We are still waiting for some announcement about Alan Shearer, one way or the other, as the Newcastle club virtually hangs in limbo with no manager in charge, and 150 people having just been laid off yesterday.
David Wiiliamson – highest paid casualty at Newcastle – so far
And we should just mention we cannot be the only fans to notice there has not been a word said about Joe Kinnear, in all of this. The last we heard about Joe, he was going to lead a team including Chris Hughton and Colin Calderwood, but now all three will probably leave Newcastle in the summer.
If Joe hadn’t had his heart trouble we feel sure we would have survived, and if Joe had come back for the final 8 games we also feel sure he would have been able to get more than 5 points. However right now there would have remained some significant uncertainty on Tyneside, since Joe was never universally accepted by Newcastle fans. But we doubt we’d be in the Championship now either.
It was noted a few weeks back that no contract would be offered to Calderwood in the summer, and his future was in doubt as soon as Alan Shearer came in on April Fool’s Day.
The Newcastle Journal is reporting today that Chesterfield chairman Barry Hubbard has confirmed the 44-year-old is one of three candidates for the vacant manager job. We assume Colin’s contract runs out on June 30th, which seems to be the norm.
And more news about the redundancies at Newcastle, that was broken by the Times and we reported on last last night. The number of redundancies is now said to be 150 (we reported 120), and some of those are part time employees.
The highest profile one, with probably the highest wage to go is Operations director David Williamson, who joined the club in April, 2008, after a successful spell as executive director of Newcastle Racecourse.
Most of those involved in the redundancies had been told in advance their likely departure if the club was relegated so last Sunday would have been a dark time for a lot of them, and the majority of the staff were told of their fate on Thursday, with the paperwork completed only yesterday.
And those who think players like Beye and Duff, who want to stay at the club, will only do so on reduced wages, should think again. We don’t believe that will happen, although the club may try it.
Usually of course, the contracts stipulate a reduced wage if the side gets relegated, and apparently Sunderland’s players would have suffered reductions of at least 40% had the Wearsiders been relegated.
But of course not at Newcastle, which is another indication of how the club has handled things – in a most unprofessional way. No such clauses are included in Newcastle players’ contracts, so now the players who stay, have every legal right to refuse a wage cut and the only way to reduce the wages is to sell the players – and it will be a fire sale – for sure.
And we hear Joey Barton still wants to stay and cause trouble at the club, (hasn’t he caused enough already?) by refusing to leave Newcastle – and that’s the last thing Alan Shearer wants to hear. The sad thing is that Joey is still a very good player, and could help us on the field next season, but he comes with enormous baggage.
We are hoping that Alan Shearer will be announced shortly and we expect Alan to go full tilt in reshaping the Newcastle side.
With all the negativity surrounding the club right now, there are a few things the club should learn from all of this this:
- Never take our place in the Premier League place for granted – ever again.
- Put those wage reduction clauses in the player’s contracts, and any other clauses we have neglected to put in, over the last several years.
- Realize like any business that fails or does badly, like Newcastle United right now, it’s the employees – and yes – usually the innocent ones, who take it on the chin.
- Only sign players who want to come and play for Newcastle, and if the high wages is the major reason they want to come – don’t bother signing them.
The hope at Newcastle right now is that Shearer can come in and turn this terrible mess around, and if he is indeed to become the great manager we are hoping for, we need to get a good start to the season (which is vital), and be challenging next May for promotion. But none of that is ever a given, with the Newcastle club continually surprising Newcastle fans – on the downside.
If Alan doesn’t turn out to be as good as we expect, this could be the start of something more sinister at Newcastle – but we have to hope there is a silver lining in the heavy clouds overhead – a light at the end of the tunnel – there’s always hope.
But there again that’s about the only things we’ve had at Newcastle for 40 years.
Comments always welcome.