The Resurrection?

Posted: 05.09.08 in Blogging

Ah. I can barely describe the disappointment football brings to Newcastle United supporters. I’m sure plenty of clubs’ supporters have just as much right to moan about lack of success and desires to win more often than they do. Yet I claim Newcastle United is different.

There aren’t many cities in Britain that have just one football club to represent them. The North East is home to the majority. Therefore the moods of the towns round here closely follow those of their football clubs; and their residents are fiercely loyal. What makes Newcastle United even different from those is the incredible drama that follows it: flirting closely with success with major disappointments and dramatic scenes away from the pitch.

Which brings me to Kevin Keegan. There is a lot peculiar going on around St. James’ Park. Firstly, the wording of the official statement seemed to admonish any responsibility for Keegan’s resignation. It laid the blame entirely at Keegan’s door, hoping to be able to deny their part in the disagreements between the two parties. It also distinguished the gulf between Keegan and Board: referring to differences between Kevin Keegan and ‘Newcastle United Football Club’ — Keegan really was, it seems, the outsider.

Secondly, the club setup is very strange. It is supposed to mimic the setup of European teams. However, establishing Dennis Wise — a personal friend of Mike Ashley — as Director of Football was a rather odd move: he has no experience at board level (especially for such a position in a Premier League club) and he was hired after Keegan came. One should notice Ashley did not see fit to create the role during the tenure of Sam Allardyce.

People suggest that Ashley is running the club as a business, seeking to make money from it. However they say "never mix business with pleasure", and hiring your friends in positions of great responsibility should not be well-received in the stock market. What is Ashley up to? Even within the business world one cannot imagine the moves he has made as having any benefit to the club. It cannot be much of a pleasure either, and I suspect he shall find that in the coming weeks.


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