As you may have heard, Newcastle United Director of Football Joe Kinnear had offered a position to Mick Harford (whom he had managed for a time during the Wimbledon years and employed as an assistant at Wimbledon and Luton Town) to assist him in "identifying talent in the lower English leagues and keeping tabs on NUFC loan players". All of the expected reactions were out there, including a glut of "Newcastle hired someone! PARDEW POSITION PERIL!" type headlines in the press.
Ostensibly, we are now to believe that it was those very headlines that may have scuppered the move:
But news of the talks sparked further claims that Pardew was being undermined and owner Mike Ashley was installing a shadow management team above him.
It's interesting how a manager that was often lumped in with the evil Cerberus along with Mike Ashley and departed Derek Llambias is now being made a figure worthy of our sympathy. (personally, I'll judge the results on the pitch... we've had one positive season and one overridingly negative season - early results/performances will sway the balance for sure) The man who Ashley unpopularly dumped Chris Hughton to bring in, his London crony is now supposed to be the victim of a shadow management team? What we do know is that even when we do know something solid, it is likely not to be the exact "truth" anyway, so if you are the hand-wringing, sky-is-falling type you are welcome to carry on and certainly have ammunition to do so. In the meantime, you can probably add in "Damn, Joe Kinnear can't even bring a mate in to fill a cush position and soak up some £" to your list of worries.