Newcastle United have provided a bold declaration of their belief in manager Alan Pardew by awarding him an eight-year contract.
The deal is the longest given to a Premier League manager and has been designed to not only provide stability and security for Pardew and his back-room staff, who have also been given the same long-term deals, but also to deter rival clubs from poaching them.
The new contracts run until the end of the 2019-20 season and will provide suitable compensation should they be terminated early. Kevin Keegan was also given a 10-year contract at Newcastle in 1994.
Pardew was voted manager of the year by the League Managers' Association in May after guiding Newcastle to a fifth-placed finish at the end of his first full season in charge.
Although there were rumours of tension behind the scenes during a frustrating summer in the transfer market, in which Newcastle missed out on a number of targets, Pardew clearly remains happy on Tyneside.
"Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger have shown that stability gives you the best platform to achieve success and that is the model we wish to emulate here," explained managing director Derek Llambias.
"We're looking to build on the success we had last season and these new contracts are aimed at keeping the club progressing on and off the pitch.
"Alan has done a fantastic job over the last couple of years and has proved what a great Premier League manager he is.
"I have total respect for him in all football matters and have an excellent relationship with him, which I think benefits the club enormously.
"Alan also has one of the best back-room teams in the country and I would like to thank John Carver, Steve Stone and Andy Woodman for their combined efforts."
Pardew received an ambivalent reaction, which was in some cases openly hostile, when he was appointed in December 2010 following the controversial sacking of the popular Chris Hughton.
But, despite attracting widespread criticism for selling Andy Carroll to Liverpool the following month after repeatedly promising he would not be sold, Pardew's stock has soared. (© Daily Telegraph, London)