Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Kinnear Has Final Say on Transfers; I'm Not Picking the Team, Alan Will

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Kinnear Has Final Say on Transfers; I'm Not Picking the Team, Alan Will

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Douglas ? (0191) 201-6281 ? mark.douglas@ncjmedia.co.uk

MIKE Ashley has shaken Newcastle United's foundations to the core by bringing Joe Kinnear back to the club as new Director of Football, with the former Wimbledon boss claiming he will now have "final say" on transfers.

In a day of shocking developments at St James' Park, Kinnear himself confirmed the appointment - which was rubber-stamped on Saturday - and said the three-year contract had been "three weeks" in the making.

It is understood to be a reaction to the poor campaign that Newcastle had suffered and will see Kinnear based in the North East and in close contact with key figures including Alan Pardew, Graham Carr and Lee Charnley on a day-to-day basis.

Kinnear is the owner's closest ally in football and this is an Ashley-driven appointment with many key club employees in shock at the news - and fans reacting with outrage at the return of the man who was first appointed in 2008.

With supporters still digesting the news, Kinnear gave a wideranging interview in which he claimed to have assumed huge authority over transfers and many major aspects of the day-to-day running of the club. However he said there would be no issues with Pardew, who he will meet for lunch today.

Pardew was not answering calls last night although sources close to him said that he had been aware of the appointment before it was made. Similarly Carr's role as chief scout is not understood to be affected, with his remit staying the same. Although he says he has final say on any deals The Journal understands Kinnear will simply join the discussions on transfers, which have been a collaborative effort since the Chris Hughton era.

Quite what his other day-to-day responsibilities - barring being Ashley's eyes and ears at the training ground - are will emerge in time. A bullish Kinnear - who said he felt "fit as a fiddle" and is in the "best physical condition" of his life - confirmed the move last night and predicted major changes over the summer.

"It's been an ongoing situation for three weeks. My role will be to be in charge of transfers and looking at what the strengths and weaknesses of the side that we've got and to help out Alan Pardew in every way I can and to use my experience and everything I've learned in the game. …

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