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Ashley leaves Newcastle in chaos

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Phil McNulty | 10:10 GMT, Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Kevin Keegan has not been sacked. Kevin Keegan says he has not resigned. But would you risk a large amount of money right now on him being Newcastle United manager for their next game at home to Hull?

No - didn't think you would and neither would I.

Talks are ongoing between Keegan and Newcastle over his future as the fog of uncertainty and chaos continues to shroud the Tyne's football followers.

One thing we do know with absolute certainty is that Newcastle is once again a club in chaos, with fractured relationships at the top of the club and a management structure that is fatally flawed.

Much has been made of the media's coverage - including here - of the tumult on Tuesday, so it is worth clarifying events.

The BBC and almost every other outlet received information from the most reliable and informed sources that Keegan had left his position. This would not have been reported had there been the slightest doubt.

Make no mistake this was no mass media invention, and even the belated statement from Newcastle, issued six hours after first reports of Keegan's demise filtered out, failed to clarify his position as manager.

So events move on, in bizarre fashion even by Newcastle standards, and today we are left with a shabby mess that reflects so badly on the regime of owner Mike Ashley.

He may mix with Newcastle's fans during matches, but has no grasp on how they feel about their club - and in particular how they feel about Keegan.

Mike Ashley

No matter how well his talks with Keegan progress, things will never be the same for the major players at Newcastle. Any truce will be fragile given the previous history between Keegan and Ashley.

Ashley has massively misjudged the mood in Newcastle and it is impossible to see how he can repair his relationship with the club's followers, and indeed Keegan.

We've all had our fun with Newcastle fans about their over-blown perception of just how big and successful they are - or not as the case may be - but no-one can question they have a unique bond with their team and have been shabbily treated again.

Ashley has not understood that and this is why he is now holed below the waterline in the eyes of Newcastle's fans. He cannot sit among those supporters again with his credibility so badly damaged.

Could it be that Ashley and his sidekicks only realised the magnitude of Keegan's potential depature once they heard and saw the incendiary reaction of the club's supporters to reports that he had left?

Is there any way back for Keegan at Newcastle even now? And even in this unlikely event, how long would it before it all flared up again?

If these discussions are actually focusing on football matters, Keegan will presumably be asking for complete control over transfers, a privilege that has been denied to him so far.

This is the least he should be given. Keegan is a good judge of a player and he is certainly as qualified, if not more so, than those who have been reportedly choosing those who are arriving at Newcastle.

It also means those who sign know they have the trust and faith of the manager - and Keegan will also know he lives or dies by his own choices as opposed to someone else's.

If Ashley agrees to that, it will effectively mean the demise of executive director Dennis Wise, who is very much the owner's man despite being an unpopular figure among the Newcastle support.

And it should also mean curtains for vice-president (player recruitment) Tony Jimenez and technical co-ordinator Jeff Vetere.

Keegan would be in a position of total power and authority with players and supporters. Would that be acceptable to Ashley?

It is difficult to see how Keegan's career at Newcastle can be salvaged without those huge compromises, and even the eventual departure of Wise, Ashley - or both.

Newcastle are left as a laughing stock once more. And no-one on Tyneside is blaming Keegan.


Comments

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  • 1. At 1:04pm on 03 Sep 2008, EL_NANDO wrote:

    Notice you've waited until all the facts are straight before 'blogging'.

    Well done. Have a journalism gold star.

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  • 2. At 1:10pm on 03 Sep 2008, olgalover wrote:

    Oooh, you're gonna get some stick for that 'over blown' jibe...

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  • 3. At 1:11pm on 03 Sep 2008, Ryushinku wrote:

    Actually, I do think I'd put a large amount of money on Keegan being manager for the Hull game, because the odds must be pretty wide at the moment.

    I could really cash in. This could change my life. Why am I wasting time typing more sentances here? Must dash...

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  • 4. At 1:11pm on 03 Sep 2008, Boonting wrote:

    Good point there, will be very interesting to see where he watches the game against Hull from.

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  • 5. At 1:13pm on 03 Sep 2008, BazOfTheBoleyn wrote:

    A lot of media outlets have been left with egg on their faces over this and yet, to mix my metaphors, not much humble pie is being eaten. Newcastle FC look bad because the media, hurting due to their humiliation yesterday, choose to portray them in that way. No one yet knows what has happened or what will happen and consequently who can say who is the true culprit: a hands-on owner or a temperamental manager?

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  • 6. At 1:14pm on 03 Sep 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    One point, if Kevin Keegan has not resigned and he has not been sacked - why was he not taking training at Newcastle this morning?

    A job for Dennis Wise perhaps?

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  • 7. At 1:15pm on 03 Sep 2008, citymikeok wrote:

    i feel sorry for kevin keegan and the newcastle fans who want success at the club

    the best thing the fans can do is boycott the next few games - leave the stadium empty

    that will speak volumes

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  • 8. At 1:16pm on 03 Sep 2008, EFC-09999 wrote:

    Class article... Im an Everton Fan... but have followed the news reports these last few days and totally agree with everything you have said.

    Its sad to see this happen to such a big club and fan base!!

    As a supporter of english football, i can say Kevon Keegan is an asset to the game and deserves more respect from those clowns at Newcastle!

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  • 9. At 1:16pm on 03 Sep 2008, War Baby wrote:

    Watch out Phil - haven't you noticed all the fans wanting to shoot the messenger before they sink back into denial !

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  • 10. At 1:17pm on 03 Sep 2008, 250SWB wrote:

    think I'd have a little flutter on KK being in charge for the Hull game too, Ashley's too tight to pay him off...

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  • 11. At 1:17pm on 03 Sep 2008, fabuniquemembername wrote:

    Any manager who wants to keep Joey Barton in his side deserves the boot.
    Ironically, Keegan and Ashley deserve each other. Dennis Wise completes the three unwise men of English football.

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  • 12. At 1:19pm on 03 Sep 2008, ToonArmy wrote:

    What was interesting is the 'over-blown' comment. We know we're a big club despite not winning anything for ages, we have a huge, loyal fan base, worldwide support, the media is obsessed with us and we are currently the 14th richest club in Europe.

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  • 13. At 1:19pm on 03 Sep 2008, stickymichael wrote:

    Ashley should have never appointed Keegan in the first place.

    From day one, Ashley has been more interested in winning the popularity contest. Downing pints with the fans, singing the songs and wearing his printed shirt with "pride".

    Keegan has just been a pawn in the entire charade. Ashley got rid of the unpopular Allardyce and did what he knew the fans would want him to do - he brought in the "messiah".

    Who cares if Keegan was the wrong man for the job? Bringing Keegan to St James' ensured that he'd be the most popular man in Toon - that's until it all came tumbling down.

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  • 14. At 1:19pm on 03 Sep 2008, Hookers_armpit wrote:

    what are they up to...

    Why get him in if you weren't going to let him run the team? He might love the club but he wouldn't have been cheap.

    Why have more faith in Dennis Wise than KK? It really doesn't make any sense... and it looks like we won't hear any more for a while.

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  • 15. At 1:21pm on 03 Sep 2008, Zimbabwe wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 16. At 1:22pm on 03 Sep 2008, ArgieWizard wrote:

    I don't anyone believes that this was a 'media invention' - but don't expect peope (well, like me anyway) to simply accept your apologies on behalf of the BBC and news media in general that information from 'the most reliable sources' was at the base of the journalism yesterday.
    Face it, in a world of real-time news reporting and reaction, as well as audience participation in the making and shaping of news, yesterday was an example of how in the race to break a(nother) sensational story, the facts came second to the scoop.
    (paraphrased from my blog http://www.theworldisntlistening.blogspot.com)

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  • 17. At 1:22pm on 03 Sep 2008, Asio_otus wrote:

    What exactly qualified the minnows that Ashley appointed to be better judges of football talent than Kevin Keegan?

    His record as a club coach has been good - with only the mild histrionics of his bust-up with Alex Ferguson as a black mark (although that is just part of his passion for the club) and he had the good grace to recognise he was not up to the England job and walked away (if only Steve McClaren had had the same integrity).

    I am not a Newcastle fan - but am definitely a fan of Keegan. He has been treated pretty badly from the off but has stuck with it until his face was rubbed in it in this transfer window: as to how it all turns out - the right thing would be to give Keegan the opportunity to do the job and dump the minnows - but is Ashley strong enough to do the right thing and admit his mistakes? How on earth did he make his fortune with such poor judgement?

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  • 18. At 1:22pm on 03 Sep 2008, fabuniquemembername wrote:

    To be fair, you'd think the Beeb would have SOMEONE who knows someone who knows what the hell is going on. They get enough money to do a half-decent job of sports journalism.

    No other club in the world can keep a secret, so how are the combined IQs of Ashley, Keegan and Wise managing it?

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  • 19. At 1:22pm on 03 Sep 2008, ToonArmy wrote:

    And Phil, you fountain of knowledge you, he hasn't been at training because he his having talks with the club. Doh.

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  • 20. At 1:22pm on 03 Sep 2008, Whitto wrote:

    I think the overblown comment is spot on. Newcastle are only a big club in the fact that 52,000 fans turn up each home game to watch the drivel that has been laid on for them in the last 10 years. They haven't won anything since Alf Ramsay was England manager.

    Keegan won't stay and Ashley and Wise won't be allowed to stay by the so-called Toon Army, who have done as much as anyone to cause the problems with their over inflated ideas of what their club should be doing and therefore heaping the pressure on the staff and players.

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  • 21. At 1:23pm on 03 Sep 2008, knoxovic wrote:

    Does the fact that Dennis Wise walked out on Leeds when they were doing well not surprise anyone?

    Keegan was just a publicity stunt to let Ashley in, now the true regime is going to present itself. . And i suspect Wise will be the frontman!

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  • 22. At 1:27pm on 03 Sep 2008, zooombie wrote:

    Ah, the trusted old 'overblown' comment. Almost as lazy and ill informed as yesterday's reporting of events.

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  • 23. At 1:27pm on 03 Sep 2008, ToonArmy wrote:

    It was about as creative as the article got. zooombie

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  • 24. At 1:28pm on 03 Sep 2008, lee fett wrote:

    Personally I think Keegan is doing all he can to persuade the board to let him have total control and to get rid of Wise and the other assistants that Ashley's brought in. And on the other hand Ashley's trying to keep hold of them. The fact is though MA brought Keegan in to bring some excitement back to the club and hopefully get them advancing up the table and challenging for honours. How does he expect him to achieve this if he isn't allowed to run team affairs in the way he wants?

    Another interesting point is the way Ashley seemed to slap Keegan down after KK said how difficult it would be to turn the club into a top-4 side or even a side challenging for trophies for a few years. Not long after we get to the transfer window and what do the board do to help their manager achieve this aim? Sell one of their better players, appear to try and sell one of their (and England's) better strikers and fund moves for a couple of players from Europe with no proven Premiership experience. If Ashley is serious about making Newcastle a big club again then he needs to show his manager that he has his full support. Financial support and trust in being able to handle which players he wants at the club.

    It seems incredibly hypocritical to demand the club achieves certain aims but to not provide the means for this to happen whilst also undermining the person you've put in charge.

    As for Ashley sitting with the fans for the next game, i'll be surprised if he even shows his face at the match!

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  • 25. At 1:30pm on 03 Sep 2008, TheChronicSmoker wrote:

    "Keegan would be in a position of total power and authority with players and supporters."

    That's exactly what we want.

    so what if Ashley owns the club, we are the main income!

    if i were him, being a man of business, i wouldn't see p***ing of the customers as too clever.

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  • 26. At 1:30pm on 03 Sep 2008, David wrote:

    Wow, what amazing journalism yet again. I, for one, am glad that my license fee is subsidising such cutting edge journalism.

    You reported something that wasn't true, and then have tried blaming the club for not denying your reporting - when they were apparently busy trying to put the pieces of a breakdown back together.

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  • 27. At 1:31pm on 03 Sep 2008, fabuniquemembername wrote:

    Any club that allows Titus Bramble to notch up 100 games deserves to be in this sort of mess. :-)

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  • 28. At 1:31pm on 03 Sep 2008, mark wrote:

    what credentials does a club need to be called a "big club"?
    if it a large fan base then newcasle are indeed a big club.
    if it is winning trophies or league possition are bolton,wigan,portmouth,sunderland,leeds,coventry,southhamton, middlesboro e.c.t. much bigger?(this list could go on and on and on)
    i would you newcastle a fair to middlin club at best!!!
    get over yourselfs.

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  • 29. At 1:31pm on 03 Sep 2008, The player in front is a Tiote wrote:

    It really is a sad state of affairs, Ashley and his motley crew are going to do more damage to this club than Dyer, Bowyer, Shepherd or Barton could ever hope to achieve. Wise is a horrid man who fans of other clubs he's managed sem to detest - Wise took some flak for leaving Leeds but it was Poyet's leaving them that probably ultimately cost them automatic promotion last year. I wish our board cared as much for the reputation and status of the club as much as Sunderland's seem to. Ashley has no class or savoir faire whatsoever and how he's managed to make himself into one of the UK's richest men baffles me - surely a case of luck rather than judgment?

    I suppose the upshot of all this is that when the dust has settled, ultimately for the 3rd time in 16 months we're going to be looking for a new manager - I certainly wouldn't blame KK for walking away on this occasion, say what you like about 'bottling it when the going gets tough' but if he wants to leave this mess with his head held high, that is what he has to do. I've tried getting behind a team managed by a man I vehemently dislike before, it looks like I may have to do it again. Can I have a one-way ticket to oblivion please...

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  • 30. At 1:31pm on 03 Sep 2008, FeedmeFlumps wrote:

    Phil - re: our over-blown perception this is another media myth that is peddled out time and time again by lazy journalists and know is believed to be gospel by people up and down the land. Yes we are a big club in terms of support and turnover. We know we haven't won anything for years, we don't think we deserve success so will journalists like yourself stop from perpetuating this myth further!

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  • 31. At 1:32pm on 03 Sep 2008, nobbyslad wrote:

    I'm amazed that everybody believes Keegan to be the innocent party here. He has a record of walking out when he doesn't get his own way.
    If he can't sit down and agree a stategy with Wise and Ashley, like any good Managere would, he probably should leave!

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  • 32. At 1:32pm on 03 Sep 2008, FeedmeFlumps wrote:

    Kingronnie - what exactly have Wigan, Sunderland and Southampton won in recent times?

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  • 33. At 1:32pm on 03 Sep 2008, magic_mira wrote:

    Keegan is not taking training because he is in a meeting with the owner McNulty, what are you on about? The squad are not even preparing for a game today so it is a good time to sort out/discuss/argue about problems.

    Why on earth would wise take training? Keegan has 2 assistants, one of them would take it, not the person responsible for signing youth team players

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  • 34. At 1:33pm on 03 Sep 2008, yajustdonsavethose wrote:

    newcastle fanbase may be large but dont call them loyal. they get on everyone's back, never sing unless their team is winning and dont fill out the ground all the time. For instance before they were due to play Stoke in the cup last year, they had sold half of their ground - that was being blamed on the cup tie being expensive. then keegan took over and the ground was full. likewise, the ground is half empty for european nights against minnows but as soon as they get a decent side, the ground is full. so sick and tired listening to how loyal these fans are. as usual their club is a joke

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  • 35. At 1:33pm on 03 Sep 2008, HRDC99 wrote:

    Clearly, there was a major disagreement between Keegan and the Board yesterday. It was was sufficiently serious for people to start briefing the media on the expected outcome.

    That Keegan remains in charge today seems likely to be due to one of two possibilities:

    1: The lawyers are negotiating on his exit.
    2: There has been a change of heart somewhere within the club or with Keegan.

    We will soon see which one it is.

    I do find it quite amusing that Mike Ashley is now reaping what he sowed. He hired Keegan knowing the love the Newcastle fans had for him and used that to try to win them over. Sadly, for him, all he can hear now is the sound of chickens coming home to roost.

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  • 36. At 1:35pm on 03 Sep 2008, Time For Heroes wrote:

    Phil, your most reliable and informed sources were unreliable and uninformed so think you should change that.
    Also, why as an impartial BBC 'journalist' are you "having fun' at the expense of a particular teams fans?

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  • 37. At 1:37pm on 03 Sep 2008, geordiejordio wrote:

    Ashley is a businessman. had anyone heard of him re football before he bought newcastle? Hes looking to turn a profit, and knows there are rich buyers out there. NUFC is a pretty attractive proposition to them except for the problem of a bombproof messiah as manager. Thats why Ashley introduced the management structure he did. To allow him to undermine Keegan should it be necessary.

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  • 38. At 1:38pm on 03 Sep 2008, ToonArmy wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 39. At 1:40pm on 03 Sep 2008, samwinnston wrote:

    Whatever happens or has happened I can see Keegan coming out as the good guy; he didn't want to get back into football but couldnt turn down Newcastle in their time of crisis.

    Since then he has been constantly undermined by the board and must be wondering why he even bothered, although I'm sure not as he wants/wanted to do everything to help the club he loves.

    As for Barton, personally I think he's a complete waste of space but as with most misguided idiots like him, there has to be one person whos willing to work on him into a better person. After all, the board brought him to Newcastle knowing his track-record (and his at the time recent attack on Dabo), so they can't be claiming the high ground now when Keegan wants to keep him.

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  • 40. At 1:40pm on 03 Sep 2008, TheChronicSmoker wrote:

    @Stockport Countyless

    "never sing unless their team is winning"

    Are you for real?

    It's as simple as this. Don't talk about something you don't know anything about.

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  • 41. At 1:40pm on 03 Sep 2008, aagowangowan wrote:

    Laughing stock of the Premiership, carTOON army!

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  • 42. At 1:40pm on 03 Sep 2008, Stu_SAFC wrote:

    Its all a bit different to the stability- and subsequent progress- being made down the road by Quinn and Keane.

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  • 43. At 1:41pm on 03 Sep 2008, DocTyke wrote:

    I don't understand how the owner of any club thinks he knows who should be in the team. Surely if you give responsibility for the results to a manager he should be able to choose the right people to work around him, which includes playing and non playing staff.

    By the look of the photos of chubby Mike Ashley he should be taking part in NUFC training sessions, either that or get down the Dog and Duck and let someone who knows about football take over.

    Sad days for the Toon once again...

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  • 44. At 1:41pm on 03 Sep 2008, captainpnesam wrote:

    I agree with most about what is being said about Ashley and Wise......

    One is a bloke who knows nothing about the game ..? with a few bob the other is a drinking partner who doesnt know much either and is in a position made for him by Ashley.....?!!!!! I feel for the fans most of all as they can see through these non footballing people...
    To cap it all too may clubs are now being run by people with a few bob who intafere with team matters and Players transfers as it all ends in tears look at LIVERPOOL,CHELSEA,MAN CITY ETC.......
    They are ruining the game full stop.

    Look at Whelan at Wigan now he's a football man and lets the Manager get on with it..........There needs to be more of these fellas running clubs not people like Ashley who sit with club shirt on amongst the fans....mmmm wonder if that happens next game.........? i think not.

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  • 45. At 1:41pm on 03 Sep 2008, oaklander_1 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 46. At 1:41pm on 03 Sep 2008, Parish87 wrote:

    Now Phil, are you sure you have done your homework on this one before writing an article?

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  • 47. At 1:42pm on 03 Sep 2008, yajustdonsavethose wrote:

    will-toon-fan

    went to newcastle uni and had season ticket there. they dont sing. they just get on the players' backs. seen it first hand over the course of a season.

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  • 48. At 1:43pm on 03 Sep 2008, oke2008 [RIP #15] wrote:

    i was always beyond me why anybody BUT the manager of a team is in the transfer market as its the manager who picks the team from the available players! absolute madness!!!!

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  • 49. At 1:44pm on 03 Sep 2008, Knight85-2 wrote:

    Meh, this situation is only as bad as the crap rafa is dealing with over at liverpool.

    As a Liverpool fan I admire Kevin, but I do wonder what he thought he was getting into when only a week afterwards Denis Wise arrives as "Director of Football."

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  • 50. At 1:45pm on 03 Sep 2008, karim1981 wrote:

    im sick and tired of the way clubs are being run right now. I dont mind all the money being pumped into the league but the way these chairmen are running their clubs beggars beyond belief.

    You look at the following examples

    Arsenal - So much money in their bank accounts, their manager doesnt want to know and continues to buy rough diamonds rather than the finished article. One of many clubs that can be applauded for the way the club is run.

    Liverpool - American owners with no clue about football, UK Business or UK Economy. These guys dont know anything. They buy Torres and mascherano and think thats enough to win the league.. Duh! We need about 5 or 6 30million pound players to compete

    Man U - again, although the board doesnt interfere with on pitch activity,its safe to say that if the Glazers went bankrupt tomorrow then United would be goners.

    Newcastle - What exactly is happening? You have a chairman who wears a United shirt, backs the manager and then employs a director of football and recruitment guy. This isnt a Hedge Fund business, this is a football club. There is no need for Dennis Wise (why did he leave Leeds???) at this club or Tony Jimenez. If MA backs KK, then he should sack Wise and Jimenez and give full reign of power to KK. If i was KK, thats what i would demand. No one will blame KK if he decides to leave Newcastle. Their club is a mess

    Chelsea - Brokered by a very powerful and rich man, but realising that just because he has money doesnt mean the players are going t come. Again like Man U, if Roman decided to leave tomorrow, they would be screwed.

    Man City - Wow!!!! One day they got an owner who is about to go to Jail, the next minute they are owned by someone who is ridiculously wealthy and have bought probably one of the most exciting talents in world football. Money will buy them success but what if these players dont win anything for a year or two, will this Arab group pull out and sell up or are they prepared to build a new history and new dawn for this club.

    Spurs - No idea whats going on there, no one is in control, poor Ramos, buys these lovely players to compliment Keane and Berbatov and then they leave!

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  • 51. At 1:45pm on 03 Sep 2008, molend wrote:

    "Newcastle are only a big club in the fact that 52,000 fans turn up each home game to watch the drivel that has been laid on for them in the last 10 years" .
    Aye, but whitto, bonny lad, imagine a football utopia, where clubs were allowed to use only a proportion of their net profits on wages and where they were allowed to play only players who had been born within 50 miles of the stadium. Which club would have been champions since the year dot? Q.E.D. kidder.

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  • 52. At 1:45pm on 03 Sep 2008, lee fett wrote:

    34. At 1:33pm on 03 Sep 2008, Stockport countyless wrote:
    newcastle fanbase may be large but dont call them loyal. they get on everyone's back, never sing unless their team is winning and dont fill out the ground all the time. For instance before they were due to play Stoke in the cup last year, they had sold half of their ground - that was being blamed on the cup tie being expensive. then keegan took over and the ground was full. likewise, the ground is half empty for european nights against minnows but as soon as they get a decent side, the ground is full. so sick and tired listening to how loyal these fans are. as usual their club is a joke


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    -------------------------------------------------------

    what are you talking about? Newcastle haven't had a match against European opposition for a few seasons now so it seems rather bizzarre for you to comment on european nights against minnows that they've had. They also had the 3rd highest average attendance in the Premier League last season and for the previous few seasons before that. What more do fans need to do to prove themselves as loyal in your eyes?!?

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  • 53. At 1:45pm on 03 Sep 2008, magic_mira wrote:

    The amount of nonsense in this article and the following comments is hard to believe.

    The truth is no-one knows what is going on unless McNulty has been sitting talking to Ashley or Keegan this morning which he hasn't, ultimately not even Llambas will have the final say over these issues, forget information from so called contacts. Keegan is clearly unhappy about certain things, the club are obviously not in a position to say Keegan definitely won't quit over it because it is impossible to categorically know that given that they are discussing something like the structure of the club, so it can't be cleared up in public yet.

    Hopefully later on today they'll sort everything out one way or another, release the information, and then people can come on here and slate newcastle and everyone associated with running the club when they know the facts.

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  • 54. At 1:46pm on 03 Sep 2008, Michael wrote:

    As a Hull City fan I hope Keegan stays at Newcastle. How many times when a club loses/changes the manager do they win the next game!

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  • 55. At 1:46pm on 03 Sep 2008, Suntjorge wrote:

    I have watched Newcastle for many years now, this is just one more sad turn of the screw.

    Ashley is proving himself to be a buffoon .. appointing Alardyce, then getting rid instead of giving him time, appointing Keegan and making his position untenable so that he goes too.

    Whats the point in appointing a manager like Keegan, and constantly pulling the rug from under his feet .. he has to have the say so on players transfers or he ends up with a bunch of players he doesnt want or have confidence in ..

    Newcastle are now officially a joke. If Dennis Wise is appointed .. the good news is he'll only last 9 months before he's out on his backside, meanwhile Newcastle will be lucky to still be in the Prem.

    What a farcical mess.

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  • 56. At 1:46pm on 03 Sep 2008, Steve wrote:

    We'll be in the top 4 once all this has blown over. The team know that the fans are suffering and will step it up to make everything better (still under Keegan).

    You heard it here first - load your money on to the Magpies for a place in Europe next season!

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  • 57. At 1:47pm on 03 Sep 2008, ToonArmy wrote:

    Karim -

    Man city will ruin football for good.

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  • 58. At 1:49pm on 03 Sep 2008, Mutara_Nebula wrote:

    Phil - yet again, this was lazy, lazy journalism, of the sort that is becoming increasingly prevalent on blogs. As a journalist, you should check, check and check again - had ANYBODY at the BBC checked with Newcastle United's press officer, who was readily available, or Keegan's agent - the only "reliable" sources - they would have known this story to be hearsay and speculation.

    "But would you risk a large amount of money right now on him being Newcastle United manager for their next game at home to Hull?"

    YES! - if he was going to go, he would have gone by now. Had impasse been reached, KK is an emotional man who would have told us.

    This is a media-inspired furore, fuelled by lazy journalists out for a quick headline - and I don't know about anybody else, but I am getting sick and tired of them.

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  • 59. At 1:49pm on 03 Sep 2008, Kimber-batov wrote:

    Wow tell us what we already know your clever you

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  • 60. At 1:51pm on 03 Sep 2008, Stu_SAFC wrote:

    The funniest Ashley interference was ;

    'There is no way that i am going to let Milner go. absoultely no way, he's staying'

    followed the next day by

    'we got a good bid, it was my decision completely to let milner go, i decided.'

    he's making KK look like a buffoon!

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  • 61. At 1:51pm on 03 Sep 2008, royalbluesman wrote:

    kevin keegan is a lovely man but lets face it he has not achieved a lot as a manager.the owner very understandably wants to get joey barton off his books.joey has had various chances and seems not to have learned his lesson and has been convicted in a court of law and served his time in prison . he now has to face disciplinary charges yet again. despite the fact that the manager should have control over who is signed and who is sold there are times when the owner is entitled to make an exception in order to protect his investment and i think this is one of them. if kevin keegan wants to disagree with this then he is putting his neck on the block and creating a difficult situation with the board of directors. in my view kevin keegan would be best to let the board deal with this partcular matter in their own way.

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  • 62. At 1:51pm on 03 Sep 2008, FeedmeFlumps wrote:

    suntjorge - Can i just point out to you that Freddy Shepherd appointed Allardyce and why give a manager you haven't appointed time to get you relegated?

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  • 63. At 1:52pm on 03 Sep 2008, Jaunty Monty wrote:

    Every time a manager doesn't take training does that indicate he has been or is about to be sacked?

    I doubt theres a single manager in the country who attends every training session during a season. Indeed there are those who have little or no interest in taking training and leave it to their coaches.

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  • 64. At 1:53pm on 03 Sep 2008, kinglofthouse wrote:

    That's what you get when you have an owner who has no knowledge of the game at any level or come through the ranks. In this case (eg what the Glaziers do) then butt out and leave the manager to manage. I just wonder what all these geeezers like Wise actually DO at a club. If they could cut out the fat from the club (including Ashley's belly) they might have the funds that KK needs. Very sad for the wee man-he deserves better than this crap.

    Man U fan in peace.

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  • 65. At 1:53pm on 03 Sep 2008, Kapnag wrote:

    what Can Ashley do??? Keegan said last season he's got no chance of ever achieving anything, so why should Ashley hand over £50m? For what?


    Get someone else in with ambition

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  • 66. At 1:53pm on 03 Sep 2008, ToonArmy wrote:

    royalbluesman, your dim, saying keegan hasnt acheived much is ridiculous.

    Took us from the bottom of the second tier of football to almost winning the premiership. He then went to transform the likes of Fulham and Man City winning honours with them. He then went to manage England which wasnt a great time it has to be said but at least he got us to a european championships unlike a certain Brolly-pusher.

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  • 67. At 1:53pm on 03 Sep 2008, tim_sullivan wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 68. At 1:55pm on 03 Sep 2008, LuigiGLFC wrote:

    Another blog leading to over-sensitive fans getting far too emotionally involved!

    I've lost count of the number of Newcastle fans accusing Phil McNulty/other BBC journalists of being categorically wrong and inventing things just to get a story.

    Time to let your heads rule your hearts!

    It wasn't just the BBC that reported yesterday's activity - all the major newspapers and broadcast media did. Were they all making it up or do you think there's just the tiniest of chances these sources may actually be genuine?

    Reporting on breaking news, as opposed to waiting until the dust has settled, is what makes the British media so much more advanced than that of any other country. That can bring with it some inaccuracies, sure, but there's no smoke without fire.

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  • 69. At 1:56pm on 03 Sep 2008, ToonArmy wrote:

    McNulty has been predicatably quiet since the snide jab about Keegan not being in training.

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  • 70. At 1:57pm on 03 Sep 2008, KeithZ wrote:

    At my local Sports World store I can buy kits and merchandise for the "Big 4" of the Premeirship, Real Madrid, Juventus, Barca and a few select others. Although this clown Ashley owns Sports World, I cannot buy any NUFC items. What does this say about his business skills? I thought Freddie Shepperd was bad. If there are any wealthy businessman reading this blog, please rescue us from this fool. Good luck Kevin in your next role, you deserved better.

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  • 71. At 1:58pm on 03 Sep 2008, royalbluesman wrote:

    toon army. i said kevin keegan has not achieved much as a manager. i am well aware of his achievements as a player and regard him in many ways as a breath of spring but in this situation i think he is wrong.

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  • 72. At 1:58pm on 03 Sep 2008, Y-I-1892man wrote:

    The "rumour" was probably true-seems like both parts are trying to figure out "the mess they´ve gotten themselves into",a well known phrase from a popular geordies other partner-Oliver Hardy!!and how to get out of it with some pride?some of these comments make me laugh.Toon Army is loyal to the club,as well known,no silverware since 68-69."Stockport countyless" seems to know a lot-of garbage!!!How often have wor lads been in Europe of late?playing Stockport County,was it?half empty-who the .... wants to watch them?

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  • 73. At 1:59pm on 03 Sep 2008, Jaythegooner wrote:

    Is it me or have the alcohol laws a stadiums be relaxed, as far as I'm aware you're not allowed to drink beer in the stands anymore. Any normal fan would have been asked to leave wouldn't they??

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  • 74. At 2:02pm on 03 Sep 2008, The player in front is a Tiote wrote:

    what Can Ashley do??? Keegan said last season he's got no chance of ever achieving anything, so why should Ashley hand over ?50m? For what?


    Get someone else in with ambition

    ---

    For the record, this is not what Keegan said - his contract was for 5 years and he didn't feel that within the time he was contracted to the club that Newcastle could break the stranglehold that Arsenal, Chelsea, Man Utd and Liverpool have on the Premiership and with events this week at Eastlands it has got even harder. I see this as a hint that the club needs to see sustained investment both on and off the pitch in personnel and facilities and a lot of patience from the board and fans if we're ever to achieve anything - look at how Sunderland are doing it, they will be playing in Europe in 5 years time, I'm fairly sure of that, the structure of the club there is excellent.

    So we're supposed to show ambition? Every time we do we just get shouted down by rival fans who accuse us of being 'deluded Geordies'.

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  • 75. At 2:02pm on 03 Sep 2008, tim_sullivan wrote:

    Suntjorge (post 55) for the record Ashley did not appoint Allardyce

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  • 76. At 2:04pm on 03 Sep 2008, ToonArmy wrote:

    royalbluesman.....I was referring to his managerial acheivements???!!!

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  • 77. At 2:05pm on 03 Sep 2008, LondonRedDevil wrote:

    Typical Newcastle.

    Sorry Geordies, but its not the fisrt time that one of your managers is treated abysmally. Remember Sir Bobby? One of the games finest gentlemen, treated like dirt by his Newcastle paymasters.

    I actually feel quite sorry for Kev, for all his faults, I sincerely beleive he is a good guy and a genuine fan. Mike Ashley on the other hand, is the direct opposite of either or these people.

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  • 78. At 2:06pm on 03 Sep 2008, davebellmk wrote:

    If any of us were in Kevin Keegan's shoes, with a playing record possibly unsurpassed by any British player in living memory, and a hugely creditable record in club management, how could we stomach the hierarchy as it exists at Newcastle?

    Kevin is the "manager", ultimately responsible to the PLC, fans and media if results go wrong. Above Kevin, however, because surely an "executive DIRECTOR of football" places him above the mere manager, is one Dennis Wise, with a patchy playing record, and an even more patchy disciplinary and police record.

    How could we report to, or be junior to Dennis Wise? Let alone this Jiminez character - anyway, shouldn't he be practising for the Ryder Cup?

    Keegan really doesn't need this .... and it must only be love of the club stopping him from walking out without a backward glance.

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  • 79. At 2:08pm on 03 Sep 2008, MrBlueBurns wrote:

    Phil

    I think just because most media outlets (in truth how many are there? I refer of course to Sky, The Sun and The Times for example actually representing just the one outlet, wouldn't you agree?) got it wrong, I don't think is any sort of excuse.

    If the 'media' actually waited for an announcement rather than trying to be know it all authorities on what is going on in a boardroom, then the mistake wouldn't have been made.

    Also, can I assume that the 'source' will not be used again?

    In terms of the detail of the situation, surely we just do not know what it is. It may be that Keegan knew when he was appointed that there was to be a structure which included a director of football (a structure which apparently does work on the continent. Is it some sort of English pig-headedness that seems to may us think categorically that it won't work here?) and maybe it is Keegan that has changed, not the terms of the appointment.

    Right now, Ashley has a record of sacking one manager only, and one he didn't appoint at that.

    Keegan on the other hand has quite a track record of walking away when things don't suit him, rightly or wrongly.

    So from the records themselves combined with your dodgy source, how is all the scorn being poured on the directors at Newcastle.

    Can't quite fathom it myself.

    p.s. why are these articles now presented as a blog rather than a 606 thread?

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  • 80. At 2:08pm on 03 Sep 2008, geordiekeith wrote:

    royalbluesman wants Keegan to let the board get on with sacking Joey Barton for a criminal conviction for a public assault and for attacking and inuuring a team mate. I am surprised that Mr Wise is not there defending Joey Barton with Keegan, and giving him a second chance as he has the same record - taxi-driver and Calum Davison? Oh, he got off after an appeal...!

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  • 81. At 2:09pm on 03 Sep 2008, Mutara_Nebula wrote:

    LuigiGLFC

    But mate - it has got to the stage in this country where nobody believes anything that is written any more. The media is so competitive that they break their own rules left right and centre in the vain attemtp to steal a march on their opposition, to get an "exclusive".
    What blogs are fuelling is a culture where all opinion is considered valid, whether or not it can be substantiated.

    And if you think the British media is progressive and better than its foreign counterparts - blimey! You are welcome to the likes of the Sun, Daily Mail, Sky and ITV News! One had hoped the BBC would be a last bastion of standards, but speculation is the new master. The British media pays more every year in settlements for wrong and injurious articles/reports than any other nation on earth.

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  • 82. At 2:12pm on 03 Sep 2008, Dozza68 wrote:

    I am certainly not a fan of Ashley but he is obviously a shrewd businessman and has not bought the club as a hobby. He would have to spend tens/hundreds of Millions of pounds to make Newcastle a top four club which he clearly does not intend to do.

    It is difficult to guess what his future plans are for the club but it would appear that he is trying to grow the club at a sustainable rate. The transfer market is way out of line in relation to what clubs earn and not many can compete with the likes of Abrahmovic and Al-Fahim when it comes to finance. There are foolhardy clubs such as Villa and Spurs who will throw millions away in the pursute of glory but will ultimatley fail to compete with the Goliaths.

    Unfortunatley for Keegan nothing will part Ashley with his cash outside a mayfair casino. 12 million pounds for Milner who is a grafter but also an average player is great buisness. Jonas and Colliccini are two of the best players brought to the toon in years. Maybe the scouting network may be bearing fruit.

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  • 83. At 2:13pm on 03 Sep 2008, Mutara_Nebula wrote:

    And just now the Beeb reports Alan Curbishley has quit ...!

    Er ... are we safe to believe this one?

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  • 84. At 2:15pm on 03 Sep 2008, levdavidovich wrote:

    This Newcastle "story" is really a story about the media. The British media, devoid of any characteristics such as integrity, honesty and, in particular, the willingness to do any actual work, accepted an unconfirmed and dubious "leak" about a problem and promptly bleated about it in a desperate competition to get readers, listeners and viewers. It is a sad indictment of the state of Britsh journalism: Sensationalism over facts and an acute laziness.

    There may be differences between club and manager, a common occurrance in football, but the media hype, like a mob of fatties shouting their own names loudly at closing time on a Saturday whilst displaying their flaccid members, is of no help to anyone.

    Pathetic, dumb, ethicless journalism from all concerned. What's new?

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  • 85. At 2:15pm on 03 Sep 2008, Owen's daddy wrote:

    McNulty, you ask - "If Kevin Keegan has not resigned and he has not been sacked - why was he not taking training at Newcastle this morning?"

    How many premiership managers take midweek training sessions 11 days before a match? I would wager not many.

    Was Fergie or Wenger on the training pitch today? If they weren't, by your logic, we can only presume they have been sacked or resigned.

    We know Keegan is in a meeting with the owners because (like maybe 17 or 18 other premiership managers) he is probably underwhelmed with the clubs movements in the transfer window.

    He may be unhappy with the performance of Wise/Jiminez in capturing targets - but that doesn't mean he has had no say in the incoming players and doesn't mean he's dancing to Wise's tune.

    Every club employs people in Wise's role to scout and get players in, it just so happens that Wise has a greater profile in the football world than the men in suits who normally do that job - so it makes for better copy and speculation.

    Keegans departure may well come to fruition, but you have seriously jumped the gun and are now covering your blushes.

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  • 86. At 2:15pm on 03 Sep 2008, David wrote:

    "not the first time that one of your managers is treated abysmally. Remember Sir Bobby Robson".

    Totally agree, an absolute shaming disgrace. The muppets before him walked away with millions, and we not only sacked him (becuase the press said he had "lost the dressing room"!?) but then attempted to refuse to pay the money he was entitled to.

    I'm a Newcastle fan, so an absolute optimist. And massochist. My take on this is that Keegan blew a gasket, Ashley took it badly - then realised that he needs KK and spent yesterday trying to convince him to stay.

    Further unfounded speculation by me would say that part of Ashley's argument would involve opening up the clubs books for KK to look at and say.... what ****ing money ?

    I'm at a loss to explain anyones (including possibly KK?) surprise over no big signings - he said in May there wasn't enough money. I'm then confused about Ashley being annoyed at KK saying we couldn't break into top 4 (now 5) without loads of cash. They all seem to be arguing the same point...

    But did anyone, I mean anyone with half a brain, think that we would have a storming season this year ? Most of the people I know where thinking top 10 with maybe a QF/SF cup run would be overachieving this year..... Now NEXT year.... thats a different stoty, Top of the League.... (for the hard of thinking its a joke) Always next year :)

    Sack Wise, let KK have responsibility for the team - that should resolve the problem.

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  • 87. At 2:16pm on 03 Sep 2008, fabuniquemembername wrote:

    Tomorrow's story:

    Curbs to stay on with increased salary deal

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  • 88. At 2:16pm on 03 Sep 2008, ToonArmy wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 89. At 2:16pm on 03 Sep 2008, LuigiGLFC wrote:

    Mutara_Nebula

    I agree to an extent - the media landscape is changing dramatically. News is so face-paced these days - not to mention competitive - that errors can be and are made. But that, to me at least, is the price to pay for the demands of society to have everything (not just news) in an instant.

    I also agree that blogging has changed things. A blog is indeed an opinion, leading to a discussion. But you're quite right in the talking about the concept of perceived endorsement. We have been brought up to believe and trust in the BBC and news broadcasters in general - 'if it's on the news, it must be true!'

    But when someone blogs, it is still opinion and yet, you're right - it does hold more weight and influence because it's a BBC blog.

    I'd still prefer our system of on-the-spot reporting, even if occassionally inaccurate, than hearing everything a day late. (With the exception of some of our more notorious tabloids, of course!)

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  • 90. At 2:19pm on 03 Sep 2008, reasoneddebate wrote:

    What is with Newcastle fans' "unique bond" with their team? In what way is it unique. Much like Newcastle's big club status and success, it's a complete myth. Newcastle is a one club city, of course they're going to have a big support, but their supporters are only distinguished from other clubs' supporters by their willingness to accept mediocrity in almost every facet of their club.

    I notice Curbishley's just resigned from West Ham. Coincidence? What odds on him being the next "Toon messiah"?

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  • 91. At 2:19pm on 03 Sep 2008, Dan wrote:

    Hold on a second. What is the odd for Alan Curbushley being in charge of the Toon's next game and King Kev in charge of West Ham b4 weekend?

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  • 92. At 2:20pm on 03 Sep 2008, ToonArmy wrote:

    reasonddebate; youve just said we accept mediocrity, yet we get blamed for demanding more from our team?

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  • 93. At 2:21pm on 03 Sep 2008, superpaul_faz wrote:

    Curbishley the new Messiah?

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  • 94. At 2:21pm on 03 Sep 2008, JimmyAD82 wrote:

    "We've all had our fun with Newcastle fans about their over-blown perception of just how big and successful they are - or not as the case may be..."

    You've had your fun with Newcastle fans have you?

    Are these the Newcastle fans who think the club has a devign righ to win silverware every season?

    Are they the Newcastle fans who are outraged by the fact that the club cant compete with the top four?

    Could you name some of these fans please? Its just that Ive hardly missed a home game since 1992 and I can honestly say Ive never met or see any of them.

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  • 95. At 2:22pm on 03 Sep 2008, Cowboy Martin wrote:

    Ah, another anti-Newcastle blog well what do you know? Ok I admit Newcastle are currently going through a bit of a hard time but one gets the feeling this wouldn't take much to sort out. As we all know Keegan often says and does things in the heat of the moment and I would imagine later regrets them. I think this is the case now. However, soem things need to be sorted out. He needs to establish who is control of the transfers and who isn't. I personally like dennis wise but i think he would be better off as Keegans Number 2 rather than stuck looking for players. That way they get to know each other on a daily basis in training and secondly be able to knoe each others strengths. Football has changed a lot even in the last 5 seasons. Kevin I would imagine prefers the old fashioned way of dealing in transfers but we have to be real here and admit it's all agents and how much money they can make for themselves before any real deals are done. Also I don't think him and Mike Ashley are that different from each other and I really believe they both want the same thing for the club, success. We need to establish once and for all who's role is what and get on with it. I think the possibility of Barton leaving on transfer deadline day was something done behind Kevins back or something he didn't want happening. I agree with Kevin on this. I'm the first to admit that Barton has done wrong, no one denies that. However, he has done his time and is about to also get the book thrown at him by the F.A. Now, if we are to live in democratic society we have to then start afresh with our thoughts once someone leaves prison, otherwise the system is flawed. Lee Hughes served his time and now he's back playing but I don't hear cries from anyone about him, or lee bowyer, or craig bellamy or Johnathon woodgate, or kieran dyer, shall i go on? Newcastle are not in 'Chaos' as you mention, Keegan has lost his rag and stormed off but rather than the board sacking him they have let the dust settle knowing he's an emotional man and now he's back talking with them. He will be Newcastle manager for the Hull game and for many more games beyond that and In will take any bet from anyone on that too.
    As for people slating Ashley. You can't win as a chairman, you sit in a directors box loking all miserable like Abromovic and you get accused of being aloof from the fans and not on the same level, Ashley joins the fans in the crowd and the pub before and he gets slated saying he's being false. I know what I would rather have. Good on him, the sad thing about this is they are both really likeable characters and you know with a bit of tinkering it could be a match made in heaven. It's easy, make Dennis wise No 2 and they can both be involved in the running of the club, together. It's a basic lack of communication, it's as simple as that. So stop this ongoing knocling of Newcastle, even when we got off to a great start against Man u and Bolton Keegans was always being interviewed in a way to try and unsettle him. Still the best club and by far the best fans in the country. Geordies !!

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  • 96. At 2:24pm on 03 Sep 2008, bobbieflowers wrote:

    wrote a comment on the blog for this yesterday which seems to have mysteriously disappeared.....

    Even though king kev is not apparently completely dead, i still feel the same about the situation at newcastle.

    Basically, as many other posters have commented, Kevin Keegan is a class bloke and deserves alot better than what he is currently being subjected to at newcastle.

    Its been obvious for a while that ashley

    a) doesn't have a clue what he's doing

    b) hasn't backed kevin keegan in his efforts to turnaround the club.

    I personally have little respect for ashley. He smacks of a midlife crisis. Sitting amongst the common people, downing pints. He looks ridiculous frankly (although i guess his days of sitting amongst the crowd will be over now anyway, unless he's going to get one of glass booth's that the pope uses made up)

    its a shame for newcastle because those of us who remember the glory days of kk, asprilla, andy cole etc hope for better things for what was and still can be a great football club.

    I wouldn't hold kevin for leaving them though, he's cracking person and a football legend.

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  • 97. At 2:24pm on 03 Sep 2008, Cowboy Martin wrote:

    And to add to my post, unless you are from Newcastle, or lived there for any serious amount of time you will NEVER EVER EVER understand our passion and what that club means to us. It's something you cannot describe, only feel.

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  • 98. At 2:24pm on 03 Sep 2008, reasoneddebate wrote:

    ToonArmy - I don't blame anyone for demanding more from their team. My point is that a club that clearly needs an overhaul from defense onward will never get one, because the supporters are easily appeased by a single big-name signing, usually a striker (Owen, Shearer, etc).

    My problem is not with the fans per se, but with the constant posting of Newcastle as being a better team than they actually are, usually by the media. This discourages any real progress, because players, managers, and fans alike believe in a God-given right to success, without actually working sensibly to obtain it. See also the English team, and Manchester United in the Ron Atkinson days.

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  • 99. At 2:24pm on 03 Sep 2008, williebraveheart wrote:

    Once again we have an example of an academically challenged man with a lot of money thinking he can run a football club. Ashley is a nobody and never had a clue what to do after the takeover. If Kevin Keegan has a fault it was loyalty to the club. He should have gone with his head held high when thug Wise appeared on the scene. He should not be allowed to polish Keegan's shoes. What was his appointment all about? No matter what happens nobody will have helped the cause of Newcastle FC and they will continue to be an irrelevance in the Premier League. Big Club my backside!
    Good blogg and no, Keegan will not be there. He has too much pride.

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  • 100. At 2:25pm on 03 Sep 2008, dawsonsafc wrote:

    Well done phil the BBC's chief sports writer, what a joke. you must have hit the refresh button on sky sports a few times yesterday

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  • 101. At 2:27pm on 03 Sep 2008, reasoneddebate wrote:

    Oh, and cowboymartin, that's exactly what I mean. You're a supporter of a football club. You feel a tremendous sense of community with your fellow fans, almost like a family. Your clubs successes are your successes, their lows, your lows. It's called being a football fan, not a Newcastle fan. Get over yourself.

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  • 102. At 2:27pm on 03 Sep 2008, JimmyAD82 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 103. At 2:28pm on 03 Sep 2008, Darren Stephens wrote:

    As a boro fan I should be finding this utterly hilarious: all the hubris of the return of King Kev and then having it all turn into a lake of poo.

    But I'm not. I'm just thinking of all those poor barcodes who've once again been shafted by their board. Middlesbrough may have many faults but it seems Gibson and the board are sensible in giving managers some time to do the job.

    Meanwhile in Geordieland, Fat Sam was shown the toe of Ashley's boot quicker than Gary Glitter could avoid Thai immigration And in the space of eight months you've managed to emasculate and then humiliate the one man the newcastle fans would lynch you for doing it to. It's sad for a club with their tradition and no way to manage. If Ashley is such a s successful businessman, why couldn't he see that? Way to go Mike.

    Worst of all, right now all I can feel is pity.

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  • 104. At 2:28pm on 03 Sep 2008, TinoAsp wrote:

    At 1:14pm on 03 Sep 2008, Phil McNulty - BBC Sport wrote:

    One point, if Kevin Keegan has not resigned and he has not been sacked - why was he not taking training at Newcastle this morning?

    A job for Dennis Wise perhaps?

    **************************

    My boss is currently at a meeting away from our office.

    Does that mean he's been sacked ... ?

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  • 105. At 2:29pm on 03 Sep 2008, BazOfTheBoleyn wrote:

    So now The BBC is saying Curbishley has gone. Well, Phil, what's the inside line?

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  • 106. At 2:31pm on 03 Sep 2008, D Dortman wrote:

    royalbluesman -


    Barton has little to do with this, it's almost certainly down to transfer issues (not getting targets, and having players offered for sale behind his back).

    Keegan is a good manager (and he did pretty decently at your lot - I assume), but to expect him to end up with a paper thin squad that he has had little control over building (or reducing) is a bit much.

    He is the one that would have to take responsibility for this seasons results after all (which haven't been bad no matter the "just 4 points spin).

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  • 107. At 2:31pm on 03 Sep 2008, Ryushinku wrote:

    Obviously Curbishly didn't want anyone stealing HIS thunder ;)

    Guess those people with Keegan in their betting pool for 'first manager to go in the Premiership' this year will be gutted.

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  • 108. At 2:31pm on 03 Sep 2008, scottydog50 wrote:

    Mike Ashley is not going to deliver the much desired success at Newcastle. I just hope, that like Frank Sinawatra at City, he is big enough to admit this, and gives the chance to some other mutli-billionairre to have a go.

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  • 109. At 2:32pm on 03 Sep 2008, pedrfflint wrote:

    Wouldn't it be great if journalists such as Phil returned to the time honoured practice of using "fewer" rather than "less" (as in "fewer goals," not "less goals")? Wouldn't it also be great if they used the construction ".....on his being Newcastle United manager..." rather than "...on him being Newcastle United manager." (Perhaps, in addition, that should also be "Newcastle United's manager."
    Are my hopes for a return to good old-fashioned grammar in vain?
    PS: in the U.S. where I endeavour to teach English, quotation marks go outside commas and periods.

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  • 110. At 2:32pm on 03 Sep 2008, Rick_Nobins wrote:

    NUFC have again self destructed which makes more times now than the opening sequence to a new series of Mission Impossible, which is what running the place must seem like.

    Pity the poor loyal supporters whose only ambition is to see their side play attractive, attacking and successful football. It's not too much to ask that the team off the field to work together to help the team on it make that ambition come true is it?

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  • 111. At 2:32pm on 03 Sep 2008, toughSnake wrote:

    Loyal Fanbase??? I remember them averaging around 15-16000 back in 91, that's your loyal fanbase not the other 36000 who turn up with them now!

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  • 112. At 2:32pm on 03 Sep 2008, ToonArmy wrote:

    like Anil Ambani

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  • 113. At 2:33pm on 03 Sep 2008, bijou-drains wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 114. At 2:33pm on 03 Sep 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    The key issue must be the amount of control Keegan exercises.

    It baffles me why Dennis Wise is actually in the equation at Newcastle, and my knowledge of Tony Jimenez and Jeff Vetere is probably the same as any Newcastle fan's - rather sketchy.

    If you appoint a personality as big as Keegan you must let him do the job as he sees fit. It is the price on the Keegan ticket if you like.

    Are there any Newcastle fans out there with any sympathy for Ashley?

    Let's hear the other side of the story.

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  • 115. At 2:33pm on 03 Sep 2008, ToonArmy wrote:

    that wouldnt have anything to do with the stadium upgrade we had a while back 'tough snake'? Doh.

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  • 116. At 2:33pm on 03 Sep 2008, floppedset wrote:

    12. At 1:19pm on 03 Sep 2008, ToonArmy wrote:
    What was interesting is the 'over-blown' comment. We know we're a big club despite not winning anything for ages, we have a huge, loyal fan base, worldwide support, the media is obsessed with us and we are currently the 14th richest club in Europe.


    Absolutely love it.........even mid-table in the finance stakes as well.

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  • 117. At 2:34pm on 03 Sep 2008, roddypeepa wrote:

    I don't think anyone in football blames Keegan, let alone Tyneside. You need the manager to decide transfers. After all he (presumably) decides the tactics so he needs to be in conrtol of personnel. It's a complete shambles. Were they seriously considering letting Owen go? His goals could be the difference between relegation and survival as they aren't exactlly a squad flush with goals are they?

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  • 118. At 2:34pm on 03 Sep 2008, ToonArmy wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 119. At 2:35pm on 03 Sep 2008, reasoneddebate wrote:

    pedrfflint - I'm in agreement over the failing standards of grammar. However, if you're going to be a pedant about things, it's a "full stop", not a "period".

    Would you spell "Americanised" with a z?

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  • 120. At 2:35pm on 03 Sep 2008, ToonArmy wrote:

    'Absolutely love it.........even mid-table in the finance stakes as well.'

    So theres only 28 countries in Europe Floppedset?

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  • 121. At 2:35pm on 03 Sep 2008, TinoAsp wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 122. At 2:35pm on 03 Sep 2008, fuzzymucka wrote:

    McNulty, don't you DARE try and cover your tracks from yesterday. You messed up big style. Both the Beeb and Sky have gone right down in my estimations.

    Who, exactly, were these 'reliable' sources anyway? I don't know much about journalism - but I'm pretty sure ideas need to be backed up with SOLID and CONFIRMED evidence.

    Having your article withdrawn from the football home page must've hurt eh? Ouch.

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  • 123. At 2:35pm on 03 Sep 2008, fraise wrote:

    13. At 1:19pm on 03 Sep 2008, stickymichael wrote:
    Ashley should have never appointed Keegan in the first place.

    From day one, Ashley has been more interested in winning the popularity contest. Downing pints with the fans, singing the songs and wearing his printed shirt with "pride".

    Keegan has just been a pawn in the entire charade. Ashley got rid of the unpopular Allardyce and did what he knew the fans would want him to do - he brought in the "messiah".

    Who cares if Keegan was the wrong man for the job? Bringing Keegan to St James' ensured that he'd be the most popular man in Toon - that's until it all came tumbling down.
    ---------------
    Exactly!

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  • 124. At 2:36pm on 03 Sep 2008, bobbieflowers wrote:

    oh, that should have read....

    i woudn't hol it against kevin for leaving them..

    i'm sure you knew what i meant

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  • 125. At 2:37pm on 03 Sep 2008, bijou-drains wrote:

    Just a note for ToughSnake, if you can remember Newcastle averaging 15-16,000, in '91. you must be a very old man talking about 1891, which coincidentally was the last time Newcastle averaged below 17,000 for any season other than the aborted 1939-40 season, which was expunged from the record. Either you should be saluted for your great old age, or ridiculed for your inability to correctly check records. My money is on the latter

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  • 126. At 2:37pm on 03 Sep 2008, bobbieflowers wrote:

    oh look i'm not even going to bother correcting it for a third time, i'll just have another brandy...

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  • 127. At 2:37pm on 03 Sep 2008, MagpieRH wrote:

    At last we have a half-decent piece of journalism about Newcastle United FC written with facts that we know to be facts and clearly emphasised opinion. Too many times in tto many places we see everything being sensationalised - every meeting is a 'summit', every discussion a 'disagreement'.

    I would have to say Ashley will get a barracking wherever he chooses to sit for the next few weeks, and he will not be popular should Keegan actually depart.
    We need Keegan - the football is attractive, the results good (I did notice the BBC said we had 'just 4 points from the opening 3 games' - a bigger return than anyone could have realistically expected from the opening 3 fixtures!!), and the fans are enjoying their weekends.

    Wise said he wanted a backroom job - if he can't cope being in the firing line at Leeds, how does he expect to cope in front of 50,000 furious Newcastle fans? - and would not be popular at all regardless of his position and relationship with Keegan.

    Who else would want the job or be good enough? Nobody.

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  • 128. At 2:38pm on 03 Sep 2008, grahamolga wrote:

    god shut up about the bbc. At the end of the day the whole media was sold dummy !


    As for Keegan i'll be guttted if he goes but can't see anything else if not now it will be soon. Football head on curbs will be fine if he can be secured.......if ashley has any money after trying to sell all of the the best players (oops i'm speculating please don't post bad things ;-) )

    Anyway internally NUFC need to sort themselves out or nothing will ever happen for us......... i'm including draws against Man yoo in that :-)

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  • 129. At 2:38pm on 03 Sep 2008, Rover1987 wrote:

    I actually feel sorry for Newcastle fans. Over the years I've found their 'big club' mentality pretty amusing, but as the years go on and more incidents like this happen I'm starting to feel increasingly sympathetic towards them.

    From day one most non-Geordies clocked Ashley for what he is - desperate to be popular and obvioulsy knowing nothing about how the owner of a football club should behave. Now the novelty of the owner sitting with the fans and buying them pints in the Bigg Market after games is starting to wear off, Newcastle fans are starting to realise what the rest of us knew a long time ago.

    They will never get it right on the pitch until the whole club is organised and structured behind the scenes from the bottom upwards. That means a good backroom staff, without meaningless roles such as Vice President (Player Recruitment), a manager that controls everything and a chairman that sits in the directors box with the rest of the board and gets involved as little as possible. Sadly, this will never happen while Ashley is in charge and Keegan and the fans deserve so much better.

    As for Barton, I dislike him as much as anybody else, but he's served his time in prison and at the end of the day he's a good footballer. Granted the Ashley regime inherited him, but Newcastle signed him and therefore they must live by the decision. They've got much bigger problems that Joey Barton anyway.

    I hope I'm wrong, but I think Keegan's as good as gone. The only thing that is stopping him from resigning is the fact that he wont get his pay-off. He wants to be sacked. I don't think anyone could blame Keegan for walking this time, its just a massive shame for Newcastle that its the wrong bloke leaving.

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  • 130. At 2:39pm on 03 Sep 2008, FeedmeFlumps wrote:

    toughSnake - We have had 3 seasons in our entire history when they were below 20000, two in the early 1980s, including 1981 when the top scorer in a mid table 2nd Division team got 7 goals.... We also had a boycott of the chairman McKeag in 1990 which brought gates down ... in 1948 however, the highest ever average attendance for a 2nd Division Club until Man Utd in 1975. If the 1980s are going to be relevent, then why stop there? why not cite the 1940s? And dont forget, as other fans like to point out, weve won nowt in this period.

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  • 131. At 2:41pm on 03 Sep 2008, JimmyAD82 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 132. At 2:41pm on 03 Sep 2008, reasoneddebate wrote:

    To be fair though, what else is there to do in Newcastle on a Saturday afternoon?

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  • 133. At 2:42pm on 03 Sep 2008, DeftonedEvan wrote:

    I'm a Newcastle fan (and former season ticket holder) and have been for about 15 years and this past month has been one of the worst in my memory, and that is due to one man - Mike Ashley.

    This self proclaimed 'man of the people' has cast the fans aside and proceeded to run the club like his own personak playground. He sacked a perfectly good manager in Alladyce to appease the fans by bringing in a bankable resource in Keegan. Keegan was then undermined by him bringing in both Wise and Jiminez to handle 'transfer dealings'. Now, stop me if I'm wrong but he is the man who brought such players like Les Ferdinand, David Ginola, and Alan Shearer to Newcastle - why does he need help?

    Both Keegan and the fans have treated like rubbish by a board which don't care about the club and are only looking to make themselves look good. The honourable thing for both the board and the fans would be for Ashley and all of his cronies (Wise, Jiminez et al) to resign and walk away. It's the least they can do.

    To Phil - I'm one of the overblown fans you talk about and I haven't thought that we were a big club ever since 1996!

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  • 134. At 2:43pm on 03 Sep 2008, bijou-drains wrote:

    To quote McNulty "The BBC and almost every other outlet received information from the most reliable and informed sources that Keegan had left his position. This would not have been reported had there been the slightest doubt". So what McNulty is saying that he had no doubt that what he was reporting was correct, then as what he reported was incorrect the conclusion must be that he shouldn't be let loose with a note pad. It is one thing for those hacks employed by the private publishing houses to publish speculation as truth, it is another for a public servant, paid for by the public purse to publish stories that turn out to be incorrect. This is not the standard of journalism I as a licence paying member of the public expect from a publicly funded organisation. To my mind this blog entry exists for one thing only, as a way of Phil McNulty to justify the mistakes he made yesterday. Sorry Phil it isn't washing!

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  • 135. At 2:43pm on 03 Sep 2008, CBailey wrote:

    Newcastle are getting what they deserve for sacking a proven manager in Allardyce who could of built a good team over time.
    Instead they brought in Keegan to keep the idiotic fans happy.

    Face it Keegan is not a good manager, he's not even a half decent manager, you'd find plenty better in the lower tiers of football.
    This whole farce is him spitting his dummy out for not being able to pick players even though he hasnt been following football prior to becoming the manager.
    Big club?? what player with more than 4 brain cells would go to Newcastle???

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  • 136. At 2:43pm on 03 Sep 2008, toughSnake wrote:

    No Toonarmy, I believe it was the time you finished 20th when kk saved you from the drop, so the kk factor actually increased your gates otherwise they would have been lower

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  • 137. At 2:45pm on 03 Sep 2008, FeedmeFlumps wrote:

    reasoneddebate - you mean you can do other things on a Saturday that don't involve football?

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  • 138. At 2:46pm on 03 Sep 2008, bijou-drains wrote:

    toughSnake, check the record books, you are wrong, why not just admit it!

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  • 139. At 2:46pm on 03 Sep 2008, keithirons wrote:

    There appears to be a lot of suggestion that the fans mat over-react to a number of issues raised in the above piece.

    I can only speak for myself, but I think most of my fellow fans are actually more realistic than others may give us credit for.

    The media are very keen to suggest we expect to be one of the BIG FOUR, but I haven't heard this from a fan for years. Even the brief euphoria that followed the Ashley takeover didn't give any fan I know the impression we could just step into the elite class.

    With regards the state of the club, (circus / funhouse); however you prefer to describe this organisation, I think we're all pretty much in agreement that the board are not the only problem here.

    Even if there were a takeover and the new board were in agreement with the manager, we have many backroom staff who have been in place throughout all of the recent (I use the term loosely !) troubles and are in dire need of an overhaul. Many managers have not taken appropriate action in this respect.

    I hate the expession "root and branch", but it has it's place.

    There are only four individuals that are granted unconditional respect by Newcastle fans, these being: Hall, Robson, Shearer and Keegan. Unless these four, or a combination thereof can be seen to be taking control in some kind of Niall Quinn style takeover, the fans will have to just raise a glass to Hall, say a prayer for Robson, wave at Shearer on the telly and hope that Keegan departs with his integrity intact.

    I cannot imagine where we go from here.

    The board's actions have ensured there is virtually no way forward for Keegan, this in turn leaves no way forward for Ashley and Wise is dead in the water as far as being our manager - he will never win over the fans now he's deemed to be the "the fly in the ointment".

    A manager from outside ?
    A takeover during the storm ?
    Keegan to remain and Wise / Jimenez to go ?

    Trust me - we ARE more realistic than this...

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  • 140. At 2:46pm on 03 Sep 2008, reasoneddebate wrote:

    Good point, well made.

    Comment cheerfully withdrawn ;)

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  • 141. At 2:46pm on 03 Sep 2008, MrBlueBurns wrote:

    Phil

    Regarding your point at #115, see my post at #79.

    I'm not defending or attacking either of the parties concerned, but do we know the terms on which Keegan said he would work?

    I would suggest that it could just as easily be Keegan that has changed his tune, at Ashley changing how things are done, considering Keegan's history.

    Perhaps you could ask your source for details on that one? :-)

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  • 142. At 2:46pm on 03 Sep 2008, matt1il wrote:

    From a toon fan.

    I've read thru most of these comments and find them the same as 8 months ago... nothing has changed at the Toon for a long time altho we were all happy when Shepherd left...

    However I'm going to try and ignore all these attempts by the media to use and abuse our club again.

    The biggest problem I see with all this is the amount of negative media attention the whole club gets after a not too bad start to the season (4pts from ManU (A), Bolton (H) and Arsenal (A) who wouldn't want that??) and now we are a laughing stock again, I am very mad it took 6 hours for the board to pick up there phone to ring bbc/sky.

    I understand why we got all the negative press but this could have been but out after a couple of hours at most and then it would have been forgotten.

    I was hoping for a quiet season finishing close to or even in the top10 for the first time in a while, and then continue getting in decent players to build up the squad and keeping out of the media eye for a while... thats obviously not going to happen now and were in for a whole season when everytime Keegan/Ashley looks mad/upset this story will be brought out.


    All I hope is that it's sorted out and forgotten about (altho thats very unlikely unless something much bigger happens somewhere, like one of the big 4 or Man City or even England having a terrible season)

    I will hopefully be going to West Ham away and hope its all a bit better then, but would be suprised if Ashley is in with us lot again.

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  • 143. At 2:47pm on 03 Sep 2008, itoppedeimearmcgann wrote:

    Michael Owen really needs to get out of Newcastle... I'm shocked none of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool or Villa came in for him, he'd greatly improve them all.

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  • 144. At 2:48pm on 03 Sep 2008, bravestevie666 wrote:

    Theres a lot of keegan diehards on here slagging off Wise but you should be directing your anger towards Ashley. This whole problem is soley down to a communication breakdown. Its pretty obvious Keegan is unhappy he wasnt in the loop on what players were being brought into the club and he is even quoted as saying he wished he'd found out about a potential "wow" signing before the corporate sponsors were told by Ashley and thats fair enough. However, Wise was employed to do a job and he has done it very well - anyone giving him stick are misguided.

    Gutierrez, Guthrie, Coloccini, Xisco are some of the most shrewd signings Newcastle have made in years. As for Wises managerial track record - he took Millwall to the FA Cup final and and close to promotion, did a great job at Swindon during his brief time there and took Leeds to a Div 2 playoff position before he left despite a 10 point penalty. He did all of this on extremely tight budgets and that is why Ashley signed him.

    The situation is sad because it could all have been avoided with better communication.



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  • 145. At 2:48pm on 03 Sep 2008, ToonArmy wrote:

    boring villa fan

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  • 146. At 2:49pm on 03 Sep 2008, FeedmeFlumps wrote:

    toughSnake can i point you back to my earlier post re: attendances - maybe tat will shut up your nonsense

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  • 147. At 2:50pm on 03 Sep 2008, boxingfella wrote:

    Dennis Wise is unpopular with everyone not just Newcastle and Leeds supporters.
    How can any decent supporter spend their money on a team with Ashley,Wise and Barton involved.
    I am not Newcastle fan but I feel for them a wonderful club has been dragged into the gutter.

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  • 148. At 2:50pm on 03 Sep 2008, toughSnake wrote:

    I'm just pointing out that Newcastle fans are just the same as any other fans in the country, if they were struggling at the wrong end of the Championship can you honestly say they would still be getting 52,000!

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  • 149. At 2:51pm on 03 Sep 2008, Darren Stephens wrote:

    @bravestevie666

    Yeah, but even Leeds fans I know think that Wise would be stretched at a higher level. He has had some success in the lower leagues but that's no guarantee that he could hack it at a top level club.

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  • 150. At 2:53pm on 03 Sep 2008, vertigo_timbo wrote:

    Most owners / chairmen are through and through business people. Ashley's mistake has been to pretend he's own of the fans. Personally all I see in common is a large beer gut!

    Having King Kev written on the back of his Newcastle shirt is not just a stab in the back for KK but for all Newcastle fans. Next he'll be swining it around at St James Park come Boxing Day.

    On the Owen situation you don't leave a club like Real Madrid for newcastle or Manchester City unless it has a lot to do with Money. I can't believe how nieve they've been in signing him on anything but a long term contract - chances where after a few years and a bigger bank balance and he'd be off.

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  • 151. At 2:54pm on 03 Sep 2008, reasoneddebate wrote:

    In Owen's defence, you also leave Real Madrid for Newcastle if no other club are stupid enough to buy you when you're clearly injured more often than not.

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  • 152. At 2:55pm on 03 Sep 2008, joebloggins wrote:

    Keegan should have stuck to his own words and stayed out of football management like he vowed. No one is (well except D Wise and that is unworkable) going to take that job under the current regime. We have just seen an absolute mirror image at West Ham where new owners fail to deliver on transfer money and then sell players over the managers head. Curbishley went because of it and I am sure Keegan will
    do the same. If you take on a manager then you take on the responsibility of making sure he is given full backing.

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  • 153. At 2:55pm on 03 Sep 2008, mothersuperior wrote:

    what do you get if a hugh magpie fan thinks thats all thats needed to win games, be popular with other magpies, and have made a fortune but still guzzels beer during a match.......... You get Mike Ashley great fan, great businessman, totally unable to be chairman of Newcastle......Some finnancial advise mike find a Arab who likes cold weather and wants to spend half a million on buying you out and spending more than half of that on players just to get into the top 10 clubs !!!!!

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  • 154. At 2:56pm on 03 Sep 2008, Teo423 wrote:

    I used to have faith in the BBC for being the best for football news....but the way you guys handles this new was a farce. This has been total unfair on Newcastle and us the loyal fans of the club. We are not disillusioned by how big or good our club is. But we expect the same respect that you would give any other premier league club. I am tired of us being made the laughing stock of football. Stop making us out like a group of lemmings and making our owner and or manager looked stupid and our club look mismanaged.
    Youn BBC clowns are biased towards Man Utd and Chelsea...
    I may never looked at Mike Ashley or KK again but I'm certainly never going to look at BBC in the same way again...you lost a loyal user today.

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  • 155. At 2:56pm on 03 Sep 2008, hunk4hire wrote:

    This is for all of you saying "I don't understand how Ashley could be such a successful businessman". The answer is that this is ALL about business, as far as he's concerned. THAT is the problem. He wants to run the club like a business while Keegan looks at it from a footballing perspective.

    Therein lies the problem. This is a clash of football v business.

    Ashley is a great businessman. You don't get that rich by being stupid. What he's not great at, however, is the football business because there's a complicating factor, other than pure dollars and cents. It's a little different from other businesses. There's the problem of satisfying the wants and demands of fans and managers who aren't necessarily concerned about the bottom line.

    This is precisely why Curbishley has just gone. He's a football manager and wants certain players to stay because they're good for the team. His bosses see there's a good deal to be made and sell them. Business v football, again.

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  • 156. At 2:56pm on 03 Sep 2008, The-casual-bystander wrote:

    144. At 2:48pm on 03 Sep 2008, bravestevie666 wrote:

    Sorry Stevie, Wise is a square peg in a round hole up there, they don't do jellied eels on the Tyne mate

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  • 157. At 2:56pm on 03 Sep 2008, bijou-drains wrote:

    toughSnake you say "I'm just pointing out that Newcastle fans are just the same as any other fans in the country, if they were struggling at the wrong end of the Championship can you honestly say they would still be getting 52,000!"

    actually you stated and I quote "Loyal Fanbase??? I remember them averaging around 15-16000 back in 91, that's your loyal fanbase not the other 36000 who turn up with them now!" the fact is that what you posted was incorrect, or you have severe memory problems, because you couldn't remember something that did not happen. You seem unable to accept a mistake and admit you were wrong, are you McNulty in disguise?

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  • 158. At 2:56pm on 03 Sep 2008, Cowboy Martin wrote:

    Firstly, to answer phils question 'does anyone have any Sympathy for Ashley?' wel yes I do actually. A man does not become a multi billionaire by being thick ok? Ashley is not an idiot. If anyone cares to remember when he came in he said he was going to get rid of the clubs debt, he has. He said he was not going to rush into things like we have done in previous years, he hasn't He has a 5 year plan and he's sticking to it. Success does not come over night. We are still if anything trying to get the club balanced, he brings in wise and the other chap i'm not going to try and spell, who knows? He may get rid of them if he thinks it's not working out, got to give these things time and see. If anything we need to hear more directly from him, not his sidekicks but him, from the horses mouth. Newcastle fans want to identify with him and this is the only way. As said earlier, make wise No 2, mcdermott has been there too long and is not very good. After a few years under keegan make wise manager. It's all pretty simple really. Ashley for me should stay as well as keegan and as well as wise, all just need to know their roles that's all.

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  • 159. At 2:57pm on 03 Sep 2008, MrBlueBurns wrote:

    illuminatusmagister

    'Yeah, but even Leeds fans I know think that Wise would be stretched at a higher level. He has had some success in the lower leagues but that's no guarantee that he could hack it at a top level club.'

    As a matter of fact, would it be right to say that Wise took Milwall to a cup final, when they were higher up the league than Leeds were when he was manager there?

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  • 160. At 2:58pm on 03 Sep 2008, vertigo_timbo wrote:

    On the fanbase and attendances I think you'll find no-one bothered watching Newcastle until Keegan was manager. Which is was the records say - fact!

    The loyal fan base thing is a total myth.

    If you historically compare attendances with my club - United - who's fanbase is randomly slated then United post war year on year on all but two years have had the highest attendance.

    Given the fact how awful United were in the 70's and 80's, then having to watch our local neighbours down the East Lancs win everything when they had a lower attendance and the fact we did spend a season in the second tier who's the most loyal fans now?

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  • 161. At 2:58pm on 03 Sep 2008, Chizzle wrote:

    I'd love to know who this completely reliable source is, to be honest, Phil. As would most Newcastle fans, I'm sure. No matter how reliable the source may be, the media wolf pack still jumped on it like it was official. And I think your previous blog was far too quick off the mark, assuming facts and making 17 from 2 plus 2. I understand that your blogs, as all blogs on this site, represent personal opinion, and I respect that, but surely it would have been better to wait, to hold off until something was known for certain, rather than just going straight at it. Something tells me the BBC has a thing against Mike Ashley, and whether it's justified or not, it's unacceptable.

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  • 162. At 2:59pm on 03 Sep 2008, gunajam wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 163. At 3:03pm on 03 Sep 2008, Cowboy Martin wrote:

    The reliable source has proven to unreliable in this case and should be sacked for lying. Never has it been disclosed by anyone that Keegan resigned or was sacked but somehow this 'reliable; source said this was the case. It was a case of being impatient waiting for news and so just came out and said it hoping he was right rather than wait and hear the truth. Keegan wil stil be there for a long time, anyone wat to bet me on that?

    Sky had a reliable source too and that scottish psychophantic twit on there couldn't wait to SHOUT it out. Bad journalism all round, packed with lies and speculation.

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  • 164. At 3:05pm on 03 Sep 2008, sawtryspurs wrote:

    I think the goings on at Newcastle are very funny. It makes me split my sides to think that this small town club REALLY do think they're something very special.

    The phrase "your having a hat and scarf" (larf) springs to mind.

    So will Kev stay or go - I think there's no question - bye bye Kev.....sorry King Kev.

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  • 165. At 3:06pm on 03 Sep 2008, FeedmeFlumps wrote:

    vertigo_timbo - Newcastle have the sixth highest average attendance of all time of any club in England so we must be fairly loyal.

    Re: Your United you should have a higher average as your stadium has for the most part always been bigger than ours.

    So stop spouting nonsense!

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  • 166. At 3:06pm on 03 Sep 2008, singingftm wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 167. At 3:06pm on 03 Sep 2008, WayneTones wrote:

    He only foreseen NUFC as a cash cow, with greedy diversification to his retail brand.
    His appointment of KK was blatantly obvious – a short cut to enthusiasm and nostalgic revenue! Ashley didn’t foresee the predicament he’s now in. He cannot run football clubs like retail stores. Cost-leadership etc simply won’t work on the likes of Owens contract, or reducing headcount i.e making 1 player do the job of 3 etc. He’s now experienced a shock awakening to KK’s charismatic power which nets the customer base – hence the U-turn! Despite what actually happened behind closed doors, Ashley now has a mammoth task – this in taking up relationship management.
    1] with KK – conceding to what he wants.
    2] with fans – if to enter the ground, or dare sit with them again.
    3] with players – a “not for sale” policy to value talent and curb mass exodus in January.

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  • 168. At 3:07pm on 03 Sep 2008, WayneTones wrote:

    He only foreseen NUFC as a cash cow, with greedy diversification to his retail brand.
    His appointment of KK was blatantly obvious – a short cut to enthusiasm and nostalgic revenue! Ashley didn’t foresee the predicament he’s now in. He cannot run football clubs like retail stores. Cost-leadership etc simply won’t work on the likes of Owens contract, or reducing headcount i.e making 1 player do the job of 3 etc. He’s now experienced a shock awakening to KK’s charismatic power which nets the customer base – hence the U-turn! Despite what actually happened behind closed doors, Ashley now has a mammoth task – this in taking up relationship management.
    1] with KK – conceding to what he wants.
    2] with fans – if to enter the ground, or dare sit with them again.
    3] with players – a “not for sale” policy to value talent and curb mass exodus in January

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  • 169. At 3:07pm on 03 Sep 2008, bijou-drains wrote:

    vertigo timbo, if Newcastle's fanbase only truned up for Keegan, how come their 1948 season held the record average attendance for any division up until 1994, he must be oled than he looks or you must be a ..........t

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  • 170. At 3:08pm on 03 Sep 2008, leon0418 wrote:

    I don't think anyone in the world would claim England is not a big football nation because it has never won anything since 1962.

    I have to say Newcastle has reacted poorly in the incident, but the media in general were just aweful.

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  • 171. At 3:09pm on 03 Sep 2008, Darren Stephens wrote:

    @MrBlueBurns

    That would indeed be the case, but it doesn't alter my point in any way: having had some success in the Championship or League One doesn't guarantee that you'll be able to do the same at a Premiership club, especially at a bigger one (so, Newcastle say, compared to Wigan).

    There are a whole lot of factors that make life very different at that level and I'm not entirely sure Wise could hack that.

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  • 172. At 3:09pm on 03 Sep 2008, WayneTones wrote:

    Are you suggesting they turn up for Ashley? Wise's excellent work? Or on hope of better things to come under KK?
    I know my answer!

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  • 173. At 3:11pm on 03 Sep 2008, toughSnake wrote:

    bijou-drains, you talk of my lack of knowledge but you say the last time nufc ave below 17000 was 1891 well you didnt even average over 17000 untill the 1903/4 season so maybe you should check your stats.....anyway joking aside your still the greatest fans in the world

    End Transmission!

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  • 174. At 3:12pm on 03 Sep 2008, singingftm wrote:

    Keegan's an over-rated manager. He only has any measure of success when he's backed with millions. eg, Fulham, NUFC in the 90's, but he was awful with England.

    You could call the fans loyal, or maybe just bored. When the story 'broke' yesterday, within minutes there were 100s of them demonstrating outside the ground. Don't they have homes/jobs/lives???

    I used to work there and I remember the fans almost fighting each other in the stands and the players fighting each other on the pitch. There's some deep rooted problem at the club but I must say, as a Mackem, long may it continue. It's hilarious

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  • 175. At 3:12pm on 03 Sep 2008, alantan84 wrote:

    its inevitable that KK will leave Newcastle since the episode has already run this far. i believe on the reports that KK is just taking advices from his legal people before resigning. I doubt neither side will swallow their pride and take back whatever that had played out

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  • 176. At 3:12pm on 03 Sep 2008, fearthemoose wrote:

    Alas Phil, to everyone other than newcastle fans keegan is a laughing stock. pumped up on his own self importance he paraded into newcastle dining out on the saviour ticket.

    as is the form he has done his usual disappearing trick

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  • 177. At 3:12pm on 03 Sep 2008, The-casual-bystander wrote:

    170. At 3:08pm on 03 Sep 2008, leon0418 wrote:

    I don't think anyone in the world would claim England is not a big football nation because it has never won anything since 1962.

    I have to say Newcastle has reacted poorly in the incident, but the media in general were just aweful.

    ______________________________

    1962 eh?

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  • 178. At 3:12pm on 03 Sep 2008, Davie Dale's square slice wrote:

    What an absolute shambles!

    Ashley was only aiming for the poularity vote by appointing Keegan in the first place. Keegan is seen as the messiah by the 'toon fans, but what has he achieved?

    He must be the only football manager in history who has resigned out of sympathy for the opposition boss after his own team has stuffed them!

    What was even more worrying was Keegans admission that he hadn't even watched a game for 2 years prior to coming back.

    The Newcastle fans best be careful about who they want next though. They have sacked just about every manager they've had in the past 10 years. They have now replaced the owner and Board of directors and still they are lurching from one crisis to another.

    What next? Shearer? He wouldn't touch it with a barge-pole if he's got any sense.

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  • 179. At 3:15pm on 03 Sep 2008, sawtryspurs wrote:

    Now you see me, now you don't.

    Some connection here with black and white shirts.

    Jeff Stelling for the next Manager........Sky Sports News

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  • 180. At 3:15pm on 03 Sep 2008, Mutara_Nebula wrote:

    leon - !!!!!!!!!!!!! (170 above)

    I've heard it all now! The only man in the universe who has managed to remain oblivious to the fact that England won the World Cup in 66 not 62!!

    Well done, mate - my faith in humanity is restored!!

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  • 181. At 3:15pm on 03 Sep 2008, theymounty wrote:

    Another snap shot of the failings of the Premier league to be come a franchised based set up like the NFL. The key to the NFL's success is the quality of the franchise owners. Mr Ashley looks suitably at home with beer in one hand and pie in the other; running a Premier league club, no chance.

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  • 182. At 3:16pm on 03 Sep 2008, bravestevie666 wrote:

    @illuminatusmagister

    "Yeah, but even Leeds fans I know think that Wise would be stretched at a higher level. He has had some success in the lower leagues but that's no guarantee that he could hack it at a top level club."



    Of course a Leeds fan would say that - Bates and Wise were hated by Leeds fans before they took on the job and nothing he did would change that. It goes back to the Leeds Chelsea rivalry which goes back decades. No neutral can deny he did a good job there though as he has at every club hes been to.... not denying hes unproven at the highest level but then any manager is unproven until there given a chance... look at Paul Ince. Im not for a minute suggesting he should be given the Newcastle job though ;)



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  • 183. At 3:18pm on 03 Sep 2008, Darren Stephens wrote:

    @hunk4hire wrote:

    This is for all of you saying "I don't understand how Ashley could be such a successful businessman"...

    I still say "I don't understand how Ashley could be such a successful businessman".
    A good businessman would not singularly fail to understand his marketplace, his competitors or even the way his own organisation works. A good businessman would understand the culture of where he was trying to do business. Clearly there were some fairly ham-fisted attempts to do this (to much derision), but you can't honestly say he's done a good job of that.
    Hand on heart, what has Ashley got right at Newcastle yet?

    Like I've said earlier, even as a Boro fan this doesn't look football in general look good. So I feel for Newcastle fans because we've been there in the dark days leading up 1986. I just give thanks that we don't seem to suffer form the same affliction right now.

    There but for the grace of God go we...

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  • 184. At 3:18pm on 03 Sep 2008, sawtryspurs wrote:

    Don't forget Ashley's a Spurs fan really??

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  • 185. At 3:18pm on 03 Sep 2008, leon0418 wrote:

    Oh my dear, what have I done. :)

    My apology. Really having a bad day. This really completed it!

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  • 186. At 3:20pm on 03 Sep 2008, Mutara_Nebula wrote:

    Leon - don't let on you really DID know - you are now a hero to Scotsmen everywhere!

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  • 187. At 3:20pm on 03 Sep 2008, sawtryspurs wrote:

    Curbishley for the Toon!!!

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  • 188. At 3:22pm on 03 Sep 2008, reasoneddebate wrote:

    Leon - even disregarding your obvious typo, I would claim England aren't a big footballing nation. The problem with your national team is the same as that at Newcastle. Jumped up fans expecting more than the actual quality of player allows.

    If Newcastle fans said "for now, a top ten finish would be an achievement", or England fans said "a quarter final of a major competition would be fair" then maybe people would take both a little more seriously. Newcastle are nowhere near one of the best four sides in the Premiership, and won't be for some time. England are nowhere near one of the best four sides in Europe, and won't be for some time. See the parallel?

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  • 189. At 3:23pm on 03 Sep 2008, slowcookedporridge wrote:

    Re. comments 109 and 119:
    And "time honoured" should be "time-honoured". Ha ha ha...

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  • 190. At 3:25pm on 03 Sep 2008, Darren Stephens wrote:

    @bravestevie666

    Good point well made. The Leeds fans I know don't have great love for Papa Smurf but do think things could have been a lot worse without him. And Wise is indeed treated with not a little ambivalence, even though his record was decent (then again, does *anyone* like Dennis wise - I'm not sure he's all that popular with cabbies for example :) ).

    It's a bit like someone like Dave Bassett, who ducked and dived in the lower leagues but found top-flight football a different deal and whose record reflects that in some ways.

    In the end I'm not even sure we even disagree all that much...

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  • 191. At 3:26pm on 03 Sep 2008, The-casual-bystander wrote:

    185. At 3:18pm on 03 Sep 2008, leon0418 wrote:

    Oh my dear, what have I done. :)

    My apology. Really having a bad day. This really completed it!
    ___________________________________

    LOL,
    Nothing a couple of beers won't sort out mate

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  • 192. At 3:26pm on 03 Sep 2008, Redsearcher wrote:

    Anyone heard of 'constructive dismissal'?

    The inactions of the manager and the board mirror cases often heard through ACAS which involve the former sitting tight while the latter proscrastinates.

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  • 193. At 3:30pm on 03 Sep 2008, Nigertoon wrote:

    I really don't understand the fatal attraction type facination with fans of other premiership clubs as well as the media in the going ons in Newcastle United!They just can't wait to see this club dead? I think the most sensible assesment of the present situation is that made by the blogger-"schizoid" it may just be that maybe there is no money in the coffers right now and MA is, like some people have observed, not willing to use his personal money to run the team like other club owners.
    Im a true fan of Newcastle United and i've been gutted since the rumor mills began to turn yesterday, im however very optimistic that KK will stay and carry on with the tremendous work he has started. We will soon shut up those envious armchiar critics and win something soon.

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  • 194. At 3:32pm on 03 Sep 2008, Darren Stephens wrote:

    @reasoneddebate

    Hmm.

    I don't think England should win everything but I think for instance it's reasonable to consider a quarter final in the European Championship as an expected level of performance. With the players available we should be within the top eight countries in Europe.

    I'd consider a semi-final or a World Cup quarter to be an achievement.

    By the same token. for a couple with the resources they have available, the least a Newcastle fan should expect should be top half of table. Top six would be an achievement, over and above expected levels. I'd be *expecting* the Boro to finish above 14th for example, but would think top eight a really good achievement.

    I suppose it all depends what you define as realistic. I don't think anything above isn't in all honesty.

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  • 195. At 3:33pm on 03 Sep 2008, Owen's daddy wrote:

    vertigo_timbo wrote:

    "no-one bothered watching Newcastle until Keegan was manager. Which is was the records say - fact!"

    Please send me link to the record books that state that, because I didn't miss a home game under Willie McFaul, Jim Smith and Ossie Ardiles - fact.



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  • 196. At 3:34pm on 03 Sep 2008, FeedmeFlumps wrote:

    reasoneddebate - Newcastle fans don't expect a top four finish we wouldn't mind it but don't expect it - this is just more nonsense cooked up by lazy journalists, as I've said on numerous occassions - just a League Cup will do...

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  • 197. At 3:36pm on 03 Sep 2008, uhavinalaugh wrote:

    @fabuniquemembername
    Any manager who wants to keep Joey Barton in his side deserves the boot.
    Ironically, Keegan and Ashley deserve each other. Dennis Wise completes the three unwise men of English football.


    who is more sinister, Roy Keane or Joey Barton? Its like peeps pick and choose who to celebrate and who to condemn..
    Keano was too busy breaking legs on purpose, ending people's careers, shouting at refs and at his national team coach for good measure...
    c'mon mate, yes,the boy is stupid...the fact that there is someone that is willing to give him a chance should tell you something about KK...Mr. Saint!

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  • 198. At 3:36pm on 03 Sep 2008, thelovelyswissboy wrote:

    Give me strength!
    Newcastle are nowhere near being a big club nor have they ever been.
    They haven't won the title (Div1/Prem) since 1927, The FA Cup since 1955 and have never won the League Cup! Aside from the InterToto, they've never had a sniff of a European trophy!
    Support is ok I suppose but don't be fooled by the average attendance figures! That is based on capacity. Try this one - they come 10th in the Premiership in terms of percentage of stadium filled!
    No wonder Sunderland fans are laughing! Not only are their team more successful domestically and have had a higher ever attendance than the rose tinted toons, but they are also much more popular with neutrals!
    Must be great to be a Geordie!!


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  • 199. At 3:37pm on 03 Sep 2008, toontimg wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 200. At 3:37pm on 03 Sep 2008, okkerblocker wrote:

    Desperately sorry for Newcastle and it's fans and would normally have every sympathy for Keegan but if one of his issues for disagreement with the board was because he wanted Joey Barton in his side then he's bang out of order.

    There's no way any manager worth his salt should want someone like Barton in his team - what kind of message does that give to youngsters who, for want of better role models, follow examples set by footballers ?

    Sorry Kev - you've backed a loser this time

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  • 201. At 3:38pm on 03 Sep 2008, HawkingsBoots wrote:

    As a Man Utd fan, I remember being delighted at Keegan's demise at Newcastle the first time round. In my opinion he quit at the time because he couldn't handle the pressure and this has been subsequently proved by his time with England.

    However, I am appalled by the way he has been treated this time round. There have been a few experiments in English football now which have tried to adopt a continental approach to management (think Arenensen at Spurs) and they haven't really worked. I think maybe on the continent it is expected that a manager's head will roll after a bad run or a trophyless season and so a long standing "director of football" maybe adds stability where it would not be otherwise. Simply looking at the records of the bigger clubs shows that in this country at least, its about finding a man for the job and then sticking with him.

    Even if you disagree wit this, you cannot argue that the person responsible for transfers should be an inexperienced coach like Wise, who was literally zero experience in big-name signings.

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  • 202. At 3:39pm on 03 Sep 2008, reasoneddebate wrote:

    Swissboy, just to pre-empt the black and white backlash heading your way, they did in fact win a European trophy. The Fairs cup, back in the 60s I believe.

    Doesn't make you wrong though. They're not a big club, never have been, and at this rate never will be.

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  • 203. At 3:40pm on 03 Sep 2008, molend wrote:

    Just for the record, I'm probably the most pure-blood Geordie ever (born in Melbourne Street). Yet my paternal grandfather actually hailed from Gateshead, which is the other cheek of the same bum as Newcastle. Somebody was suggesting that the Toon fans should boycott matches. Well, suppose, as well as that we actually turned up at Gateshead, Blyth Spartans, Ashington etc. A snub to the owner and a boost for local teams. And mebbe other supporters could follow suit. Imagine a Manchester derby played in front of nobody at all and Accrington Stanley a full house every week. As soon as this pub closes, the revolution starts.

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  • 204. At 3:40pm on 03 Sep 2008, PicksyJ wrote:

    In response to Phil #114- you want someone who agrees with Ashley?

    I can't give you that, I'm afraid. It's too obvious to everyone looking in that KK was made promises ("you can spend the £12m for James Milner ...") which simply weren't kept, leaving him looking like an idiot, and then they tried to sell more first teamers behind his back, when there are more players in my 5-a-side team than in Newcastle's squad.

    However, what I will side with is Wise/Jimenez on transfers: if the signings so far have been carried out by Wise/Jimenez, then they've done a good job. I've been impressed with Guthrie, Gutierrez. Colocinni looks decent but it's still early days.

    The question therefore is "who did KK want to sign that the club didn't?". I don't think it would have been sensible to spend £8m on a 30+ Heskey, for example. But if you don't want to back the manager, you HAVE to sack him. Let him build the team he wants, or get someone else in.

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  • 205. At 3:43pm on 03 Sep 2008, 4thecaptain wrote:

    When I saw the headline

    "Ashley leaves Newcastle in chaos"

    I thought that the Newcastle fans had won the day and that Ashley had ACTUALLY left.

    Not the case, sorry Newcastle fans.

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  • 206. At 3:44pm on 03 Sep 2008, FeedmeFlumps wrote:

    swissboy - Newcastle have the sixth highest total all time average attendance of any club in England - Sunderland are 11th so you are basically making things up and also we have won one European trophy in 1969 you goon.

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  • 207. At 3:45pm on 03 Sep 2008, Don Of The Dead wrote:

    This is getting beyond a joke. I always believed managers were in charge of signing players until the last two seasons.

    Just look at Scolari for example who knew absolutely nothing about Robinho coming to Chelsea and how far along proceedings were. Sometimes it take a little bit of manager intervention in deals to seal them.

    Back to Newcastle. Mike Ashley has made a royale mess of things. Sam Allydyce and now Keegan. This man would sack Mourinho aswell if he got the chance ( lets hope he does not thought).

    Allydyce should have been given more time and Newcastle would have brought home the rewards.

    If Keegan does eventually go which i expect to happen, if he is replaced with one Dennis Wise there will be riots at St. James. Players asking to leave such as Owen and the fans will not tolerate it much longer.

    The world must have had enough of menacing chairmans who basically want to manage the club.

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  • 208. At 3:46pm on 03 Sep 2008, boroblogger wrote:

    I have watched with interest the goings on at newcastle for a few years now and to be quite honest the clubs a disgrace!

    The way it has treat past managers - Bobby Robson,Sam Allardyce and now Kevin Keegan (to name but a few) is also a disgrace.I dont feel for the fans as they have shown in the past that once a manager is unceremoniously booted out the door they cry for a bit then as soon as the team wins a few games seem to forget whats happened and hail the club as one of the best in the premeirship!! (latter being a joke surely?)
    Also if i was a fan and my team signed a player who has no right to play football at a proffessional level (joey 'the thug' barton) i would not be rushing to renew my season ticket anytime soon,a club in crisis,sorry no sympathy.
    I do however feel for the managers and now that the job of managing newcastle is a poison chalice any decent manager with half a brain would stay well clear..cue Dennis wise hahaha let him be manager and lets see newcastle descend the ranks of english football.
    A very amused boro fan :)

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  • 209. At 3:46pm on 03 Sep 2008, toontimg wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 210. At 3:46pm on 03 Sep 2008, davidlqs wrote:

    Curbishley to Newcastle - you heard it here first :-)

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  • 211. At 3:47pm on 03 Sep 2008, PicksyJ wrote:

    ...oh, and here's another pro-Ashley one: he's done a great deal to dig the club out of the financial hole we were in when he arrived.

    Doesn't mean he's treated KK any less shabbily, though...

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  • 212. At 3:48pm on 03 Sep 2008, martym wrote:

    It would appear that Ashley and Keegan were not clear on their respective roles. At least one of them wasn't. It also appears that when Keegan does not get his own way, he sulks BIG TIME. e.g Man City when he blamed the lack of home success on the new stadium 'jinx or something'--England when he said 'not up to it', blah, blah etc. He is a man of principle says a previous chairman--or a man who stomps off when he can't get his desired outcome!

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  • 213. At 3:49pm on 03 Sep 2008, good_footy_pies wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 214. At 3:50pm on 03 Sep 2008, FeedmeFlumps wrote:

    glasgowdon - If allardyce had been given any more time the only reward would have been relegation.

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  • 215. At 3:50pm on 03 Sep 2008, tarquin wrote:

    Currently Gus Poyet is favourite to take the Newcastle job (??) - narrowly followed by Wise

    but anyway, taking into account the departure of Alan Curbishley, which seems a lot more straightforward - we're now seeing two clubs with very good managers being totally fleeced by their chairmen, selling players over their heads and making decisions the manager should be making - naturally these two should be narked at their clubs, they wouldn't be worth their salt if they weren't

    I could call it a crisis, if it didn't happen every year, time and time again - it's just a shame that clubs and their fans are robbed by interfering businessmen

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  • 216. At 3:52pm on 03 Sep 2008, WayneTones wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 217. At 3:54pm on 03 Sep 2008, teegee7 wrote:

    "The BBC received information from the most reliable and informed of sources ... this would not have been reported had there been the slightest doubt"

    It would appear there was doubt, wouldn;t you agree?

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  • 218. At 3:55pm on 03 Sep 2008, mikeeyboy1883 wrote:

    When will premiership chairman/owners realise that the best way for succes/stability is to let the manager actually manage. Sitting in the crowd with the fans isnt what we want to see! backing your manager in the background is!

    When was the last time Niall Quinn was in the paper? Look at the Glazers at Man Utd or the Board at Arsenal each one backs the managers judgement and look a their teams performance - success/stability

    ITS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE

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  • 219. At 3:59pm on 03 Sep 2008, rudijay wrote:

    There should be a transfer window for managers, and not only players.
    If you are not happy you should leave during that window.
    If the management aren't happy with you you should be moved on in that same window.

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  • 220. At 4:00pm on 03 Sep 2008, unbeatablePinkFloyd wrote:

    sorry i have to ask were has the 606 thread gone. no disrepect Phil, but your blogg is kinda hard to follow as in the page size etc etc and the amount of comments etc.


    and please do not report that Shiek Al-bin-Laden has shown an interest in my club Arsenal ( lol )

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  • 221. At 4:01pm on 03 Sep 2008, BBC Sport wrote:

    unbeatablePinkFloyd, here:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/A40490480

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  • 222. At 4:02pm on 03 Sep 2008, gnasher1906 wrote:

    McNulty seems to have got it right in that Ashley has not understood that Keegan has a special place in many Newcastle fan's hearts and deserves to be treated better than this.

    On the other hand Keegan was a strange appointment and seems to have been motivated to create some goodwill to the owners and not based on common sense. Keegan is a poor tactician and most of us would agree that there is little chance that he could bring success to Newcastle in the next 10 or so years. Bringing in Wise only re-enforces the point that they don't trust Keegan enough to give him total control. It's like they are trying to create a perfect blend by having Kev's feel good factor with some nouse from Wise (not sure he's proved anything at this level that makes this any kind of guarantee) and this isn't going to work. His reputation for leaving when the going gets tough is legendary so I'm not sure there can be any surprise that this has all blown up like this. It's what happens when you make made personnel decisions and hope it will all work itself out. Invariably it doesn't, poor structure results in this kind of mess. It's organizational management 101 and you'd hope that Ashley and his team would know better.

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  • 223. At 4:02pm on 03 Sep 2008, thelovelyswissboy wrote:

    feedmeflumps - you need to learn to read!
    I made a point of dismissing average attendances as they are misleading. I referred to percentages of total capacity!
    Newcastle's record home attendance was 68,386 vs Chelsea on 3rd September 1930. Sunderland's was 75,118 vs Derby County, FA Cup 6th Round Replay, March 8, 1933.
    Now even a rose tinted toon can do basic maths and see that Sunderland's was 6,732 higher than Newcastles!
    As for the hysteria about winning a European trophy, I was referring to competitions that actually still exist or anyone cares about!
    I don't know about coals to Newcastle! I think straws to Newcastle would be more appropriate as you'll be running out of things to grab at pretty soon!

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  • 224. At 4:03pm on 03 Sep 2008, Squarehoop1 wrote:

    Let's blow up our management - fan relationship! Hey, let's do it the week AFTER the biggest cash cow EVER is out looking to buy a premier league team, just so there is no bail out plan for us! Our coach and fans never would have liked that Robinho guy anyhow, all those goals interfere with news reports on the rubbish management.

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  • 225. At 4:04pm on 03 Sep 2008, sawtryspurs wrote:

    Mr Ashley might want to take a leaf out of Mr Gibson's book down the road at Boro.

    Like....butt out pal!!! Let the manager get on with it....

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  • 226. At 4:06pm on 03 Sep 2008, Robin wrote:

    Keegan is a good judge of a player???????

    Since when. Keegans reputation has been built on one promotion with Fulham and one season when Newcastle blew the title.

    He took England to the depths before Sven of all people rescued our qualificattion campaign.

    Keegan sits alongside allardyce and Curbishly as some of the most over-rated managers in Premiership history.

    Geordie fans are reaping their our harvest by literally begging Ashley to bring back Keegan.

    O how we laughed when he did exactly what they asked.

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  • 227. At 4:07pm on 03 Sep 2008, boroblogger wrote:

    Well said sawtryspurs!!

    Steve Gibson is a template for all owners/chairman,let the manager do his job and carry on with running the club in the background the way your supposed to do.

    Bravo!

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  • 228. At 4:07pm on 03 Sep 2008, FeedmeFlumps wrote:

    swissboy - If you add up all the attendances of Newcastle and all of Sunderland ever, Newcastle's are higher. If you average these out, Newcastle's are higher. Seems fairly straight forward to me.


    As to the European trophy i'm sure you would care if you had won one at Sunderland and how many times exactly have Sunderland been in Europe?

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  • 229. At 4:07pm on 03 Sep 2008, unbeatablePinkFloyd wrote:

    thank u sports hosts very kind of you.

    as i say no disrespect intended just a tad hard to keep up with thats all.



    may i say

    i actually support you guys on your covering of this story as im afraid newcastle have been obviously in a mess for ages and i realy dont think anyone knows for sure what is going on there. and as your Reporters stated yesterday newcastle did indeed have more than an opportunity to quash any rumours etc no matter how they were leaked or what ever.

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  • 230. At 4:08pm on 03 Sep 2008, Keith Hudson wrote:

    It's a pity Ashley didn't try and down his pint in the Leazes End. I would had had the pleasure of throwing him out and having him banned from the ground.....or it might have been me leaving the employ of the club "by mutual consent" or "in the interest of both parties".

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  • 231. At 4:08pm on 03 Sep 2008, thelovelyswissboy wrote:

    feedmeflumps - I suppose it makes sense that you would want to forget winning the InterToto cup in 2006.
    A tin pot won by a tin pot outfit, some of whose fans can't read, count or get their facts straight.
    Whose the goon now?

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  • 232. At 4:08pm on 03 Sep 2008, FeedmeFlumps wrote:

    Robin Eagles - Of course saving Newcastle from relegation, rompint to promotion the next season, finishing 3rd in his first season in the Premier league with Newcastle are all terrible achievements aren't they?

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  • 233. At 4:09pm on 03 Sep 2008, FeedmeFlumps wrote:

    Fairs Cup 1969 you idiot - the forerunner of the still running UEFA Cup - european trophy enough for you?

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  • 234. At 4:10pm on 03 Sep 2008, chris1983 wrote:

    This is an awful article brimming with gaseous speculation and biased conjecture!! You'd think this was a tabloid newspaper. Please establish some facts before you write next time!

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  • 235. At 4:12pm on 03 Sep 2008, Felipe wrote:

    There was I recovering from the demands of the transfer window about to chuck in the cable subs till the next one and all this occurs. What is going on KK apparently has a difference of opinion with his board and lo and behold he is 'off' (According to our less than reliable press corp) no no he's been sacked. Hold on no he hasn't. So we all wait with baited breath to see how the chips fall is he in or is he out.
    Then Curbs does a bunk from the happy Hmmers. Strewth!!!

    Can we all settle down a bit I want to get shot of the cable before the missus starts

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  • 236. At 4:13pm on 03 Sep 2008, northernblue wrote:

    In my opinion, Ashley and Keegan are as bad as each other. Which is pretty bad.

    The TV image of Ashley downing a pint and belching at Arsenal kind of summed it up - a man with as much class and elan as the jumble sale chain of shops he runs. Not fit to run a burger stall outside the ground.

    And NUFC fans - get over yourselves. Keegan is over rated and still out of his depth. He no longer merits your adoration and it is time for you to move on. Rue the day you let Big Sam go.

    With Keegan and Ashley, it's another case of neither side wanting to look like the guilty party before the "Geordie Nation". Ashley's running out of dosh and can't afford to pay another Manager off and so can't sack him; Keegan is angling to be sacked so he can bail out his Soccer Circus fiasco - and that's the only reason he ever took the job.

    Soccer Circus and tatty sports shops - says it all.

    As fans we all reckon we could run our clubs better than those that do. In Ashley and Keegan you have two fans trying to run a football club - the results are there for all to see.

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  • 237. At 4:13pm on 03 Sep 2008, Bobby_Lee wrote:

    Where do people get this 'their supporters think they have a divine right to win a trophy' drivel from? Nonsense. How are we supposed to believe we have a 'divine right' to win something when we have not won a bean in my 30 years of life?

    I am a long time season ticket holder, and I dont expect us ever to win anything and neither does any supporter of NUFC that I know.

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  • 238. At 4:13pm on 03 Sep 2008, ToonTT wrote:

    Arsenal Spokeswoman about Mr Ashley, our club owner!!
    She said: "In line with club policy, Mr Ashley was taken from his seat, at which time he was not in possession of alcohol, and into the concourse area of the stadium where he was spoken to and formally warned about his actions.

    "If the respective supporter is not viewed first hand it is difficult to prove the contents of the container by watching television footage and as a consequence, we feel the action taken on Saturday was satisfactory and a proportionate response to the incident."


    Is this really what we want to be seen written about our club owner?
    Mr Ashley can enjoy the games if he wants, like everyone else, but I think it's about time he realises that being a Premier Lg club owner is a responsible position and he should start showing Toon fans that he is serious about this ownership or get out.

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  • 239. At 4:14pm on 03 Sep 2008, FeedmeFlumps wrote:

    Considering how much of a mistake it apparantley was to let Allardyce go, it's amazing to see the number of clubs banging on his door to manage them!

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  • 240. At 4:15pm on 03 Sep 2008, Bobby_Lee wrote:

    Are we a big club? If not, why are all of you fans of other clubs so desparate to post your opinions about NUFC on here?!

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  • 241. At 4:15pm on 03 Sep 2008, Ilicipolero wrote:

    What is with the criticism of Phil McNulty?
    95% of contributors to this blog can barely spell let alone pass judgement on an educated sports journalist. Were the BBC the only organisation to go public with an interpretation of yesterday's events? I think not. Who is to say Ashley and his cohorts aren't protecting their sorry behinds from the expected and long overdue backlash from the local supporters? Another point alluded to in the article.

    Those quick to mock should read the entire thing, if you still don't get it, try again. The piece was well balanced and simply passed judgement on those in charge, Keegan aside, who have made the club a laughing stock.

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  • 242. At 4:16pm on 03 Sep 2008, thelovelyswissboy wrote:

    feedmeflumps!
    my lord, the key in your back is as massive as the chip on your shoulder!
    Its really simple - the Fairs Cup no longer exists - doesn't matter what it may have morphed into now!
    Strange you still deny the staggering Inter Toto triumph! Embarrased I guess.
    Just to make you feel better I'll indulge your method of making Newcastle seem good at something - if you add all the people at Newcastle games to the number of people at Sunderland games you would come up with......2 teams from the North East with nothing to be proud of!

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  • 243. At 4:17pm on 03 Sep 2008, unbeatablePinkFloyd wrote:

    toonTT

    i have not a clue what your are implying there, and if he was escorted away then well done Arsenal, dont now attempt to expalin your team, its management etc failings on another club!

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  • 244. At 4:18pm on 03 Sep 2008, sawtryspurs wrote:

    Betting for next Toon manager according to Sky Sports:

    2/1 Curbishley
    5/2 George Graham
    4/1 Mark Hughes
    6/1 Sam Allardyce
    8/1 Sven
    10/1 Gus Poyet
    12/1 Martin Jol
    16/1 Sam Allardyce
    25/1 Bobby Robson
    33/1 George Burley



    I just love the turmoil......

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  • 245. At 4:18pm on 03 Sep 2008, oke2008 [RIP #15] wrote:

    Is it me or have the alcohol laws a stadiums be relaxed, as far as I'm aware you're not allowed to drink beer in the stands anymore. Any normal fan would have been asked to leave wouldn't they??

    a sage point by jaythegooner

    i wonder how many people missed that one!

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  • 246. At 4:20pm on 03 Sep 2008, David Knowles wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 247. At 4:20pm on 03 Sep 2008, DaveWalnut wrote:

    #209 - toontimg

    Well said.

    In an atmosphere where Premier League football is turning more and more into some form of playground for extremely wealthy businessmen with the smallest knowledge of football, Mike Ashley is a breath of fresh air and should be applauded by the media for at least trying.

    I believe he is genuine about being a supporter of the club, that he wants to be with the fans at the games (not simply for media coverage) and wants to run the club in a way he thinks it should be.

    He might not have made the best decisions or have approached situations in the best manner. But I applaud him, in the current environment English football fans need to get behind him.

    Although I don't agree with the system is Dennis Wise the only Executive Director at a club in the country? I think you'll find that even Harry Redknapp doesn't have as full a control over the players he buys as used to.

    When the league is full Americans and Russians buying clubs whilst not understanding a jot about the culture, heritage, football or anything other than the bottom line of the finances; Mike Ashley should be respected for doing what everyone is so desperate to see:

    An Englishman and a football fan with deep pockets trying to run a club. This is exactly what the league needs. Give him a chance and the respect he deserves.

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  • 248. At 4:20pm on 03 Sep 2008, bijou-drains wrote:

    It's interesting how many fans of other clubs seem to know exactly what Newcastle fans think (McNulty included), despite their only contact with Newcaslte fans being through blogs and chat rooms. I'd like to ask Phil McSpoon when the last time he ever actually ventured into Newcastle was. Also if he is planning a trip to the Toon, would he please let us know when and where he will be, as the wonderful friendly people up here would like nothing better than to give him a "wonderful warm welcome"

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  • 249. At 4:21pm on 03 Sep 2008, lanterngarden wrote:

    cowboymartin - far and away the best post out of the lot. Until I read your entry, I was about to post a nearly verbatim comment. Thank you for articulating your excellent theory so articulately and constructively.

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  • 250. At 4:22pm on 03 Sep 2008, sawtryspurs wrote:

    it's a good laugh for us Spurs fans tho.....

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  • 251. At 4:22pm on 03 Sep 2008, Frowning Face of Treason wrote:

    "One point, if Kevin Keegan has not resigned and he has not been sacked - why was he not taking training at Newcastle this morning?"

    Because, as the media outlets (BBC included) were reporting, he was locked in talks with the Club's board. Afraid you've lost that Journalism gold star there Phil.

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  • 252. At 4:23pm on 03 Sep 2008, aka_bluepeter wrote:

    My advice Mike is you're only likely to make a few bob by selling the club. You can then get away from the children in men's clothing like Keegan and his fan base none of whom are willing to risk anything.
    Football is home to the biggest collection of bar room barrackers you will see anywhere in the world. They all know who to buy and sell, what team to pick, how much to pay until you put them on stage and in the spotlight.
    Get out as soon as you can.

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  • 253. At 4:25pm on 03 Sep 2008, desouzablog wrote:

    'Alongside me is Keggy Keegle - sorry, Kevin Keegle...' - Brian Moore

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  • 254. At 4:26pm on 03 Sep 2008, Frowning Face of Treason wrote:

    "Are we a big club? If not, why are all of you fans of other clubs so desparate to post your opinions about NUFC on here?!"

    And how come news about our club knocked ALL other sports stories (and at one point the non-sports stories) into touch yesterday...could it be that Newcastle United is so big everyone in the country is actually interested in what is happening? If not what are you all doing on here?

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  • 255. At 4:28pm on 03 Sep 2008, memyselfandpie wrote:

    As a neutral observer, I think the board should back Keegan and let Wise go.

    Either that or install Wise as manager and make Keegan the coach: which isn't going to happen.

    The chairman needs to let him manage, have the courage of his convictions, if you don't trust him then don't bring him back to the club in the first place.

    He's doing a better job than Big Sam did, and he's finding his feet again after a long absence. What was Sam's excuse?

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  • 256. At 4:28pm on 03 Sep 2008, sawtryspurs wrote:

    Roy Keane for the next Toon manager - any problems with Ashley and he'd flatten him.....lol

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  • 257. At 4:29pm on 03 Sep 2008, AnalMcAnal wrote:

    Can anybody give me an example from British Football where a 'director of football' or 'techincal director' has been a success?

    It baffles me why owners and chairman continue to persist with this.

    What happens if the 'director of football' buys a player that the manager doesn't rate?

    If you insisted on appointing a DOF, surely you'd be looking for:
    - someone with similar footballing beliefs to the manager.
    - someone with a proven track record in the transfer market.

    Does Dennis Wise fit into either of those categories?

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  • 258. At 4:30pm on 03 Sep 2008, sawtryspurs wrote:

    Researcher 2328170 - precisely my point.....ONLY 260 comments on the blog.

    Carry on giving us even more laughs.....I'm loving it!!!

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  • 259. At 4:31pm on 03 Sep 2008, thelovelyswissboy wrote:

    current betting for next manager of Newcastle

    2/1 HG Wells
    4/1 Ron L Hubbard
    5/1 JK Rowling
    6/1 Arthur C Clarke
    7/1 Tim Burton
    8/1 JRR Tolkein
    9/1 Douglas Adams

    Any of them could do the job seeing as how they are excellent at creating fantasy!
    Newcastle a big club is the ultimate fantasy!

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  • 260. At 4:32pm on 03 Sep 2008, sawtryspurs wrote:

    Jeff Stelling for manager!!

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  • 261. At 4:33pm on 03 Sep 2008, unbeatablePinkFloyd wrote:

    why am i here? well

    1stly i have a right to be.

    2nd my own club which could be described as a " big club " is ticking along nicely as it were its a steady ship with good stewardship from the top down and as such Arsenal on matters such as those being spoken about here have nothing in common at all with newcastle.

    3rdly

    perhaps we are concerned about the wider issues here?

    and i suppose finaly it is a sports blogg about football and all that pertains to it and its nice to see and read others opinions about this matter.

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  • 262. At 4:36pm on 03 Sep 2008, DavePrice wrote:

    Curbs is free... :)

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  • 263. At 4:37pm on 03 Sep 2008, bijou-drains wrote:

    I Think, swiss clown, you'll find it's L Ron Hubbard, you couldn't even get your jokes right. Typical Plastic Manc. Anyway how is the weather in Slough. I know the story, you are a real manc who once met a man who drank boddingtons and that's why you love Man U, or your dad bought a bike of a man who had an aunty in Eccles, another red who's never been to Greater Manchester!!!

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  • 264. At 4:39pm on 03 Sep 2008, tgbutd wrote:

    i'm a bit concerned about how most people seem to be completely absolving KK of any blame in this mess.

    I'm not a huge fan of Ashley but KK must realise that Joey Burton is no heroe with his infamous tantrums.He is a more volatile asset to possess and thus as the chairman Ashley may justifiable be feeling uneasy at his purported future conduct.I wouldn't blame him in that case.

    As a Man Utd supporter, i would have thought that with such a good start to the season,Ashley and KK could have sorted their difference behind closed doors for the sake of Newcastle's stability for the whole of the season. Now they have dug a hole which will take some doing to fill.

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  • 265. At 4:41pm on 03 Sep 2008, scottydog50 wrote:

    I can see Mark Hughes having the same problems as Keegan and Curbishley come January.
    How's he going to react when he has Ronaldo, Kaka, Fabregas, Melli etc. foisted on him in the next transfer window?

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  • 266. At 4:42pm on 03 Sep 2008, unbeatablePinkFloyd wrote:

    and for all's amusement i offer the following link bring it on Sid ya a star!

    sorry to all those who have seen it before:

    and i have from a very reliable source from some buddies up the toon its not far removed from reality anyways there is bad in us all for sure but i quite like this.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f26-y523wIs

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  • 267. At 4:43pm on 03 Sep 2008, mysteriousSgtWilko wrote:

    I'm a Leeds fan and I'm sorry for the Newcastle fans.
    I just don't see how Newcastle can sort this one out. The maths don't make sense:

    I doubt that Keegan would walk and if he's sacked then they will have to pay £8m as compensation.

    Wise left Leeds apparantly for a £2m a year job at Newcastle. So lets say 3 year contract, so at least £4m compensation.

    Ashley doesn't want to spend money, so he'll be reluctant to let either go. To gain the money to pay off one or the other or both, would mean selling players. However, Newcastle are in the old Leeds situation - everyone knows they want to sell so other clubs will offer less as they know Newcastle are desperate to sell.

    Add on top of this, potential compensation for Jiminez and others and the cost gets higher.

    People say that Wise left Leeds when they were doing well. They weren't. Leeds were in decline and remember that Wise took over the Leeds team in the Championship and got a playoff final team relegated.

    Newcastle are a big club and for that reason, Wise is not the right choice to be manager. He struggled with Leeds when things got tough and things are definitely tough at the moment for Newcastle. So if Keegan is not the manager, then Newcastle need to spend more money on a new manager, and it will take some money to get a decent manager to come now.

    Potential cost of over £10m to get a new manager in place. Worryingly, that's a Michael Owen sized amount of money.

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  • 268. At 4:44pm on 03 Sep 2008, LFC-Soldier wrote:

    I would like to point out that ToonArmy is the only one making any sense on this subject.

    He has trounced ridiculous comments from royalbluesman, resonddebate and now toughSnake.

    Kudos to you ToonArmy!

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  • 269. At 4:47pm on 03 Sep 2008, mainemag wrote:

    Maybe, just maybe, Ashley meant what he said about a "Wow signing", and is as disappointed with Wize et al as the rest of us but didn't have the bottle to change direction. KK can bring the Wow back to SJP but he’ll need a board that will back him. If not please sell up to the richest oil sheik you can find Mr. Ashley!

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  • 270. At 4:53pm on 03 Sep 2008, Hex Enduction Hour wrote:


    170. At 3:08pm on 03 Sep 2008, leon0418 wrote:

    I don't think anyone in the world would claim England is not a big football nation because it has never won anything since 1962.

    __________________________________

    Actually I think you'll find that plenty of people in the world, myself included, would opine that England is not a big football nation. In what way, pray tell, could it even be considered a big football nation, having not come close to winning any tournament in nearly 45 years?

    France, Brazil, Italy, Germany, Argentina - these are the big five of international football. England aren't even knocking on the door.


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  • 271. At 4:54pm on 03 Sep 2008, RobH_BFC wrote:

    "This is an awful article brimming with gaseous speculation and biased conjecture!! You'd think this was a tabloid newspaper. Please establish some facts before you write next time!"

    Actually, having read it, I think it's a balanced article based on the facts as we know them.

    All this McNulty bashing is making me ill. All the major news outlets yesterday, at one point, reported that Keegan had left. As Sky Sports News confirmed on air, they spoke to friends of Keegan, who confirmed that Keegan himself had told them he'd been fired. It seems painfully obvious that at one point yesterday, for however long, Kevin Keegan was no longer manager of Newcastle United. You can persist with your state of denial if you wish but as an onlooker without bias, that's how it appears to me.

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  • 272. At 4:54pm on 03 Sep 2008, Ilicipolero wrote:

    Is it not good etiquette when referring to a previous post to include both the number and contributor? Just an observation to assist the many that have transformed what began life as an opportunity for an informed discussion into a free for all where no barbed comments are off limits.

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  • 273. At 4:57pm on 03 Sep 2008, bravestevie666 wrote:

    @mysteriousSgtWilko

    "People say that Wise left Leeds when they were doing well. They weren't. Leeds were in decline and remember that Wise took over the Leeds team in the Championship and got a playoff final team relegated."

    That is totally distorting the facts. When Wise took over Leeds were already 2nd from bottom in a shambles and going into administration and having to have a fire sale of their payers to raise money. Wise actually did very well to give Leeds a chance of staying up with 1 game of the season left. He then took them to a play-off position DESPITE a 10 point penalty and having to sell their best players. He did this by making good loan signings and free transfers under very difficult circumstances.

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  • 274. At 4:59pm on 03 Sep 2008, fear_my_googly wrote:

    Re. 209, toontimg:

    That's a very well written and thoughtful post. McNulty I suggest reading this and learning how to write.

    The press know even less about Llambias than they do Ashley, which is even more reason for them to stir up stuff about him. However, it does seem more and more likely he is at least partly to blame in this incident.

    "The latest is that Llambias told Keegan he was sacked yesterday but Ashley stepped in and is trying to sort it all out. "
    That's believable, but what made him sack Keegan in the first place? Surely he should have run that by the club owner first. If this is the case, and he took it into his own hands, Llambias should be the one getting fired.

    As far as I can tell Dennis Wise hasn't done anything wrong yet, apart from turn up to work. But there is a lot of hate for a man whose crime seems to be that he looks a little angry.

    I also think that Ashley is trying to stop the rot that Shepherd allowed for so long. Boumsong, Bramble, Luque, Viana, Ferguson, Barton, the list of financial disasters just goes on and on. There were more terrible purchases, for large sums of money. At least now he is controlling the possible loss, with players costing £5m or so it's not quite as destructive if they turn out to be duds.

    I don't think from a footballing point of view selling Milner was a good idea. It was a terrible idea, but the fact is we got £7m profit from that. Maybe, given time, Ashley will be more lenient once he sees money isn't being wasted.

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  • 275. At 5:00pm on 03 Sep 2008, LongsightsFinest *MUFC* wrote:

    Kingronnie - what exactly have Wigan, Sunderland and Southampton won in recent times?

    =====================

    In recent memory Wigan have got to a League Cup final and Southampton have reached FA cup final (same as toon) - and more to the point what have newcastle won that warrants 'big club' status?

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  • 276. At 5:00pm on 03 Sep 2008, L R McFarlane wrote:

    Two things I'd like to add..
    First I've been a big fan of 'King Kev' for many years mainly as his pasion for the game bleeds through any of the usual politics of the game, in a simliar way to another hero - Sir Bobby Robson, who incidentally wasn't treat particularly fairly by the previous establishment at St. James. Secondly, with regard to Mike Ashley's drinking what he apparently thought was 'non-alcoholic' beer last week at the Arsenal game. Apparently a member of their staff was stated as saying they do not sell non-alocoholic beer. My question is why on Earth not?

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  • 277. At 5:00pm on 03 Sep 2008, RubberNutz wrote:

    I actually think Phil writes a good article - even if he is a blue-nose! :)

    It's balanced and gives a decent account of the events.

    There is no need to be abusive just because he does not necessarily write what you want to hear. It implies you have a low IQ.

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  • 278. At 5:00pm on 03 Sep 2008, kevsterM wrote:

    Why don't you just be honest and say you ran the story without having the facts confirmed by the club. It's lazy journalism.

    As for the 'inflated opinion of themselves' comments that keep being repeated, it's only the press that perpetuate this myth. If you bothered to talk to any Newcastle fans, you'd know that they're only too aware of the reality of the clubs status.

    As an aside, West Ham will now have their fifth manager in seven years, but I doubt we'll see similar 'shambolic club' articles appearing on the BBC site.

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  • 279. At 5:01pm on 03 Sep 2008, southwestlondon wrote:

    "France, Brazil, Italy, Germany, Argentina - these are the big five of international football. England aren't even knocking on the door."

    Why France? There is no big five. I'd give you your big four, England would be in the second tier with France and Holland.

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  • 280. At 5:01pm on 03 Sep 2008, RedorDead wrote:

    "Most reliable source"??

    Do you still consider it one now it has made you look stupid??

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  • 281. At 5:02pm on 03 Sep 2008, Ilicipolero wrote:

    Well said RobH_BFC at # 271

    Readers new to this blog, save yourselves sometime and start there, thus avoiding quite a lot of ill educated, ill informed, anonymous cheap shots at the author of the original article, who reported the facts to hand at the time of writing.

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  • 282. At 5:02pm on 03 Sep 2008, PicksyJ wrote:

    *sigh*

    My club is bigger than your club.
    Our fans are better than your fans.
    Our fans are more loyal than your fans.

    Now I remember why I don't join in football forums (fora?) very often...

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  • 283. At 5:02pm on 03 Sep 2008, good_footy_pies wrote:

    In your own words, Phil, you cover the biggest and best football stories.

    Whenever a story featuring NUFC comes along you are right there - sticking your knife in - with no facts at your disposal - just speculation.

    Maybe we aren't a big club - but you obviously think we are otherwise why would you be bothering - Mr Chief Foootball Writer of the BBC.

    Surely billionaire Arabs are bigger than this - or are Man City not a big enough club - yet!

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  • 284. At 5:03pm on 03 Sep 2008, whatbill wrote:

    If the media are guilty of anything its mistaking Newcastle for a normal football club. Managerial sackings/departures are almost always reported before an offical statement comes out. The fact that the club itself were unable to decide if a) he is sacked, b) he has left or c) he is staying (and took hours to release any kind of statement) made it very difficult and in this kind of situation, anything other than a swift and comprehensive denial generally means the media have got it right.

    The fact is we still are none the wiser for the full story, it may be the media were technically correct for a few hours in that he left and then came back. In fact you could even credit the media for keeping Keegan in a job, their speedy reporting of the story lead to the fans surrounding the stadium, at which point Ashley appeared to back down...

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  • 285. At 5:04pm on 03 Sep 2008, RubberNutz wrote:

    @PicksyJ

    Totally agree - I love football, just can't stand the morons that watch it.

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  • 286. At 5:06pm on 03 Sep 2008, RubberNutz wrote:

    good_footy_pies

    do you think Phils comments are a personal dig? NUFC are nothing to do with you, they just take your money of you. Don't take it personally.

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  • 287. At 5:08pm on 03 Sep 2008, FeedmeFlumps wrote:

    Ilicipolero #281

    If by 'facts' you mean clearly misproven gossip then yes he did write a good article yesterday.

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  • 288. At 5:10pm on 03 Sep 2008, mysteriousSgtWilko wrote:

    273 - that's not the case. Things were looking up when Poyet was around. After he left, Wise and Dave Bassett couldn't keep up the form and dropped out of the promotion slots. Also, we had -15 not 10.

    2005/06 - Leeds lost the Championship playoff final (Manager: Kevin Blackwell)

    2006/07 - The same Leeds team relegated from Championship (it was us or Hull - look at them now) (Manager: Dennis Wise)

    I'm not putting all the blame at Wise's door, but the facts are there. Wise took charge in October 2006. He had plenty of time to turn things around. He didn't. He's not a bad manager, he's just not very good. Not good enough for Newcastle anyway.

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  • 289. At 5:10pm on 03 Sep 2008, gilrob wrote:

    The BBC and almost every other outlet received information from the most reliable and informed sources that Keegan had left his position. This would not have been reported had there been the slightest doubt.

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  • 290. At 5:13pm on 03 Sep 2008, David wrote:

    MA should not have appointed a DoF.

    Wise HAS made some (so far) decent signings.

    KK potentially had his position undermined by the appointment of a DoF. I say potentially because I don't know for a fact that he didn't know about Wise's appointment.

    KK was right to say NUFC need megabucks to compete with the big boys.

    MA was wrong to criticise KK's assesment of our potential this season (or next). It was accurate and honest.

    KK admitted that even with loads of cash we would still struggle to get players to agree to come to Newcastle. Don't know why (or if) he was surprised that we didn't get Berbatov for fifty billion quid.

    The media, and pillocks who read 12 year olds forum comments are the only ones who suggest a) Newcastle fans think we will be top of the league this season (or the next 5 seasons without Man C type spending) or b) that Shearer will manage us to Champions League glory with a five pound budget.

    We don't know what the true financial situation at NUFC; I would hazard a guess that MA feels that he has put enough in for one year and wants to wait before investing more in the business.

    Its a mess, but not the end of the world. We need both MA and KK to sort out their differences, come out with a joint statement saying that the only reason for the disupte is that both have passionate and well reasoned views on the way forward.

    We can't get another manager (who the hell would take the job?). KK knows what we want (and its not going to Wigan hoping for a draw).

    There aren't billions in the transfer kitty at the moment.

    I thought top 10 would be an achievement this year. That together with positive football and a hope for my daughter to see us win something sometime in her (or her childrens) lifetime would have been enough for me and (and most of the fans I know).

    Skiving chalvers with alcopops and banners don't represent the majority of fans.

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  • 291. At 5:13pm on 03 Sep 2008, southwestlondon wrote:

    Maybe dictionaries should have a definition of "big club" and a contrasting definition of "successful club" so people can stop feeling the need to tell Newcastle what size club they are. You'd think spending most of your history in the top flight and there only being 5 English teams with a higher all time average attendance (one of them is Chelsea by the way) would make a club "big" by some sort of measurement. If people mean "successful" they should say that.

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  • 292. At 5:13pm on 03 Sep 2008, Jonnersace wrote:

    Mr McNulty, I presume your comments concerning Mike Ashley have more basis on actual fact than the reporting yesterday of Keegan's dismissal.

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  • 293. At 5:14pm on 03 Sep 2008, gilrob wrote:

    The BBC and almost every other outlet received information from the most reliable and informed sources that Keegan had left his position. This would not have been reported had there been the slightest doubt.

    Verify, name names

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  • 294. At 5:16pm on 03 Sep 2008, With_an_N_and_an_E wrote:

    1. Lovelyswissboy says Sunderland had a higher ever attendance than Newcastle - can't argue with that. He also says not to look at average attendances because they are dependant on capacity. Hm, might highest attenddance have something to do with capacity also or, in those days, sardines capability?

    The "top 4" apart, Newcastle is the highest UEFA-ranked English club (or at least they were a couple of months ago).

    Enough about "size".

    I've not held KK in high esteem since he left Newcastle 10 years ago. He brought out an "autobiography" saying he wouldn't go back to football because the Newcstle fans were so good. Lo and behold he takes the Egyptian's shilling. Walking out on teams is all well and good when your principles are at stake but he has left a trail of heartache behind him.

    I never thought I'd say it but ... in his defence, he appears to have been stitched up by an owner who treats the club like a medieval manor and doesn't care who gets the droit de senior.

    Trouble is, we are all looking in from the outside and the only windows are made of newspaper and TV reports.

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  • 295. At 5:17pm on 03 Sep 2008, Hex Enduction Hour wrote:


    279. At 5:01pm on 03 Sep 2008, southwestlondon wrote:
    "France, Brazil, Italy, Germany, Argentina - these are the big five of international football. England aren't even knocking on the door."

    Why France? There is no big five. I'd give you your big four, England would be in the second tier with France and Holland.

    ____________________________

    Why France? Uhm, I suppose because they've won two major international tournaments in the last decade.

    Is it just me or was that a silly question on your part?

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  • 296. At 5:19pm on 03 Sep 2008, boroblogger wrote:

    Newcastle are undoubtedly a 'big club' any self respecting fan in england would know that..however a 'successful' club the most certainly are not.

    If things dont get sorted at newcastle soon then who knows how long they will hold the 'big club' status,look what happened at leeds.

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  • 297. At 5:20pm on 03 Sep 2008, RubberNutz wrote:

    I think southwestlondon was reffering to the current France team which to be frank, is gash.

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  • 298. At 5:20pm on 03 Sep 2008, southwestlondon wrote:

    "Why France? Uhm, I suppose because they've won two major international tournaments in the last decade.

    Is it just me or was that a silly question on your part?"

    Oh, so you mean the big players in international football of the last ten years? That's a bit arbitrary, I thought you were talking about all-time. I guess you should make it 6 and include Spain then, who are currently No.1 in the FIFA rankings and just won a major trophy?

    Or is that silly too?

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  • 299. At 5:20pm on 03 Sep 2008, Bobby_Lee wrote:

    Don't get me wrong, I am not planning on inviting Dennis Wise around for Christmas Dinner, but...

    He has never declared an interest in Keegan's job and he has kept himself out of the limelight - the media keep dragging him back into it.

    If the Jonas Guttierez signing is a product of his work, then is he not doing his job properly?

    I keep reading and hearing 'Dennis Wise this' and 'Dennis Wise is that' but what has he done to receive this attention other than accept a job similar to that which is in place at many other football clubs around europe?

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  • 300. At 5:22pm on 03 Sep 2008, Hex Enduction Hour wrote:



    297. At 5:20pm on 03 Sep 2008, Rafa's Magic Box Beard wrote:

    I think southwestlondon was reffering to the current France team which to be frank, is gash.

    ____________________________

    True.

    Still, they managed to qualify for the last tournament at least... ;)

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  • 301. At 5:23pm on 03 Sep 2008, resiarlleh wrote:

    Looks like a case of the Messiah versus the Messers ...

    the old saying that too many cooks spoil the broth cannot be more true here.

    As for Barton, wouldn't it make more business sense to renovate his reputation and then sell him ? ... I am sure his price tag is rock bottom already, so NUFC really got nothing to lose.

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  • 302. At 5:23pm on 03 Sep 2008, RubberNutz wrote:

    @Hex Enduction Hour

    Touché

    but I am no defender of England - They too are terrible.

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  • 303. At 5:24pm on 03 Sep 2008, RubberNutz wrote:

    supposed to be Touche

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  • 304. At 5:24pm on 03 Sep 2008, AreYouRob'n wrote:

    It may have already been said but I can't read 286 comments to check!

    It's not that the "management structure is fatally flawed" but that the personel are wrong.

    Seville operate the coach/director of football system to great effect. Others are less successful with the model. But of course the same is true for the omnipotent manager model that Keegan wants and Wenger and Fergie experience. Sometimes it is a success and sometimes it fails but it's always because of the personel not the system.

    Ashley has hired the wrong people. Keegan wants to be a manager not just a coach. Wise wants control of signings not just for the youth team. Keegan wants to spend money on great players, Wise is probably under instructions to balance the books after years of financial incontinence. If they don't speak to eachother and explain their positions they will fall out. Ashley wants to be fan not a proper chairman so should probably not have hired himself.

    I don't think it matters how a football club is set up so long as each person within the organisation knows exactly what their roles are, what the expectations placed upon them are and what the agreed objectives of the club are - not the public message of building for the Champions League or signing the worlds best players, but the private, practical objectives of building a club. If all within the club understand and agree the club's objectives they can work very effectively.

    Ashley is failure because as the boss he should have ensured Keegan, Wise etc knew what was going on not because he chose to go down the director of football route.

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  • 305. At 5:27pm on 03 Sep 2008, whatbill wrote:

    The problem with the "director of football" route in the UK is that it tends to mean the chairman doesn't trust the manager on transfer policy so puts his own man in instead. Can anyone think of a situation where it has worked in the Premiership?

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  • 306. At 5:31pm on 03 Sep 2008, Ilicipolero wrote:


    FeedmeFlumps #281

    I think I wrote "the facts to hand at the time of writing"

    With the best will in the world, football news stories are fluid and evolve as this one appears to have done. Kevin Keegan, like it or not, is big football news.

    No doubt the facts yesterday were obtained, verified and published in completely good faith. At least Phil McNulty had the good grace to acknowledge the error. I would expect more twists and turns in this one and remain to be convinced that Mike Ashley isn't simply trying to avoid the kind of horrendous backlash emerging late yesterday.

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  • 307. At 5:31pm on 03 Sep 2008, bravestevie666 wrote:

    288 - After Poyet left Leeds went top of the table on boxing day and when Wise left the club they were in play off contention and 1 win away from going 2nd in the table. Wise was successful at 2 other clubs before Leeds also and Poyet isnt exactly covering himself in glory at Spurs.

    Yes Blackwell took them to the playoffs in 05/06 but in 06/07 they fell apart and Blackwell was sacked with them 2nd from bottom. That is when Wise was employed.

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  • 308. At 5:34pm on 03 Sep 2008, SummersIron wrote:

    Of course Newcastle fans have an over-inflated opinion of their club, and rightly so. Surely one of the very things that being a 'fan' denotes is thinking more highly of your chosen club than perhaps it deserves. I'm a Plymouth fan, and as far as I'm concerned, we're going to qualify for the playoffs every season and we'll be winning the Champions League in five years. When this fails to happen, our faith is not shaken. Just because Newcastle haven't been the most successful club in the world recently doesn't mean the supporters shouldn't focus on positives such as the huge fanbase and relatively stable finances. McNulty's blog is actually quite complimentary to Newcastle fans in general - don't read too much in to the over-inflated opinion' comment, for it is a fans duty to be proud of their club and have belief in it's prospects.

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  • 309. At 5:34pm on 03 Sep 2008, Dabooka wrote:

    Despite Keegan's track record and subsequent reputation, I think the fans, neutrals AND the press will be totally behind him this time even if he does quit.

    Even my friends who are Sunderland fans have sympathy for him; and Curbishley has quit over similar constraints.

    I suspect Ashley will be in the crowds for the next match, but may wish he wasn't when the chants start up.

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  • 310. At 5:39pm on 03 Sep 2008, Jaziri wrote:

    I can't believe what the board has done to such an amazing group of supporters. Passionate about their team, stayed with them through thick and thin, during the relegation crisis last season, and this is how the board repays them, saying that their so called 'Messiah' could possibly be leaving less than a year into his back-from-the-dead comeback. Shambolic. Not even the Spurs board are THAT mucked up in the mind.

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  • 311. At 5:39pm on 03 Sep 2008, Auqakuh wrote:

    Commenters: I wish you people would proof-read your comments before posting them. Some proper spelling would also be simply wonderful.

    Anyway, back to the article. As usual, this is a poorly-written article which somehow manages to fail to make a single point that anyone with a mental age much above 12 couldn't have figured out for themself.

    I thought the idea of opinion pieces was to actually present some kind of opinion; whereas this seems to aim more for simply stating the bleedin' obvious. Currently the only sports writer at the Beeb I can respect is Robbo; at least he speaks his mind, rather than trying to appeal to the masses, which is essentially what this rubbish is doing - except it's trying to play both sides of the coin, both for and against the Newcastle United fans, who apparently have mighty expectations beyond their means and yet are also apparently ill-treated by Big Bad Ashley and Wise.

    Let's go point by point, shall we?

    1. Poorly written.

    I say poorly written for some very specific reasons. Firstly, it is never wise to put words in the mouths of your readers - you'll never be accurate for all of them. Indeed, you'll never be accurate for even a small proportion, and why would you want to be? Just saying what they're thinking to get a clap on the back for accurate guesswork is not really journalism so much as jingoism.

    Example: "But would you risk a large amount of money right now on him being Newcastle United manager for their next game at home to Hull? ... No - didn't think you would and neither would I."

    Two problems with this. One, your English is fairly atrocious. It should be "No - I didn't think you would, and neither would I." You missed not only a comma, but a whole damn word. Poor readability. Jarring.

    Second problem? As I said, you're putting words in the mouths of your readers. There's no need to say that entire last sentence. People who agree will be nodding their heads already; people who don't will be wondering why you have the gall to presume you know their minds and hearts on the matter.

    2. Defensive writing.

    Defensive writing is always a mistake. If you believe the BBC was not at fault in reporting Kevin Keegan's "exit" when no such thing occurred, then there is no need to say anything but that. You don't need to state that your sources were informed. We -assume- that your sources are informed, else they wouldn't be sources any longer. The fact of it is, though, that the BBC ran the story because everyone else did. Why not just say that? The BBC almost always follows the lead of other news providers; you don't get the funding, in truth, to do much else. There's no shame in it, and being second or third in running a story has numerous advantages - such as not getting the blame when it turns out to be complete rubbish (something The Sun doesn't seem to understand or care about, for example).

    By defending the BBC running the story, I'm afraid you only make yourself look like a fool. Especially since you're the chief football -writer-. Now, if the chief editor of sports comes along and defends the running of the story, I'm sure we'll all listen. But you really had nothing to do with it - so why defend it and detract from the value of your article?

    It gets worse, too.

    "This would not have been reported had there been the slightest doubt."

    I'm sorry, what? Are you suggesting that journalists verify their facts before reporting them?

    Seriously?

    I might have believed that when I was nine years old and naive (AKA stupid). Unfortunatley, I don't think many of your readers are nine years old, and I don't think any of them believe everything they read in print. Journalism over the last ... for ever ... has proved itself time and time again to be a highly disreputable profession. I'm not saying YOU are a liar; but many journalists are most certainly not above mishaping or mispresenting facts in order to further their careers. This is understandable. You get a wage packet and to keep getting that wage packet you have to perform to a certain level. That's the same the world over. All professionals lie sometimes to improve their lot in life; unfortunately this is what our society requires, and what our civilization has put forward as the most viable method of advancement all through history.

    Lying and claiming anything else is the case is immediately obvious, and commits that cardinal sin of article writing: it jars the reader. Again, this detracts from your point.

    3. Stating a possibility as a fact when it is no such thing.

    "One thing we do know with absolute certainty is that Newcastle is once again a club in chaos."

    Um. No, we don't know that with anything like absolute certainty. Either that or you have a very unusual dictionary which gives a completely different definition to the word "chaos" to the one I know. You can't just make a statement and present it as a fact. Newcastle United is not in a state of chaos. Talks are currently being held. Silence is being kept on matters inside the club. This is called "discipline". In fact, the handling of the current situation is probably better than it has been in the past; if you consider the fact that we -do not- know what is going to occur, and that revealing what is going to occur in the near future to outsiders could be a major tactical error in both business and footballing terms, then Newcastle is currently VERY far from a state of "chaos".

    I'll support that idea with the club I'm most familiar with. Man United almost never pointedly admit to any particular transfer target. True, there are rumours - probably intentionally leaked by the club in much the same way governments leak intent to test the water prior to acting - but there have equally often been signings which have been completely unknown to the wider world almost up to the point of the signing occurring. Nobody forsaw Cantona arriving at Old Trafford, as an excellent example. This kept his price low.

    Since Kenyon went to Chelsea, this has been much harder to achieve, but nonetheless, I think it proves my point: the closer the cards are to the chest, the better for the club. Newcastle are doing this right now, and the media (as usual) are scrabbling for any kind of news and then reporting it in knee-jerk fashion.

    If anything, the media is in a state of chaos. But that's the normal state for the media, I suspect.

    Finally, regarding the comments made so far.

    1. Dennis Wise IS a "football man". In case anyone missed it, he played for Chelsea (and others) and has a wealth of experience at playing level and increasing experience at staff level.
    2. I very much doubt Newcastle's upper management "backed down" because of the media reporting Keegan's alleged exit. Considering the timing, I would imagine that someone's uncle's cousin's nephew's aunt's sister's former dog's owner's father heard something from his co-worker's daughter who happens to work at a pub in Newcastle and "heard something", and in fact Keegan was never leaving. Or maybe transfer deadline day just got to me...
    3. There is no lazy journalism when it comes to reporting what ought to be facts. There are only lazy editors. This is much the same as saying there are no bad questions, only bad answers. Journalists gather news. Editors decide whether it sees the light of day. Don't blame the messenger - blame the messenger's boss.

    That's about all I have to say.

    That was quite a long comment, but I think that's better than saying it in 10,000 seperate comments...

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  • 312. At 5:40pm on 03 Sep 2008, unbeatablePinkFloyd wrote:

    and so this saga bores me to tears time i vacated.

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  • 313. At 5:40pm on 03 Sep 2008, Auqakuh wrote:

    Addendum: I'm aware "themself" is technically not a word. Bad habit picked up from speaking another language.

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  • 314. At 5:45pm on 03 Sep 2008, ToonCalcy wrote:

    Looking back, I think its quite obvious that Keegan's hands have been tied behind his back. Despite signing flair players such as Ginola and Asprilla in his last stint, he always had a strong English backbone to his squad (Peacock, Warren Barton, Watson, Lee, Beardsley, Shearer, Ferdinand etc.), whereas looking at his signings this time, I only see one, an inexperienced Guthrie, signed who is English. Perhaps one reason Keegan wanted to keep Joey Barton?

    I just don't understand why Mike Ashley is taking Dennis Wise and two other folks' word on who to buy over KKs, especially considering that Dennis Wise has only had a 8 month stint in charge of a League One Leeds side.

    I really hope this situation (if possible) can be rectified. Keegan lives, breathes and sleeps NUFC, and fans are enthused by this, those who keep the club going. Maybe time to listen to them Ashley, eh? Not Dennis Wise!

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  • 315. At 5:48pm on 03 Sep 2008, nails7 wrote:

    Kevin Keegan is NOT a football manager. Just take a look at his record. He is the,"Walk away man". When the club are not winning, then he starts wanting to buy players to prolong his job, and when that does'nt work, then he blames sombody else. Then everybody feels sorry for him. Ahhhhh!
    The new owner of Newcastle, bought into a kingdom that is very special. the Newcastle kingdom. He's obviously a little bit naiave, regarding the strong feelings of the Tynesiders. He now realises this and is trying to put things right. All this fan ranting, does not help. It just makes things worse. Give him another chance, and let him try again. You maybe surprised. Unfortunately, it should be done without Keegan. As I said before. He's not a football manager. I should know. I'm a Manchester City boy.

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  • 316. At 5:53pm on 03 Sep 2008, itoppedeimearmcgann wrote:

    I see it as a sign of bad writing to precede the word "and" with a comma. I'm happier the way Mr. McNulty phrased that one. His ommission of the word "I" also gave a casual charm to the article. Auqakuh's criticism is quite irrelevant and boring. I'm quite upset that I read so much of it when there are so many other things to read.

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  • 317. At 5:58pm on 03 Sep 2008, LFC-Soldier wrote:

    Re: 311

    Surely, you must have something better to do with your time?

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  • 318. At 6:03pm on 03 Sep 2008, David wrote:

    re 317.

    Time better spent than your contribution.

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  • 319. At 6:06pm on 03 Sep 2008, Antwerp1 wrote:

    Perhaps some of the people criticising McNulty and the rest of the media might consider the following possibility: Keegan did indeed intend to resign yesterday, and told friends and associates who (reliably) passed this on to the media. KK then talked to his lawyer and changed his mind.

    I agree that the media is sometimes a little fast to react to their sources, but the fact is that at no point did the BBC state that an official announcement had been made. It's up to you to interpret the story as presented.

    It would also be helpful if the BBC were more rigorous in their updating of stories: the same web page has carried the headlines "Keegan leaves Newcastle" (or something like that - I can no longer check!), "Keegan 'has not quit Newcastle'" and finally "Newcastle and Keegan hold talks". These were all separate stories and should have been reported separately. It is standard practice for some online news sources to document changes to articles, and it should be BBC's, too.

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  • 320. At 6:09pm on 03 Sep 2008, Nick wrote:

    Football now is completely out of control.

    If we need oil money to compete then that to me is football out of control.

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  • 321. At 6:10pm on 03 Sep 2008, John ODonnell wrote:

    Always thought NUFC was a crackpot club - way too much emotion in the air up there. I just hope that they hire (and then fire, in due course) Shearer and get him out of their system. Then they might start think strategically about the future of the club.

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  • 322. At 6:17pm on 03 Sep 2008, Sir Fused wrote:

    I am not a Keegan fan, nor am I an Ashley fan. I think they have both behaved badly and have brought about the ridicule of Newcastle United and its fans. Keegans record in management is not good, the facts speak for themselves and as soon as he hits problems out come the threats to resign. However, no manager can manage if he has no control of transfers, just ask Curbs! On Ashleys part, he is a businessman, not a football man. He has handled almost everything badly, from the very start. Both should get out..if a buyer can be found. One thing is certain, Keegan and Ashleys fractured relationship cannot be healed, it is a terminal wound, but it is not just Ashleys fault, Keegan should NEVER have accepted Ashleys interference, or at least, should have been honest with the fans, instaed of saying decisions were his, when everyone knew they were Ashleys and his partner in crime, Dennis Wise!

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  • 323. At 6:18pm on 03 Sep 2008, fabGrandad1 wrote:

    Like all "Football" chairman Ashley is in it for his ego.

    This "they think they are a big club" is a nonesense, like all long suffering fans they want their club to do well and hope that the magnificent fan base helps.

    KK sometimes throws his dummy out of the pram, but he is genuine and cares about Newcastle and football.

    As a long suffering rams fan I pit the Toon army, like all decent fans they deserve better.

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  • 324. At 6:20pm on 03 Sep 2008, Auqakuh wrote:

    To 316: I'm afraid if this were casual writing, then that would be fine; however, this is supposed to be an article (regardless of the blog rebranding the BBC has carried out in an effort to be "hip" and "with it"), and thus it should be written formally.

    I'll accept your point on the and preceded with comma, however. Largely that's a matter of opinion.

    To 317: It took me about 5 minutes to write that and I hardly ever bother to comment on these blogs.

    But I'll grant that at the time of writing, no, I had nothing better to do. Better to be boring (as 316's author suggested I am) than be bored!

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  • 325. At 6:22pm on 03 Sep 2008, SummersIron wrote:

    Auqakuh (311):
    Are you deliberately writing a parody of the main article? This is the only explanation I can think of for the question of why you seem to make twice as many mistakes as those in the blog you so freely tear into. One of your gripes, for instance, was the writer's use of unnecessary sentences. You yourself use an unbearable number of these, including one at the end which you use to justify, or 'defend,' the length of your article. Defensive journalism was one of the things you had a go at as well.
    "if you consider the fact that we -do not- know what is going to occur..."
    That's an interesting use of hyphens. Your abuse of the humble semi-colon annoys me too - "I'm not saying YOU are a liar; but many journalists are most certainly not above mishaping or mispresenting facts in order to further their careers." In a post already plagued with semi-colons, why on earth did you not just use a comma, or in fact nothing at all? It just about makes sense grammatically, but it's still something you'd be penalised for in an English essay.
    If you hadn't begun your post by insulting other 606 users, you would have been spared the chore of having to read this.
    I apologise to anyone who thought they were going to be reading something about Keegan or Newcastle here.

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  • 326. At 6:26pm on 03 Sep 2008, Auqakuh wrote:

    RE: 315:

    "As I said before. He's not a football manager. I should know. I'm a Manchester City boy."

    This is just screaming out for some comment regarding the quality of City managers down the years, but I'll refrain (sortof).

    However, I find your accusation that Keegan is somehow "not a football manager" rather riduculous. While I'm not a huge fan of him, he's certainly achieved rather a lot in his career. Walking away when you know you cannot achieve more is a sign of humility and wisdom, not something to be mocked.

    And on the opposite side, staying when you'll achieve nothing more is a sign of a fool.

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  • 327. At 6:30pm on 03 Sep 2008, Auqakuh wrote:

    RE: 325:

    I'm not the chief football writer of the BBC, and I'm making a casual comment, not a formal article.

    On hyphens - yeah, I misused those. This is largely because there's no way for me to either bold or italic my text. If you can't see that -this- is emphasis, then I'll be sure to use THIS instead.

    On semicolons; they were used quite appropriately as breaks in sentences, I think you'll find. A semicolon is a punctuation mark indicating a long pause. A comma is a punctuation mark indicating a short pause. Use of the semicolon in the highlighted sentence was purely stylistic. In other words, that's the way I'd have said it out loud. See my prior comment on formal vs casual.

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  • 328. At 6:33pm on 03 Sep 2008, geordiejason wrote:

    Is it just me or is Mr Ashley's timing great?.
    We now know the owners of Man City have rivals that want to match their every move,so the Aba Dhabi group buy a club now the Dubia group want a club.
    Come on down Mike Ashley ...cause a storm by asking king kev to go ........have the fans turn against you and then sell the club for a "fair price" as in truth you are sick of playing with your new toy.
    No have Mr Ashley we owe you nothing you keep saying you have spent £250 million saving my beloved club but what you dont say is that you have recouped nearly £140 million through TV revenue and sponsers payments.
    Time for you to move on and let another billionaire have a chance.

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  • 329. At 6:40pm on 03 Sep 2008, Skylynx wrote:

    For all you Toon fans, who'd you rather have now? Freddy Shepard or Mike Ashley?

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  • 330. At 6:42pm on 03 Sep 2008, goodKen42 wrote:

    Most journalists seem not to have noticed that it is Internationals Time. Many Newcastle players are away on international duty, including the two signed on Monday. At least six first team players are are injured, as are other fringe members of the squad, so I don't think there's much training to take.

    This issue has nothing to do with overblown expectations or KK's ability to work with people. He seemed quite happy with the way things were going until Milner's transfer request was revealed.

    I don't expect wonders from KK, but I don't expect a mad scramble of buying and trying to sell in the last few days of the transfer window from the people who are supposed to have nothing else to do but identify and acquire some better players. They should be fired.

    Ashley is ridiculous, as are those clowns at West Ham who buy in one set of overpaid underachievers one year, lose money, and then sell a couple of their better players with no time to buy repalcements.


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  • 331. At 6:44pm on 03 Sep 2008, jimmysmithsghost wrote:

    Relax, everybody. You've got short memories - or you weren't old enough to become bored by the manager/board antics at SJP. Keegan's done exactly this before. Threw his rattle out of the pram, walked off and was only persuaded back after Sir Doug Hall told him he really loved him after all. It worked then but I'm not sure it'll work this time. Never thought I'd yearn for the Hall's time again but Ashley's just the man to make me do it.

    Do what the rest of us oldies do. Always support the 11 on the field 100% and ignore what's happening within the club. Otherwise, exercise your right as "customers" and throw your season tickets off the High Level Bridge and watch them on the box instead. Maybe then we'll get cash turnstiles back if anybody out there remembers them...... Oh, sorry, we already do! Brilliant.

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  • 332. At 6:44pm on 03 Sep 2008, kevofsouthwick wrote:

    Claiming that Newcastle United fans have a unique bond with their team that nobody else is capable of understanding is a gross insult to the supporters of every other football club in the world, large or small. Fans who really know their football would never say that. It's just another facet of many Geordies' self-perpetuated 'big club' hype (now THAT is something other clubs' supporters don't get) that began with Kevin Keegan's first spell as manager and Sir John Hall's ultimately failed attempts to buy success.

    Those posters whose comments include the likes of "I've never missed a home game since 1992" and "I've supported Newcastle for fifteen years" know exactly what I'm talking about!

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  • 333. At 6:44pm on 03 Sep 2008, whackandblite wrote:

    Auqakuh:

    Just wanted to say, I've thoroughly enjoyed reading your contributions.

    Quite refreshing to read such carefully thought out comments.

    Keep it coming!

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  • 334. At 6:48pm on 03 Sep 2008, esibo wrote:

    You British are really spoilt rotten. Glad you do not have the likes of George Steinbrenner, Al Davis and Jerry Jones. They own the teams and tell you what to do. You can't take the heat, you quit. That is the American way. It is gradually creeping across the pond and people are getting worried. Suck it up. If you can't deal with it, get a job at Fleet Street. Hope you can survive there.

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  • 335. At 6:51pm on 03 Sep 2008, SummersIron wrote:

    Fair play, I just thought that you should apply the same standards to your own comment as you did to the main article. With the semi-colons, they are, so far as I can tell, correctly used; it was the quantity of them that I found increased the difficulty in reading your post. We'll have to agree to disagree on whether a comma would have read better on the highlighted sentence - note that I said it was acceptable, just not ideal. By the way, there IS way of getting bold and italics on this, I believe, but I'm buggered if I know what is.
    Enough grammar, more substance. You attack Phil McNulty's defensiveness, but I think that as many people were wondering what exactly was going on with the confused reports, he felt compelled to offer an explanation. As he was the one writing the article about Keegan and Newcastle, it makes sense for his article to be the one containing the explanation, which to me reads like the closest I've seen the bbc come to offering an apology. Whether he's being completely honest or not is another matter. I agree with you that this sentence really is pathetic: "This would not have been reported had there been the slightest doubt." I must have missed that when reading the article and I thank you for bringing it to my attention, because it paints a false picture of journalists as some sort of heavenly bringers-of-truth.

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  • 336. At 6:57pm on 03 Sep 2008, whackandblite wrote:

    esibo:

    It's not being spoiled, it's having tradition - something Americans have very little of.

    Which leads to this attitude of doing what they want, when they want and trying to force all and sundry to do the same.

    It worked for a while, but now your country is in more "chaos" than Newcastle United (shocking, I know!), and the rest of the world is left picking up the pieces of the failed 'American Dream'.



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  • 337. At 6:57pm on 03 Sep 2008, snakeswako wrote:

    personally i think that mike ashley is not to blame for this mess we are in. i think it is the managing director and wise plus jimenez, yes mike ashley employed them in good faith but mike ashley always is seen wearing toon tops with keegan or king kev on the back.


    mike ashley should have parties in his office and find out the facts then deal ith the bad blood by showing the bad ones the door

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  • 338. At 7:04pm on 03 Sep 2008, kevofsouthwick wrote:

    FeedmeFlumps wrote:

    As to the European trophy… how many times exactly have Sunderland been in Europe?

    ###########################

    Well, the answer is only once, which admittedly is an underachievement in anyone's book. Yet, while I appreciate that there are lies, damned lies and statistics, at least Sunderland can claim that their solitary tilt at European competition represents a one hundred per cent record of qualifying by virtue of having actually won a domestic trophy first! Newcastle United's self-styled reputation as seasoned (and therefore deserving) European campaigners, on the other hand, is somewhat diluted by a one hundred per cent record of qualification via the back door, never more so than on the very first occasion back in 1968. Qualification for the Fairs Cup on the back of no domestic silverware, and from TENTH in the League? You'd better believe it! Granted, Newcastle went on to win the Fairs Cup in 1969, but I've always wondered how they contrived to be in it to start with! Having done my homework, I think I actually know just how fortuitous it was (something about the competition's full title being the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and having a 'one city, one club' rule), but I've never been absolutely certain. Does anyone know for sure?

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  • 339. At 7:10pm on 03 Sep 2008, Geordie_McFishcake wrote:

    "The BBC and almost every other outlet received information from the most reliable and informed sources that Keegan had left his position. This would not have been reported had there been the slightest doubt."

    Anybody want tell us who they are?? Are they called Mike and Kevin? Nope didn't think so. The main culprit here is Sky (As far as I could see the beeb was copying and pasting from Sky Sports) who have been waiting since Keegan rejoined for him to leave. Most other sources just couldn't be left behind with this story so they copied it.

    You got it wrong... Be big enough to admit!

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  • 340. At 7:10pm on 03 Sep 2008, nfeverton1990 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 341. At 7:11pm on 03 Sep 2008, jimmysmithsghost wrote:

    Kevofsouthwick -"Fairs" is why. all the cities had to have an annual fair and the Hoppins on the Town Moor for a fortnight was the qaulification. But that is no more a fase qualification than the one that says you can play in the Champions League when you aren't champions of your own domestic league. Is it?

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  • 342. At 7:11pm on 03 Sep 2008, AreYouRob'n wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 343. At 7:28pm on 03 Sep 2008, thelovelyswissboy wrote:

    Bijou drains - another toon supporter throwing stones whilst living in a (terraced no doubt) glass house!
    Apologies for the L Ron Hubbard mistake - I assume you have not taken issue with the rest due their books having no pictures and therefore beyond you.
    Lets put you in your place shall we?
    1. Your first sentence should have the t of think in lower case and the s of Swiss in upper case - its called correct written English.
    2. You need to decide if Manc has a capital M or not. You seem confused.
    3. I have no idea what the weather is like in Slough (well done on the capital S by the way). I live in Salford, the City of Salford by the way - about 10 mins walk from Old Trafford. Rather like your teams tactics, you keep making the same mistake and assuming things about people!
    4. Boddingtons has a capital B
    5. I have no recollection of my father buying your mother or sister from a man who had a an relative in Eccles.
    5. I think you mean bought off, not of. Even then, it should be from.
    6. You need to get a sense of humour.

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  • 344. At 7:29pm on 03 Sep 2008, danf76 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 345. At 7:33pm on 03 Sep 2008, unbeatablePinkFloyd wrote:



    england have dropped in the world Fifa rankings

    oh well thats a thumbs for that shower as well.

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  • 346. At 7:34pm on 03 Sep 2008, wizmaster wrote:

    Keegan was undoubtedly an appointment made more for popularity's sake than for actual footballing reasons - but once he was appointed he should have been allowed to run the team without interference and given an extended chance to show what he can do.

    His position now seems untenable - what odds on a brief and unsuccesful stint from Alan Shearer?

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  • 347. At 7:37pm on 03 Sep 2008, unbeatablePinkFloyd wrote:

    haha here we go again that shearer clap trap. hahahhaaa

    can any of your really be taken seriously.

    you are supposed to be going forwards not backwards. duh!

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  • 348. At 7:42pm on 03 Sep 2008, kevofsouthwick wrote:

    jimmysmithsghost – Thanks for your explanation, but I don't think that's quite it. The Fairs Cup started out as a competition for clubs based in cities that had previously held European Trade Fairs, which is why a couple of obscure Dutch Third Division clubs were regular competitors in the early days! Don't reckon the Hoppins counts! ;-)

    As I said, the competition came to be known as the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup once it became a more serious affair, and I've always believed (but don't know for sure) that it was the 'inter-cities' bit that aided Newcastle's qualification in 1968. Back then, Manchester City won the League, and Manchester United finished as runners-up. Since Manchester United won the European Cup itself that season, both clubs qualified for the following season's competition. West Bromwich Albion, who finished eighth in the League, won the F.A. Cup, and so qualified for the following season's European Cup-Winners Cup. The Fairs Cup qualifiers were Liverpool (who finished third), Leeds United (fourth), Chelsea (sixth), and Newcastle United (tenth). A 'one city, one club' rule would explain why Everton (fifth), Tottenham Hotspur (seventh) and Arsenal (ninth) didn't qualify, and I seem to recall that Newcastle's qualification from such a (relatively) lowly position was instrumental in getting the rule done away with just a few years later when the competition evolved into the UEFA Cup (still don't know for sure, though).

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  • 349. At 7:43pm on 03 Sep 2008, DelaPoleBoy wrote:

    Ashley paid £135m for Newcastle just over 14months ago.The new owners of Man City looked at 4 clubs,Arsenal-board would not sell,Liverpool-need for new stadium,Man City,Purchased for approx £200m.Newcastle -were quoted £400m!!
    Just how big a Newcastle supporter is this Ashley when he turns down at least £65m,approx 33% profit on his investment but more importantly the opportunity for Newcastle to become the richest and ultimately the biggest football club on the planet.I do hope the supporters of Newcastle digest this information.

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  • 350. At 7:44pm on 03 Sep 2008, Chizzle wrote:

    I still believe that Newcastle have done no wrong anywhere. Why should they be forced into making a statement by "rabid dog" news teams when all they want to do is hold talks with their manager regarding his future? I now believe Keegan's position is untenable, but through no fault of Newcastle's. They are more than entitled to hold meetings with their manager as and when they please, and the results of these meetings in theory should be confidential until such time as the club see fit to release their own statements.

    The conspiracy theorists will have a field day with this one now. Was the leak designed to show Newcastle how much support Keegan has? Was it designed for the Newcastle board to gauge how sacking Keegan would go down? Or was it simply because some blabbermouth "reliable" source couldn't keep his opinions to himself, and decided to say Keegan had left. Whilst it was no secret Keegan was unhappy with the board regarding transfer dealings, there was no indication he was ready to walk out on the club.

    Keegan did indeed leave Newcastle yesterday. He went home, had some tea and possibly a pint, went to bed, then woke up this morning probably wondering if he would still have a job after it has all died down.

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  • 351. At 7:52pm on 03 Sep 2008, Tea Time At Harrods wrote:

    Whatever one says about Keegan , he is absolutely criminal in his continuing defense of Barton. It shows very poor judgement from Keegan.
    Firstly he isn't that good a footballer. Secondly Barton brings shame on the game and the club that employs and bizarrely supports him and that is simply unacceptable.He is an unrepentant thug-the type football should be wiping from it's sole and discarding like old chewing gum.

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  • 352. At 7:53pm on 03 Sep 2008, AreYouRob'n wrote:

    Trying again although I can't help feel my last attempt more Carry On than Chris Rock.

    The debate on the correct use of the semi-colon and the merits of placing a comma before a conjunctive has commonalities to that on who is to blame for the current comedy being enacted at St James'.

    I understand it is bad form to use a comma before a conjunctive unless a comma has previously been used in the same sentence.

    I also understand it is bad form to hire a manager without making clear the working conditions, just as it is to throw your dummy out of the Bentley when the boss explains he won't be spending twenty million on Schweinsteiger.

    Some linguists are of the opinion that the semi-colon is a bit like the male nipple and serves no grammatical purpose. In modern communication the main purpose of the semi-colon is not to create a strong pause in a sentence but to make the eyes in a winker smiley.

    Keegan is pretty much the semi-colon or male nipple of football. Seen by most as a winker smiley though he is and like the male nipple he is pointless.

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  • 353. At 7:56pm on 03 Sep 2008, jimmysmithsghost wrote:

    Kevofsouthwick. You can't always trust 'Wiki'. "Travelling" Fairs, not "Trade" Fairs. Sounds weird, but that's it. Don't think Newcastle hosted International Trade Fairs in the 1950s, did it?

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  • 354. At 7:57pm on 03 Sep 2008, unbeatablePinkFloyd wrote:

    " This summer we found ourselves having to deal with the unexpected challenge of both our leading goalscorers making it clear they wished to leave the club. " from another person with not a clue how to run a football club, where do they get them from? Levy: thfc

    wat a pillock! talk about ermmmm **** if a player makes it known he wants to leave what has that got to do with the " transfer system "

    i think he should buy into newcastle

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  • 355. At 7:59pm on 03 Sep 2008, Copperconk wrote:

    ************NEWS UPDATE**********

    Mike Ashley has been arrested outside a pub in Newcastle city centre, apparently he broke into a cigarette machine and tried to steal 10 players

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  • 356. At 8:07pm on 03 Sep 2008, Presto West End wrote:

    Some people say money is ruining football. I don't believe them.

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  • 357. At 8:08pm on 03 Sep 2008, kevofsouthwick wrote:

    jimmysmithsghost - Too right I wouldn't trust Wiki! I actually got it from here...

    http://www.rsssf.com/tablese/ec3a.html

    ...ages ago, though I see it just says 'international fairs' (could have sworn it originally said 'trade fairs'). Anyway, my point was that this is how the competition originated. By the time Newcastle qualified, I don't think the 'Fairs' bit meant much any more, but the 'Inter-Cities' bit still did. Either way, it's still a daft way to qualify, though I agree it's no worse than clubs finishing fourth and qualifying for the Champions League!

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  • 358. At 8:17pm on 03 Sep 2008, Auqakuh wrote:

    RE post 335.

    It's more the tone than the defense itself. I mean, fair play, he works for them, he's going to defend them. But all he really had to say was "it was what we knew at the time". Enough said.

    Saying more than that has only FOCUSED people's attentions on the error made, not mitigated it. And that's what I meant by being defensive.

    I suppose I should've said "over-defensive" in the interest of clarity. :)

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  • 359. At 8:21pm on 03 Sep 2008, Copperconk wrote:

    This totally sums up Kevin Keegan:

    Anagram of Newcastle United

    Wet Dense Lunatic

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  • 360. At 8:21pm on 03 Sep 2008, BombedSwamp wrote:

    7. At 1:15pm on 03 Sep 2008, citymikeok wrote:
    i feel sorry for kevin keegan and the newcastle fans who want success at the club

    the best thing the fans can do is boycott the next few games - leave the stadium empty

    that will speak volumes

    ~it will speak volumes indeed. The place will look like it did in the 80s when the 'tremendously loyal' barcodes deserted their team in their thousands! Imagine what sort of crowds they'd get in the third tier of English football? Not an ave of 32,000... that's for sure!

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  • 361. At 8:22pm on 03 Sep 2008, Auqakuh wrote:

    RE post 352.

    Rather than focus on grammar, I'll observe something in addition to what you said.

    Namely, that it is generally wise to fully understand the terms of a job you're walking into. It's not merely the responsibility of an employer to inform the employee, but the employee to ensure (s)he is fully informed.

    If Keegan wasn't aware of his full job description on the day he signed on the dotted line, then frankly he deserves no support whatsoever from anyone.

    If, on the other hand, he was actively lied to, then he deserves the support that the Toon Army is now giving him.

    But I suspect they're only giving that support because his name is Kevin Keegan, in much the same way that Frank Lampard is still picked for England because his name is Frank Lampard.

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  • 362. At 8:30pm on 03 Sep 2008, Andy_from_Newcastle wrote:

    I remember going in the 80's when the only time crowds reached 28,000 was when we played Sunderland or West Ham in the second division. The fact that we have crowds of 50,000 now is down largely to Keegan and shouldn't be taken for granted.

    Curbishley has gone because he didn't have control of transfers, Robinho was signed without Mark Hughes' knowledge and the oweners there have given a list of players they want without asking him. Why do these people with money think they understand football. If you invest in any business you normally want people in charge who understand the business and can get the best out of your assets. Except football it seems....

    Ashley is clueless and lacks class (drinking on the terraces when it is banned for normal fans...). And why does Newcastle seem to have relocated their head office to London? Give us a Randy Lerner or Steve Gibson (or even John Hall) any day.

    In 10 years time there'll be no one left watching football. We're not idiots!


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  • 363. At 8:33pm on 03 Sep 2008, BenIsRight wrote:

    Can i just query the number of "wise is an idiot" comments.

    He's managed three clubs. Here is a run down of what he has done

    Millwall - took them to the fa cup final.
    Swindon - Topped the league, made a great start. (then got moved to...)
    Leeds - Did well for a club with little hopes, set the club onto a terrific start in their second season which was not continued after he left for newcastle.

    The only problem he has had is to not stay at any club for a long period of time. But his record for the 3 clubs stands above most managers in england. All have been "successful".

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  • 364. At 8:41pm on 03 Sep 2008, Andy_from_Newcastle wrote:

    Wise might not be an idiot and might even be OK as a manager at Championship level (although most observers seem to think that's down to Poyet) but the problem at NUFC is his job which is completely unnecessary.

    All the successful football clubs in this country have managers who decide who to buy as well as who plays. Can you imagine Ferguson, Wenger, Morinho or O'Neill not knowing who the club is buying.

    The director of football role is only ever tried out by owners (Ashley, Rupert Lowe, Daniel Levy...) who know nothing about football.

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  • 365. At 8:41pm on 03 Sep 2008, giantAA wrote:

    I agree with almost all of the things said in this report, but I dont understand how people can say our expectations are too high... We know we are not a top 4 club and we are behind the likes of Villa, Everton and Spurs in the chasing pack but with a couple of good signings we would have been up with that pack.

    Is it too much for a club the size of newcastle to expect a cup win in the next year or so...? Look who were the finalists of the cups last season.

    I think this comment in the blog is unreasonable and based on a perception of a perception that does not exist at Newcastle's true supporters.

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  • 366. At 8:41pm on 03 Sep 2008, marvin wrote:

    to Auqakuh

    NO m8 he is supported because he is best manager for newcastle united always has been always will be we know he can always do well with newcastle as long as he gets his say as a manager he should make his own transteres and choices not the owner and wise or wots the point i having a manager at the end o the day Keegan has done more for this club than anybody in the world has (accept the huge amount of fans who give everything to newcastle) so he deserves the full support of the TOON ARMY!! and thats that.

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  • 367. At 8:55pm on 03 Sep 2008, Andy_from_Newcastle wrote:

    Are we the only football club with a managing director who used to run a casino? I think that says it all! And he think's he can question Keegan's management style!!!!!

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  • 368. At 8:58pm on 03 Sep 2008, BenIsRight wrote:

    To andy;

    why did keegan accept a job position without making it clear he would not want a director of football? If he only wanted to do the job his own way, why didnt he?

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  • 369. At 9:03pm on 03 Sep 2008, bluewanderer wrote:

    sack Wise and sell the club for what you paid mr.Ashley because you dont seem much of a football fan when you let your bank balance rule you. thank god Bill Kenright is not like you or Everton
    would be no more

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  • 370. At 9:04pm on 03 Sep 2008, Andy_from_Newcastle wrote:

    Ben,
    I don't know! My guess is that Ashley told him there would be a director of football but didn't spell out how much power he would have. I'm pretty sure that no names were mentioned either!

    Why didn't the board appoint the director of football first and then let them make the football appointment?

    The board is far more to blame than Keegan

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  • 371. At 9:09pm on 03 Sep 2008, Andy_from_Newcastle wrote:

    Bethany,

    The sad thing is that clubs are either run by fans with relatively little money (Everton) or billionaires who don't understand football let alone love the club (Newcastle, Chelsea, Man City, Man Utd, Liverpool etc etc etc)


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  • 372. At 9:13pm on 03 Sep 2008, Brian Renshaw wrote:

    As a Man City fan since birth, can I just wish all NUFC the very best.

    City and Newcastle have been joined at the hip for many years.

    They both have a terrific loyal fan base. They have had to put up with no sucess for countless years but have supported their team loyally. They both have fans with a terrific sense of humour and both clubs have enjoyed brilliant matches between them. Keegan has managed both clubs.

    City now have some stability, a brilliant manager, a lot of financial backing.

    I hope for all my good friends on tyneside and those I met on holiday that the boat comes in soon for all the brilliant geordie fans.

    Baztheace

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  • 373. At 9:15pm on 03 Sep 2008, Copperconk wrote:

    It's OK for billionaires not to understand football but they have to leave the running of the club to people who do know.

    Man Utd are the example of that!

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  • 374. At 9:15pm on 03 Sep 2008, Andy_from_Newcastle wrote:

    Cheers Baz,

    I hope we get some Arab oil money too? I think its a fair bet that Ashley will need to sell up sooner rather than later!

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  • 375. At 9:16pm on 03 Sep 2008, Hands_of_Friedel wrote:

    Rich man in a hooligan's body I say. Why not just make Barton a player/coach and save two wages with one?

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  • 376. At 9:22pm on 03 Sep 2008, Brian Renshaw wrote:

    Hey Andy

    I hope so, Ashley for me is not Newcastle, whether he owns Sports Direct or not, he looks like some fat slob whose image portrayed around the world does NUFC no credit at all.

    At City we know about poor images, Shinawatra? But hey he di the right thing and sold up.

    Ashley and Wise..odious and less talented than Cannon and Ball and that's saying something.

    Hope Newcastle get teh right owners soon and back their manager to the hilt

    Baztheace

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  • 377. At 9:25pm on 03 Sep 2008, Andy_from_Newcastle wrote:

    Baz
    Can't wait to see Ferguson's face when you put that offer in for Ronaldo and offer him £300,000 a week in January!!!!!

    He'll probably complain about all the money in football

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  • 378. At 9:25pm on 03 Sep 2008, geordiexile wrote:

    Enough! Unless you actually support NUFC then please get back to your own messageboards with your criticism of our club. Be seeing you.

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  • 379. At 9:33pm on 03 Sep 2008, DJHDJH wrote:

    In what way is Newcastle fans bond with their club unique?

    They show great support and are relatively loud. Plenty of other clubs have that.

    They're not unique, they just think they are.

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  • 380. At 9:35pm on 03 Sep 2008, Copperconk wrote:

    At least Man City's new owners have got a sense of humour saying they will bid 130 mil for Ronaldo - even though they were talking about the other Ronaldo, who like Mike Ashley resembles the Pilsbury Dough Boy

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  • 381. At 9:36pm on 03 Sep 2008, Hands_of_Friedel wrote:

    geordie, it's hard not to criticize NUFC when 1) you're embarrasing the league, and 2) most nuetrals would actually like to see your club do well. There's something likeable about Newcastle and it's not your management.

    But until it stops acting like a pub-club and gets a proper premier league attitude, i'm afraid you're in for some criticism, and fair enough I say.

    If I were head of the supporter's group, i'd be begging the oil men who lost out on getting liverpool to take a look at N'castle.

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  • 382. At 9:39pm on 03 Sep 2008, Andy_from_Newcastle wrote:

    The uniqueness comes in the number of people who turn up to watch despite being completely starved of success. No other club has that level of support (or blind stupidity). But I don't think we're special. Every fan loves their own club and good luck to them.

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  • 383. At 9:44pm on 03 Sep 2008, redforever wrote:

    Oh, Phil. It wasnt your fault that you jumped the gun...fair enough we all make mistakes, perhaps not as often as you though.
    I do enjoy reading your blogs. I have finally resigned myself to the idea that you will be wrong or unintelligable- so in the end it has become something of a sport!
    One question though. Why did you allow it to stay posted even after it was evident that you were factually incorrect?

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  • 384. At 9:46pm on 03 Sep 2008, Copperconk wrote:

    Maybe NUFC should employ that beer swilling, waste of space 'Andy Capp' as their mascot or just put a flat cap on Ashley's head - Nobody would tell the difference

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  • 385. At 9:55pm on 03 Sep 2008, LaGazzaLadra wrote:

    Regardless of the situation at Newcastle at the moment the most irritating thing has to be the oh so predictable reaction of the press.

    It would seem from afar that since the Ashley regime has taken over at Newcastle the information coming out of Saint James's Park has been significantly reduced in the form of rumours. This has led to many wild and often fanciful stories being given acreage of space. Reading the press over this time the tone of much of it has been negative, perhaps frustration on the part of Journalists? Who knows.

    Anyway when this broke on monday and I watched it all unfold with Sky News leading the charge gradually each of the news feeds fell into line quoting the same situation. Dissapointingly even the BBC, although with a (I understand) mealy mouthed twist.
    I think only the Guardian had a headline suggesting there were issues, but no mention of Sackings or resignations etc.
    And in fact when you read the stories, where were the facts? Where was the evidence for statements about sackings etc?...nowhere.

    But the bandwagon was huge and the gleeful sounds of keyboards tapping out "News" about the situation was undoubtedly audible in Newcastle, even though most of that was probably coming from somewhere in the South of England. So who can blame the press for getting the story slightly askew?

    Well in the case of the BBC, me. Im a licence payer, I own the company along with Nty million others out there.

    Its not good enough to come on here and quote "the most reliable and informed sources" in a smug "well we may have jumped the gun but those guys are fibbing honest so we really didnt get it wrong" kind of way. Then using it as a platform to explode into a condescending "He doesnt understand Newcastle fans" piece", like you do phil? I thought you were a scouser.

    Can I suggest you focus on doing your job, avoid the sensationalism (leave that for Skysports theyre better at it and have deeper pockets to pay for it if they get it wrong), keep the condescension and patronising firmly in the pocket and try to avoid being too Gleeful at the predicament Newcastle find themselves in eh?

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  • 386. At 10:08pm on 03 Sep 2008, Copperconk wrote:

    Ref 385

    The predictable reaction to the press is down to NUFC being predictable, as it has been for the past 10 years.

    There is always an element of truth in rumour's and unfortunately this rumour is probably true; the only difference being NUFC have denied sacking KK as they do not want to pay out 8 million in compensation and KK has denied resigning as he does not want to pay out 1 million in compensation to NUFC.

    ......... so there the stalemate exists


    The only victims in this debacle are the loyal fans of the 'toon army'

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  • 387. At 10:40pm on 03 Sep 2008, Copperconk wrote:

    You can understand why Kevin Keegan is so loved on Tyneside, (bar Sir Bobby Robson) KK is the only Manager in the past 20 years that has come to give any glimmer of success for the 'toon army' and it's the 'half wits' that wreck it all;

    Jim Smith - Sacked
    Ossie Ardiles - Sacked
    Sir Bobby Robson - Sacked
    Ruud Gullit - Resigned (sacked)
    Kenny Dalglish - Resigned (sacked)
    Glenn Roeder - Sacked
    Graeme Souness - Sacked
    Sam Allardyce - Sacked

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  • 388. At 10:45pm on 03 Sep 2008, scottydog50 wrote:

    The saddest thing about this whole affair, which does no-one any credit, is the demise of KK.
    The old Kevin Keegan, the one who brought us so much joy and pleasure in the 80's and 90's, would have been long gone, and would have nothing to do with the shower presently in control at Newcastle.
    However, it seems, unlike Alan Curbishley, he needs the pay-off.

    Sad times.

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  • 389. At 10:55pm on 03 Sep 2008, Brian Renshaw wrote:

    Geordieexile

    If that's the response I get from supporting Newcastle and wishing them well then Newcastle would do well to get rid of moronic dimwits like yourself.

    Get a life numbnut

    Bazthe ace

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  • 390. At 11:00pm on 03 Sep 2008, masterofmonaco wrote:

    If he didn't need the money he'd have steered as clear of St James as he could, only came back for money and won't resign as he will get no pay-off then,

    Previous posts say boycott games??

    What will not attending games that you've already paid to see achieve? maybe club will lose a b it on beer and burger sales but thy've already got oyur £20-£35 admission so won't care.

    Said in January it would end in tears but didn't think it would happen this soon.

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  • 391. At 11:05pm on 03 Sep 2008, REVOL_ wrote:

    I'm a Celtic fan, but just wanted to add my agreement that Keegan is an asset to football and should have been left to do his job. What the hell has Dennis Wise ever done that compares to Keegan (as a player or manager)?

    I hope the dust clears and he's allowed to get back to the club, but if not, I'll be pleased if he comes back up to Scotland to work on his football schools (soccer Circus) because he'll be an asset to us instead.

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  • 392. At 11:17pm on 03 Sep 2008, thouston wrote:

    Frankly, I'm more distrustful of any man that
    doesn't down a pint or two. Sorry if your virgin eyes are forever burned by that haunting image. Christ !!!

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  • 393. At 11:27pm on 03 Sep 2008, Ilicipolero wrote:

    Auqakuh, numbers 311, 324 and others.

    How can you sit in judgement of other commentators grammar, punctuation and spelling when your original contribution was so awful for different reasons?

    You eventually cut to the chase and offered your thoughts on the football related matter at hand.

    Did you intend your piece to be so patronising and poorly written? In subsequent posts you apologised for various different oversights.

    Surely if you want to lecture others, your own contributions should be "whiter than white" I am often frustrated by poor grammar or spelling and have briefly mentioned the same thing here, I emphasise briefly.

    Apologies to all for these comments but in my honest opinion it is relevant, particularly to post number 311

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  • 394. At 11:28pm on 03 Sep 2008, Copperconk wrote:

    Ya think KK might have been a tad suspicious that it might very well all end up in tears by going back to Newcastle that has had;

    3 different Chairman and 3 different managers in the past 2 years ?

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  • 395. At 00:41am on 04 Sep 2008, dazjoe78 wrote:

    Informed article, good to read and I agree with it all, including the overblown comment. Newcastle might not be what their fans think, which is that there the 4th biggest club in the land, believe me I'm from Gateshead they really do believe this, how anyone could say their bigger than Villa or Everton is laughable, but they deserve better than the way the club has treated them, again. From selling off top young talent (Beardsley, Waddle, Gascoigne, Cole), to appointing joke managers (Souness, Gullit, Allardyce, Roeder), from the old directors insulting the fans for buying cheap merchandise and insulting the women, to the new guys in charge trying to dictate which players come and go, so the manager has to watch sky sports news to see if his team have bought or sold anyone, from sacking Robson 3 games into a season after finish's of 3rd, 4th, and 5th, to the club selling fans tickets with 10 year guarantees that they'll keep the same seats for 10 years, then moving them just a couple of years in, because thay saw an easier way to make money. The directors of this club are a disgrace to football, and have been for a long, long time. They know they can get away with it because the fans will take it all and keep on coming back. The only saving grace of them is they are the perfect example for the Lerners, Glazers, Gilletts, and Abramovich's of the world on how not to run a club.

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  • 396. At 00:43am on 04 Sep 2008, fairground wrote:

    242. At 4:16pm on 03 Sep 2008, thelovelyswissboy wrote:
    feedmeflumps!
    my lord, the key in your back is as massive as the chip on your shoulder!
    Its really simple - the Fairs Cup no longer exists - doesn't matter what it may have morphed into now!
    Strange you still deny the staggering Inter Toto triumph! Embarrased I guess.
    Just to make you feel better I'll indulge your method of making Newcastle seem good at something - if you add all the people at Newcastle games to the number of people at Sunderland games you would come up with......2 teams from the North East with nothing to be proud of!


    what a stupiud thing to say

    does this mean that liverpool have never won the league because its now called the premiership

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  • 397. At 00:51am on 04 Sep 2008, peejkerton wrote:

    Its a shame that Newcastle can't find that stability they need. Its a mix of problems. The fans of the club can be incredibly fickle at times. Look at the way they got on Allardyce's back so quickly... They've driven many removals of managers.

    The boards over the years have been frankly, abysmal for the club and treated it terribly.

    As you look at all the events of the last 48 hours, one thing is sure... More now than ever football is less and less connected to the fans that support it. The Man City development is going to end up with one of the big four that have secured their spending on their future league positions (Man U, Liverpool and Arsenal, I'm looking at you three) being in a serious threat of becoming a shadow of the clubs they are, because of the financial gambles they've made. None of the big clubs without proper sugar daddies are that secure financially, and Man City will completely throw a spanner in the works.

    The finance of football is totally backward, and is destroying the game for those who just love the game and love their club.

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  • 398. At 00:54am on 04 Sep 2008, RDINOZZ wrote:

    Ashley is an imposter and needs to go NOW.

    He has been a bully in his business life and continues to try and Bully KK !

    Let him take his lager swigging cronies back down South and buy into a club that welcomes Imposters......

    Geordies deserve genuine Toon Army followers and Owners !

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  • 399. At 01:06am on 04 Sep 2008, toyodave wrote:

    NUFC have to keep KK for Newcastle and for football. His character, enthusiasm and drive are just the foil to other premier managers' style.
    There is no doubt that KK is the man who got the supporters back into SJP and back into football after the long hangover of the 1980s. I lived in Newcastle for 5 great years, including the Keegan years, and there was no doubt he brought an atmosphere to the place even when it wasnt match day. The fans are unique because of all the cities in Britain, Newcastle is the only one that lives, breathes, thinks and eats (and drinks) football; sorry Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow but you come nowhere near in my opinion.
    Ashley, Wise and his cronies dont get the vibe of the toon and need to go immediately. Lovers of football all over the world want KK to stay and the the people of Newcastle deserve much more.

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  • 400. At 01:23am on 04 Sep 2008, julianoflavenham wrote:

    I think blaming the media in this case is missing the point. Its clear that they were tipped off by people close to the board of what was going on. I love Kevin Keegan (KK) but its clear the board thought he had walked. However KK's people said he had been sacked. Ergo...board are liable for upto GBP8million. KK wants to go but after his business venture in Glasgow didn't go so well he can't afford the GBP1m it would cost to do so and if you could trouser up GBP3-8m on your way out in compensation, wouldn't anyone?

    As for Ashley some one needs to tell him to improve his PR. He should have been open and frank about what his intentions are regarding the Club and why it is critical to the Clubs future that they need this a Director of Football set up and how it would work.
    The reason it is needed is simple, without it every time you sack a manager, you end up with his replacement wanting to radically change the squad at his disposal which is an expensive and crazy way to run a business in the long term, as Newcastle have already proven. When you look at what Owen (who has regularly injured) and Milner are paid compared to what they could get for less on the Continent without a great loss of performance there is a serious business case for selling them.

    Where Ashley went wrong was that he should have brought in a Director of Football first and he should have appointed the Coach. That way the lines of authority would have been clearer.

    He should never have appointed KK in the first place with this system. The days of the Alex Ferguson's and Arsene Wenger's are ending. They were given time early on to restructure their clubs from top to bottom. That doesn't happen any more, first team results are everything. This is why Chairmen want Directors of Football to look after the club as a whole, not just the first team, in order to stop the sack the manager, replace the squad continuum which will push most clubs to bankruptcy or into the arms of billionaires of which there aren't that many if it continues.

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  • 401. At 04:46am on 04 Sep 2008, Auqakuh wrote:

    RE 366.

    Fair play. However, I'm not entirely convinced that what you're essentially saying is not pretty much what I said. Namely, that you are supporting Keegan because he is Keegan.

    His name carries weight because of his past achievements. Hence the comparison to Lampard.

    RE 393.

    My initial post was not in fact so much about the footballing matter, but at growing and long-held frustration at the overall quality of journalism we see from the BBC. I'm especially unfortunately not a big fan of Mr McNulty, and that was, in essence, the main thrust of my post.

    Whether or not it was grammatically perfect is pretty much neither here nor there, especially since my original post commented on SPELLING, and the (IMHO) clumsy writing style of the aforementioned chief football writer of the BBC.

    I'm also not entirely sure what wealth of errors you're referring to. Certainly we already covered the semicolon and the hyphen. What else is left?

    ...also. Does referring have one damn r or two? My brain can't decide at 4:46am. :|

    Oh yeah! SPELLCHECK. Two.

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  • 402. At 05:07am on 04 Sep 2008, dubz2008 wrote:

    Typical Newcastle, couldn't organise a p*ss-up in a brewery.
    Too many cooks spoil the broth, especially if you drop a Dennis Wise into the mix...sorry slightly muddled metaphor there.
    Quite why N'castle is the only club that doesn't allow its managers to have any power over player transfers is beyond me.

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  • 403. At 05:59am on 04 Sep 2008, dazjoe78 wrote:

    Upon reading more of the comments posted by other users here, I'm more than a little shocked by a number of people saying Wise has done nothing, and should be left alone.
    Maybe he hasn't done anything of any note at newcastle yet, this is still the man who was arrested for assaulting a taxi driver, and sacked from a previous club for breaking a team mate's jaw, not to mention his countless on field brawls. A man who is not exactly a 'pillar of society', loved by fans (yobs) of Wimbledon, Chelsea, and Millwall. Maybe he's blame free at the minute, but would ANYONE want their club associated with this horrendous, talentless individual?

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  • 404. At 07:43am on 04 Sep 2008, JustAnOpinion wrote:

    The reporting from the BBC on this topic was embarrassing. Available all over the world and laughingly inaccurate with no apparent attempt to confirm the facts before printing.

    I'd prefer to see the BBC check the situation than be amongst the first to report. It certainly seems like they saw this rumour and felt the need to perpetuate it or be seen to not be reporting a newsworthy story.

    And to say that the Newcastle statement did not clarify the situation is a little petty. In the report where the BBC reported that Newcastle were saying that he was still the manager they were still claiming that Newcastle weren't being clear on whether he'd been sacked or had resigned.

    Please BBC, don't just report rumours - try to get back to thorough, professional journalism.

    Oh and dazjoe78 - you are an idiot.

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  • 405. At 07:46am on 04 Sep 2008, mmelly wrote:

    "We've all had our fun with Newcastle fans about their over-blown perception of just how big and successful they are - or not as the case may be"

    Am I the only one who know finds it hard to take Mr.McNulty serious?
    As a Scottish Newcastle fan, I have been reading his blogs on the England team and how it is purely the FA and managers fault that they are so bad! However when it come down to a football team, which he does not report on with tinted specs, he finds it funny.

    Mr.McNulty I suggest that you stop having a go at Newcastle fans for this when you continue to be in the same boat with your preciuos 'misguided' England team.

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  • 406. At 07:57am on 04 Sep 2008, dazjoe78 wrote:

    just an opinion
    An idiot, I don't agree with you there, sorry. An idiot for thinking Dennis Wise is one of the most dispicable footballers to 'grace' the prem league, yeah I'm sure I'm own my own there. Also how ironic you call yourself just an opinion, yet if someone says something you don't agree with, you start childish name calling, I take it you mean just an opinion should only apply to you and others who agree with you?
    What a sad person you must be

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  • 407. At 08:02am on 04 Sep 2008, Rod76 wrote:

    Lazy, lazy, cheap journalism. I wish I was surprised but sad to say I'm not. I always thought the Guardian and the BBC could at least keep the flag flying and produce articles of substance - instead it's just cliched, poorly researched and now it seems just downright untrue.

    Poor piece of writing again - why don't you try choosing another team to tut at...West Ham have actually lost their manager due to board interference in transfer policy, but then not so much of a story for you is it...being true and all.

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  • 408. At 08:12am on 04 Sep 2008, Geordie1025 wrote:

    Its seems strange that so many Journalists, not least yourself, seem to take so much delight in 'chaos' at Newcastle United. I imagine its taken you two days to finish this article after the lies you told initially breaking the story. Keegan is fighting his corner and 99% of the Toon Army are right behind him - so instead of warmongering your lies through badly informed missinformation - maybe, just maybe you print something worthwhile and support us for a change. Idiot.

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  • 409. At 08:12am on 04 Sep 2008, Rod76 wrote:

    Its clear that they were tipped off by people close to the board of what was going on. I love Kevin Keegan (KK) but its clear the board thought he had walked.

    ---------------

    The only thing that's clear is that the BBC are employing "journalists" who are not prepared to do their jobs properly.

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  • 410. At 08:13am on 04 Sep 2008, David wrote:

    so is keegan the manager?

    didn't the press release say that they still want him to be the manager. not that he actually was

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  • 411. At 08:15am on 04 Sep 2008, whackandblite wrote:

    Just wanted to say, that I am amazed that there has been a steady flow of comments all through the night!

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  • 412. At 08:22am on 04 Sep 2008, singatoon wrote:

    I expect Skysports to jump on this sensationalism but not the Beeb, this has been a poor show. As an expat abroad I look to the BBC to keep up to date and trust the reporting because it is typically level headed, unbiased and bang on (excepting Martin Lawrence that is but thats another story..), but as a suffering toon fan trying to understand whats going on you've only gone and joined the mass hype.

    As for what is going on, thanks to this mass hysteria and speculation everyone is up in arms over what at any other club would probably just be a much needed regrouping after a no-show in the transfer window. Hopefully this is Ashley being the astute business man and realising he needs to relook at his strategy and getting everyone in a room to sort it out. Which means an about-turn on this mental management system.

    Time will only tell now, but here we all are expecting the worse - again, thanks to numpty reporting going for the scoop.

    So come on the toon - show the world we're not a complete shambles.... give KK the reigns back, kick out the dead wood and lets get on with it.

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  • 413. At 08:46am on 04 Sep 2008, Leftfootedwizard wrote:

    For once i feel sorry for KK. i can't believe I'm actually about to type this but he's said the most truthfully thing for a long time. The premier league is boring as no one can break the top 5. I don't know what Ashley wants he should just join the rest of us and accept we're all doomed to a life of winning nothign as greedy investors (Man City???) take over clubs they don;t support for a bit of a laugh to piss the rest of the teams off.!!!

    S

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  • 414. At 08:49am on 04 Sep 2008, Gowdie wrote:

    I think that what has happened is as follows:

    Keegan, quite rightly, has protested about the role of Wise and the owner etc in transfer policy. He has stated that the board should either back him (get rid of or Wise and give him control of transfer policy) or sack him. The response has been we will not get rid of Wise or change the structure and kevin has said fair enough and walked out. Thus kevin was able to say to his frieneds that he has been sacked when in fact he has called their bluff and they havent sacked him but they havent backed him either and he hasnt resigned but is calling their bluff by walking away from the table. Kevin may have the support of the Board but the owner, if forced to back down, will have real problems with KK from now on so it could be a deal for him to stay only until the end of the season. Of course if the owner had sense then he would give KK the control he wishes and he could get newcastle intoi the top six if he is allowed to buy in the January Window. I would not however rule out the fact that now the owner may say he would rather sell the club than back down to KK and then perhaps KK could put together a consortium and buy the club!!!

    Gowdie

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  • 415. At 08:51am on 04 Sep 2008, Superdave1155 wrote:

    "Blah, blah, blah...cheap journalism...blah, blah, blah...picking on Newcastle." While the facts of the story are certainly not clear, neither Newcastle nor KK have come out to clear them up.

    Obviously Newcastle are a mess right now, and regardless of whatever's happening I can't imagine established players like Owen, Given, Nzog, Milner won't use this as their chance to go to a club moving forward and not into the mire! Wait a minute hasn't it already started!

    Don't worry I'm sure all your foreign nobodies will fill the void left by the exodus of established Premier quality players.

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  • 416. At 08:58am on 04 Sep 2008, Kolymskyheights wrote:

    311. - "Commenters: I wish you people would proof-read your comments before posting them. Some proper spelling would also be simply wonderful."

    Before you next launch into a diatribe on the correct use of the English language I suggest you first learn to spell seperate [sic].

    You may also wish to ascertain the meaning of the word "irony".

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  • 417. At 09:07am on 04 Sep 2008, hazardo11 wrote:

    I do worry about the number of people (and journalists) who appear unable to decipher facts from opinions and speculation. Though to be fair i suspect that with most journalists they are possibly able to do so and simply chose not to for sensationalist reasons.

    One thing we know with absolute certainty is that NUFC are in chaos? Do we? Assuming you're not suggest that the club is currently situated in the formless and disordered state of matter before the creation of the cosmos i can only assume you're referring to chaos as meaning 'extreme disorder or confusion'. As extreme in this case would mean either the worst or most severe type of 'disorder or confusion' then surely the club must must about to go into liquidation or Mike Ashley has decided to turn it into a baseball club? Surely you can't simply be using such emotive language to refer to a story which so far equates to "employee talks to employer : more to follow".

    Yet again you've fallen into the trap of thinking that the fact you haven't been able to find out what is going on means the club don't know what they're doing. I'm not saying that they do, only that journalists have a nasty tendancy to simply 'fill in the gaps' themselves.

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  • 418. At 09:11am on 04 Sep 2008, thecrumblingcookie wrote:

    mate! now that the arabian prince or whomever has taken over Man City, all the other princes in the area will want a piece! looks like Newcastle are next in line for consideration! (I can't believe we missed out on the Abu Dhabi group, it was the opportunity of a lifetime, we would have had Robinho and i would have been happy again :( Ashley better sell, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud worth 20.3 billion or Maan Al-Sanea worth 10 or Yitzhak Tshuva who just bought a plaza in New York for $675 million or Lev Leviev who paid 525 million for the historic New York Times building or the Egyptian Sawiri family, whose eldest son has 10 bil, how bout Dubais wealthiest banker Mashreqbank's Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair worth 8 bil, or gimme some of the Al Rahji family worth $15.9 billion

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  • 419. At 09:18am on 04 Sep 2008, BarclayHero wrote:

    No-one can question they have a Unique bond with their team? Not true. Yes, Newcastle fans do have a huge bond with their team - but no more so than fans of Sunderland, Norwich, Luton, Exeter or any other club through the league (and top non-league) structure

    We all believe our team will win their league/FA Cup/League cup treble with 100% record at the start of the season. We all rally round when times get bad. Its called being a FAN

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  • 420. At 09:27am on 04 Sep 2008, JayRed - The Babes' Remembered Forever and a day! wrote:

    If I was a Newcastle fan I wouldn't put up with this overweight lager lout as the owner of my team.

    I don't see what Ashley is trying to do with his little publicity facade (the whole sitting amongst the fans and wearing his NUFC shirt every day).

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  • 421. At 09:32am on 04 Sep 2008, Chizzle wrote:

    Surely this blog also needs to be dropped from the BBC Football main page? All it's doing is stirring up more trouble for Newcastle Football Club, in a time when they need to be sorting out their own business in private. Phil, you're going to be made to look very stupid if Keegan remains in charge, as are all of the media outlets. I made a point last night on another website that I thought Keegan should stay, if only to leave egg on the faces of the UK "journalism" industry, and also on the face of your "reliable" source.

    Where's your blog on the transfer situation at West Ham? Curbishley left, allegedly for the same reasons that Keegan is unhappy at Newcastle, but because it's Newcastle, the media are all too quick to jump on hearsay before anything concrete has emerged. Also, it appears the BBC have sided with Joorabchian and the chairman of West Ham, by publishing the headline "Curbishley made mistakes". Whilst that may only be Joorabchian's opinion, the headline does little to make clear that it's not the view of the BBC.

    Let's have some consistency. Report the news. Stick to what's in front of you. Leave the opinion blogs until all the facts have emerged.

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  • 422. At 09:33am on 04 Sep 2008, RobH_BFC wrote:

    311. At 5:39pm on 03 Sep 2008, Auqakuh wrote: A great big steaming pile of monkey crap.

    Hush your gums, you fool. Why are people still trying to pretend the BBC and Sky Sports 'got it wrong' about this? Is it my imagination, or is Keegan still not taking training? Would that not therefore suggest a severe breakdown of communication between manager and board? The 'sources' people keep mentioning, as confirmed by Sky (repeatedly), are personal friends of Keegan, who had been told he'd been fired. By Keegan himself. Quite clearly, he was told he was told to go either by Ashley or someone at Ashley's behest, and subsequently the board have backtracked.

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  • 423. At 09:41am on 04 Sep 2008, Chizzle wrote:

    422: Keegan is not taking training because he is too busy in talks with the board of the football club. Anyway, the manager does not always take training, that's what he has a team of coaches for.

    Keegan has most likely been advised to stay away from the training ground for the near future, until things have died down. Plus, there's no game until the 13th September so there's no real need for him to be there right now.

    And surely if Keegan had been fired he would have told the press himself? It's not news if it's coming from a friend of a friend, it's hearsay. And that's what the problem is all about. We're all still speculating. Nobody is willing to wait until talks between Keegan and Newcastle have finished and an official statement comes out. Even with the official statement yesterday that Keegan had not resigned nor been sacked, but talks were ongoing, did little to quash the rumour mill. Journalists have a duty to double-check their intel before they publish it, to cover themselves from libel action. This hasn't happened here, obviously, and because of the current 24-hour media's trend of shoot first, ask questions later, we have a snowball, which will get bigger and bigger until someone decides to blow it up.

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  • 424. At 09:45am on 04 Sep 2008, TitusGroane wrote:

    If Keegan was not told he had complete control over team recrutiment and selection he should not have accepted the job.

    If however he was told he had control over both at the start he should have resigned immediately this changed.

    He didn't - hence the mess now.

    So it's a bit late for him to be demanding this now - and it won't happen.

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  • 425. At 09:50am on 04 Sep 2008, NickShircore wrote:

    What a mess.

    Surely the only way we can come through this happy is if Keegan stays and Ashley's bought out?

    Their working relationship now is completely beyond salvation.

    Do you realise that if Kev comes through this the messiah will have practically resurrected... Is Keegan in fact the son of God?

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  • 426. At 09:52am on 04 Sep 2008, gray1809 wrote:

    Just who in Newcastle thinks that we are big and successful? It's the same line trotted out in every piece about us. All we are guilty of is wanting our team to be successful, where's the harm in that?!

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  • 427. At 09:55am on 04 Sep 2008, joebloggins wrote:

    Double edged sword here because if the Newcastle fans do get Ashley out then I cannot quite see who buys the club from him. Prospective buyers would be put off by the fact that the fans have already forced out one owner and Keegan cannot be removed under any circumstances.

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  • 428. At 09:55am on 04 Sep 2008, singingftm wrote:

    Auqakah (311, 324, 327, and quite possibly others)

    Get a grip you self-righteous bore.

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  • 429. At 09:58am on 04 Sep 2008, supa1878 wrote:

    The skunks have been a laughing stock for years just because they think they're a big successful club even though they've won nowt since Jackie Milburn played for them.

    This farce just shows what small fry they really are.

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  • 430. At 10:09am on 04 Sep 2008, bravestevie666 wrote:

    403 @dazjoe

    "Upon reading more of the comments posted by other users here, I'm more than a little shocked by a number of people saying Wise has done nothing, and should be left alone.
    Maybe he hasn't done anything of any note at newcastle yet, this is still the man who was arrested for assaulting a taxi driver, and sacked from a previous club for breaking a team mate's jaw, not to mention his countless on field brawls. A man who is not exactly a 'pillar of society', loved by fans (yobs) of Wimbledon, Chelsea, and Millwall. Maybe he's blame free at the minute, but would ANYONE want their club associated with this horrendous, talentless individual?"


    Doesnt Dennis Wises violent tendencies remind you of a Newcastle player called Joey Barton. The same man Keegan is pleading should be given a 2nd chance and part of the reason he has fallen out with the board??

    Wise may be rough round the edges but to brand him talentless is way off the mark. This is the player who was for years one of Chelseas best players and excelled at the highest level in the Champions League. Obviously he wasnt at Keegans level as a player (but who was?).

    And his 3 managerial posts have all been succesful despite having to operate with shoestring budgets(something Keegan has never had to do in his managerial career). Now that Keegan cant splash the cash and hold on to his star names he throws his toys out the pram. Maybe he needs a reality check! Keegan is living in the past. Now he is working for an astute businessman who demands value for money. And this is something Dennis Wise has delivered - he has made some of Newcastle best value for money signings in years:
    Gutierrez, Guthrie, Coloccini, Xisco.

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  • 431. At 10:19am on 04 Sep 2008, UMBOKO wrote:

    As stickymicheal said earlier, - "From day one, Ashley has been more interested in winning the popularity contest. Downing pints with the fans, singing the songs and wearing his printed shirt with "pride".

    But he won't spend money to make the squad better.

    Ashley is just another money-grabber like Freddy Shephard, John Hall and the rest of the boardroom in the last 40 years were. He has no interest in the team succeeding.

    I say we should boycott the ground and all the club shops untill the club is owned by someone who wants success.

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  • 432. At 10:31am on 04 Sep 2008, SuperNintendoChalmers wrote:

    For all those that questions Newcastle's attendance and the loyalty of the fans, this makes interesting reading:

    http://www.toonarama.co.uk/fans/post%20war%20attend%20history.html


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  • 433. At 10:32am on 04 Sep 2008, SlipperyJack60 wrote:

    How come so many people are having a rant at Phil McNulty? His job, and that of all reporters, is to report the news. In football, politics and business there is also an obligation to report rumours. This is because some of us have a stake in these areas and want to know what is developing.
    Do we want to go to a North Korea or old-time Soviet reporting of the successful grain harvest, or that the coal mine quota has been met for the 29th month on the trot? Well I dont. I want to know what is going on, and thanks to Mr McNulty for trying to shed some light on the dark cave called the Newcastle Board Room.
    Something is clearly going on and it wasn't started by PMc. Without him and the others we wouldnt have known anything about it. The idiots in charge of the club should not be allowed to behave unreasonably without it being reported. I am sure that PMc and the others did not make this story up, individually or collectively.
    It could be that this reporting has led to the fans having some say in the outcome. Maybe not but at least they had the opportunity to get involved.

    Long live a free press, and long live people power.

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  • 434. At 10:36am on 04 Sep 2008, SuperNintendoChalmers wrote:

    People are having a pop at McNulty because of his ill-informed knee-jerk journalism, not because we crave a state-owned press.

    Get a sense of perspective and stop being so melodramatic, Slipperyjack

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  • 435. At 10:38am on 04 Sep 2008, SlipperyJack60 wrote:

    Carry on Phil, report it as you see it.

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  • 436. At 10:39am on 04 Sep 2008, SuperNintendoChalmers wrote:

    Carry On Phil, I must have missed that film.

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  • 437. At 10:39am on 04 Sep 2008, Attila™ wrote:

    Re comment 416- I love pedantic people. But I'm quite pleased to see Aquakuh put back in his rightful place.

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  • 438. At 10:41am on 04 Sep 2008, Attila™ wrote:

    One thing I've noticed here is that so many people that post on this forum have to attack Mcnulty. If you don't approve of his journalism why waste your time in giving your opinions of it? Nobody is forcing you to read his blog!

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  • 439. At 10:43am on 04 Sep 2008, SlipperyJack60 wrote:

    Carry on Phil? It came out right behind Carry On Up The Toon. With Sid James, and MA instead of Bernard Breslaw. Dennis Wise starred instead of Charles Hawtrey.

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  • 440. At 10:46am on 04 Sep 2008, SuperNintendoChalmers wrote:

    Who played Alan Smith? Joan Simms?

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  • 441. At 10:46am on 04 Sep 2008, kevcls wrote:

    I wish people, especially the media, would concentrate on the facts. There are only two relevant reported facts in the NUFC Keegan story; the Club have not sacked him and he has not resigned.

    The BBC's sources were clearly NOT reliable. The implications of this for BBC journalism runs deeper than our little local difficulty here in the Keegan Wonderland.

    In my view, your judgment and integrity as reporters is now legitimately open to question. If you are unable to properly assess the provenance of your sources and accurately report FACTS you should start to think about another career.

    As for other branches of the media, e.g. Sky Sports, my recollection of their coverage on Monday was that it was more circumspect than the BBC's.

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  • 442. At 10:46am on 04 Sep 2008, Canonpark wrote:

    This issue isn't about freedom of press, it's about journalists taking responsibility for creating panic, confusion and mayhem at a football club, when it was completely unneccessary. I'm not just blaming Phil McNulty, nor am I just pointing the finger at the sports media. To be a journalist is a job of huge responsibility, and sometimes I think it's on think that responsibility is in the hands of the wrong people.

    I think people may be having a go at Mr McNulty because, instead of apologising for reporting an ill-informed story, he has blamed his "sources".

    Everyone wants a free press, but it would also be nice for the press to take some responsibilty for their actions from time to time.

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  • 443. At 11:01am on 04 Sep 2008, Ryushinku wrote:

    #441 - Sky Sports were the first ones to break the story!

    All the papers and media reacted to that and went with it, reporting Sky Sports as the source, while the BBC didn't go with it until two or three hours down the line.

    Trying to hold Sky Sports up as circumspect in this matter is as amusingly far from the truth as you could hope for...

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  • 444. At 11:12am on 04 Sep 2008, kevcls wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 445. At 11:14am on 04 Sep 2008, bravestevie666 wrote:

    441 - The BBC was one of the last media sources to report him as leaving as presumably they were unsure of the source and didnt want to immediately jump to the false conclusions that everyone else did. So the BBC are probably the least at fault in that respect.

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  • 446. At 11:25am on 04 Sep 2008, captchris wrote:

    Question:

    Where is the Blog about the turmoil at West Ham - who are obviously in as big a mess as Newcastle with the manager having little to no control over transfers.

    Or is it not as much fun to have a laugh at a London club...?

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  • 447. At 11:29am on 04 Sep 2008, RDINOZZ wrote:

    There is only one person at fault and that is Mr Porky Ashley.

    Take your money back down the A1 with your band of diddy men and let a true fan ( or rich Arab) invest in the Toon.

    If he turns up at the match on Saturday I hope he gets hounded out of the ground !!

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  • 448. At 11:33am on 04 Sep 2008, Collydurhamboy wrote:

    I don't care who 1st broke the news (story?) or what ever it is.
    My concern is simple. Yet again, the club,and therefore it's supporters are being dragged through the mire AGAIN.
    Newcastle supporters have been taken for granted since time began, we've always been at the bottom of the pecking order. The only man who has ever given us more than the slightest lip service is Kevin Keegan.
    So here we are with an owner who thinks selling Michael Owen is a good idea.Does sell James Millner. Who castigates a manager for saying what we already know, that Newcastle can't finish in the top 4. Then sacks the same manager,only to loose his bottle when he see's the public reaction.
    It's amazing what a few thousand empty seats can do to a club owner.
    May I politely suggest that Mr Ashley goes back to wherever he came from, taking Dennis Wise and the rest of his buddies with him.

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  • 449. At 11:37am on 04 Sep 2008, RDINOZZ wrote:

    Ref 448

    No need to be polite to a jumped up barrow boy !

    Just get shot of the imposter !

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  • 450. At 11:44am on 04 Sep 2008, Cowboy Martin wrote:

    This is the score. It's all about the system and how your particular system works. Look at west ham and curbs. He's left because it would seem he has no power and control over players leaving or arriving and this seems to be the case at Newcastle. New young managers who have perhaps been players in recent years find it easier to adjust to this new kind of system because they don't know any other but the likes of Curbs and Keegan and some others are a bit more old fashioned and like to be hands on and THE BOSS when it comes to transfers and that's how it should be. At the end of the day It's the manager who gets sacked if the players don't perform yet it's some rich businessman who thinks he knows loads about football who is choosing the players to buy, this can't be right. Foreign coaches are more suited to that style of running a club but it's not an english way, if you look around it's al the foreign owners who are like this. Newcastle is slightly different as although Ashley is not telling anyone who to buy it seems he's leaving it to someone who is not the manager, i.e Dennis wise and this is where the fundamental problem lies.Forget he tried to sell Barton or Owen or whoever, the players coming and going is less important, It's about who is in control of that aspect of teh club and as far as I'm concerned it should always be the manager, no one else because as I said, it's his head on the block if they don't perform. For me I would make Wise Number 2 behind keegan so they can both be involved in transfers and get rid of all the hangers on.

    On another not. The reporting of this has been shocking. Full of rumour and speculation. The bbc or sky still haven't revealed the 'source'. I actually don't believe there ever was one, There reporting was all done on presumption and I hope Newcastle come out and ask the BBC to prove where they got their information from. If someone makes a cup of tea without sugar for someone who takes it teh Bbc and Sky sensationalise it to make it look like Newcastle are on the brink of collapse. It's been like this for years it's as if they want us to. When we were flying they patronised the supporters with the quotes 'After a hard days work down the mine this is what they come to see' (an actual quote from a bbc commentator, can't remember his name) It's always other people and the media who say we always say we are a big club, we dont. Our fans are probably teh most realistic in the country. We know as a fan base we are one of the biggest in the country, world even and it would be great if we won something after years of filling the ground, that's not a lot to ask and any supporter would want the same. If you won trophies for just loyal attendances we would be up there with the likes of Liverpool, Celtic and dare I say it, Sunderland. We have the potential to be a big club and in reality we should be a big club, fan wise we are, stadium wise there are not many better and loyalty wise we are as good as anyone. All we need is a trophy. It might be like buses, nothing comes for ages and then two come at once. Of course, even if we won a cup, the F.A or League we would still be accused of winning something that the 'Big' clubs don't care about. You can't win. Newcastle fans have known for years the patronising media reporting of our club and this is why when you's come out with the rubbish you's do we defend them to the hilt. This latest episode will be sorted out, Keegan isn't going anywhere and we will win something soon.

    Geordies !!

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  • 451. At 11:53am on 04 Sep 2008, kevcls wrote:

    #448 You should care where the 'story' came from and how the speculation was perpetuated. It's the media, NOT Ashley nor Keegan who are dragging the Club through the mire and in my view they do it because it's good copy.

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  • 452. At 11:55am on 04 Sep 2008, kevcls wrote:

    #450 - I agree

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  • 453. At 11:59am on 04 Sep 2008, DelaPoleBoy wrote:

    I am a Keegan fan,his track record for Newcastle as a player and a manager is second to non.However the owner of any business has the right to run the organisation in any way they feel fit,they can hire and fire anyone they wish that is there perogative. However there is no doubt Ashleys personal financial greed in demanding £400m when approached by the people who have just bought Man City has denied the club and the people of Newcastle a once in a lifetime opportunity.
    What really puzzles me with all these billionaire investers is why none of them have considered buying Hull City.No dont laugh,no debts,a cracking stadium with potential to expand and develop at minimum cost,a catchment population in excess of 1m people and not another premier league team within 70 miles.

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  • 454. At 11:59am on 04 Sep 2008, RDINOZZ wrote:

    #450
    I hope your right too and will keep saying my black and white prayers every night

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  • 455. At 12:01pm on 04 Sep 2008, RDINOZZ wrote:

    # 453

    That's because Hull is a Rugby League town and Newcastle is a football Town !!

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  • 456. At 12:12pm on 04 Sep 2008, cyberdharmabum wrote:

    The whole debacle is a complete disgrace. I've never been a fan of Ashley, and seeing him swilling pints back on the stands just added to the disgust I feel about our beloved football club right now- it made me feel ashamed to be a Geordie - and I've once again got that familiar feeling that the fans are being laughed at from on high. A feeling that I thought would have been buried with the exit of good old Freddie.
    A chairman should be a figurehead - a leader - and as with all well run companies, once that leadership stops working and functional becomes dysfunctional, then the leadership has to change.

    Who would buy the club? God knows, but for once I'm jealous of our red and white rivals for having a consortium at the top which has a passion for the club and treats it's customers - the fans - with the degree of respect they deserve for forking out week after week.

    I feel heartily sorry for the players and coaching staff. After such a long spell in the doldrums their confidence seems to be at an all time high, they're playing together and often they look ike a team rather than the ragtag bunch of individuals we were so used to watching on a Saturday. The furore in the boardroom and questions over KKs future is bound to give that confidence a knock and it wouldn't suprise me to a see a decent start to the season take an ominous turn for the worse if this isn't nipped in the bud quickly.

    Kevin Keegan shouldn't have taken the job if there was any doubt about his being able to take managerial decisions, so I don't think he's blameless. Unless he took the role with the wool pulled over his eyes -which I seriously doubt - then we have to ask why he has allowed himself to be micro-managed by Ashley and Wise in the first place. Still, as a fan I would hate to see him go for purely emotional reasons. First and foremost because for the first time in a decade I feel some hope for the club. There's a manager in the dugout who actually cares and understands what football means to the fans here, and that man is passionate about delivering results.
    That's the kind of man I would snap up in my business and give a very long leash to.

    I firmly believe along with many others that Keegan was brought in as a clever - but not so subtle in hindsight - smoke and mirrors act to appease the fans quickly after Allerdyce. Bringing Wise in would have been hugely unpoular. Looking back at it now, if that was the case, then the fans have been incredibly patronized and Keegan has been a fool.

    I'm seriously considering relinquishing my support and giving up football as a passion. Which unfotrunately will be easier said than done. But if Keegan goes, I won't be buying any more tickets, shirts, or pay-per-views on Setanta. Not out of martyrdom because the 'Messiah' has gone, but because I simply don't want to put any more of my hard earned money into a black and white hole which is constantly being re-dug by the miopic boardroom execs.

    Newcastle United need to find a way to stop the rot, get some stability and some credibility back. And there's only one man responsible for that - Mike Ashley.

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  • 457. At 12:15pm on 04 Sep 2008, DeftonedEvan wrote:

    #450 - Couldn't agree with you more, although the only thing I will disagree with you on is the suggestion that Dennis Wise should still be at the club. They should get someone with proper experience - Terry Mac has done a great job, but I think Keegan (and Newcastle) would benefit greatly from an experienced no.2. Someone like Gus Poyet would automatically spring to mind.

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  • 458. At 12:22pm on 04 Sep 2008, macadoodledo wrote:

    My understanding of Mike Ashley's methods are that he arrogantly just ignores everyone. But there is stupidity to, take the situation where he bought NUFC without doing due diligence.

    He has been cornered on this one. If he gets his way, dumps Keegan etc., NUFC will go in to freefall, the players will revolt and the fans will be on the streets. If he just bothered to listen he would see that what Keegan is proposing is his best solution. Ditch Wise et al and start building a club with people who understand the game and the passion of the fans.

    As an aside media comments may say that we are a laughing stock which in a way we are, but how refreshing to see for the first time in years, fan power brought on to the streets, flexing its muscle and saying..."this is our club and we aren't having it!"

    Always remember the philosophy is to enjoy and win, in that order. We are not interested in winning for the sake of winning. Naturally that makes us sound daft but a 4-4 draw sticks in the memory far more than a 1-0 win.

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  • 459. At 12:25pm on 04 Sep 2008, shearerslovely wrote:

    FeedmeFlumps - cracking user name and cracking post. Saved me a job.

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  • 460. At 12:27pm on 04 Sep 2008, jazza0707 wrote:

    I hate Mike Ashley, just for his smug look on that fat ugly face.

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  • 461. At 12:29pm on 04 Sep 2008, realvilla wrote:

    they're still employing barton so they can rot for all i care, keegan included.

    bunch of half-wits the lot of them.

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  • 462. At 12:37pm on 04 Sep 2008, cilurnum wrote:

    I've been very, very disappointed about the reporting on Newcastle, and particularly from Sky. Sky Sports News was full of how Keegan had left or been sacked with no statement at all from the club, and went on for ages about how the club was in crisis. It would serve them right if the differences and problems were sorted and Keegan stayed on.

    Mind you, the only thing I think Keegan has got dead wrong is sticking by Barton. It's not a second chance. It's the fifth or sixth chance. If he was a Ronaldo then your loyalty might just stretch that far into giving him a chance, but quite frankly, Joey Barton just isn't that good a player and isn't good enough for NUFC.

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  • 463. At 12:39pm on 04 Sep 2008, "We Won the Football League Again, ThisTime on Merseyside". 06-07 Champions. wrote:

    Newcastle are a joke of a club. Got to say I feel sorry for Keegan, though. Nice bloke.

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  • 464. At 12:43pm on 04 Sep 2008, Andy wrote:

    Off course KK will still be in charge against Hull, otherwise how will he be able to pay for his own Soccer Circus, which has run up massive debts, major Newcastle could sponsor that for him? bye one Soccer Circus, get one free!

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  • 465. At 12:51pm on 04 Sep 2008, theghost2 wrote:

    Newcastle fans probably do have an overblown perception of the clubs size and success, but its no wonder that they haven't won anything in so long when the club continues to be run like such a farce.

    The thing that has amazed me recently is that Mike Ashley claims to be a real supporter and in touch with the feelings of the real supporters in the stands, yet he continues to persevere with Dennis Wise, who's appointment, i gather, went down like a lead balloon, while he also seems to be favouring Wise against Keegan, or at least attempting to push Keegan out. If he was in touch with the real support he'd surely back Keegan on all fronts.

    Although keegan hasn't been sacked or resigned yet, if the board was truly 100% behind him, they would have issued an immediate statement denying the speculation and not taken the six or so hours it did to say anything.

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  • 466. At 1:03pm on 04 Sep 2008, With_an_N_and_an_E wrote:

    Every football fan other than those of Newcastle should be grateful: "Thank goodness the press aren't fishing in my club!"

    On Barton (462 et al), his troubles arose at MCFC. NUFC are trying to rescue his career. If he goes off the rail again then that is the time for NUFC to get rid of him (sinners and repenting etc).

    Don't forget, we're all looking in from the outside through newspaper covered windows.

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  • 467. At 1:07pm on 04 Sep 2008, magwright wrote:

    The previous management at Newcastle (Freddie Shepherd and Co) were guilty of recruiting some of the worst managers Newcastle have ever had (the exception being Bobby Robson) and all had to be sacked. Where they got things right were to allow the manager the freedom and support to do the job in their own way.

    The new management are trying to run Newcastle United like a business, now, I know it IS a business, but you cannot run the sporting side of a football club like any other business. Bringing in a team of managers will not work. Kevin Keegan must be allowed to do the job himself, and making him answerable to a cockney thug is bound to end in disaster.

    Ashley has shown he is interested in offers for the club, please let someone make him an offer so that he can leave Newcastle and take his management rabble with him. Good riddance to them all and welcome back Kevin Keegan.

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  • 468. At 1:08pm on 04 Sep 2008, scottydog50 wrote:

    There is a lot of talk in the game about the affect of foreign ownership in English football, most of it detrimental.
    However, Newcastle have an English owner, and Freddie Shepherd before him was English too.

    Give me a foreign owner anytime!

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  • 469. At 1:14pm on 04 Sep 2008, bertQuock wrote:

    I don't agree with the way KK has been treated; however, bearing in mind the large amounts of money that has been wasted on transfers over the last 10 years or so, there is definately a need to look at an alternative way of bringing good players into the club.

    I don't think KK had much to do with bringing in Coloccini and Gutierez but they have been proven to be particularly good buys. However, the manager needs to be involved in the process at some point to avoid the issues that arose at Chelsea with Shevchenko.

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  • 470. At 1:20pm on 04 Sep 2008, cilurnum wrote:

    "Off course KK will still be in charge against Hull, otherwise how will he be able to pay for his own Soccer Circus, which has run up massive debts,"

    Ha, ha. Yer. I'm sure that will be a factor ;-).

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  • 471. At 1:31pm on 04 Sep 2008, flymetothenorth wrote:

    Phil, YOu say "Newcastle Fans.....over-blown perception of just how big and successful they are". Where do you get that from. I'm sure it's like some urban myth people have made up. I've live in Newcastle for 8 years and not one NUFC fan I have met thinks that Newcastle are or have been a successful club. Neither do they think they have any right to be sucessful. All geordies want is to see a great game of football with a little bit of success or near success thrown in along the way.
    With the greatest respect Phil shut up about what you do not know.

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  • 472. At 1:32pm on 04 Sep 2008, cilurnum wrote:

    Oh, and Phil, a comment on the over-blown comment:

    "We've all had our fun with Newcastle fans about their over-blown perception of just how big and successful they are"

    If you and the rest of the media wish to poke fun at how Newcastle fans allegedly have this perception of how big the club is, then why are you writing endless blogs about Newcastle and why does the media always turn Newcastle into a goldfish bowl when anything, and I mean anything, happens, or allegedly happens?

    Sorry, but your media coverage just proves that Newcastle United is a huge club in terms of media interest and ultimately fan base, which just isn't matched by a recent winning record at all - which *no one* denies. That's where the problems come from, because that's where every fan wants to get to, and that's where the pressure comes from. No Newcastle fan believes that the club will match Man U's or Liverpool's winning streak any time soon, but you stupidly believe that is the way the fans think. How little you do know.

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  • 473. At 1:59pm on 04 Sep 2008, cforker wrote:

    What a shocking blog, i can't believe someone will of got paid to write such drivel. How dare you accuse Newcastle United of being in break down, when you yourself's were reporting news that hadn't even occurred. I remember listening to Radio 1 newsbeat, and them mocking king kev's departure and newcastle before any official news had been released. Don't come on here calling newcastle united a laughing stock, the only laughing stock is the media and there complete inability to report news fairly and unbiasedly, the bbc is simply a southern corporation run for southern people.

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  • 474. At 2:10pm on 04 Sep 2008, cforker wrote:

    also in response to numerous comments defending Phil McNulty's article, yes its his job to report the news, but its also his job to report the news fairly and accurately, the later points he's clearly forgotten, after all he does work for the bbc, not war.... murdock

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  • 475. At 2:11pm on 04 Sep 2008, DelaPoleBoy wrote:

    Number 455. The facts do not support your view that Hull is a rugby city. For some years now the average attendance for Hull City matches is greater by a margin of several thousand than the combined total of both rugby teams in the city

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  • 476. At 2:28pm on 04 Sep 2008, TheRBman wrote:

    One thing that is clear here is that Keegan has spat the dummy again. We all know it's been coming after the "impossible to break into the top 4 " statement. Really surprising when you consider how much money Wenger has spent by comparison. Not every club can be the richest, you just have to do the best job within the resources available.

    What we are seeing now is the the footwork and politics of compensation. At least he has not insulted us by claiming he is not a quitter as Maclaren did. But even Keegans high principles seem to have a price.

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  • 477. At 3:35pm on 04 Sep 2008, BLUEISGODSCOLOUR wrote:

    A Statement from Newcastle United
    NUFC has just issued a statement clarifying its earlier statement and
    further stating that a further statement will be issued today further
    outlining the timescale for the next issuing of statements. The issuing of
    statements concerns a statement of issues which may or may not have been the
    subject of earlier statements, but which are all ongoing at this moment in
    time.

    The Club wants to keep progressing with its long-term statement-issuing
    strategy and would like to stress that these statements are extremely
    important both now and in the future. The Club has not withdrawn the
    statement it earlier issued, which it had not issued anyway, but if it had,
    it hasn't withdrawn it and if it hadn't, it hasn't not withdrawn it.

    Kevin Keegan still remains very much the subject of our statements, and he
    has not not been sacked, nor has he not been not sacked, nor has he not
    rescinded his non-resignation, nor is the Club resigned to his
    non-rescinding of his non-resignation.

    This statement is purely for the avoidance of doubt.

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  • 478. At 3:39pm on 04 Sep 2008, 4thecaptain wrote:

    cilurnum

    Sorry, but your media coverage just proves that Newcastle United is a huge club in terms of media interest
    =======================

    I think it proves that the media will report on any club that just doesn't have a clue and ridicules itself.

    It's the fans who keep spouting about their "big" club. Look at the comments made when "the king" was appointed. Top 4/CL here we come.
    This just shows that Newcastle have an inept management structure and an average manager at best.

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  • 479. At 4:37pm on 04 Sep 2008, NorwichMakem wrote:

    If anyone needs a reason as to why everyone thinks that Newcastle fans think they are a big club the read the post from "SteveLeeming"

    And dont try to tell me he was joking, I work with a couple of Newcastle fans and one said something very similar in all seriousness! He geniunely believes they will get a top 4 spot this season, if thats not deluded I dont know what is!

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  • 480. At 4:54pm on 04 Sep 2008, no1shearerfan wrote:

    Newcastle United is now a complete laughing stock. Ashley and Keegan are as bad as one another. Actually, if Keegan hasn't been sacked and hasn't resigned, if he's still not taking training - then maybe should be sacked. What's he getting paid for?

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  • 481. At 5:13pm on 04 Sep 2008, badderzboy wrote:

    I think the blog sums up the situation perfectly - was it misreported - local radio were saying it well b4 BBC etc and no reaction from the club - still no reaction when crowds gathered - so WHY NO denial -because it wasn't misreported.

    Its embarassing for NUFC fans that no formal statement has been made - don't NUFC fans think KK would have spoken to the press at least if there was no smoke behind the story.

    Its about as likely that KK will be at Hull as Mgr than Mike Ashley's pint was thought by him to be non-alcoholic...

    Barton is up b4 the league tomorrow will KK be there....

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  • 482. At 5:56pm on 04 Sep 2008, Auqakuh wrote:

    RE: various people.

    1. Yes, mispelling one word makes a great irony. Woe.
    2. I actually never said that there was any misreporting. I actually just said that it would've been better to NOT focus on these so-called magnificent sources who appear to have possibly got it rather wrong.

    I will assume you did not actually read what I said. Next time, just say "tl;dr" and be done with it, please.

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  • 483. At 7:02pm on 04 Sep 2008, lufc443 wrote:

    And he's gone.

    Again...........

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  • 484. At 7:06pm on 04 Sep 2008, mike wrote:

    So the media got it wrong....oppps! Oh no they didn't!
    Will all those who blamed Phil and the BBC/media now issue their apologies below, retracting their original statements?

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  • 485. At 7:13pm on 04 Sep 2008, Auqakuh wrote:

    "Will all those who blamed Phil and the BBC/media now issue their apologies below, retracting their original statements?"

    Not that I actively blamed the media so much as derided the apologistism in this article... but why should those who lambasted the media over this retract anything?

    They did get it wrong. Just because two days later it turns out to have pre-empted reality doesn't really mean it's all suddenly "okay".

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  • 486. At 8:16pm on 04 Sep 2008, highbury_sunshine wrote:

    Actually, Auqakuh, the fact Mr McNulty's article pre-empted the event by 2 days does make it okay. Do you think he guessed Keegan would get fired and risked his job and credibility by inventing sources and writing a libellous story which would never stand up in a court of law? Or do you think, as one of the most senior football reporters in the country, he may just have reliable sources in the right places, who told him what was happening at the club, and he simply protected their identity?

    Blogging is different to hard news. Mr McNulty wasn't claiming Keegan had been sacked - he hadn't. But he was giving his own informed opinion on the situation behind the scenes at Newcastle, which he had heard about from his 'sources' - a phrase which always attracts snide remarks, but which has now been proven to be absolutely truthful. It was an informed article intended to attract debate, not mindless criticism.

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  • 487. At 8:20pm on 04 Sep 2008, mike wrote:

    Auqakuh quote:'They did get it wrong. Just because two days later it turns out to have pre-empted reality doesn't really mean it's all suddenly "okay".'


    The media were correct, they haven't created this reality this as happened. Keegan left the post two days ago, the doubt was only caused by Newcastle saying he was not sacked. The delay was caused by legalities in terms of contract ie. was it dismissal, resignation or mutual consent?
    The source of the sacking rumours were attritable to those very close to Keegan. I know from whom the story originated-you can research and find the source. I was told first hand by a Newcastle player on Tuesday, that Keegan said he was sacked. Given these many sources, why wouldn't a news organization report the story?
    The facts are people will still rather shoot the message carrier. So yes, you were wrong!

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  • 488. At 9:02pm on 04 Sep 2008, Antwerp1 wrote:

    Does this mean that Keegan won't be in charge of training tomorrow? There must be a perfectly innocent explanation...

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  • 489. At 9:16pm on 04 Sep 2008, WFCJME1991 wrote:

    KEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!
    ASHLEY AND WISE SHULD GO!
    MIKE ASHLEY UR NOT A FAN if u were u wuld invest in world class players to see newcastle up in the top 4

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  • 490. At 2:59pm on 10 Sep 2008, lilbakez wrote:

    yeah i see what u mean ha no i would'nt money on him being boss for the near futer but i would love him to stay and he has worked wonders for them last season hes the first newcastle manager to do wonders at newcastle for a while

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