McClaren gets brief stay of execution as Magpies dither
Newcastle United have so far resisted calls to sack head coach Steve McClaren but it is likely to have been only a temporary stay of execution after he was summoned to a meeting yesterday.
The club have been forced to act after they were sent an open letter from their fans' forum demanding the removal of McClaren.
The former England manager, who was on a scheduled day off yesterday, has told friends he still expects to lose his job and sources inside the club have indicated that they anticipate him leaving in the next 24 hours.
However, there is at least one key figure who has remained reluctant to sack the former England manager, which led to the delay.
That is thought to have been managing director Lee Charnley and McClaren could be asked to take training today before he is summoned to a meeting at St James' Park in the afternoon.
The delay in sacking McClaren is also likely to be down to the fact Newcastle are assessing potential replacements, with David Moyes and Brendan Rodgers believed to be interested in the job.
Harry Redknapp would also be willing to speak to the Newcastle hierarchy about a short-term deal until the end of the season.
The fact that Newcastle did not have any contingency plans in place appears to show Charnley's resistance to change the manager despite their perilous position.
Ashley is said to be furious with those he appointed to run the club for him, but has also said it is up to Charnley to make a decision on whether McClaren is sacked.
Charnley spent yesterday speaking to Ashley, chief scout Graham Carr, public relations advisor Keith Bishop and club ambassador Bob Moncur to weigh up the decision.