Where’s The Leadership At Newcastle?

As has been their mode of operation since Derek Llambias became Managing Director at Newcastle United, the club has so far said very little to the fans, even when the manager has just resigned.

Newcastle have missed the calming influence of Chris Mort since May

If there was ever a time when the club should explain to their fans what is going on at the club it is now, but no this lot of incompetents, who seem determined to ensure that everybody knows they have no idea how to run a football club, and are running our club into the ground in the process.

There is news in The Sun that Ashley was at a night club in New York on Thursday evening after Kevin Keegan had resigned his post at Newcastle.

And The Sun have some evidence, such as the bill, that Ashley spent over $2,500 on champagne, and was helped out of the club at 3:00 am in the morning. not in a sober state.

When Mike should have been sorting out the huge business problems he has created for himself at Newcastle United, he chose to go and get drunk, hardly a wise (excuse the pun) or good decision.

We cannot see how he can show his face again at Newcastle games without at the least getting insulted by Newcastle fans, who are just furious at what he has done to this proud club. And sitting with the fans again, we’re sure will be explained to him by his bodyguards, would hardly be safe.

Newcastle assistant manager Terry McDermott again took training yesterday, while speculation over Keegan’s successor has intensified, and we understand that former Tottenham coach Chris Hughton will take charge of the team for the Hull City game a week today at St. James’ Park.

We know there is talk of a boycott at that game, but a demonstration following the game, in the car park would be more effective, and put pressure on Ashley to sell the club. It would get wide publicity, and would then be in all the Sunday papers the following day, and would alert potential buyers of the club that indeed a buying opportunity of Newcastle United was real.

All last week there was an absence of leadership shown by the Newcastle Board, which has only intensified since Kevin Keegan left the club on Thursday evening. And in business, you cannot just go and hide in a corner and hope for the best in difficult situations like this.

Good strong businessmen come out, look at the situation, and plot a course of action, usually both short term and long term, to get out of the mess. That’s why they are usually paid big bucks, but we have to say we are hardly impressed with the executives in charge at Newcastle United right now.

We were impressed with Chris Mort, who regularly communicated with the fans, and in fact did some very good things behind the scenes regarding charity and also put the current organization structure in place.

We think the structure with a recruitment team is just fine, but Kevin has to have final say and the recruitment executives’ role is simply to help Kevin Keegan. And that’s what Chris said when he was explaining the new organization to the fans.

And until now we think Ashley has done most things right, so we still cannot believe how he has allowed Kevin Keegan to walk away. Why didn’t he exert more influence in the negotiations, even when he was in NY?

With a 5 hour time difference it’s rather easy to have phone calls at say 6:00am in NY when it’s 11:00am in England, and with cell phones that becomes even easier. I’ve done that many times before in the role I had at IBM, and you find the time, when the issue is an important one.

When will we next hear from our leaders at Newcastle United?   We have no idea, but the longer it goes, the worse it will get for them, we can guarantee that.

We think Ashley has only two choices to remain owner at Newcastle United – bring Kevin Keegan back and give him full control on the playing side, or sell the club to somebody who will indeed do just that.

We still don’t think we’ve heard the last of this.

Comments welcome.

221 comments so far

  • Isaac Hunt

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #1

    Al Capone

  • GeordieGraham

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #2

    get out of this club you fat prick and take that poison dwarf with you. i hope that indian buys us. has anyone been up 2 st james 2 protest?

  • Ian

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #3

    I disagree about the boycott, I think an empty stadium will rock the whole premiership.

    I also think that if Ashley loses a few £100,000 every home match, which could amount to as much as £800,000 per game if after taking in to account season tickets already paid he will move from selling part of the club to selling all of it, apparantly he is thinking of washing his hands of it all now.

    The only reason we arent sold is because he wanted to keep a controlling share of the club.

    It is obvious he doesnt like spending money, it is obvious he isnt as rich now as he was when he bought the club as his other businesses arent going well and he didnt get a good review in the business papers about his flotation, losing extra hundreds of thousands of pounds each home game will encourage him to sell up quickly, I wouldnt be surprised to see it sold within one month.

    If the ground is full of protestors then he has the income still and can wait until the right offer comes in.

  • Isaac Hunt

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #4

    They don’t know what they’re doing and they don’t know what what to do. They’re like little kids who start a grass fire that gets out of hand. What do they do? They run away and hide and hope the problem will go away. I doubt that we ever see MA in toon again. His goons will do the dirty work for him.

  • Danso

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #5


  • hadrian

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #6

    i think ive read one sentance from our chairman llambias , the day he got the job .
    the fact he’s got no experience in football stands out a mile .

    and what connection to the north east do we have at that club now ?

  • ginkoh

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #7

    If I’m not wrong, Mike Ashley is Tottenham supporter and Llambias is Westham supporter, then Dennis Wise no doubt he’s Chelsea man. So I don’t see why they should care about this situation.

    One thing I don’t know why is why Newcastle United always trouble or we’re on cursed ??

  • Isaac Hunt

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #8


  • Bren

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #9

    Regardless of structure, the communication is the biggest problem – both within the club and with the fans. To the best of my knowledge the main powers in the NUFC boardroom have communicated in the following ways in their time at the club:

    Mike Ashley – one controlled print interview
    Denis Wise – a couple of small print interviews
    Derek Llambias – nothing
    Tony Jiminez – nothing

    Do they expect loyalty when they show such contempt?

  • dave v

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #10

    Ashley has been asset stripping the club and will sell to the highest bidder soon!
    Keegan will also return as a real manager with a huge budget to put us amongst the top six, the top four plus us and Man City.
    Keep the pressure on lads, get this bunch of spivs out of our club.

  • Davies

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #11

    Unfortunately, if he doesn’t want to sell, nobody can make him.

    The problem that we now have is that if Ashley chooses not to sell the club and we try to force him out, we could well be a contributing factor in running the club into the ground as well.

    The support for Ashley is now paper thin, if not non-existent. I have supported him throughout, however, I cannot now stand by and watch our club be destroyed because he will not do the only thing that start to put us back on the up, and sell to one of the numerous potential buyers.

    NUFC. com are reporting that Ambani is a fan of Keegan and would try to bring him back if he were allowed to buy the club.

    I doubt whether Keegan would walk back into this mess now unless he were given rock solid assurances. I just don’t see it happening.

    Everything the supporters do to force Ashley out must be given serious consideration from here on in. Otherwise, we too could end up damaging our club.

    Please don’t boycott the matches. It’s not the team’s faultthat any of this has happened and they need our support.

  • RobB

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #12

    I am one of those who consistently gave Ashley the benefit of the doubt. I am now embarrassed that I was so loyal. I refuse to become cynical as a result – he will not have that power over me. The continental structure could work, but not like this.

    I have listened very carefully to the arguments in recent days and I am clearly on the side of the boycotters. Although I do not have a season ticket I regularly go to the games ad hoc and will not be going until Ashley has gone. I don’t know how many season tickets have been sold this season, but there are a lot more tickets available in all areas of the ground this year.

    Sometimes the only way is to go in hard for a tackle and that’s what we have to do. The best way to support the team is to take hard action in the short term, so we all, including the lads, have a better future.

    I’ve already cancelled my NUFC TV subscription, but will keep my Setanta subscription and will follow the games on Radio Newcastle. In the short term that’s the best way to support the lads.

    Great to hear from Shearer. He’s right not to want the job just now.

  • filthy mag

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #13

    Well said Daiv. I have a gut feeling that this Reliance phone chap from India will make an offer next week. I also feel that Ashley will have had enough especially if this isnt sorted by the Hull game. There is a split between those that want to boycott and those that dont. So I foresee a considerably reduced attendance but not a total absence. Ashley will get fed up of having his name dragged through the mud as it will affect his standing in the business market and damage his reputation.

    I hope he goes sooner rather than later.

    Please please please Anil Ambani come in and sort out this situation. Allow the King to return and do his job properly

    Bring back the entertainers.

  • hammy

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #14

    Wish Kev would come out and spill the beans,
    unfortunately fat boy’s lawyers are probably better than KK’s……. 🙁

  • Isaac Hunt

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #15

    Kangol, Lonsdale and Karrimor (100% ownership). Blacks and Millets (25% ownership). You know what to do!

  • hadrian

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #16

    forgot to say , really good article ed ,
    makes me glad this little old blog grew into such a large site for fans all over the world to have their say .

  • The Entertainers

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #17

    Another good article Ed,

    I’ve been saying this well before the Keegan mess and my opinion was only been firmed by this.

    Can anyone tell me what Llambias has done at this club, apart from run Kev out the job with his weak attempts to keep him. A BLOODY LETTER!

    It has become clear to me at least, there are certain people i will never accept at this club, whether Ashley remains or not:

    Llambias and Wise…

    I cant see how it can work, with some many of the hierarchy living or based in the south. You would have thought there would be plenty of southern clubs to ruin!

    There must be times (like now) that the club has no-one in charge……its ripe for a mutiny!

    As for Ashley in the States, that just shows how much he cares for the club. In a time of trouble where our leader, p****ing his money up the wall in some swanky club……..real statement of commitment mate, cheers.

  • hammy

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #18

    I must say as a Newcastle fan I have always loved the Indian culture and plan to have lots of holidays there in the future with my new Indian friends.
    I also like to ring up call centres for no apparent reason so I can chat to those nice Indian folks on the other end of the phone.

  • Mick_Bell

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #19

    Just want to say again that i am 100% against a boycott of any games, this will only go to alienate the players from the club, even more so that what they already probably feel, this I not their fault and they shouldn’t be punished for it! Get there against Hull and remind the players why we are there…for them, then do the demonstration! Totally agree with you on that point Ed!

  • Spyro

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #20

    At the end of the day, if KK wants old style management he shouldn’t have walked away all those years ago. Bring on the next manager

  • Isaac Hunt

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #21

    RobB: I agree, hit them hard as soon as possible. The best way to hit this spiv is in the pocket. Boycott everything he has an interest in.

    United we stand

  • Issac Kite

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #22

    We need for this to go national and boycott all his shops in the uk, not just tyneside. The rest of the country feels for us and are not laughing at us as the press suggests

  • RobB

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #23

    The use of words here is interesting. People talk about old-style v modern. Perhaps it should be British v continental. Note that everyone agrees the premiership is the best league in the world. I wonder why?

  • AdamCF

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #24

    Sorry guys.. I’ve just gotten to the point where I want to see 11 players in black n white out there on the pitch fighting for their life against Hull next week. I just want this week to be over and get back to what we’re all really here for.

  • BILL

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #25

    Boycott the matches !! is one of the ways to hit Fat Ashs pocket and dont suck on the free pint

  • Steve

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #26

    Great post Ed. I for one cannot believe the absence of leadership coming from the top brass.

    The place is being run by cowboys. There are only two ways forward for this club, either lose Ashley and be purchased by an owner more willing to invest (and care) about the club, or for the current board to appoint a foreign puppet.

    I for one prefer the former…

  • Spyro

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #27

    Issac Kite

    “We need for this to go national and boycott all his shops in the uk, not just tyneside. The rest of the country feels for us and are not laughing at us as the press suggests”

    no, everyone is laughing, trust me

  • Isaac Hunt

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #28

    Isaac Kite: He also has shares in Adidas. Where would we be without our three stripes charvers. It won’t effect me though. I get mine from the washing lines

  • hammy

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #29

    It would be great to boycott his shops but he’s shut down the likes of Dixon’s, Mcgurks, SportsWorld, InterSport, JJB. etc etc……
    This guy looks like a Del Boy made good….

    “This time next year Rodders I’ll be a Billionaire”

    unfortunately for us he did, the moron has no class or balls…..

  • Spyro

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #30

    Adam CF

    the reality is, by the time the Hull match comes around, not may will care about this anymore as they will be so deprived of football. So you will not be by yourself in that stadium, it will be at least 3/4 full, and after a couple of wins, back to full capacity. 😉

  • hammy

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #31

    No, drink the free pints, just don’t pay for any….

  • Angryman the Angry fan

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #32

    The leadership of Newcastle left mid week.
    The only man on the planet who knew how to lead Newcastle was driven out by a bunch of Cockney shankers who are only interested in one thing!!


    I notice the regulars like SPYRO & JONAS and the other pro CASHLEY BRIGADES posts are very few and far between these days, are you guys worried that alot of us have good memories and remember how STRONGLY you lot backed CASHLEY!!

    ME, I too have been very quiet because to be honest, I am still sick to the stomach of certain people coming on here trying to shove down my throat that CASHLEY still done good for the club by paying off the debt!!

    Give me debt and a very good, strong and skillfull football team before paying the debt anyday!! Thats what I pay to see, I dont pay to line some fat cockney and his ugly dwarfy little cockney geezer mates’ pockets!!


  • Spyro

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #33

    what you on about angry, im on here all the time

  • clinta

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #34

    ‘ the get a new buyer and bring back KK’ brigade, ed included are wrong on this one i think.

    It would be a huge mistake to bring KK back, yes, he did well when he was here, but let’s look to the future and hopefully (if anyones stupid enough?) well get a manager that’s right for us.

    I know KK did well, and was a popular choice with the fan, but i wasn’t that keen and do no think he was the right appointment or is ‘newcastle’ for that matter.

  • hammy

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #35

    Howay lads, nobody’s died……yet

  • Jack

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #36

    I was talking about it with my friend last night. We really do miss Chris Mort. I think that’s what the difference is. Mort came out and said repeatedly that KK was in charge, and I think Keegan and the fans respected him. He had the sort of personality that could deal with and keep happy a character like Keegan and characters like Wise and Ashley. As well as that, he had a really good relationship with the fans.

    Since he’s gone, Llambias has come in and I don’t even know what he looks like. It’s obvious from the start of his reign that he doesn’t know what he’s doing, and he’s fine with letting people take the control away from Keegan, which ultimately caused him to leave. I don’t think this would have happened with Mort there.

    I don’t blame Wise as much as everyone else does. As far as I’m concerned, he was hired to help with transfer dealings and he’s just been working on them. I don’t blame him for accepting the job in the first place, and it was going really well until Llambias took over.

    Also, Ashley’s a disgrace for not personally sorting this out. “done everything to keep Kevin”….. yeah. Clearly.

  • Ed Speed For PM

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #37

    Am sick of hearing about Keegan now!
    I like him, but lets move on.
    and talk of boycotting is ridiculous, get a grip!

  • silverwear this year

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #38

    I can’t see keegan coming back, which is upsetting. I also think that the factt we are in this state is a disgrace, we are the f**king laughing stock of the prem. Ashley has to go for what he’s let happen under his control.

  • hadrian

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #39

    Davies ,

    if any damage is done to the club by the fans its easily repaired by the very same people .
    i think maybe we need to sit back and realise the only good thing at this club now is the fans .
    the infastructure at boardroom and ground level is a bunch of ashleys mates , job’s for the boys .
    for all the talk of the new scouting system , it still consists of the very same scouts we had at the club pre ashley , only now we have vettere fresh off a 4 month stint with real madrid , probably working through a list of kids he managed to remember from their books .
    jiminez an old chelsea steward turned property developer , apparently brought in to ‘close deals’ , lets not overlook the fact he’s ashleys mate and got to know dennis wise at his time with chelsea .
    and dennis wise as director of football …… a really poor footballer in his day , hated by us venomly in his time on the pitch , who had a spell at milwall then got leed’s relegated .

    any good will the club had forged with the community is worthless now , even our local city council had to remind them they had been given the freedom of the city , even tho the clubs regime no longer have any connection to the city , at the same time reminding them the man they were treating so badly was a great asset for decade’s to newcastle ,
    ive never known a manager get so involved with the city as keegan does.

    there is no more damage that can be done to the clu that isnt easily repaired by the fan’s full support behind a new regime .
    as long as the team isnt relegated this year , full gates for a new owner can turn this ship around straight away .

    and lets not forget where the root of these problem lies , keegan was only complaining about what every fan was thinking , where is the investment ? why do reports have us down as 10million net spend in the tranfer market since ashleys purchase ?
    why does he think just becasue he didnt take due dilligence with the account that a interest free loan to the club to save himself a few quid is a good enough excuse to us for lack of investment ?
    does he think we dont know the likes of belgravia considered 235mill bids for the club as they had taken the debt into account ?

    why is ashley giveing chest thumping statements of ambition , like going to chelsea and having a team to compete with them ? only to instruct his ‘buddies’ to scour the leagues looking for bargain buys and getting players todo webster rulings on their clubs .

    as it stands i see minimal investment ,
    and reduced outgoings .

    screams of a club being asset stripped and set up for sale .

  • Dan13

    Sep 6, 2008 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #40

    yea I agree Ed speed

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