Kevin and Chris Mort To Hold Clear-The-Air Talks

News today in the Daily Telegraph that Kevin Keegan is set to hold clear-the-air talks with club chairman Chris Mort to resolve a number of issues that seem to be bugging Kevin.


Kevin Keegan – needs to be kept better informed on goings on at the club

Keegan was reported yesterday as being unhappy about not knowing how big the club’s transfer kitty is.

But the last thing we want to hear Kevin tell the press is how much he’s getting to spend – we should keep that quiet, so it doesn’t work against us in the transfer market.

Kevin has also openly criticized Chris Mort for not starting talks to tie Michael Owen down at the club past next summer, when his current contract runs out.

It may also may be that Kevin needs to understand better the responsibilities that he has, and what Dennis Wise and the recruitment staff will be doing, although we thought that would now be a non-issue.

We’d hate to think that Kevin allows things to get so out of hand, that he may even consider resigning – that’s the very last thing anybody at the club wants.

But the Telegraph is also reporting that a member of Kevin’s back-room technical staff was removed and replaced by technical coordinator Jeff Vetere, without Kevin’s knowledge.

We have no idea if there’s any truth in this, but if that did happen then Kevin would seem to have a valid concern.

But you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that one source of frustration for Keegan, judging by his latest comments, is the transfer market and the club’s ability to attract and sign top players.

But when these things types of things happen it shows there is just not enough good communication going on, and to us this seems a classic case of this.

It would appear that Chris and the Board need to bring Kevin more into the fold, on what’s happening in other areas of the club, other than the playing side.

These types of problems are usually not difficult to solve, but the main thing is the club’s board and Kevin need to a be a lot more in lock-step from now on.

That should go a long way to having the club work more efficiently, and have everyone on board rowing the boat in the same direction.

What do you think?

Comments very welcome.

21 comments so far

  • Bill F

    May 7, 2008 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #1

    Just because the press are making it out to be news it doesnt mean it is true or as bad as they make out.

  • Sirgeorgemilburn of stjames(aka Eric)

    May 7, 2008 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #2

    We do not need this press generated airborne shite. What has KK’s kitty got to do with the press? They are not responsible for spending it or deciding who to spend it on. They just think they are. I do think that Mort and Ashley as experienced business entrepreneurs do seem to be behaving in an amateurish way. KK is up front and that is the only way to be with him. The Mail and the Telegraph are trying to sour the post-season transfer atmosphere. The Times piece was reasonable – that is all. OK KK – when you do get somebody in please show us the fans first and then show the media.

  • Rob Kirton

    May 7, 2008 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #3

    Agree with Bill F.

    As much as I love Keegan, I think he does need to temper his comments sometimes. Having said that Ashley Mort and Co. should have realised what they were buying into when they took him on board. He wears his heart on his sleeve and I guess he won’t change now. He had more than one disagreement with the club powers last time around.

    I suspect this sort of debate over who does what, what and how much money there is to spend goes on at most clubs. It just doesn’t get aired in public and that is where we fall down yet again.

    Maybe the likes of Alex Ferguson, Avram Grant, David Moyes, Martin O’Neil, Harry Redknapp, Steve Coppell whoever.. have had the need for clarification this season. We just didn’t find out. If Mort likes to run a tight ship along with tight lips (which seems to be the case), KK must be aware of the rules.

    On a scale of how things can go off with him I still reckon this one is a 3/10. However I suspect we all will be watching with interest to see how it develops.

  • Leo

    May 7, 2008 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #4

    hahaha lol lol lol. the press are idiots i think, i dont buy newspapers anymore, i would urge everyone else not to, if you want the news check out the bbc website or itv etc… they will give you what you need without costing you anything and not having given you 60 pence to the coffers at daily mail etc.

  • Taiwantoon

    May 7, 2008 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #5

    From the case of Owen’s contract, we could easily tell there is a communication problem.

    It is also true that we and the press don’t need to know the size of the transfer kitty, but KK needs to know it. Not just in football, any managers in any industry need to know how much resources they have before they act.

    The board wanna to sign the players Arsenal way, but our system seems to be quite different from the Arsenal one, unfournately.

    Wenger had quite good relationship with their board, and always seems to be in full command of the new signings.

  • valle

    May 7, 2008 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #6

    Proof of these talks?… No qoutes, only media speculation.

  • JJ

    May 7, 2008 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #7

    Just an idea for you ED HARRISON:

    We are all sick and tired of the press twisting Newcastle stories and making our club look like arse.

    Therefore I suggest (as the bset supporters in the world) that we make a stand for our club and try to get some coverage on it.

    Say we targets Skysports News.

    We got every possible Newcastle fan we can to email Skysports stating that we are pleased with the way things are going with the club and beleive we have the set up to make the club huge in the next few years.
    Also stating that it is not our expectations to breech the top 4 and that we have faith in both our manager and the board!!!!!
    We then state that no matter how much nonsense is printed to stir trouble at our club it will only unite the supporters behind the club and management!

    If we can get everyone on the blog to do it and spread the word. Surely we can make some sort of impact.


    At the end of each article state your name, support for the club and country.

    Ed perhaps you can write something we can copy and paste and add our names to via email?

  • Faustino

    May 7, 2008 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #8

    As much as the press is mainly unrelaible, there is never smoke without fire.

    I have a feeling we are about to see a newly researched board, working exactly the way it sees as feasible for the future and this, I believe, will mean long term financial projection, building for the future and not flash spending on players. This unfortunately will count Kev out of being part out of the resurgence he undoubtedly beleived he was going to be at the helm of.

    I think that Mort/Ashley have been burned now and realise they just won’t get the players they want and aren’t prepared to spend exactly the same money on lesser players. This may also mean Owen going I’m afraid.

    From a business angle what’s the point of having a player on over a 100k a week when you are mid-table in this current climate and possibley challenging for the Uefa cup. When the realisation that we won’t be seeing big European cash for quite some time [if KKs predictions are correct Owen will be well past it by the time we challenge the top of the table!] hits then why absorb the immense cost of keeping a player like that here. He is looking a little wobbly and occasionally outclassed by players who aren’t on anywhere near his salary. [His reluctance to use his left foot is starting to be embarassing!]

    As a fan of entertainment and excitment, I would love to see big money spent on players from europe/ROW that would maybe set us on fire and catapult us into contention. However, as a businessman I fear that what I’m hearing is the pre-emption of a development period that will seriously test the patience of us, the Toon Army and KK; because neither of us are built for it.

    Go to and find all the Chris Mort stories and read his quotes from the last few days. Do they sound like the words of a man preparing to open the cheque book and spend 50/100/200 million on players? Then listen to the exascerbation of Kevin’s quotes concerning challenging the top 4. Then read the quote about how all the ‘destinations in the brochure have changed’. The stories don’t worry me but the quotes do.

  • sirjasontoon

    May 7, 2008 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #9

    In the last post about Steve Harper and the 3-4 signings I was accused by GM of being a southern journalist and the points I covered are raised in part on this blog.

    It seems that if you make comments on here that have some negativity you are either a southern hack or a Mackem surely this is not healthy for an adult debate.

    GM unlike yourself I will not be blinkered by billionaires and will use my brain to look between the lines and make my own opinions-I advise you to do the same sometimes and then maybe you will get a grip on reality.

    “We won’t do a Leeds” that to me is saying we won’t be ambitious and spend. Believe me the board is not going to spend big and we are more likely to lose star players that attract them in the present climate.

    It is clear as I mentioned before this blog that communication is non existant, nothing has been done to secure Owens’s new contract and Keegan seems to be resigned as is the board to being mid table also rans.

    I bet we are linked with lots of big players in the window, notice the word LINKED that has always been the way. Look at it like a sugar dummy or pacifier to keep you interested.
    “Oh we just missed out”, “Dennis nearly got him”;” we couldn’t agree terms”,” Spurs just nipped in at the last minute”.

    Get used to those types of phrases as the recruitment “team” supposedly scans the globe for talent they have no intention of signing or even tell the manager who they are looking at.

    I personally think Ashley should say look” I know we have been starved of success for years but I am going to make this once great club big again and back my manager with millions of pounds to buy second tier proven players. We will then pushes for UEFA cup places and then I will bank roll a push for top four.

    Ambition,Communication and finance three things we seem to be lacking right now.

  • craig chisholm

    May 7, 2008 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #10


    you are right mate and i stand with you. for sure the press will embelish the stories but the guts of the storry, the core of it are the ACTUAL things that mort and keegan are saying.
    When they went on a charm offensive to lure keegan back you can bet your arse keegan would have asked ifthere would be plenty of funds available and freedom to restructure, ship in, ship out etc. this is the way kk is, he is the man and he likes it his way. mort etc will have said yes to all of this in order to get him. now that he is here they are backing out on everything. mort drips on about already spending 30 million on players. what a load of wank. he does not mention how much he has recouped by selling players to off-set that! we have sold shit loads. i bet we have not spent 10 million in real terms. plus the wage bill must be less, we have hardly any frigging players left.
    The press did not fabricate keegans displeasure at owen not getting sorted out either, they are facts. we are showing no ambition at all in keeping our best player and captain so that should give you a good indication of what kinda transfer activity we can expect lads. forget the massive names. we need to look at players closer to home. crouch would be a very good buy as would SWP and maybe bridge IF we could get him. these are realistic targets who understand newcastle and the way we are over some moderic type future star who just will not get us at all. i will say now that i think KK will not be there at the start of next season. i hope that mort knows how pissed off we will all be. i wont be renewing my season ticket if thats the case.

  • sirjasontoon

    May 7, 2008 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #11

    craig chisholm
    Real comments fair play.
    Keegan is going make no bones about it…in the next few days I expect as he knows the money he will be given to spend will just not be sufficient or anywhere near what he was promised to get the club any further forward.
    We know already of Keegan and his ability to back his bags quickly and he clearly feels let down and forced out by Ashley and his new appointments.
    Step in Dennis Wise at the Helm…I hope not as I can’t stand the little tosser.

  • NUFC Yaka

    May 7, 2008 at 12:40 PM

    Comment #12

    It’s about time Ashley put his money down on building a team that can challenge the top 4. The guys a billionaire and can gamble 250,00 without so much as a buy or leave. Anythings possible in football, we can challenge the top 4, if the right investment is made! Chelski have done it in a few seasons since the Russian put his money down! Proove you want it and stop messing with KK! He knows what this club needs far far better that Wise. I have full belief in KK, but not Ashley. Sure he enjoys mixing with the fans and flashing a few bob on free pints on match day. But the fortunes of the club is a serious one, start flashing the cash on signings!!!

  • wolfhound

    May 7, 2008 at 1:10 PM

    Comment #13

    money makes the world go round if you dont spend it you will go down get out your wallet ashley

  • ObaFan2

    May 7, 2008 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #14

    How I see it:

    KK has fulfilled the first part of his contract by making our team play watchable and entertaining football and safe in the EPL this season.

    Now it is up to MA,CM and the recruitment team to live up to their roles by bringing in the right players.

    I understand that we need to balance the books (to a degree) but the priority must be to strengthen the squad.

    Pull your fingers out and get some good talent at this club.

    By the way, I have not bought a paper in a long long time and take with a pinch of salt whatever the tabloids have to say about us.

  • maggpie

    May 7, 2008 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #15

    Just done a bit of research and found that our average post war league position is – 15th!
    Even our Premiership average is only 8th. This makes me realise that what KK is saying is actually nothing new for Newcastle. We’ve never been able to consistantly compete with the top 10 never mind the top four, and that is a fact borne out by a sixty two year hard average league position of 15th.
    Yes we should aspire to be better than that and nobody dreams of us doing well more than I do, but we have to get real. KK is real and he’s also right. 5th would be a great achievement and Ashley providing the £30m or so that would get us in the top 8 would be a great start, but we’ll never win the league, at least not without an Abromovich, and since I hate everything the modern day Chelsea stand for, I’d hate to see that happen at Newcastle.

  • Punk Skunk

    May 7, 2008 at 8:42 PM

    Comment #16

    Omg, NUFC lose a match, KK says what he thinks & the press are back on the depressing tip…Blah, blah, blah!..
    …Like Leo said…DON’T BUY THEIR DROSS!..
    …They just look for anything to have a go at, how BORING!..
    …Like they know ANYTHING about NUFC?..
    …If i was KK, i’d keep my gob shut in front of them like!..Tell them NOTHING, they’re gonna make crap up anyway!..


    May 7, 2008 at 8:53 PM

    Comment #17

    The last few days and comments from KK and CM are of great concern. I hope not but firmly believe at some point next season or even before KK will leave. I know for a fact from a very good source he is really unhappy at how things off the pitch are shaping up.
    Make no mistake KK leaving will be a complete disaster and one of this clubs darkest days.

  • Punk Skunk

    May 7, 2008 at 9:20 PM

    Comment #18

    I just wish we would learn to keep it all
    ‘in house’!..

  • Markus

    May 8, 2008 at 12:14 AM

    Comment #19

    Memory may be playing tricks with me but didnt Keegan threaten put up a million or I walk threat to John Hall just before he bought Kevin Sheedy? This current situation seems to be heading for the same kind of confrontation and Im not sure this time there will be any winners.

  • clinta

    May 8, 2008 at 2:18 AM

    Comment #20

    hey what for that matter has rthe transfer kitty got to do with kk, i was under the impression with the new set up he gave a list, the new look scouting team of wise and co. went up stair and asked the chairman permission to go after the players and they chased the players they could, if they got success they then brought the player??????? that was my understanding of the new set up where in this does kk need to know anything about funds?!

  • Michael12

    May 8, 2008 at 3:05 AM

    Comment #21

    Taxi for Keegan???? perhaps now that Sven is going to be free perhaps they are looking at him as an option. Not only that, but perhaps Scolari is available and now they are looking to dump Keegan who has too much influence on the fans for the liking of the board. When a manager becomes bigger than the board, Governing such a club is like “holding a wolf by the Ears”


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