League Managers’ Association (LMA) chief executive Richard Bevan today has called on the Newcastle United Board to sort themselves out to ensure their next manager (4th in 15 months) does not suffer the same fate as Kevin Keegan.
Kevin Keegan – resigned after just 8 months in charge
Keegan resigned last night from one of the best supported English Premier League sides, after failing to agree on how the club would be run, specifically on player recruitment.
Newcastle fans, by a large majority, have sided with Kevin Keegan, and have been quick to blame Londoners Mike Ashley and Dennis Wise, who last January was installed as Executive Director of Player recruitment, just two weeks after Kevin was appointed manager.
The club are now looking for their 4th manager in 15 months and 6th manager in four years and LMA’s Bevan believes the next man who takes over must have his role much more clearly defined:
“Newcastle failed to create a structure where Kevin Keegan could flourish,” “It was like having an orchestra with three conductors and sooner or later it was going to break down.”“I think I would have liked to hear Newcastle talking about how to build a model that works, how they are going to create a clear chain of command,”
“The dispute between Kevin and the club is in the hands of the lawyers but at no time in our discussions did Kevin talk about compensation.”
“The most important thing for Kevin was that the manager must have the right to manage.” “A couple of nights ago I was with Kevin for a long period of time and his sole focus was with the fans.”
“He was torn and when he had no alternative to resign his thoughts were for the fans. That sends a message to Newcastle.”
Bevan said he was not against the continental approach to management – which seems increasingly being used at English clubs – where one man coaches the team and player recruitment is left to an executive at boardroom level.
What he did object to, however, was a change in structure having already employed the manager.
“I’ve heard a few people saying the continental model doesn’t work but I think it does in certain situations,” “It is different for Kevin because he was in charge before other people came on board.”“The next person who comes on board has to make sure there is a clear chain of command and there are shared goals.”
But we don’t think that’s completely true, because Kevin was told in mid-January of the upcoming change in the structure at the club, by his own admission, and also told that Dennis Wise was one of the candidates for the Football Director job.
What Kevin didn’t understand, was that Dennis would have more control than him, over who came to the club, and who even left the club, and that was the specific point of conflict and disagreement.
And of course, then Chairman Chris Mort said at the time, that Kevin would control all outgoing and incoming transfers at the club, and that has turned out not to be true, and ultimately has led to Keegan’s resignation from Newcastle.