Kinnear returns to St. James Park

As if there weren’t enough responsibility on Alan Pardew’s shoulders ahead of next season, the latest employee of Newcastle United could well cause even more friction.

Kinnear returns to St. James Park

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June 17th, 2013

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Former manager Joe Kinnear has signed a three-year deal which will see him return to St. James Park as Director of Football; y’know, that role which has previously served English football clubs and their managers so well. Kinnear will take up, and potentially have final say in, transfers to and from the club.

The move comes as the Magpies try to avoid a repeat of last season’s league finish in contrast to that of 2011-12; going from a fifth-place finish and Europa League football to a final league position only five points and three goals from relegation. United managing director Derek Llambias then went on to affirm that a finish worse than tenth next season would not bode well for manager Pardew’s future with the club – and has now overseen the installation of Kinnear who will himself oversee the squad.

“My job is quite clear: I’m director of football, he’s the manager. I’m not picking the team. That’s what the manager gets paid to do. I’m there solely to ensure he gets the best possible team out on the pitch.”

Recent high-profile appointments to the job title Director of Football have lent a credibility to the job nowadays – particularly in Europe – but it’s worth pointing out that almost immediately upon taking the same role at Luton Town – then struggling at the foot of what’s now League One – in 2001, he immediately named himself the manager as well, demoting then-manager Lil Fuccillo to a support role. (Fuccillo is now Technical Director at Kenilworth Road; whether that’s a different job entirely is up for discussion.)

What this means for Pardew is, for now, unclear – although if nothing else it would send a clear enough message to the manager that, should he fail to deliver on tenth or better next season, the club wouldn’t have to look very far for a replacement.

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