Chris Mort Said Kevin Had Final Say On Players


A statement issued by Newcastle United last night seems to have been for the benefit of Sunday’s papers.

Derek Llambias – in charge of negotiating with Kevin – failed miserably

This is the statement issued by the Board last night:

Official NUFC Statement: September 6

NUFC wished, at all times, to keep any dispute that it had with Kevin Keegan private.It is therefore disappointing that information has reached the media through unnamed sources and a briefing has been given by the League Managers Association that could give rise to a misleading impression amongst the Club’s fans.

Newcastle United have no desire to engage in a war of words but inaccurate reporting of factual matters and inaccurate allegations have to be corrected.

It is a fact that Kevin Keegan, on appointment on 16th January 2008, agreed to report to a Director of Football and to the Board.

It is a fact that Kevin Keegan worked within that structure from 16th January 2008 until his resignation.

It is a fact that Kevin Keegan, as manager, had specific duties in that he was responsible for the training, coaching, selection and motivation of the Team.

It is a fact that Kevin Keegan was allowed to manage his specific duties without any interference from any Board member.

It is a fact that Kevin Keegan agreed only to deal with the media in relation to Club matters relating to the Team and not to communicate with the media in relation to the acquisition or disposal of players.

It is a fact that NUFC is a business and operates, like all businesses, with financial constraints.

It is a fact that NUFC’s financial constraints inform its transfer dealings.

The Board of NUFC have responsibility to ensure that the club is able to meet its commitments which include the wages and the transfer fees for players.

The structure at NUFC is clear, and has been clear from 16th January 2008.

This statement does little to improve matters, since significantly it doesn’t say that Keegan was responsible for which players were brought in during the transfer market – and that is the specific and main reason Kevin resigned.

LMA chief executive Richard Bevan said in a statement.

“Kevin Keegan’s chief complaint, amongst others, is that it was always agreed that the director of football could not impose a player that the manager did not want.”

“This agreement has been broken and, notwithstanding the fact that the chairman at the time of Kevin Keegan’s appointment, the director of football and the owner of Newcastle United have confirmed previously in public meetings and publications that he would always have the final say.”

Along with lawyers, the LMA were called in by Keegan in a bid to resolve the dispute and clarify his position. And something we have already pointed out, is that when then Chairman Chris Mort was explaining the new organization early this year, he said Keegan would always have the final decision on who came and who went – that is a fact.

LMA chairman Howard Wilkinson said:

“If you are going to work in a football club, then the most prominent person in that club – certainly as far as the public is concerned, and you could argue as far as anyone is concerned – is the man called the manager or the guy who is responsible for the first team.”

“So to create a position which is going to result in friction through lack of communication, through a failure to communicate what the role is etc, seems to be a recipe for disaster, particularly if you bring someone into that position between manager and board after you have appointed a manager.”

For once, we have to agree with Howard, and it seems to us the club’s position is so weak it’;s hard to defend it, because the manager is responsible for results on the field, and he can hardly be judged for that if he doesn’t have the final say on who those players ultimately are.

Comments welcome.



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30 comments so far

  • ELFER

    Sep 7, 2008 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #1
  • graeme

    Sep 7, 2008 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #2

    The statement by NUFC last night smacks of a CYA excercise (Cover Your Arse). It is highly inacurate, inflamatory and incorrect.

    Whoever is in charge of the clubs PR department should join CAshley, the Dwarf & Spooks on the way out.

    This demonstrates, once again, the total shambles that now prevails at Newcastle United Football Club.

    Its a tragedy.

    0
  • Jonthetourist

    Sep 7, 2008 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #3

    Nufc.com have Wise quotes:

    “He’ll say yes and no, he has the final word, no-one else.”

    If we can find a friendly printer and get that quote onto 100,000 sheets of A4 (cos we won’t be allowed to distribute it efficiently, one per seat), that’s our protest. Stood holding it up for the cameras at kick-off, it’s dignified and relevant.

    I’ll stick £50 in the pot to pay towards it. I guess others would too.

    Any takers?

    0
  • Marty

    Sep 7, 2008 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #4

    Getting sick of this,checking out the sites to see if we sold or if MA has got in a new Manager.
    We really must look like a joke now……….
    What a crap start to the season.

    0
  • ashleys wallets cobwebs

    Sep 7, 2008 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #5

    the way i look at this is that the club are leaking these lies, and thats what they are because sky has brought up all the comments from wise and ashley regarding transfers and they both say kk has the say ,yes or no simple.
    now if this indian guy is coming over this week to buy a club then we better make life very awkward this week for ashley , before the hull game and not on the day as the chance might of passed and he might think he has rode the storm and turn down this fella, as we have seen with man city these people move very fast.

    SO LETS SHOW THIS FAT GREEDY SCUM BAG HE IS NOT WELCOME AT OUR CLUB ANYMORE, AND GET HIM TO SHIP OUT AND TAKE THE REST OF THE LYING HORRIBLE SHIT HOUSES WITH HIM

    0
  • Marty

    Sep 7, 2008 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #6

    SSSSSSEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL
    Please

    0
  • mozza

    Sep 7, 2008 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #7

    got up this morning and gues what, i have’nt mellowed one bit, still going on the march, still furious at that petty aragant statement, which shows total contempt for us and is the worst pr showed by this inept lot so far, not a word for ages of them, then when they do comment its done nothing but add fuel to the already substantial fire, no way back from here mike and co, no way back at all

    0
  • happy toon

    Sep 7, 2008 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #8

    i will only accept zico or kk as manager….

    0
  • Jeff

    Sep 7, 2008 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #9

    Just read a comment on sky from Gallas regarding bartons ban………….Sod off gallas what you getting involved for you dick!!!!!

    0
  • ashleys wallets cobwebs

    Sep 7, 2008 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #10

    JONTHETOURIST

    count me in for £100 , cracking idea

    0
  • mozza

    Sep 7, 2008 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #11

    can’t trust the present regime after this, no feckin way, ashley wants to sell by saturday or the club is not gona know whats hit it, this anger will not cease untill the present bunch of muppets leave

    0
  • B and W in Singapore

    Sep 7, 2008 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #12

    Message to Messrs Ashley , Lambias and Wise

    Gentlemen you have sh*t in your own trolleys…..

    What now…….your left with a football club with supporters that think you stink !

    0
  • Fans Should Own the Club

    Sep 7, 2008 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #13

    Friends–protests, boycott and new ownership are all good ideas to be considered and worked on at the beginning.

    But a new billionaire owner will be as unaccountable as the current and former money men. THEY JUST DON’T CARE ABOUT THE CLUB. They treat it as a cash machine–an investment in a business. The don’t care about what we care about.

    We should think bigger and more creatively for the longer term.

    I haven’t checked out this site fully, but it’s looks like the first big step in FAN OWNERSHIP. Please, check it out.

    http://www.savenewcastle.com/index.html

    Fan ownership is not a fairy tale. It’s done all over Europe and it can be done here.

    Many respond to this by saying “We can’t afford 4,000 pounds for a membership,” but there must be other ways to get mass memberships–perhaps memberships at different price levels.

    No more unaccountable money men.

    FANS SHOULD OWN THE CLUB.

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  • evildick

    Sep 7, 2008 at 12:05 PM

    Comment #14

    don’t boycotte the hull game, but don’t buy anything in the grounds.. don’t wear your colours. but be loud and proud! we still need 3 points against hull and the lads wearing the shirt need our support!

    I live downunder so i’m unable to attend, however i wont be purchasing the new kits as i was about to. And i will be writing the club, to let them know there are others doing the same out here.

    anyone got any decent ashley/wise chants???

    0
  • dave v

    Sep 7, 2008 at 12:08 PM

    Comment #15

    ELFER

    Spot on mate, Ashley has been asset stripping the club from the beginning and wants to maximize his profits, he thought Kev was in his back pocket because of kevs problems with his Glasgow circuses problems and would go along with Ashley to obtain his salary.
    He doesn’t know Kev, He and I suspect Mort could not stomach Ashley’s stripping of club assets.
    Kevin walked and is bringing the facts into the public domain so we the supporters knowing the truth will hound the scum bags out of our club at a reduced profit. 220 million rather than 400 million being reprted in the press as Ashley’s price of sale.

    0
  • carl

    Sep 7, 2008 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #16

    IT IS A FACT, IT IS A FACT…… BLAH BLAH BLAH. this statement is a joke, the whole board have contradicted themselfs in the past 8 month or so.who on earth would pay someone chairman salarys to come up with statements like that.its like a 17yr old having a strop .WHAT IS A FACT IS THE WHOLE BOARD ARE NOT WANTED ON TYNESIDE.

    0
  • mozza

    Sep 7, 2008 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #17

    carl you’re right this statement is like a teenage strop, they could’nt have angered us more if they tried than presenting this pile of pish as an explanation

    0
  • blackandwhite9

    Sep 7, 2008 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #18

    my idea is to turn up to the game as normal ( dont really wear colours anyway – or pay for the overprced crap in ther ground so that wouldn’t involve me doing a lot!!) , intend to give full vocal suuport to the TEAM ( our team) for the 1st half , THEN when the players are off the pitch at half time then protest about MA/DW etc – then back to the biz of supporting the team for the second half … these guys ( the team) are as disgusted as us about what has happened , and NEED our support now , boycotts etc only affects them ..so lets get behind them ….as if we are playing the Mackems!!!!

    0
  • geordie jock

    Sep 7, 2008 at 12:35 PM

    Comment #19

    Fans Should Own the Club,It is not going to happen so stop whinging on about it. Put your efforts into something constructive like the march or boycott with all the sensible fans. So sick of your stupid blogs cluttering up this site.

    0
  • JakartaDean

    Sep 7, 2008 at 12:35 PM

    Comment #20

    I’ve ordered a copy of “Public Relations for Dummies” and had it delivered to St James’ Park. I shipped it to Dennis Wise, just ’cause I hate him, but he’s probably not the right target.

    I used to respect MA as a businessman, but it’s impossible to do that now after this PR fiasco.

    0
  • netboffin

    Sep 7, 2008 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #21

    Derek Llambias has never worked as a managing director of a football club. Dennis Wise has never worked as Director of Football, Tony Jimenez has never worked as an Executive Director in charge of recruitment and Kevin Keegan has never worked with a Director of Football especially one based in London.

    Throw them all into the transfer window, the most hectic and stressful event in the football calendar and what would you expect, complete chaos, fireworks.

    Were Derek Llambias and Dennis Wise penned in for their positions before the club was even bought. Is this just jobs for the boys. What input did KK have in the appointment of Dennis Wise and Tony Jimenez? Was the takeover Dennis Wise’s idea?

    Everything the LMA have said is spot on. Newcastle are paying for Dennis Wise’s dream of being Peter Kenyon.

    We need real answers from the board not legal statements. Appease the fans by appointing a proper CEO like Keith Edelman or John Wardle and bring back KK. Stop trying to portrait KK as a fantasist and a dreamer, its despicable.

    0
  • clinta

    Sep 7, 2008 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #22

    God, there i som much bollocks written today in this blog as well as other news(?) sites, i’m finding it all hard to digest.

    An Indian Billionare, and the ‘3rd coming of the messiah’ give me a break.

    I think the truth behind this whole KK resigning thing has been twisted immensley, into KK’s favour, everyones backing him and believing everything the press spin up!!

    As a newcastle fan, the best we can do is settle, get back to supporting the club we love and give the next manager some support as lets face it it’s not going to be his fault KK walked away, and lets also face it it’s probably not all KK and the boards fault either???? but i guess for alot it’s easier to jump on the band wagon that makes nufc a circus once again.

    Even ed sounds guilty at times of his today sigh…………………………….

    0
  • stjames

    Sep 7, 2008 at 1:05 PM

    Comment #23

    The recent official statements of NUFC have been very awkward to say the least. They depict a board that seems to be naive and hardly suited to govern or understand how to take care of business.

    The sept 6th “statement of facts” looks like a cocktail of selected half truths and misinformation that give politics such a bad reputation. It shows a very unprofessional attitude.

    0
  • Fans Should Own the Club

    Sep 7, 2008 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #24

    Geordie Jock–sorry to offend, but I truly think fan ownership is the best solution.

    I agree–Boycott & protest are great short term ideas, but what then?

    Another billionaire who doesn’t care about the club?

    That’s not a solution–it’s a recipe for long term misery.

    FANS SHOULD OWN THE CLUB.

    0
  • Gordon Lee

    Sep 7, 2008 at 1:57 PM

    Comment #25

    KEEGANS MODIFIED JOB DESCRIPTION

    It appears, as fans and supporters of Newcastle United, we have all been taken for a ride by the owner and board of Newcastle United Football Club.

    According to the statement the board made regarding Kevin Keegan the situation is:-

    “It is a fact that Kevin Keegan, on appointment on January 16, 2008, agreed to report to a director of football and to the board.

    “It is a fact that Kevin Keegan worked within that structure from January 16, 2008 until his resignation.

    “It is a fact that Kevin Keegan, as manager, had specific duties in that he was responsible for the training, coaching, selection and motivation of the team.

    “It is a fact that Kevin Keegan was allowed to manage his specific duties without any interference from any board member.

    “It is a fact that Kevin Keegan agreed only to deal with the media in relation to club matters relating to the team and not to communicate with the media in relation to the acquisition or disposal of players.

    “It is a fact that NUFC is a business and operates, like all businesses, with financial constraints.

    “It is a fact that NUFC’s financial constraints inform its transfer dealings.

    “The board of NUFC have responsibility to ensure that the club is able to meet its commitments, which include the wages and the transfer fees for players.
    “The structure at NUFC is clear, and has been clear from January 16, 2008.”

    It is interesting to note that several changes to these conditions have been made through various public statements by Mike Ashley and other directors
    over the course of the year.

    Not being a Journalist I cannot get access to all the archives, however, just quoting from recent articles I find many contradictions to the Boards statement.

    On the 9th August Mike Ashley stated in an interview:

    “But there is money for Kevin to spend. If the deal is right – and that means it’s the right player who Kevin wants – then we will do that deal.”

    He further went on later to say at a meeting of Corporate Clients:

    “Keegan lists the players he wants and puts a valuation of them. They obviously try and get them for less but if the selling club wants more money it’s Keegan decision to say if they are worth more or not. There is no wage limit, if they think someone is worth 120k a week they would get it, but at the same time they won’t be held to ransom and offer more than that.”

    On the 13th August in the Northern Echo:

    “Kevin is a great manager and he is happiest working with the players,” added the Magpies chief.
    “But there’s so much involved in running a club that you must make sure people aren’t spread too thinly. How could Kevin devote all his time to the first team if he also had to look after the Academy? That’s where Dennis Wise comes in.

    On the 1st February Dennis Wise either quoted his role or modified it:

    “I’m here to help Kevin, bringing young players through and also recommend certain players to him.”

    “He’ll say yes and no, he has the final word, no-one else. Everything that happens will be run past him.”

    “I’m not going to bring players in behind his back – I’m not into that.

    “A lot of people have got mixed up with the reason why I am here. I’m not here to be involved in the first team, I’m not here to manage.

    “I have to concentrate more on the academy, we need some young blood coming through of our own. We need to look abroad for players and that’s my intention over the next few years.”

    The question is: Did Keegan Have Knowledge and did he approve the two transfers made on the 31st AUGUST 2008 of Francisco Jiminez Tejada “Xisco” and Ignacio “Nacho” Gonzalez.
    It’s as simple as that.

    LMA chief executive Richard Bevan said in a statement: “Kevin Keegan’s chief complaint, amongst others, is that it was always agreed that the director of football could not impose a player that the manager did not want.

    If Keegan had agreed to have no say over transfers, a situation I could never expect, then, it is the supporters that have been fed lies and bullshit by both Ashley and Wise.
    The statement issued by the board also says:

    “It is therefore disappointing that information has reached the media through unnamed sources and a briefing has been given by the League Managers Association that could give rise to a misleading impression amongst the club’s fans.

    Ashley and Wise may not speak often but when they do: – WHO HAS BEEN GIVING MISLEADING IMPRESSIONS!!!
    Nearly every paragraph of the Board’s statement has contradictions, paragraph 8 says:
    “It is a fact that Kevin Keegan agreed only to deal with the media in relation to club matters relating to the team and not to communicate with the media in relation to the acquisition or disposal of players”
    Then Keegan publicly states he did not want to sell Milner, obviously a communication on disposal of players, but this was not against policy written “on-the-hoof” since paragraph 5 says:
    “It is a fact that Kevin Keegan worked within that structure from January 16, 2008 until his resignation.
    CONSTRUCTIVE DISMISSAL? – But by whom!!

    ___________________________

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  • figsdad

    Sep 7, 2008 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #26

    fans will still turn up for the game regardless..

    as for the protest mike ash wont be there he’s still in usa and away on hoilday..

    so it will fall of deaf ears..

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  • Mr Klaw

    Sep 7, 2008 at 4:37 PM

    Comment #27

    Lads, as for the boycott / protest why don’t we all simply wear BLACK? Dress head to toe in black, funeral style, and mourn the death of our hopes and dreams for NUFC under this regime.

    Whaddya reckon?

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  • Richard P

    Sep 7, 2008 at 5:20 PM

    Comment #28

    What appears clear already is that Keegan will win any legal battle re constructive dismissal. In his first statement after he resigned he singled out the issue that the board (judging by their statement) have no answer to i.e. the manager was promised that he had the final say about whether a player was bought or not. At the close of the transfer window that clearly did not happen. So Keegan is set to win any legal battle but there is a long term issue about what talent has been bought when managers have had a free hand at Newcastle. All Geordies know who I am talking about, there is a very long list of players that have not only proved to be a waste of money but who have also brought shame and ridicule on the club and its supporters. To coin a phrase, it is a fact that the players bought under this regime appear to be good buys and more importantly good professionals. What I am saying is that if the board had stuck to the rules they themselves have made public and the talent was selected by the scouting system controlled by the director football, but that Keegan was consulted as soon as a deal looked possible, the club would not have got itself into this mess. Why the agreed system brook down is difficult for the fans to understand. The urgency needed at the close of the transfer window obviously created its own pressures but certainly it would have been better to miss out on a signing rather than loose a manager. That thought does lead you to question why despite Keegan making his views clear, the transfers went ahead i.e. was this just a set up to get Keegan to resign?
    Lets hope the Indians rescue the cowboys, but if they are successful I hope they will not give Keegan the only say in who the club buys. Please learn from the mistakes previous managers have made and also make sure you do not recruit a pitbull for the job of director of football.
    Richard P

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  • shearer4pm

    Sep 7, 2008 at 6:24 PM

    Comment #29

    will mike ashley still sit with the fans??? hmmm???

    bring back shepard!!!

    (that was a joke btw)

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  • JakartaDean

    Sep 7, 2008 at 7:09 PM

    Comment #30

    @ Gordon Lee

    I haven’t the time to check all the quotes you reference, but assuming you’re correct that is bloody damning commentary. Worth 2 million pounds to Kevin, I’d guess.

    Great job.

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