THRU BLACK & WHITE EYES – Round & Round – 11/Jan/15.

by • January 11, 2015 • TBAWEComments (41)1573

By some accounts Remi Garde is the favourite to be handed the job of Newcastle United RemiGardeHead Coach. By some accounts John Carver will get it until the end of the season. Then again, Frank De Boer fancies it and he’s going to get an interview. In London. There’s also that Galtier gadgie as well. Steve McLaren doesn’t fancy it. Oh, and Tony Pulis ruled himself out, though only he had ruled himself in. In between petitioning for a rapist to be allowed to play football again, Steve Bruce is and isn’t interested in the United job. And on it goes.

To be fair to United, they appear to have the whole process locked down. But Garde’s name is being repeated and by those who can be taken seriously. It could be him. He’s mates with Arsene Wenger. He’s French. Ooh, wor lass thinks he’s a bit of a dish. A writer on this fanzine is very excited about his taste in footwear. Hey, you take yur pleasure where you find it.

What is explicit however is that whoever is the fella fronting up to the cameras after games, it won’t be the manager in the traditional way it has been thought of for many years in the UK. To be honest, I don’t really care what the bloke is called or particularly how the management structure at United is fixed.

There are only a handful of real top class managers at the elite clubs who I believe can be LeazesSoultrusted to be the Manager in the old fashioned sense of the word. There is such a high turnover in the modern game these days that handing a transitory figure at the club massive control over finances, strategy and recruitment seems really to be a little foolhardy. You know, if we had a chance of appointing a Jose on a long term deal, I’d think differently but as the field seems to be down to the mediocre and I recall such nuggets as Dalglish, Gullit, Souness, Allardyce et al then I think clubs are perfectly entitled to have specialists in place to oversee player recruitment and separate that from the day to day business of preparing a team for PL fixtures. When you also consider the er, links between agents, managers, players and all the rest of it then I think if something mental happened and I was the man in the big chair at United, I don’t think I’d hand the keys to the safe over to someone I had the remotest suspicion might be acting in his own interests rather than Newcastle United’s. Not of course that anything ever untoward will ever have ever happened at Newcastle United down the years. Perish the thought.

If this is the strategy for United, then great, we’ve got one. However, it will require some big changes in terms of how United communicates what it is doing to its public. Pardew more or less fulfilled the Head Coach role himself but seemed to be in denial and propagated the view that he was the manager until such time it became abundantly clear he had about as much authority as the mush taking the nets down at the end of the games.

Graeme Carr is de-facto the Director of Football but doesn’t have that title. No matter, he can be called what he likes, it’s what he does rather than what he’s called that counts. Carr is going to have to front up a lot more and become more prominent in the media than he has previously because the alternative is for Garde or whoever to be hung out to dry in press conferences and have his status undermined attempting to give information on subjects he can’t be expected to have an earthly about. To be fair to Pardew, he often attempted to communicate what was happening but each transfer window it became abundantly clear he was completely out of the loop. Carr and Charnley are going to stop hiding behind whoever is in the dug-out and front up. It as simple as that!


While attention has understandably been focused on the vacant position in the dug-out GallowgateSoulthere are certain questions to be asked about our playing resources. Most of the attention is focused upon outgoing players. Last weekend I was given a big nod that Moussa Sissoko was on the way out of United and that indeed the club was actively promoting him to two clubs in particular, namely PSG and Arsenal. Paris would be a favoured destination for United for Sissoko as they are better payers than Arsenal who always like to screw other English clubs it seems. I understand PSG’s issue is the UEFA Financial Fair Play rules and no matter the vast wealth of their Qatari backers, they can’t just allow Blanc to fire money at anyone he fancies. The thing I hear is they need to move a player on and the player they have in mind is Cabaye. Cabaye won’t be coming back to United by all accounts. Therefore, someone needs to buy him and when that happens, Sissoko is for the off to Paris. Or it could be London as Wenger likes him. Who knows really? I’m only commenting on the jungle drums I hear. Could be right, could be shite.

The other player I have had more vague information about is Cisse. With Swansea now cash rich after the sale of Bony and Cisse now 30 and in the last year of his deal, the conspiracy theory is the man from Senegal could be off to Wales. I’m sceptical about that because it would reduce our striking options to virtually zero. Then again, Shola is back in the country …. stranger things have happened.

There seems nothing doing with Tiote or Krul. Aarons has not been signed up as I understand it. Perez can’t go until the summer until the earliest.

Mbwia’s transfer on a permanent basis seems to have gone cold but will need to be resolved soon.

But no-one is actively talking about any players in-coming at all. For some who think the club won’t sign players until they are sure the new man wants them, I think they need to pay more attention. The man in the dug-out will be given what he gets and told to get on with it. Players will be bought and sold without any reference to them. This is where we get into the spirit-crushing problem of supporting United. A team isn’t being built. Players are being brought in to be developed and sold on. United is more of a stud farm for football rather than a club that wants to build a team.

That is the massive problem with Ashley’s United and it always will be until he sells up.


Selling up appears to be a rumour that is being discussed more and more. No-one seems to have any information but I was told by someone with a straight face that Alan Shearer has been travelling to Dubai a lot lately. One thing is certain and that is there is no local money of sufficient amount to have Geordie owners. Frankly, when I think of Hall, Shepherd, Westwood, McKeag et al. that doesn’t disappoint me that greatly to be honest!

Of course, takeover rumours right now when the club is looking for a new coach might make life difficult for Ashley so I can understand why anyone with mischief in mind might be playing that card right now.

One item widely predicted however is that United is in line to make a massive profit and that will be revealed in the club accounts when they are made public in March. Rough estimates calculate something in the region of £40m. United’s payroll is now lower than it was in 2007 despite the tsunami of TV money that has come into the game and United. You’d imagine that Ashley, would have that £40m for himself to pay off the debt and with the value and attraction of the club (financially) greatly increased as at any time in the club’s history, then this summer would be a fantastic time to sell up. Ashley would get all of his money back and then some. The new buyers would get a club with great accounts, few liabilities and given how the commercial, ticket and merchandise channels have tanked under Ashley, considerable scope to expand the club’s income.

Placed alongside the difficulties Ashley has run into in Scotland and his takeover of Rangers FC then you know, all things considered, selling United could be back on the agenda.

One thing is certain, nothing is being built at United and the sooner he goes the more likely we can dare to dream again.


Keep On, Keepin’ On ….

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41 Responses to THRU BLACK & WHITE EYES – Round & Round – 11/Jan/15.

  1. Alex says:

    Excellent as always. My fear is he’ll just continue to run the club on a shoe string whilst taking the tv money and the free advertising for sports direct. Then when he’s eventually done, asset strip what’s left and sell the shell. Whatever he does he’ll personally come out of it with a massive profit. It’s what he does.

  2. Stephen says:

    Whatever you want to say about Shepherd, Freddie Fletcher, Douglas Hall etc they went after their man with Russell Cushing, a briefcase full of money , the patter and a plan. They rarely got the right man but it was not for the lack of trying (very few criticised the actual appointments of the likes of Dalglish, Guillt etc). I have a very different picture of Charnley and Carr setting about the task, i ain’t full of confidence for some reason !

    • David Chapman says:

      Couldn’t agree more Stephen, with Hall and Shepherd love them or hate them, it was a constant roller coaster but my word it was fun, at the time Daglish and Gullit were hot property, the biggest names around, now we’re lucky if we get Remi Garde ( did he play for Arsenal at some point? I literally have no idea who he is ) or some other bloke who is long past his sell by date. Its sad how far we as a club have sank in a relatively short space of time.

  3. Stephen says:

    “Whole process locked down” . More like, have not got a clue !

    • Colin McCabe says:

      As much as I dislike the whole lack of communication from the club with regards to most things I actually think they have got this one right and are going about the appointment quietly and in the right way. Before Garde become heavy fav at the weekend none of the media seems to have had a clue as is shown by the amt of people that have been fav for the position (from Colo to Hooddle to Carver).
      Just a shame that they only seem to have one policy when it comes to ALL subjects, communication, say nowt.

  4. Allan Rogers says:

    Newcastle United is not being run as a football club. Its a business run by Ashley who has no interest in the toon at all apart from putting money in his bank. If he dose`nt sell this summer all toon fans must stop going to home games.

  5. Kenthemag says:

    Why do people keep saying “all toon fans must stop going to home games”? If FM hasn’t stopped me from going you’ve got no chance. I hate what he has done to our club but it’s our club and I will always support them through thick and (extremely) thin. There is no guarantee that not going to home games will shift the useless git anyway.

    • Mick says:

      Aye Ken I packed in going after 40 yrs last season and there is someone in my seat so it doesn’t make any difference in the overall scheme of things however I do at least now have some self respect. Unfortunately it is blokes like you that mean NUfC will be Ashley’s cash cow for as long as he wants it to be, shame on you.

      • Rob says:

        Has nowt to do with Ken and is nothing deserving of shame. The taking of principled stances concerning football is as irrevocably pointless as doing so with any issue in the super-capitalist world we live in.

      • David Chapman says:

        To be fair, I also stopped going about 4 years ago, I had a season ticket since 92/93, I share the same view Mick, I have found however it is completely futile to change peoples mind set on Newcastle United, I gave up trying ages ago.

  6. When sjh got involved we were heading for the third tier of English football. Within two years we’d finished 3rd in the premier league and within five years were selling out weekly the second biggest stadium in England. I can’t comprehend his greed but then again I’m not a businessman either. Personally, I really don’t care how much money he or even fat Fred made from his undeniably scatter gun approach, it is an irrefutable fact that at least they would have loved the club to be successful. Not sure what more a fan can ask for, the owner being a labour voter perhaps?

  7. Nick says:

    Not sure why Ashley would want to sell up when he can rake off £40-50m per year from now on, under the current ‘business model’. He clearly wants Rangers but he isn’t going to make that amount up in Scotland – the only benefit to him of owning Rangers is Champions League exposure for SD. Sadly I reckon it’s wishful thinking that he would sell up now or in the next couple of years.
    The revisionist view of Hall/Shepherd is equally deluded. They may have loved the club to be successful and it’s true there was much more excitement, but they could not have competed with CFC/MCFC financially either. (Ashley could but chooses not to) We’d be bankrupt if they hadn’t sold up.

  8. You don’t have to compete financially with Chelsea or man city yo put your best players on the pitch in cup games Nick. As for being bankrupted by Hall and Shepherd, not a shred of evidence to back that up, Infact the clubs’ debt is greater than it was when he bought it.

  9. Gordon Young says:

    I hope Remi Garde is the next manager. There are no good English managers available / at all! Overseas managers are much more tactically aware, in my view.

    I suspect that Newcastle will become a stepping stone for foreign managers who want to get to a top English club, just as it is for players now. So I don´t think there will be a shortage of takers and hopefully fatty won´t stitch us up again by employing Sherwood for example or waiting till the window closes so that the new man can´t ask for any players or heaven forbid wait till the summer to “get” their man. That would put us into another relegation fight, especially if Sissoko and Cissé go.

    At the moment I think Sissoko is irreplaceable, hopefully they have a striker “lined” up and we need to replace S. Taylor whatever happens.

    I agree with manwithnoname that we wouldn´t have done a Leeds or Portsmouth because our dependence on TV money was much less than most other clubs. In fact I just have the figures at hand – in the 08/09 season 41% of Toon turnover was TV money whereas Portsmouth was 73%, therefore we were in less danger than others to slip through the leagues.

    Just thinking, that percentage is probably higher now than then. As nobody wants to buy advertising at our stadium Big Mike has to use it to show prospective advertisers what it would look like. TV money has shot up and marketing has shot down!

    Say no more.

    Gordon Young

  10. Kenthemag says:

    Mick well done for deserting your team because it’s run by some fat southern git. Everyone has a breaking point – you obviously found yours last season but I haven’t found mine yet. Does that mean I should be influenced by you because you have given up?

    • Otterburn says:

      Not at all KTM, you continue popping along on a fortnightly basis in your new Wonga top, purchase your food, beverage & alcohol of choice & I’m absolutely sure that Master Ashley will see the error of his ways & sell out in a trance.

      Good luck with your principled stand…

    • Mick says:

      Aye Ken you are right. I said the same as you 2 seasons ago then I reached my tipping point decided that I couldn’t keep on moaning about Ashley without doing something about it.

    • Stephen B says:

      At least Mick has the satisfaction of not providing any revenue for the Fat Controller unlike others who choose to blindly continue like sheep and have loyalty exploited by MA.

  11. Kenthemag says:

    Fair comment Mick. I hate what he has done / is doing to our club I am just not convinced that not going would make any difference. Relegation might shift his arse out though. As for the ‘sheep’ comment if that’s how you see things Stephen ok – but I don’t see things that way.

  12. Ant says:

    I must admit that I find it very difficult to put money in the pockets of MA; so I don’t do it.

    But I totally get and I have the greatest of respect for people who see NUFC as part of their city, neighbourhood and extended family and will not walk away from it just because some idiot is in charge temporarily (remember, one day he’ll be gone – and 20 years down the line our kids won’t even know this guy’s name).

    What’s happening in NUFC (and elsewhere in football – we’re not the only ones who feel this way) is a shame and I honestly don’t know how things can change. At least it seems that we are going for a decent, fairly young and seemingly progressive coaching option (rather than ‘Arry, Bruce and all the other usual suspects).

  13. Tom Bates says:

    People who attend games no matter what ashley does are showing him that he can take the piss and we will still pay our money regardless. I can understand people who arent interested in the politics and just want to watch the football but I have more respect fro those who have made the decision to quit until either Ashley goes or the club policy changes.

  14. Kenthemag says:

    Ashley would take the piss no matter what – if the attendance fell by 10 or 20 thousand he wouldn’t care as long as the Sky money was still rolling in. Tom that is your opinion but personally I have more respect for those that stick with the team through thick & thin. That’s my opinion.

    • Stephen B says:

      Who says we are not “sticking with the team” just from afar and not having lined Ashleys pocket!

  15. Peter Shearer says:

    Trying to maintain respect for each other’s stance, but Ant you can use the “no-one will know his name” stance to support a boycott ie we make a stand now to get rid of him,knowing that eventually he will go and we get our club back.The point to those of us boycotting to answer Ken’s comments is that whether Ashley takes notice or not our conscience is clear for having acted to protest at his actions.It is good to know that we are doing nothing to support Ashley.

    My own view is that a lot more people than we realise have boycotted and most of them probably historically among the most loyal.They have made the point of standing up to Ashley and taken a long-term view to try and protect the club and its history.I think a lot of people use the excuse of “supporting the team” to avoid having to seriously review their stance.Just my opinion of course, and I am not saying I do not understand some of the alternative viewpoint.

    The worst thing is that I am coming to accept that not enough people are brave enough to make a stand and in my younger days I always thought the Newcastle fans were unbeatable for standing up for their club and their city. Perhaps, as recent worldwide events have shown, it takes unpredictable actions to inspire people to reveal their true colours.

  16. Stephen B says:

    spot on mate!

  17. Kenthemag says:

    Wise words and you have got me thinking but I am on one of those 10 year deals so if I attend or not wont matter – he already has my money. Let’s get one thing straight I hate what he’s doing to our club. I do not support his actions. I just like supporting my team. It’s like being weaned off drugs I guess…

    • Stephen B says:

      You can get out of those deals by informing the club in writing i believe Ken. Nont sure of exact timescales but sure its possible. Its gutting that you have to consider something like this when its “our team” and its “in the blood” but there comes a point where you have to think about drawing a line in the sand!

    • tom pitt says:

      Ken, I was on the 10 year deal too. My tipping point cam at the end of last season. I cancelled my DD in May and took a hit on the money already paid for this season. I informed the club I was doing so and that was that. After 25yrs I was no longer a season ticket holder and I’ve not been since.
      It was a really difficult thing to do but IMO the right thing.
      I just couldnt stand giving him my money any longer.

  18. Kenthemag says:

    Well if the fat lad doesn’t go and ruin Rangers soon I may have to do something I really don’t want to do.

  19. Ant says:

    Stephen, I’m on the same boat as you. I have made my decision to keep my money in my pocket and I’m sticking to it. But, realistically, I reckon it will take a lot to make a stand: you’ll need an empty St James for 1-2 months to get the present regime to seriously reconsider the viability of their investment (especially if Sky/BT start asking questions and TV money is in shorter supply). I could be wrong, but an orchestrated early walk out or a late arrival for the odd game here and there will not do it.

    Isn’t it shocking that following our team (in whatever form) has become such an unpleasant experience? I thought football was meant to be about entertainment.

  20. Kenthemag says:

    Dark days indeed – there will be better times ahead, but when – I just couldn’t say.
    Keep the faith lads.

  21. Alistair Moir says:

    What Peter Shearer said!

  22. Tom Bates says:

    I was on a ten year deal but if you want to come off it you can, just takes a bit off effort. If you are against Ashley you really shouldnt keep paying however if yuo have no opinion on it and enjoy the football stick with it.
    A lot of people after a few bad results say they will stop going and then two wins later say they were right to stay, but if you have a view on it a few wins shouldnt change that.

  23. Tom Bates says:

    The Newcastle fans have become so placid and zombie like at games it is sad to see. I think a lot of the people who attend regardless are suporters of the modern breed who feed off the sky hype and agree that we cant compete wheras a lot of the more militant fans have moved on. Sadly Newcastle just feels like an extension of sports direct at the minute, even on FIFA the ground is surrounded by Sports Direct sign. I am enjoying watchuing the games in the city centre pubs this season where there is a good atmosphere with passionate fans. Paying supporters used to keep clubs going, sadly now we are almost an irrelevance. I’m sure the team arent missing my support too much!

  24. David Chapman says:

    Look, it literally makes no difference if a few of us stop going, its easy to cancel your 10 year deal, I did it through my bank, I just said a fat cockney took money from me and didn’t keep his end of the bargain.

    I choose not to finance the current regime but it isn’t my place to tell other people what to do, obviously it makes me ill to see grown men in there Wonga tops and it makes me even more ill to know that the entire country is laughing at us daft Geordies blindly following our team into the abyss but there is literally nothing we can do, upset the fat controller and he will sell Sissoko to Sunderland or hire Alan Curbishley and Joe Kinnear as our new managerial dream team, don’t go and some Scottish blokes on a stag party will go instead.

    Futile, the whole thing is just futile, thanks to Mike Ashley my Saturday’s now consist of making awful home made curry’s and watching whatever mind bending cartoons my daughter has on Nickelodeon but I do have this lovely feeling that I’m in no way funding the destruction of Newcastle United and money can’t buy that.

    • Peter Shearer says:

      I agree with your despair David, but I do think those who can should make a concerted effort to look at what we CAN do.Once we have looked at all options and tried to rally round all those of a like mind ,we should see if a well-thought out and considered campaign,supported by NUST and the fanzines,starts to build some momentum. We know it will take time and that not everyone will support us,but surely we should give all we have before we accept defeat. It would help if we knew just how may people have stopped going. We have to believe that many others would make a protest if we can choose the right method.

      Napoleon attributed his success to his belief:-

      “I have succeeded because I have willed it.I have never hesitated which has given me an advantage over the rest of mankind”

      We do not know if he would have achieved as much if he had been a Newcastle fan, but a bit of that determination might help us.

      • David Chapman says:

        Completely agree Peter, unfortunately I’ve been willing Ashley to go since Andy Carroll was sold, I’ve had rows with my mates for blindly funding this bloody megalomaniac owner of ours, I’ve told our lass in no uncertain terms to never go near a Sports Direct shop even when she’s on one of her mad shopping sprees and gym clothes are like 20p or whatever, I literally can’t do any more.

        I honesty believe the NUST is a complete waste of time, if there was a properly organised solution to what’s happening to my beloved club I’ll be the first one to sign up.

  25. rich says:

    How about some negative publicity for SD at games. There must be some budding lyricists out there who can knock out a ditty or two? That will hurt MA more than any half arsed boycott.

  26. tom says:

    Have to agree bout the stag party’s two seasons ago we had a different group of day trippers behind us every match at the leaves end, irish, scots, cockneys discussing financial deals all their for the match day experience but contributing little to the atmosphere.

  27. Peter Shearer says:

    I share your frustration David and have followed similar action myself for a long time.I am also in danger of getting disheartened but willing to give one last push if there is a strong enough band of us that can be united. If not, we will just have to hope that in time more and more people will come to the same conclusion.If they do not, well I have no love left for what our club has become and I cannot be part of an Ashley owned Newcastle. He has killed everything that was special about us,and not enough of us have taken the fight to him. Keegan saw through him straight away,but still too many fans are giving him an easy ride. Many of those fans quote Sir Bobby, but fail to realise that Sir Bobby would be fighting too.This was our chance to fight for our club,our region and ourselves.