Chris Mort has given his own summary on the progress made by the club this season.
Chris Mort – reports in his last program notes the progress of the club
This is what Chris had to say in his program notes yesterday:
“Last summer saw Mike’s acquisition of the club from the Hall and Shepherd families and minority shareholders, and the appointment of a new board of directors.”
“Since that acquisition, Mike has put further funding of more than Â£100m in to the club to avoid the club running into serious financial difficulties and to fund player acquisitions.”
“With Â£30M spent last summer on adding ten new players to the senior squad, a further Â£10M added to the annual wage bill and leading players such as Michael Owen, Damien Duff and Shay Given returning from long-term injuries, I think everyone looked forward to the new season with relish.”
“With good wins against the likes of Bolton, West Ham, Spurs and Everton, we should not lose sight of the fact we had some bright spots in the early part of the season.”
“Unfortunately, such results were too infrequent, particularly during the five months that followed. These are the months for which I must give most thanks to our supporters.”
“The support of the team throughout this period, both home and away, was fabulous. To have sell-out crowds during our recent unbeaten run is excellent.”
“However, to have 50,000+ supporters cheering on the team at St. James’ Park when the team is struggling and up to 6,000 fans making trips south for our away games, I must give our fans particular thanks for their incredible backing of the team, in both numbers and vocal support, throughout the difficult period between October and mid-March.”
“The change that obviously grabbed the media’s attention and supporters’ imagination was the replacement of the manager mid-season, with Kevin’s dramatic return to manage the club.”
“I think Kevin’s appearance at St. James’ Park on the night we played Stoke City in the F.A. Cup, and the resultant excitement throughout the city, will be remembered by all that were here that night for a very long time.”
“While Kevin had a tough time from mid-January to mid-March, with some difficult matches and some unfortunate results, the dramatic change in both the way the team plays and the results that have been achieved have vindicated the decision to bring Kevin back and I think we have all seen enough over recent weeks to know that there is much to look forward to when the team starts its next campaign in August.”
“Over the summer we will look to strengthen the squad further. In addition to making any immediate fixes that may be required, as with everything else we have done since Mike acquired the club, we will want to acquire players that can help make Newcastle United a top team for the medium and long-term, not just for the next season or two.”
“That is why we put a substantial offer in for Luka Modric, who is aged 22.”
“It is frustrating that Modric, like Woodgate before him, should take less money than we offered to move to the bright lights of London, and European football with Tottenham next season, but these are the sorts of difficulties that should get easier to address once we build a squad that competes at the right end of the table.”
It should be easier as we get better and climb the league to attract the very best players. And we must remember that the transfer season for us this time around may be difficult.
But we will just have to try to get the best players we can in the circumstances.