Soccer

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Kinnear leaves Newcastle post

Published 03/02/2014|23:22

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Joe Kinnear has resigned

Joe Kinnear has resigned as Newcastle's director of football.

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The former Magpies manager has stepped down from his post just days after the club sold star midfielder Yohan Cabaye and failed to replace him before Friday's transfer deadline.

A club statement said: "Newcastle United can confirm that Joe Kinnear has this evening resigned from his position as Director of Football with immediate effect.

"The club will be making no further comment."

Kinnear, who was appointed on a three-year contract in June last year, leaves St James' Park having not made a single permanent signing during his tenure with only strikers Loic Remy and Luuk de Jong having joined Newcastle on loan.

The 67-year-old was a controversial appointment last summer as owner Mike Ashley responded to a desperately disappointing season which saw the club finish in 16th place in the Barclays Premier League despite an investment in excess of £30million in new players during the January transfer window.

Manager Alan Pardew, who had guided them into fifth 12 months earlier, kept his job after an end-of-season review, but only just with Ashley deeply unhappy with what he had witnessed.

His response, to general disbelief, was to ask Kinnear to head up the football side of the business.

The former Wimbledon manager's appointment went down like a lead balloon with fans who remembered his first spell on Tyneside, when an ill-fated five-month reign as Kevin Keegan's replacement was eventually ended by illness before Alan Shearer was parachuted in in a vain attempt to prevent the club being relegated.

It was equally unpopular with managing director Derek Llambias, who resigned to end his association with Ashley at St James'.

Kinnear, who had launched his managerial career on Tyneside with a four-letter rant at journalists, pre-empted his return in a series of increasingly bizarre interviews in which he trumpeted his suitability for the job.

He said at the time: "I believe I'm a very good judge of players, a good tactician and I intend to make Newcastle far better than they are now.

"I can see a good player and know a good player and get the right players in for us to be successful. I have no other agenda.

"I know I've got more knowledge than most people at Newcastle as a football manager and I'll bend over backwards to make sure we are successful."

Reacting to the astonishment of fans at his appointment, he later added: "I heard a silly comment of what can I attract? I can open the door to any manager in the world, anyone, that's the difference.

"I've spent my whole life talking to Alex Ferguson, week in, week out. What would you do?

"I can pick the phone up at any time of the day and speak to Arsene Wenger, any manager in the league. In all the divisions.

"I don't know what angle they have got. If they want to sit down and argue with me... Some are talking out of their backsides, a load of tosh.

"I'm not accepting it, as simple as that. I have certainly got more intelligence than them, that's a fact."

Kinnear urged fans to judge him on his signings, and the chorus of disapproval reached a deafening volume last week.

Having not made a single permanent signing during the summer transfer window, Kinnear oversaw the sale of Cabaye - a player he had at one point referred to as "Yohan Kebab" - to Paris St Germain.

But with Pardew, who had not wanted to lose the Frenchman, insisting the club had to replace their playmaker if they were to stand any chance of maintaining or improving upon their current standing of eighth, they were unable to push home their interest in either Lyon's Clement Grenier or Montpellier's Remy Cabella.

Hours after the transfer window closed, Newcastle were trounced 3-0 by arch-rivals Sunderland on their own pitch for the second successive season with neither Ashley nor Kinnear anywhere to be seen as Pardew bore the brunt of a furious backlash.

Kinnear, however, has now fallen on his sword to end one of the more idiosyncratic episodes in the Magpies' colourful recent history.

Press Association

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