffee?”. We need to build slowly and invest our money in up and coming players that we find wherever they may be on the globe. Let us send scouts to every corner of the world, and convert them to being Geordies. Patients lads, slow and sure is the course.

  • GM

    May 6, 2008 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #15

    who is this guy..?

    Newcastle United have made a formal bid for Le Mans midfielder Stephane Sessegnon.
    L’Equipe says Toon have offered £3.5 million for the Benin international. Le Mans, however, rate Sessegnon in the £.4.5 million class.

  • craig chisholm

    May 6, 2008 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #16

    nufctj…….i aint delusional. we got owen from madrid when we were 19th in the league cos we paid more money and better terms than liverpool had on offer. we got shearer from under manures noses, we have pulled off a fair few great signings. you are missing the whole point of my posting. what i am saying is that i aint that impressed with mort as he seems to not be capable of closing out on a deal for any player that is over the 3-4 million bracket. keegan is left out of the loop and from the noises he is making, they are not listening to him enough. he seems very much on edge over the whole owen saga, after coming out in public and saying that he urges mort to tie owen into a new deal asap…kk says that they have not even bothered to speak to owen yet. we all know from history what kk does when he feels that he is being dicked around or feels like he is not in control..he walks. i just think that mort needs to listen to his manager, not only can we not sign any well know names, we are not making any effort to keep our star man. cumon, think about it, forget carr etc leaving, look at the list of owen going along with zogs and also emre. they are top players. i am realistic and not delusional, if we lose these guys esp owen, we are loosing some major hitters for us. owens name alone brings in other players. we havent tied martins in yet even though he keeps saying he wants to stay… the deal is not getting sorted. so, we loose martins to, to arsenal. not looking so bright eh? or am i wrong?

  • nufctj

    May 6, 2008 at 1:53 PM

    Comment #17

    craig, thanks for the clarification, and I agree with you on some of your points. I just assumed you were one of the whiners that have been all to common on here over the last week or so since we lost out on Modric. But we just have to wait and see. I certainly hope KK isn’t getting dicked around. But the statements made yesterday are a bit curious. Although when you listen to KK’s comments in their entirety, it seems to me that he is just saying we are not going to turn into a top four team overnight. Keeping Owen and Martins are top priorities for sure. Zog leaving is out of our control to a certain degree. Emre? load of potential, but one must doubt his mental make up. As for taking the example of Shearer, I think the fact that AS wanted to come here had more to do with it than us “stealing him from under ManU’s noses”. Owen came here only after Liverpool and who knows who else declined. We must wait and see how things work out, all I am saying is that we must assume the positive in the short term with this new management team. Most of the negative is being generated by our good friends in the press, we must not fall for it. Let’s get through the summer and see where we stand.

  • nufctj

    May 6, 2008 at 2:04 PM

    Comment #18

    Why should we want to be like Chelsea? I hate everything about that team. So I hope KK is right when he says “At the moment we’re a million miles away from them (Chelsea).” Let us stay at least that distance from them at all times. Teams like Chelsea are ruining, or have already ruined football. Call me an idealist, but I want nothing to do with it even if it means we are stuck in mid table forever.

    My sentiments echoed:

  • ToonDaft

    May 6, 2008 at 2:48 PM

    Comment #19

    there is a difference between substantial investment and doing a Chelski though – I wouldn’t want us to go out and just spend massive money on players like Chelsea did (17m for Duffer as one example of many), however, we do need hellish investment if we want to start and challenge for fifth place as KK has been talking about

  • Leo

    May 6, 2008 at 6:37 PM

    Comment #20

    chris mort has been letting his blow hole go hasnt he, hasnt shut up in the last couple days, he is such a bore to read to be honest

  • craig chisholm

    May 6, 2008 at 6:58 PM

    Comment #21

    leo, you are right man, i am with you and i said it earlier on in this blog. Mort is crap. HE IS A BEAN COUNTER and full of talk. He keeps metioning that they will strengthen further again in the close season – christ, where has he strengthened at all yet!!! keegan has not been able to sign a single player yet and he sounds pretty negative about our chances in getting anyone worth getting excited over too. And before all you lot just jump in and say,m he is being clever by playing down expectations, you are all wrong. if you were a player and you heard a manager talking about how his club cna not and never will be able to realistically compete… is that going to make you want to go to that club?? if anything, keegan will be putting even more players off with his downbeat, negative assessment of where we are. But hey getting back to mort, CONTINUE to strengthen eh…like loosing owen, martins, emre, zogs , ramage, carr, ameobi etc. ok, i know that some of them are wank but some are top draw plus its all a big drain with no-one else coming in. keegan said the best transfer he could make this summer would be to tie owen down and begged in public to mort to get it done….today keegan says that mort has not even talked to owen yet. owen is our only world class player, he also attracts others to us. if he goes and martins, who the hell have we got?? MORT YOU TOSSER, STOP TALKING CRAP AND GET ON WITH IT.

  • craig chisholm

    May 6, 2008 at 7:03 PM

    Comment #22

    and another thing lads, mort keeps on saying about how much they have pumped in like 250 million etc but none of it has been directed at the frigging pitch! now that ameobi has gone to stoke for 4 million i wouldnt mind bettingthat he has spent just about nowt on players when you consider who has been sold, parker, etc etc. i think keegan needs about 100 million given to him. poxy sunderland are getting 80 million and they are proper shit!

  • Slam Dunc

    May 6, 2008 at 8:10 PM

    Comment #23

    Nothing stays still for long in football. As this article points out, the current top 4 are all in a pretty precarious state. We just need to build the club up and wait for the opportunity when one of them fails:


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