Chris Mort Departure To Be Expected – John Hall

The news that Chris Mort will soon step down as the Newcastle Chairman shouldn’t really come as a surprise to most Newcastle fans.


Sir John Hall – faith in Ashley and Keegan

Chris Mort was a trusted Ashley confident, whom he could trust to start the wheels moving to get Newcastle on a firm footing, and he has done some good work at the club in the last 10 months.

Chris never gave up his role at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, where he is still co-head of the Leisure Sector, and seemingly the plan was for him to return to the Law Practice at an appropriate time.

Before Mike Ashley’s takeover at Newcastle last June, Mort had already advised the billionaire over earlier acquisitions, and had worked in a similar capacity with Formula One, EMI and various investment banks.

It seems that Mort was the chosen one to get things initially sorted out for Ashley, and conduct a strategic review of the club.

He has since started to implement some of the recommendations, which have included putting together an executive recruitment team, and an increased focus on youth at the club.

Setanta Sports tried to get a reaction from Sir John Hall today on the pending news, and Sir John Hall told Setanta Sports News today:

”It was to be expected,”

“When Mike took over the club, he had Chris Mort as heading up his negotiating team and probably had an agreement to stay on to complete the legals and take the club private and consolidate Mike’s takeover.”

”Chris is a very good lawyer and I read in the press his wife did want to come up to the North East. He has done his stint and is time to move back.”

Hall believes Ashley will take the club forward by making the right appointment, but we also believe the appointment will be rapid and that Deputy Chairman Derek Llambias, will be made the Chairman fairly quickly.

Hall added:

”It is for Mike Ashley to make the decisions, but he has been putting a team together for a year and is an astute businessman.”

”You need a chairman who steps aside and a chief executive who understands the game, but the chairman has got to elevate himself away from that to see the bigger picture.”

”Mike has had a year, getting to know us, it has been good and bad times and it is time to take the club forward.”

And Hall is still hopeful that Kevin Keegan will take the club forward on the field, following another disappointing season for Newcastle fans:

”Kevin will now sit down and consolidate and look at the players he wants to bring in and I think we can look forward to an exciting season.”

”It will be interesting to see where Kevin takes us, let’s hope he’s not lost his touch fort the game.”

We would hope that the ensuing change in Chairman will not at all impact our transfer negotiations, and if we really are after Galatasaray’s Arda Turan, it would be nice to complete that transfer, before announcing Mort is on his way.

We also would have liked to see a football man put in as Chairman of the club, and Derek Llambias is not that, although he is well respected by owner Mike Ashley.

Comments welcome.

40 comments so far

  • Geordie Gerrard7

    May 22, 2008 at 2:40 PM

    Comment #1

    mort isnt going for 5 weeks, plenty of time to get arda deal done. im confident in our new look club. infact im rather impressed.

  • Az

    May 22, 2008 at 2:53 PM

    Comment #2

    I don’t know a lot about Derek Llambias, but from what I have read he is a cockney and a west ham supporter who runs/owns a casino.
    Not to sure what think about this

  • Whumpie

    May 22, 2008 at 2:55 PM

    Comment #3

    I’ve reached the point where I just assume any decision by Ashley and Mort is likely to turn out to be a good one. This was clearly part of the game plan, and while I’ll be disappointed to lose the ‘singing lawyer’, I’m sure his replacement will be just right to do whatever is required next.


    May 22, 2008 at 2:55 PM

    Comment #4

    Just hope next chairman has an understanding of the club and the fans passion.We need a big signing just to settle things and give everyone a lift.Then getting owen and taylor to sign a contract and i think we will look forward to a hopefully prosperes summer.

    Up the toon!

  • nomis_jade

    May 22, 2008 at 2:57 PM

    Comment #5

    Yeah, everything thats been done so far, has made it look like the people behind the scenes know what there doing, to get this club moving again. Of course some may agrue that the only thing they havent done is make a proper player signing. I think losing out to modric was becasue he wanted to go to london and a club in europe rather than newcastle which is unlucky.

    Im still waiting to be convinced that we have even made a bid for arda because i dont think we have.

    People a getting pissed off saying we are missing out on these players. for god sake let the wise and the team do their job and have some faith!

  • Geordie Gerrard7

    May 22, 2008 at 3:05 PM

    Comment #6

    mort will still be a toon fan for life, anyone agree?

  • Eric

    May 22, 2008 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #7

    In all honesty I do not think we have missed out on anyone. NUFC have had no bids rejected have they? That is because the club has not made any. I think concentration still centres on inside matters (Barton aside). I think we are seeing a responsible approach by the club. I am glad the “my Y-fronts are bigger than yours” mentality of Shepherd has gone.

  • Toon_Ksk

    May 22, 2008 at 3:14 PM

    Comment #8

    Whoever gonna take over as Chairman, he can’t be worse than Freddy.

  • Glenn

    May 22, 2008 at 3:30 PM

    Comment #9

    So what if the new chairman’s a Cockney?
    We had Freddy “I’m a Geordie me” Shepherd and look at the mess he made! Shepherd can be summed up with 3 B’s, bluff, bluster and b****cks.
    As long as the new bloke knows what he’s doing and the club is run well I don’t care where he’s from.
    And also thanks to Mort for sorting out Fat Fred’s mess.

  • ObaFan2

    May 22, 2008 at 3:40 PM

    Comment #10

    What about Owen, Taylor and OBA’s new contracts? Let alone any new players !

  • HeronMag

    May 22, 2008 at 3:47 PM

    Comment #11

    Got to agree with Glenn on this one.
    The day I realised Shepherd had lost the plot was when he announced we were going to bid £23m for Wayne Rooney when he was at Everton, believing the price tag would scare off Man Utd (the richest club in the world)…
    Straight away Man U came in and outbid us, embarassing Shepherd and the Club.

    Mort wasn’t a Geordie but was a breath of fresh air. The club has been reorganised, the right manager brought in and a distinct structure given to the entire operation.

    I just hope the new chairman is ambitious as wor Kev is!

  • Eric

    May 22, 2008 at 3:54 PM

    Comment #12

    New contracts for Owen, Oba, and Taylor asap!
    What are we waiting for – other clubs to come in on July 1st and make bids for them? Tie Zog down too!

  • Bill F

    May 22, 2008 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #13

    How about Sir John coming back he was a breath of fresh air when he took over from McKeag and Co. who were just as bad as Fat Freddy. He was Toon through and through and was taking the club forward.

    There seems to be lots of talk and not much action from our present management team unless they are just like a swimming duck.

    i.e. not much happening above the water but paddling like mad underneath.

  • obafemimartins

    May 22, 2008 at 5:29 PM

    Comment #14

    schwarzer has signed for fulham. boro need a new goalkeeper. hope they go down.

  • Alex

    May 22, 2008 at 5:38 PM

    Comment #15

    Bill F ,i have the feeling their is a lot of paddling underneath going on. It would not surprise me if we have to wait a lot longer for some new signings to be made then all of a sudden there is 2 or 3 made within a couple of days.Lets not forget all the top European players are heading to the training camps for Euro o8 so it will take untill the end of the Finals to secure any of those players.

  • Mags

    May 22, 2008 at 5:47 PM

    Comment #16

    We all knew Mort’s appointment was for 12 months to assist Mike Ashley.

    He’s done a great job and in particular has worked hard to set up better communication with the fans.

    Therefore it is worrying that the b***** awful rag the Mail were the first to leak this information yesterday (do they have a mole in our set up?)

    I would have preferred to get this information from the club and for them to have then outlined who the successor will be.

    If it is to be this Llambias fella – what can he bring to the party other than being an ‘ammer’s fan? As far as I can see he has no footballing knowledge at all.

    If it has to be another southerner I would much prefer someone like David Dein to be appointed.

    Am I being stupid (and please don’t quote FC at me) or are there any other fans getting worried that our club seems to being run from London?

  • ToonUSA

    May 22, 2008 at 6:01 PM

    Comment #17

    Whats all this Man United banners on this site. i know you need to generate some funds but do you really think anyone is going to click on that on this site?

  • Sheep SHEARER

    May 22, 2008 at 7:23 PM

    Comment #18

    When does the new away strip come out?

  • Leo

    May 22, 2008 at 8:06 PM

    Comment #19

    well seen as the new guy is all about gambling maybe he will take a punt or two in the transfer window, obviously a calculated punt lol

    which is where wise and his goons come in

  • Marat18

    May 22, 2008 at 8:15 PM

    Comment #20

    In Arda Turan’s thread I saw few comments that we bid for Joaquin, Arshavin and unknown CB – where do you get this reports from?

  • obafemimartins

    May 22, 2008 at 10:24 PM

    Comment #21

    i generally make them up like most newspapers but i dont know about anyone else

  • Obafan

    May 22, 2008 at 11:09 PM

    Comment #22

    Mort has done an extremely good job; he has reorganised the club (not only he, but he played a big role in it!).

    It is a pity that he will go and I hope his replacement will follow in his steps to work as profesiional as CM did.

    I hope before he is off, that he willsolve:
    1. contracts for Oba and Owen
    2. get rid of Barton

  • Ian

    May 23, 2008 at 8:32 AM

    Comment #23

    I like Mort as chairman it was good to have someone quiet who got on with the job, I hope the next does the same, unlike Freddy Shepherd or John Hall who are far to loud.

    I dont like John Hall commmenting on the club, I like what he did in the past in the old Keegan days until the point where they didnt quite complete Keegan’s backing to keep us at the top, the board let him down at that point, however John Hall and other members of the board also pushed to get rid of Bobby Robson against Freddy Shepherd’s advice, yet left Freddy to sack him and take the flack, I get the feeling he wants history to show the club was at its best when he was chairman, he sold out, has no involvement anymore so go away and shut up instead of making comments which hold elements of doubt.
    Keegan is well capable of taking the club up the table, all he needs is the support of the board with large amounts of money if they do eventually break in to the top four or five, not get there then leave him short of quality players to retain the position.

  • Nobby's dad

    May 23, 2008 at 8:32 AM

    Comment #24

    A friend of mine is currently doing building work at Wynyard Hall where Sir JH lives – doing up rooms that will be used for wedding receptions.

    Totally irrelevant but he says John Hall is one of the most miserable people you could ever meet!

  • Ian

    May 23, 2008 at 9:07 AM

    Comment #25

    Nobby’s dad, I wasnt going to say it, but a friend of mine who is a NUFC fan had the cabin next to him for a cruise a few years ago, he was really pleased, but by the end of the cruise he was sick and tired of hearing the man’s voice, all he did was talk about himself! The ship was big, but it seemed to him as if he could hear John Hall’s voice everywhere on the ship- a real pain in the a**e!!


    May 23, 2008 at 9:17 AM

    Comment #26

    Hope to hear some news today on contracts,signings,whatever!

  • John

    May 23, 2008 at 9:19 AM

    Comment #27

    def…Ive just seen were planning a 5 mill bid for the seessgon guy ..

  • Eric

    May 23, 2008 at 9:24 AM

    Comment #28

    What has NUFC got to do with John Hall? What does he know these days. He is a rich Tory and totally out of step with the fans. He does look like a thin and miserable “fat cat” – even “black cat”. A man in his position hanging around St James looking for newspaper crumbs – shut it JH. By the way is your son still a “dog”?

  • ronaldeano

    May 23, 2008 at 9:36 AM

    Comment #29

    @Toonking, i missed that joke telling session last night, so heres one for ya..

    Man and woman are driving down a country road and mow down a skunk

    They stop and the woman gets out to help the poor little thing. She picks it up and takes it back to the car.

    “The skunk is shivering” the woman says. Her husband replies “well why dont you put it between your legs to keep it warm”

    “But it stinks” she replies..

    “Well hold its f**king nose then”!!!! 🙂

  • Geordie Gerrard7

    May 23, 2008 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #30

    hope today brings good news, great joke there ronaldeano, made me laugh. lol

  • Geordie Gerrard7

    May 23, 2008 at 9:48 AM

    Comment #31

    just on stephane sessegnon, does anyone realise how good he really is? he is very athletic, good in a challenge and also likes to get forward and score goals, i wouldnt class him as a defensive midfielder, he is alot like essien. would be a snnip at 5 mill, very good bit of business.

  • ronaldeano

    May 23, 2008 at 9:49 AM

    Comment #32

    Im sure we will hear some news very soon, the club have been very quiet

  • John

    May 23, 2008 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #33

    is he that good GG7 …..Essien? If he’s anything like him we’ll have a gem

  • Geordie Gerrard7

    May 23, 2008 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #34

    hes abit of a rough diamond, not as good as essien obviously, but is the same kind of player. he is very good. well worth a punt

  • Stami

    May 23, 2008 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #35

    like the sound of this stephane sessegnon Geordie Gerrard7. i had never herd of him before! where you see him play?
    we(the fans) need a signing soon! for sanity’s sake!

    farewell CM! great job done, who by the way, was also not a ‘football’ man, and managed just fine! some pretty big shoes to fill!

  • Stami

    May 23, 2008 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #36

    just read somewhere that the Gooners are lining sessegnon up as a replacement for Flamini! i hope we get to him 1st! you know how well connected Wenger is in France!!!

  • Geordie Gerrard7

    May 23, 2008 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #37

    he has been on setanta quite a few times, always have been impressed. and then i seen him score two against lyon, they lost 3-2, but he was unplayable. the only thing with him though, im scared he turns into abit of a zokora, bag of shite who was once one of the most coveted youngster in world football.

  • Geordie Gerrard7

    May 23, 2008 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #38

    he may go arsenal, would be good for them. but it looks like we have stole a march stami

  • Stami

    May 23, 2008 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #39
  • Bill F

    May 23, 2008 at 2:02 PM

    Comment #40

    Looks like my earlier comments re. Sir John were misplaced after seeing the other comments about him. I may have been looking back through rose tinted glasses. Things often look better retrospectively.


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