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Chris Mort Determined To Turn Newcastle Around

This is the very first season in football for Newcastle’s new Chairman Chris Mort, and t’s been a really tough babtism for our young Chairman, and another very difficult season for the country’s most loyal fans.


Chairman Chris Mort – it’s been tough – that’s an understatement 🙁

Newcastle United chairman Chris Mort admitted that his first year as Chairman at the famous Tyneside club, has been much tougher than either he or Mike Ashley expected.

Chris Mort said yesterday:

“It’s been a tough run for all of us. The players are the only guys who can turn it round but everybody at the club is working as hard as they can to achieve that.”

“This certainly isn’t what we bought into last summer. But myself and Mike (Ashley) are determined to turn this around and we have Kevin (Keegan) in to do that.”

Make no mistake, Mike Ashley and Chris Mort are both tough businessmen, otherwise they wouldn’t be as successful as they are. We have full confidence in them and while the performance of the first team has been hopeless this season, we have started out youth strategy, and it already looks like it will pay dividends.

Also the recruitment team of Dennis Wise, Jeff Vetere and Tony Jimenez was another great move by Chris. They are already lining up several targets for the summer, and that will all go ahead, quicker than ever, once we have guaranteed our place in the Premier league for next season. The easy 2-0 defeat of Bolton by Manchester United, helped that goal last night. 😀

A really good outcome this season would be for us to start winning games again, starting with Fulham on Saturday, and then maybe get 3-4 wins out of our remaining 7 games after that. That will give us some good momentum going into the summer transfer season, and stand us in good stead next season.

Since January it’s really been preparation for next season. But if we can survive the season, the Chairman, Owner and Manager will have come though some extremely tough and challenging times. They will all be that much better and tougher, for going through the experience – and surviving.

Chris and Mike are certain to open the purse strings in the summer to bring in 5-6 top players, and then some more tip-top youngsters.

Nobody associated with the club wants another season like this one, but we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
That light will get bigger with a good win against Fulham on Saturday.

Comments always welcome.

58 comments so far

  • adam

    Mar 20, 2008 at 1:11 AM

    Comment #1

    i agree ed. im sure everyone wants this season to finish tomorow so that we can start the rebuilding process asap.

    i hope mike ashley is gona have a few too many drinks and spend some crazy money, coz thats what we need

  • JP from The Rock of Gibraltar

    Mar 20, 2008 at 1:15 AM

    Comment #2

    Ed absolutely a win will do us wonders. This has been a dreadful season but a win against Fulham will start a good run I think. Confidence will come back and we’ll survive and be much stronger in the end as you say no doubt.

  • Spyro

    Mar 20, 2008 at 1:49 AM

    Comment #3

    We need to win this game, it hurts to read people talking about Newcastle United like we are a Wigan or Birmingham. I just want the season over with our safety secured.

  • phoonCK

    Mar 20, 2008 at 2:43 AM

    Comment #4

    They are out of the Fulham game, according to physioroom.com, and no, Duff wasn’t injured for the Birmingham game, he was dropped. And as you can see yet again, Emre is out injured, and his recovery date seems to lengthen everytime a match game is near. Babayaro anyone?

    J Milner Ankle/Foot Injury 5th Apr 08
    Emre Calf Muscle Strain 5th Apr 08
    S Carr Hamstring Injury 5th Apr 08
    S Given Groin Strain 3rd May 08
    T Krul Dislocated Shoulder no return date

    Keep the Faith
    Howay the Lads

  • Hadji

    Mar 20, 2008 at 3:36 AM

    Comment #5

    The new king of Portman Road

  • jeremy9

    Mar 20, 2008 at 4:13 AM

    Comment #6

    I am always a bit skeptical with these ‘injuries’. I am not saying all of them are not really hurt, but it seems like coaches give them fake injuries to keep them on the bench for football and/or financial reasons, same with other sports in my country. Anyway, take one game at a time, do your best, and at the end, hope we have at least three teams below us…regardless of points earned the remaining of the season. We got a ways to go and I’m afraid Newcastle can not sign a bunch of stud players, so lets get good younger players or at least improvements and work our way up, slowly if we have to. Some good veterans (past their prime) are good, but not half the starting squad. I think the ideal situation is to take players from other clubs at your level…such as a Sunderland wanting players from Reading. I don’t know where we are at as far as this year, next three years, or last ten years go, I guess that is what makes this league great, but I guess just build year by year. But then I did read at what King Kev did do for this club more than a decade a go…. I am pretty sure that was taking them from the Championship to the top of the Premier League within a few years. That must have been sweet.

    I hate the stick he has gotten lately; and with a game a week, damn people have short memories. I partly blame the tv media. Okay, done ranting.


    oh yeah, play Martins and Zogbia, I’m assuming he’ll play Owen, Viduka doesn’t really care, so don’t play him.

  • jeremy9

    Mar 20, 2008 at 4:18 AM

    Comment #7

    To respond to this article/topic, I don’t know what excatly goes on in the ‘board room,’ or who makes what decisions, but maybe Mort isn’t ideal for the job. Maybe he is just fine, and maybe we were on our way down and BSA didn’t sign anybody good, he can talk about player ratings in the excercise room all he wants, and hire 20 people for a back room staff, and talk on his blue-tooth during the match while chewing bubble gum, but at the end of the day (or week) it is puting results out on the field. But then he did/does have a decent record. But damn he didn’t do well here. Didn’t we have worse players with Roeder and fared much better???

  • Daniel Petersen

    Mar 20, 2008 at 7:19 AM

    Comment #8

    Jeremy9, I think last years squad was a little stronger than our current crop of players. In the midfield at least. Nobi, Dyer, Parker, Rossi( I wish he would have played more and stayed), Sibers(who scored some great goals for us). It’s incredible we did as well last year with all the injuries., Something like fourteen at on time. I just wish KK would play Oba more.

  • Callum

    Mar 20, 2008 at 7:36 AM

    Comment #9

    Daniel – It was 16 around november-december time 🙂

    But yes – Our squad last year was definately better then this year, even the defence was better somehow! Bring back Bramble? 😀 Joke 😉

  • Jack

    Mar 20, 2008 at 8:02 AM

    Comment #10

    I disagree with jeremy9, Mort has done really well IMO. So has Mike Ashley, both have had tons of stick this season but stuck through it. I’m sure, like me, we are all looking forward to the summer, if we stay up. If we do go down, which seems unlikely looking at all the fixtures, Keegan should still be allowed Cash to bring in players capable of winning the Championship.

    3 points at Fulham are a must.

    PS: Great Article Ed.

  • Graham

    Mar 20, 2008 at 8:13 AM

    Comment #11

    Ed, I just hope that the light in the tunnel isn’t a train coming straight at us!

    I said a week or so ago that i feel that one day thisseason everything will come together and we’ll go and get 3 or 4 goals. We have a better chance than ever of getting this on saturday. Get your bets on for 4-1

  • clinta

    Mar 20, 2008 at 8:27 AM

    Comment #12

    Are we all so sure MA’s going to open the purse string, well wide open anyways? he’s a business man afterall and so far he’s outlayed a decent sum in players, albeit to another manager, but as a business man he’s seen no return, would it be a good business decision to put massive funds into the first team again…?if newcastle untied have proven one thing in it’s recent history (recent being 5-6years) it’s that spending a hell of alot of money doesn’t always bring success, for most teams year some but for us nowt!

    food for thought i think.


    Mar 20, 2008 at 8:31 AM

    Comment #13

    definitely! he will open his pockets, becouse he has seen that it is needed to get away down there!!

    All we need is that win on saturday, that’s for sure!

    I’m so happy that we have got KK as manager. His fantastic man-management skills will be the key to keep all the stars arriving in summer happy! Hopefully we are standing now on the beginning of a successfull future – but I have that feeling that we are!


    Mar 20, 2008 at 8:41 AM

    Comment #14

    I would love if he signed van buyten,i always rated him and keegan had him on loan at city.


    beye,van buyten,kompany,bridge




  • Stamford Toon

    Mar 20, 2008 at 9:08 AM

    Comment #15

    The injury list seems to be growing and as said some, that appear minor injuries, are dragging on a long time. Recent pictures showed Emre in training although not fit? Recently reported on this site was KK clearing out some of BS’s backroom staff, including the senior fitness coach Howard. Is this really a good move? Could it be something to do with the growing list of crocks?

  • Leo Kompany for the Toon

    Mar 20, 2008 at 9:49 AM

    Comment #16

    im more excited for the youngsters which will no doubt come in next season rather than the first teamers, we need 2 or 3 young centermidfielders to come in as well as others.

  • Michael

    Mar 20, 2008 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #17

    Actions speak louder than words Mort. Shut up and act. You could start by getting a competent manager.

  • Leo Kompany for the Toon

    Mar 20, 2008 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #18

    the toon has no space for people like you michael, no wonder the atmosphere is so bad at the moment, people who will put parts of our club down constantly!

  • Michael

    Mar 20, 2008 at 12:07 PM

    Comment #19

    The reason there is a bad atmosphere Leo Kompany for the Toon, is because results have been poor. Results have been poor because the team have not been playing well, the team have not been playing well because the manager does not know what he is doing.

    Unlike you I do not blame the players. The manager manages the players and are his responsibility, else do not select them.

    We say players like Smith Butt are not playing well but who gives them that chance to not play well? Me. You Keegan loyalists will blame anyone but Keegan. You are now blaming people like me!

    People like me have a firm grasp on reality and are not fantasists like you.

    Do not get me wrong Leo Kompany for the Toon, it would be very romantic if Keegan could get “lucky” again with Newcastle but in real life this just does not happen.

    I would love to eat my words, on this really I would. On prior deates, I acknowledge when someone puts forward a credible or superior argument and concede.

    My question is how have many people made the deduction that it is the players that are doing badly? If reputation is on what Keegan is living, why is it that the players the mobs are quick to criticise cannot survive on their reputation. When I question Keegan, people descend into time to recall his achievements at Newcastle.

    Well the Same Players they lampoon, I too may descend into time to recall their sucesses, does that not then bring our debate to sqaure one.

    You cannot tell me Keegan is doing well right now, no one can. We have a team of title winners (Smith, butt, Cacapa) goal scorers (Owen, Viduka) and according to the Majority of fans on this Blog (Martins). A great goal (stopper) and Praise players like (Nzogbia, Milner, Baye, Faye). If you count the number of players there that is 10 of 11. If 10 of 11 players are good then where is our short fall. All these players agreed have very good talent there is no doubting this at all. If so Why are we no achieving?

    Perhaps one or two are under performing andKeegan has fabled Motivation skills, Duff I think said “Keegan has the players so fired up before a game that they runn down the tunnel” Motivation is there Duff made a testimony to that.

    So to summerise, there is Talent in abundance, motivation. Why oh why are we not doing the trick?

    You enlighten me. I cn only think of one place we are short and that is the manager.

  • JJ

    Mar 20, 2008 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #20

    Michael, let me correct you you twat!
    It is fans like you who want to change a manger every three months that has the club in the mess it is.
    Keegan has an exceptional record at every club he has ever managed.
    Look at where they were when he took over and look at where they were when he left.
    We have trophy winners yes, but managers dont get rid of quality players unless they are past their prime, ie: Smith, Butt, Casapa,etc.
    None of these players are Keegans purchases so he has has to make do with a team set up to play long ball Big Sam style and turn them into “beautiful football players” to please fans.
    He has played Man U twice, Arsenal twice, Liverpool, Portsmouth, all of whom Big Sam would not have got any points from either, nor most managers.
    So why dont you just give him or any other manager for that matter the time to create of team that is his own and keep your mouth shut in the mean time.

  • Michael

    Mar 20, 2008 at 12:51 PM

    Comment #21

    I will point out cracks when they appear lest our club collapse. You are a hypocrite. You talk of Keegans past but eschew the past of the players because they are “Past their best” What a silly analysis, as silly as you comments.

    Keegan is well past his sell by date and was merely lucky at Newcastle. He then went to England and was a failure. You cannot deny this. He then went to city and was mediocre again you cannot deny this. Do not come to me wiht Money because Money does not buy Success, Arsenal can attest to this fact. They spend no where near as much as the clubs around them, less than Newcastle but they work with such competance.

    Keegan’s brand of a hybrid of football and rugby, is a brand of football consigned to the 80’s and is not applicable now. Surely that means he is out of date. 11 men charging at goal is not a tactic my friend.

    We like workk and play in an age ig information. Heart without brain is a kamikaze mix. I do not wish to change managers every two months all I want is one who is competent because we succed by competance not passion.

  • Leo Kompany for the Toon

    Mar 20, 2008 at 1:04 PM

    Comment #22

    jj no need for language, youngsters read this blog also…

    the players were below par for sam alardyce also but they were below par and playing boring football, which mike ashley did not want to see.

    now keegan has below par players playing more attractive football, i believe the players are playing a better brand of football, many agree many disagree

    i watch every game, come saterday i will be at st james park and since keegan has taken over there has been an upturn in how everyone feels going to match days, bar playing the real top teams.

    even the atmosphere at the stoke game was electifying due to the mere chance that we may see keegan at some point.

    there are plenty people in the stands at st james park who say bad things about keegan but are happy to see what he will deliver, but to believe he has no ability tactically is not fair, he has been out of the game some time now and maybe he is still a bit rusty, which can be seen against teams like villa where he waited too long to make the subs, and by the time he did the game was over…

    then look at the blackburn game where we lost the point late on because of not doing something to shore the back up, but against birmingham he did so. he is becoming savy to the todays game.

    maybe the reason for the improvement in tactics is that horton bloke, if so i dont mind as long as they work together well.

  • Michael

    Mar 20, 2008 at 1:27 PM

    Comment #23

    So his mistakes are down to other things not incompetance, that is what you are saying. Making poor substitutions are due to “rustyness”, because it is Keegan it is “Rustiness” never incompetance.

    Your Arguments are useless utterly useless Leo, surely after these remarks you should be quaezstioning your intellignece because I am. Keegan was not brought to st James becuase of his credentials, but the sell tickets.

    Newcastle is a business before anything and the only people Newcastle Answer to are the Shareholders abpve anyone. If given the choice between the fans and the Shareholders the shareholders come first in any situation. Ask Ed HArrison he worked for a big company and certianly his academic qualifications hava had him learn this and his work experience likwise would have made this fact obvious.

    The aim of a company is not to sell quality goods at competitive prices. To hell tieh that. It is to maximise shareholder wealth. It is the reason why you invest to maximise your wealth and it would be unacceptable for the board to make decisions that did not meet this aim.

    Keegan was brough to sell tickets and it has worked. The way a club maximises profit, is by long cup runs(more games mean, more match days which means(More gate intake due to number of games, economies of scale(You pay players per week whether or not they play so the more they play, fixed costs remain the same i.e. the wages while they provide more opportunities to sell merchandise on matchday), TV rights which is the cash cow) Gate in take is also high.

    Keegan is enhancing the gate intake not the team. He was brought in to manage the fans not the players that is why wise was brought and given, let us be honest and undefined role.

    Silly people like JJ and Leo are oblivious to this fact. The fans are stakeholders and weild power too. If you call for a manager’s head they have to do so because a fan revolt will threaten shareholder wealth i.e. by reduced attendances, changes of teams to support etc.

  • Leo Kompany for the Toon

    Mar 20, 2008 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #24

    keegan was brought in to sell tickets? hmm i think he was brought in to manage the club, he isnt likely to be sitting in the box office ever now is he.

    my interlect being questioned by someone who does not know me… hmm, you use many big words on a football blog therefore are more intelegent than me?

    my arguements are lousey? hmm strange that your the only one who has been saying any other and many people on here have aimed personal attacks at you recently.

    you are getting repetitive, go write on a hate keegan blog, if there isnt one im sure you are angry enough to make one. do one you sad act.

  • Leo Kompany for the Toon

    Mar 20, 2008 at 1:44 PM

    Comment #25

    also just read your last statement-

    Silly people like JJ and Leo are oblivious to this fact. The fans are stakeholders and weild power too. If you call for a manager’s head they have to do so because a fan revolt will threaten shareholder wealth i.e. by reduced attendances, changes of teams to support etc.

    tell me if im wrong but didnt you want keegan to be sacked! make your mind up fool.

    i never thought twice on renewing my season ticket for the last 10 years- thats not being a fool before you try and state that- its being loyal

  • Leo Kompany for the Toon

    Mar 20, 2008 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #26

    also this comment shows your stupidity-

    that is why wise was brought and given, let us be honest and undefined role.

    wise has had no part in first team matters… your arguements are so wrong

  • Leo Kompany for the Toon

    Mar 20, 2008 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #27

    i remember back to business studies michael- the first aim of a business is to make revenue for shareholders… ooo is someone studying alevels, what did you learn a couple big words then thought you would use them on a football blog to justify your arguements.

  • Michael

    Mar 20, 2008 at 1:56 PM

    Comment #28

    Let me make this clear. I do not hate Keegan, I wish the guy success but if he cannot do the job, he should not be in the job.

    As a footballer, Keegan was no doubt great. As a manager he has been, no doubt lucky and it is better to be born lucky than rich.

    While I am greatful for what he has done for the club (bringing us up from the lower divisions) a feat no doubt that has made him folkloristic, he is simply out of his depth here and now.

    Come on guys : Look at a recent fact Keegan file:

    -Walked out of England (after doing a poor job)
    -Famously Saying he “does not know tactics”. (Which is crucial for this type of job)
    -Wlaked out of Man City giving no reason at the time .
    -Has not been involved in management since 2004.
    – Has not seen a game since 2005.

    Are these credentials you would consider as a chairman for (one of the biggest managerial jobs in world football)????? are these the credentials??? I cannot believe you would say yes to this sure ly not?

  • Michael

    Mar 20, 2008 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #29

    Leo: We are having a mautre debate here and I am well beyond my A’Levels I asure you. I think it is you who lacks maturity given the above evidence

  • Leo

    Mar 20, 2008 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #30

    like the newspapers and jounalists you will see all the so called ‘facts’ the way you want to see them

    its funny you list all the bad things but never the good things he did in management

  • Leo

    Mar 20, 2008 at 2:03 PM

    Comment #31

    oh no i am not mature? im not ancent if thats what my crime is, guilty as charged, but mature for my age- i would say so, quite accomplished studies wise so leave that one out


    Mar 20, 2008 at 2:09 PM

    Comment #32

    Michael admit it you dont like Kevin Keegan do you ??

  • Michael

    Mar 20, 2008 at 2:17 PM

    Comment #33

    I concede, Keegan did have good times, but the bad more than out weighed the good. I mean walking out on your last two jobs is just unacceptable.

    Saying you do not know what is the core of your job is just career suicide. They are arguably one of the worst football managerial credentilas out there. As a company, a club would be weary. His habit of walking out recently would leave most precarious and the trend is, he did so when performances took a turn for the worst.

    No chairman in their right mind would hire a candidate putting those credentials on the table unless he managed to perform other tricks.

    The trick being able to hoodwink the loyal fans into giving more time. Cano you not see this. Then when our patiance has run dry they will play their next ace. Shearer. The not so thinking “Geordies” will dance into the stadium singing that the good times are back.

    It is manipulation. Teasing us with this Will he come will he go Shearer talk. They are holding him back until the fans lose patience with Keegan, if they ever do.

  • Michael

    Mar 20, 2008 at 2:20 PM

    Comment #34

    I have said it before and will say it again. I wish Keegan good health and a long life. I have no gripes against him as a person. As a manager he is simply poor. You cannot tell me he is of European standard.

  • Leo

    Mar 20, 2008 at 2:21 PM

    Comment #35

    i will never loose patience with keegan, as for shearer, he is not ready and needs to get some exp at a lower down club…

    also it makes sense that we will not be able to do well as a team unless we let a manager take apart graudually a team, get his players in,over a longer period and see what they can do…

    with money and time any manager can be great

  • Michael

    Mar 20, 2008 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #36

    Leo, do you see? You will never lose patience with Keegan is the reason he was brought in. Not to save the club or have us challenging for top honors.

    Imagine 10 years on and Keegan has won nothing, has kept us Mid table and never qualified for europe. Would you be happy woth that. Just imagine I am not suggesting this is what is going to happen but if that ever happened would you be happy?


    Mar 20, 2008 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #37

    Do the research:
    He was asked to renew his City contract and when refused the club asked if he would leave, So they could get Pearce bedded in before the end of the season

    And as i always say michael you wont find many City fans who have a bad word about KK they appreciate the terrific Job that he did.
    Much better than the FA Cup winning tactition Joe Royle who failed to keep city up, KK 9th and in Europe first season back in the top flight.

    And on England KK got us to qualify for Euro 2000, Does that Mean he is a better tactition than Don Revie (If you Dont know him he won loads in leeds glory days) and Steve McClaren (Carling Cup Winner and UEFA Cup Final) who failed to get their England sides to major tournaments.

    Michael i dont know how you get lucky as much as KK has

    Saving Newcastle from relegation, Winning the First division title the season after, Back in Europe and 3rd at first attempt in the premiership and back to back runners up in the Premier league.

    Going to Fulham taking over after Wilkins cocked up in the play offs, Winning the 2nd Division title with record points and goals tally at the first attempt.

    Taking over when England were struggling to qualify for Euro 2000 and got England there, Then admitted his mistake and went with no compo, Dignity that McClaren and Erikksson certainly didnt have and Cappello wont have when it goes wrong.

    Then going to a relegated Man City changed the club from top to bottom,
    Winning the 1st Division title with a record points and goals tally at the first attempt, Then finishing 9th in the league and getting City back in Europe and then consistanly kept them in the league.

    Napolean used to ask about his officers “are they lucky” as opposed to their qualities and personality.

    If KK is lucky in your opinion, Then he is the most successful lucky manager in the history of football.

    I think the luckiest manager is Ramos because if a manager in england had as many failiures on their CV as he does, they would never get another chance certainly not with Clubs of the standard of Sevilla and Spurs, He is the classic example of a cheque book manager .


    Mar 20, 2008 at 2:33 PM

    Comment #38

    Michael he has a 3 1/2 year contract he wont be here after that he said so himself.


    Mar 20, 2008 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #39

    good debate going on, if i may add on that keegan definately lacks tactical ability and he is the first one to admit it, i too would have liked an experienced tactician like lippi or felix magath, but the reality is that we are not really a very attractive proposition
    keegan is a great motivator and that compensates for all his inabilities,for me tactics can be looked after by coaches like houghton get a few experienced guys like mike henke then that area can be covered, look at martin oneil, he is a motivator its the coaches who look after the other aspects. klinsman was the same, he was a great motivator with joachim loew looking after tactics, klinsman was the heart with loew the head similar in case of rijkard with ten cate
    and the moment he left for ajax barcelona could not win a trophy.
    as a result u need good coaches and add a right mix. Dont blame the players.
    its all BSA fault if the players are not good enough then they should not be there in the first place ask Ed Harrison he worked in a company like IBM, u put the wrong people in the wrong place then its a recipe for disaster and its not those people who are at fault its the bosses who make the appointments
    lets give keegan a chance and bring his players in we should not be surprised at recent results as keegan is attempting to play his brand of football with sams players it will never work as 2 and 2 never make 5
    hope for a win on saturday

  • Michael

    Mar 20, 2008 at 2:49 PM

    Comment #40

    You talk about times when the brand of football was different. Then it was hard to differentiate between rugby and football.

    Tactics were not considered and every club had a “Gaffer”.

    We live in a modern age of football where tactics are a prerequisite, clubs run using scientific methods to get the best out of their players.

    Surely you must admit that because of the fundamental lack of tactics in those days, you would not dream of an english team going to the european finals or quarter or semi finals. While were ran a pub version of the sport here, our counterparts in Spain, Italy and Netherlands adopted tactics, and used to wipe the floor with English team. Now we have adopted what many of you people think is some mythical power known as tactics, English teams are the cream of the crop in Europe.

    Keegan still does not know tactics and that is our down fall.


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