Kinnear Talks To Llambias – Eight Buyers In for Newcastle

Good news today that Joe Kinnear has had dinner with Derek Llambias the last couple of nights and he has also taken some issues from captain Michael Owen to Derek. And Llambias has told Joe there are currently eight potential buyers for Newcastle United.

Derek Llambias – had dinner with Joe Kinnear – and talked!

That’s not surprising since both men are probably staying in the same hotel and will be looking for someone to have dinner with, but Joe has done well to try to clear things up.

Derek has provided information back to to Michael; and the players. That’s great that Joe is doing to try to fix the bad communication problem between the Board and the players, but why did it have to take an interim manager to do this.  Joe is showing good leadership here.

Kinnear told the Evening Chronicle today:

“I have had a long chat with Michael Owen and he told me that one of the problems with the players has been that they have been kept in the dark as to what is happening.”

“Now, after talking at length to Derek Llambias, I have been able to have a clear-the-air talk with Michael in his role as skipper, and this has been passed on to the rest of the players.”

“They are now up to date with what is going on and they are a lot happier.”

Kinnear said that he probably will not resign Newcastle right full-back Stephen Carr, who is still currently without any club. Fromn comments on this site yesterday, that will be good news to many Newcastle fans. Carr was never the most popular player at the club.

More good work from Joe Kinnear – keep it up.

Comments welcome.

57 comments so far

  • Ian

    Oct 2, 2008 at 2:04 PM

    Comment #1


    Easy for joe to look good next to that lot!!

    Page 1 of management for dummies.

  • 51times

    Oct 2, 2008 at 2:10 PM

    Comment #2

    Carr was great at Tottenham but when we signed him he was already on his way down, bad buy to be honest. Sir Bobby was never the best at signing players to be honest.

  • irish_al

    Oct 2, 2008 at 2:16 PM

    Comment #3

    i remember bing on holiday when we signed Carr, we were linked with him and Miguel

    Wrong choice

  • irish_al

    Oct 2, 2008 at 2:17 PM

    Comment #4

    i was going to step up and say the bobby’s record in signing players, but the more i though of them the more i had to change my mind

  • SAM

    Oct 2, 2008 at 2:18 PM

    Comment #5

    Just remember the only source of information regarding how many buyers are interested comes from MA. He has the whole process stitched up in London with total confidentiality.

    Therefore he is going to exagerate how many buyers there are in order to maximise his profit. The whole focus on MA is to maximise profit for himself.

    Regarding the value of the Club – the players are valued according to price and age. Hence the reason for MA/Wise strategy to buy young players. It was nothing about building for the future it was financially motivated to up the sell price.

    The fact was we nearly got relagated last year and KK needed players with proven PREM experience. But these players cost money and don’t look attractive on the balance sheet.

    Be sure we are in the sh*t because MA’s whole strategy was to only invest money in areas that would make him a profit. He knew we would struggle – no left back cover, no central midfield energy/creativity.

    Milner was sold because his sell value was more than his value on the balance sheet. Likewise KK agreed to the sale on the basis he was replaced with the German midfielder (stein..something). Again MA looked at the guys age and his purchase cost and probably felt it wouldn’t add to his balance sheet – hence no deal. Instead we get in a midfielder on loan. Hence Milner’s sale was all about profit.

    The biggest con MA is now pulling to to claim he is only selling because he cannot take his son to the match. NO NO NO you are a Spurs supporter and the toon was always a short-term way to make money. Minimum 50M in 12 months.

  • AO

    Oct 2, 2008 at 2:18 PM

    Comment #6

    I have heard the owners of aldi,netto,primark,pound stretcher and gift box are all interested in buying the club.

  • irish_al

    Oct 2, 2008 at 2:19 PM

    Comment #7

    was going to defend his record

  • 51times

    Oct 2, 2008 at 2:19 PM

    Comment #8

    irish_al – Yeah, no kidding.

  • AO

    Oct 2, 2008 at 2:20 PM

    Comment #9

    ashley will want to much for what in all honestyu is a second rate club. ash will be in charge for the forceeable future.

    alan oliver

  • lee

    Oct 2, 2008 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #10

    im starting to warm to the guy…

  • irish_al

    Oct 2, 2008 at 2:24 PM

    Comment #11

    i’m not definate all of these were signed by bobby

    Maric (not sure)
    robert (not sure)
    dyer (80k a week lol)
    jenas (atleast we got our money back)

  • 51times

    Oct 2, 2008 at 2:25 PM

    Comment #12

    Robert, Dyer and Jenas were all good/decent players.

  • Spitfire

    Oct 2, 2008 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #13

    I thought Dyer was signed by Gullit didn’t Bobby sign Bramble?

  • irish_al

    Oct 2, 2008 at 2:30 PM

    Comment #14

    Jenas, reasonable player, worthy of selection, ran but not much end product

    Dyer, overpaid for what he offered, loand time out injured (remember rumour he was out with mystery illness)

    Robert- just under 10 million, for a player with little commitment and movement, scored some great goals but contributed little else

    My assessment on those three for what its worth

  • 51times

    Oct 2, 2008 at 2:30 PM

    Comment #15

    Oh yeah, Gullit did sign Dyer. I remember now, the monsoon derby defeat…ugh

  • irish_al

    Oct 2, 2008 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #16

    maybe spitfire, i’ll happily stand corrected if thats the case

  • Kevin Lawson

    Oct 2, 2008 at 2:35 PM

    Comment #17

    Leave off Bobby, did we not finish 5th 3rd and 4th with his buys? who’d take that now? hands up?

    Some of the toon have the memory span of a goldfish

  • 51times

    Oct 2, 2008 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #18

    I wasn’t having a go you sensitive tit, but you can’t say his transfer record was perfect.

  • Stay Ashley and ignore these fans for NUFC sake.

    Oct 2, 2008 at 2:39 PM

    Comment #19

    A very good read!

    Well, he’s gone again, at least for the time being. To pose the question that we have asked ourselves many times over the last few seasons, in the wake of yet another managerial casualty – where did it all go wrong?

    I thought his appointment was a strange and risky one at the time. He had been out of the game for three years, professing a lack of interest in football that extended to him barely watching a single game. Despite his successes, his managerial career had also been punctuated by collapses in confidence and walk-outs, and his last two jobs, at England and Man City, had not ended well. Keegan’s managerial career seemed well and truly over.

    However, the one aspect of his reputation that was still intact was his standing with the majority of our fans, and surely this was the major factor that prompted Ashley to offer him the job. While in ordinary circumstances, this must seem the most flimsy of reasons to offer a man a post, we should bear in mind the situation that the club was in, at the time of his appointment.

    Allardyce’s confidence had slipped under the pressure of the job, and this had transmitted itself to the team. Ours is a club where the atmosphere in the stands can have a powerful effect, for good or ill, and it was important that any new manager should get the crowd on his side early on. We didn’t have a team of stars, and so an early turnaround was not likely. The new man could easily find himself in the same kind of firing line as Allardyce.

    I suspect that Ashley reasoned that, compared with other managers, Keegan would be cut a lot more slack by an anxious crowd. In this particular aspect, his judgement turned out to be sound. Despite an initial run of 8 league games without a win that saw us sinking further into danger, the fans kept faith and Keegan was eventually able to turn things around and ensure safety.

    But right from the start, there were signs of the division that would eventually rip the Ashley-Keegan partnership apart. In his first press conference, Keegan said that his first priority on being offered the job was to speak to the owner and make sure that their ideas were compatible. He spoke of having money to spend, and how important that was. He seemed to be talking about a partnership that mirrored the previous one that he had enjoyed with Sir John Hall.

    And yet, a short while later, an entirely different management structure was in place, in the form of Wise, Viterre, and Jiminez. Keegan was going to work to a Director of Football, with the owner and holder of the purse strings very much in the background. Keegan acknowledged that he had been aware of the proposed DOF system at the time of his appointment, but in so many respects he seemed an unlikely candidate for a subordinate role.

    What’s more, it emerged that the new regime’s strategy was a long-term one, based on the Arsenal model of identifying young players who could be developed, rather than established stars. Ashley was prepared to slash the debt, but not indulge in a short-term spending spree on established stars, unless there was a reasonable hope of recouping the expenditure towards the end of their contracts. Money for transfers would be available, but only within certain conditions and limits.

    The success that Keegan had enjoyed before had been based on his ability to persuade his Chairman to release funds. Ambitious managers will inevitably regard the overall financial well-being of the club as someone else’s concern, but Keegan had always shown a contempt for this issue that mirrors that of the success-hungry fan, rather than the professional with insider knowledge. He had never had any record for developing young players, or for over-achieving on limited resources. He was a larger than life character, who could galvanise others by his desire to reach for the top by the shortest possible route, not a technician who is prepared to achieve in small, patient steps. Above all, he was an idiosyncratic leader, not a conventional team player.

    I think we know why Ashley offered him the job – he knew that Keegan could get the fans on side. Keegan’s motivation is more difficult to pinpoint, because it seems clear that he knew what he was letting himself in for. There may well be substance in the rumours that he was under some financial pressure to accept, due to the poor performance of his business venture.

    However, what seems equally likely is that he felt he could bring the owner round to his way of thinking, in the same way that he had done with an initially reluctant Sir John Hall. With hindsight, Keegan’s comments in the first press conference may have been a statement of intent, rather than a statement of fact. It also seems to have been the first, small indication that Keegan was prepared to use public statements, addressed to the fans who were his power base, to try and put pressure on the owner.

    What he may not have reckoned with was the determination of Dennis Wise, not to be railroaded out of the way. Keegan found himself up against a character as stubborn as himself, and furthermore one who was as indifferent to public criticism off the field as he had been on it. Wise had the owner’s confidence, and in the months ahead, he never surrendered it.

    The next indication of trouble was Keegan’s rumoured unhappiness at the club’s failure to sign Luka Modric. This led to the unusual step of Chris Mort issuing a statement in the match programme, to the effect that the club had in fact outbid Spurs in terms of both transfer fee and salary. It was an attempt to nail the rumour that the club had not acted with sufficient determination, but to Keegan, it may have seemed like a shot in a PR war.

    Soon afterwards, following the Chelsea game, Keegan’s unhappiness spilled over into the public domain. After a run of better results, a team of genuine class had put us in our place in a way that would have brought home to Keegan just how large a gap he had to bridge. Always prey to speaking from emotion, Keegan railed against the futility of the club’s efforts at team-building and, what was more significant, hinted strongly that his relationship with the owner was a damagingly distant one.

    There was a disturbing recklessness about Keegan’s behaviour. If you want to remain in a job, you don’t publicly declare that it is beyond you, or take a public swipe at the owner. It felt to me that Keegan was indifferent as to whether or not he kept the job. He seemed to want to bring matters to a head, no matter what the consequences. Bearing in mind that there was apparently an agreement that Keegan should not comment publicly on transfer matters, it seems very likely that he knew how provocative his outburst would be.

    Most fans, as could have been predicted, rallied to Keegan’s side. The prevailing view was that he was trying to dampen down the fans’ expectations, and the prevailing hope was that the subsequent meeting would lead to Ashley being pressured to release greater funds in the transfer market. If, as seems likely, this was Keegan’s intention, it backfired. He was summoned to a meeting in London, and Ashley reinforced the message that both his long-term strategy, and his Director of Football, were here to stay.

    It was likely to be an uneasy truce, but in the weeks ahead, there seemed to be grounds for optimism. Wise and his team recruited a number of players with whom Keegan seemed quite happy – Gutierrez, Guthrie, Coloccini, and Bassong. In the first two games of the season, the performance of the team had noticeably improved. Things seemed to be moving forward again, and few people foresaw the impending collapse.

    However, the cracks were certainly there, most notably on the issue of the renewal of Taylor and Owen’s contracts, where Keegan seemed far more eager to secure the players’ futures than Wise. In the case of Taylor, Ashley intervened personally to settle the matter, perhaps fearful of another open rift. Rumours continued in the case of Owen, with the club finally taking the unusual step of publicly declaring that, despite what had been reported, he had been offered an improvement on his current contract. It was very reminiscent of the PR battle over Modric. There also seemed to be a stand-off between the club’s willingness to sell Alan Smith and Joey Barton, and Keegan’s determination to keep them both.

    Following Keegan’s departure, a confidently detailed story appeared in a Sunday Tabloid, outlining the degree to which Keegan was supposedly trying to pursue his own agenda of snapping up expensive, well-established players, contrary to the plan that had been agreed with Ashley and Wise. Coming from an unofficial source, we can’t be sure of its accuracy, and it’s likely that there’s a degree of exaggeration. However, its basic premise is compatible with the events that were subsequently to unfold, and with the facts that we can be more confident about.

    In the end, it was the issue of Milner that seemed to ratchet the tension up by a decisive notch. When the rumour of Milner’s sale first surfaced, Keegan publicly declared his determination to keep him as the ‘last player’ that would go, and then added that he had the support of the owner in his stand. In reality, this exaggerated praise for Milner can be seen as a provocation. It was also a public declaration of a supposed alliance that excluded Wise and his team, and they were not slow in issuing a response. In a highly unusual move, it was publicly revealed that Milner had made a written transfer request, in response to being denied a pay rise, one year into his contract.

    Common sense was on Wise’s side, and Keegan had no choice but to back down. If a player has issued a written transfer request and a generous offer comes in, it is pointless to stand in the way. But the two men were now battling things out in the papers, albeit in a way that wasn’t completely obvious and transparent to outsiders. It can’t be a surprise that, under the pressure of transfer deadline day, the relationship between them completely disintegrated.

    All sorts of stories have circulated about what happened that day. Did they fall out over the signing of Xisco and Gonzalez, the rumoured failure to sign Schweinstager and Warnock, or the alleged attempts to sell Barton, Owen and Smith? All we have heard from Keegan is the declaration that a Manager should not be forced to accept the signing of a player who he doesn’t want, and by far the most likely candidate here is Xisco.

    However, Keegan had met Xisco earlier that day, and had clearly played some part in persuading him to sign. Perhaps ‘not wanting’ a player actually meant ‘would have preferred someone else’. Either that, or Keegan, in meeting Xisco, was simply carrying out a decision that had already been made. The latter seems unlikely, as Keegan did appear to have the power to veto the sales of Owen, Smith and Barton.

    But to try to get involved in the detail is to miss the bigger picture. The DOF / Manager relationship demands a high level of trust and mutual respect. The DOF cannot just be the instrument of the Manager’s wishes, as he must hold the purse strings, and is the guardian of the overall club strategy. Similarly, the Manager cannot be simply a glorified Coach, as he must work with the players that come in, and be satisfied as to their ability and compatibility with the needs of the team.

    There is overlap between the two jobs. Neither has the final say, in the sense that both must be happy about any moves in the transfer market. What is apparent is that, by the time of deadline day, the working relationship between Wise and Keegan had reached the point of paralysis.

    What we do know is that there was a row, followed by Keegan’s dramatic exit. It bore some of the signs of a resignation, in that Ashley and the management team seemed eager to persuade Keegan to return. However, the indications are that Keegan is resolved to interpret the events as a dismissal. The fact that he will then obtain compensation rather than have to pay it, can’t be dismissed as irrelevant. The whole messy business is now in the hands of solicitors.

    Wise won the contest for Ashley’s backing, but inevitably lost the PR battle hands down. The idea that Keegan had stood firm on a matter of principle against an interfering and undermining management lackey took firm hold, not just among the majority of fans, but within large sections of the press and various spokesmen within the game, including other managers. Ashley very quickly realised that he would never recover his lost ground, and that the fans who wanted him ousted were powerful and meant business. To prevent further damage, he decided to go. But all the same, the blame for the whole fiasco seems to have been unevenly distributed, to a quite disturbing degree.

    Ashley is at fault in selecting a Manager who, by his record, was clearly unsuited to the strategy and the management structure that he had in mind. We could say that both he and the team needed a popular choice of manager at the time of crisis, but all the same he could have been braver in his decision. It was based on the idea that Keegan would be able to sell Ashley’s piecemeal, long-term plan to the fans, but this was a flawed concept as, throughout his career, Keegan has always followed his own ideas and ambitions. Similarly, Keegan was at fault in accepting a role that he would not have tolerated in the past, on the apparent assumption that he could, in time, re-write his job description.

    But nevertheless the bulk of my anger and exasperation is directed at Keegan. Once it became apparent that Ashley was not going to budge from his plan, he had the choice of either knuckling down or resigning. It seems to me that he did neither. Perhaps subconsciously, he opted to carry on the battle and make himself the victim of the new regime, thereby retaining the loyalty of the fans and leaving with financial compensation. Indeed, some of his actions indicated a desire for confrontation rather than compromise. Unfortunately, in the process, the club has been left in a mess.

    The prospective new owners may well be very tempted to bring Keegan back, but unless they are prepared to back him with major amounts of money and give him a free hand in how it is spent, they must consider that history might well repeat itself. The whole episode is further evidence that, if things do not go Keegan’s way, his enthusiasm for the task can drop very suddenly.

    Keegan might well regard the whole episode as Mike Ashley’s failure to deliver the tools that he needed to do the job, not his own failure to accept the task in hand. This is certainly the view of the majority of fans. But his experiences with England and Man City, with the periods of exile that followed, show that there is also a strong element of self-doubt within the Keegan psyche. He appears to have got out of this job with his self-image intact – rather undeservedly. Unless the situation in his next post is completely to his liking, he may be well advised to quit while he is ahead.

  • Spitfire

    Oct 2, 2008 at 2:39 PM

    Comment #20

    Sorry can you say that again I’ve forgotten what you siad

  • Geordie Jayne

    Oct 2, 2008 at 2:40 PM

    Comment #21

    Ohhhhhh that would have been lovely for him, having dinner with Lam – bi – arse.

  • beyethegreat

    Oct 2, 2008 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #22

    forsters gone to stockport

  • beyethegreat

    Oct 2, 2008 at 2:42 PM

    Comment #23
  • Matt

    Oct 2, 2008 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #24

    has someone got an old rusty knife that will cut up lambias good and proper? if so, we need someone to stick it into him repeatedly.

  • ObaFan2

    Oct 2, 2008 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #25

    Didn’t SBR bring in Nobby?

    As for these “talks”, don’t believe a word of it myself….. seems like Kinnear’s been brought in as a peace maker….

    Ashley’s a BS artist and the sooner he’s gone the better IMO.

  • Ed Harrison

    Oct 2, 2008 at 2:53 PM

    Comment #26

    Dalglish brought in Solano in the summer of 1998.

  • irish_al

    Oct 2, 2008 at 2:59 PM

    Comment #27

    cardone, bassedas, gavilan

    I’m not looking to have a go at Bobby, i was going to stand up for him, but on reflection i found 51times had a valid point

    neither of said he was a bad manager, just both agree he made a fair few poor signings

  • irish_al

    Oct 2, 2008 at 3:00 PM

    Comment #28

    anyways, i’ve been told by a chronicle insider, oliver has a habit of making this up

  • Turkish magpie

    Oct 2, 2008 at 3:01 PM

    Comment #29

    whats happended to newcastle 1st knowone wanted to buy us then 8 are interested

  • Macas

    Oct 2, 2008 at 3:04 PM

    Comment #30

    Robson’s transfer record wasnt that good actually, if you look at the likes of Bramble/Bassedas/Cort/Viana.

  • Macas

    Oct 2, 2008 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #31

    Plus I never like Jenas

  • ObaFan2

    Oct 2, 2008 at 3:08 PM

    Comment #32

    lol cheers Ed, can’t believe Sir Bobby’s getting bashed anyway 🙁

  • Richard

    Oct 2, 2008 at 3:13 PM

    Comment #33

    Viana was a decent player, just never got the chance

  • Macas

    Oct 2, 2008 at 3:18 PM

    Comment #34

    I agree about Viana, but it’s a bad buy if you sign a player and then never utilise him. Man United buy young players then rotate them in and out of the team, Robson just played Jenas and never gave Viana a chance. In the end his confidence was shot.

  • danuneek

    Oct 2, 2008 at 3:19 PM

    Comment #35

    Im sorry but Robert did a little more than score spectacular goals. Dont get me wrong he was a lazy frog and never tracked back, but he was a major reason why Shearer was scoring so many goals despite the fact he couldn’t run behind defenders. Bobby’s team was pretty simple if you think about it, it was built around Shearer’s strengths and weaknesses. Shearer had lost his pace hence Bobby signed Bellamy to do the running for him, but he had adapted his game to holding the ball up and been effective in the air plus we all know if you give him half a chance in the box its a goal. Therefore all we needed to do was get the ball in the box and he would do the rest, that job was up to Robert and Solano who were at the time two of the best wingers in the premiership, regardless of Robert’s laziness. It was a perfectly balanced team, even in centre midfield with the holding play and passes of Speed and the pace of Dyer. All we needed was a defence.

  • filthy mag

    Oct 2, 2008 at 3:20 PM

    Comment #36

    An interesting read – article 19. Unfortunately we will never know what the true stories going on behind the scenes are. Ashley is a cunning and shrewd business man and doesnt like to wash his dirty laundry in public. Tis true that Keegans actions may have been to blame, however, it’s not like he went in with a hidden agenda. You can never lay that one at his feet. Keegan wears his emotions on his sleeve and has always been visible. So how can that come as such a shock to the management? Keegan is an exceptionally powerful in Newcastle because he associates with the fans and vice versa. Through Keegan the fans can be part of NUFC.

    So where does it lead… who knows but one thing is for sure we wont know whats going on until NUFC the company decides to tell us. Anything else is pure conjecture.

    Thank you though for a very entertaining and thought provoking read.

  • ObaFan2

    Oct 2, 2008 at 3:25 PM

    Comment #37

    Stay Ashley and ignore these fans for NUFC sake, an interesting read idd but your conclusions are way off the mark imo and there is very little factual information coming from the keegan camp as it is in the hands of the solicitors.

    Just a build up to have another go at KK, seems like it’s a bash who we can day today….. umm who’ve we missed out… oh yeah Llambias, what a tw*t he is……..


  • irish_al

    Oct 2, 2008 at 3:34 PM

    Comment #38

    Oba i was being objective, i rate Bobby as one of the best managers in newcastles history

    I was about to defend him in relation to 51’s point about his transfer history

    Bobby has a lot more positives than negatives

  • ObaFan2

    Oct 2, 2008 at 3:35 PM

    Comment #39

    Oh forgot to say, as the post is not accredited to any press publication (unless I missed that bit) I believe it to be part of Ashley’s pr commenting on a blog for fans and reads as pro Ashley propaganda.

  • Ian

    Oct 2, 2008 at 3:36 PM

    Comment #40


    To give you an idea of what it took then for a top coach to take us up to third, fourth and fifth was around £75m in player purchases, over £40m in sales so a balance of somewhere near £30-35m, he managed the money well for the club.

    I reckon it takes about £20-25m per year above sales to stand still, all Ashley has done is put off the spending till another time as contracts run out and players age, some go off form etc.

    Sam above has probably got it right when he talks of profit.

    Ashley looks like he may still walk with a profit even after this management fiasco!!


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