Joe Kinnear? You're having a laugh

Posted by Marc Duffy

Sunday afternoon brought the incredible and very disappointing news reported by multiple media outlets that Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley appointed former manager Joe Kinnear as the club's new Director of Football.

This preposterous appointment is the latest in the long string of decisions made by the owner that are apparently designed to provoke the supporters. Kinnear certainly wasn't appointed on merit.

-Kinnear's shock return to Newcastle

The Newcastle Journal's Mark Douglas had the first report I saw on Kinnear. Intense twitter speculation then followed before Kinnear himself took to Sky Sports News in a telephone interview in which he confirmed that he signed a three-year contract earlier Sunday.

Key quotes and points from that interview:

Kinnear began in bumbling, embarrassing fashion, reminding us of his shambolic 2008-09 spell as Newcastle manager.

"This has been an ongoing situation for three weeks with David, erm, Dave, erm with Mike . . I will be in charge of finance, erm in charge of transfers and looking at the strengths and weakness of the side."

So he's to be in charge of transfers -- one of the few things the club have got right in recent times!

"I will help out Alan Pardew in every possible way that I can."

He confirmed that although Pardew is aware of his appointment, they haven't yet met or spoken -- shades of Kevin Keegan and Dennis Wise and look how that ended.

Kinnear then went on to trot out a completely false, cliched line that will infuriate the supporters even further.

"The disappointing thing was that I didn't realise that before I went up there but now [aware] that Geordies are Geordies and they want people from that area to work for that club..... because I wasn't a Geordie, for some reason I think that went against me."

Absolute inflammatory nonsense. What does being a Geordie have to do with it? Chris Hughton was as popular with the fans as any recent manager -- he's an Irish Londoner. Kevin Keegan? Yorkshireman. Les Ferdinand? Robert Lee? Club legends and Londoners. This nonsense shows how completely out of touch with the reality at the club Kinnear is.

So why has Ashley made this appointment?

A job for a mate? Quite possibly. If so, this is a worrying way to run a top-level football club.

A move designed to force Alan Pardew toward the exit? Ashley can't have been happy with what the team dished up last season. If the reports that Pardew has no release clause in his ridiculously long contract are true, then sacking him would be cost-prohibitive and this could be a way of trying to make the manager walk.

Or maybe this is just Ashley's latest attempt at angering the supporters of the club he owns. As ridiculous as that might sound this is the man whose petulance has angered fans on a regular basis:

-Leading the club to relegation
-The sacking of fan favourite Chris Hughton
-The renaming of St James' Park as the Sports Direct Arena
-The closing of the supporters area in Leazes End Level 7
-The appointment of Joe Kinnear the first time
-The siging of payday-loan company Wonga as club sponsors in an economically struggling region

And so on . . .

Joe Kinnear is not qualified to do this job no matter what lines he tries to spin us. As part of Sunday's interview he claimed to have no part in the relegation of Newcastle at the end of the season in which he took charge of 26 games but won only five (19 percent).

"I intend to make Newcastle far better than they are now."

I'm not holding my breath.

Twitter: @MarcSDuffy

ESPN Conversations