Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Here we go again!   Just when we think we have settled into what promises to be an engaging season of cricket, along come Newcastle United to remind us of football`s more bizarre behaviour.  Which is a pity, since Newcastle have a long, proud tradition not only as a football club but also as being representative of traditional Geordie values - hard work, loyalty and honesty being amongst them. 

Looking back over the years I have been watching the game, I recall the distant echoes of my youth when Newcastle were a force in the land with those such as Stan Seymour, Joe Harvey, Frank Brennan, the Robledo brothers and `Wor` Jackie Milburn.  More recently the club was blessed with talents such as `Supermac` Malcolm MacDonald (who, incidentally played left back for Tonbridge hereabouts before becoming a lethal goalscorer,) the flawed genius of Gazza and the Southampton trainee Alan Shearer who eventually returned to his home town club to become yet another in a long line of local Geordie heroes.

It just seems that the `culture` of the club, along with that of most others, changed with the birth of the Premier League and when commercialism, avarice and warped priorities took precedence over the traditional values of those blue remembered days of yore.   And it`s got worse as the years have passed.   The Premier League is now stuffed full of foreign owners, foreign players and an assortment of mercenary managers, coaches, interpreters and what-have-yous.   

Except in Newcastle, where the English owner has appointed English managers and coaches, filled the boardroom with his English mates (which at one time even included that serial scuffler Dennis Wise) and, despite a recent Gallic influx, still has the odd local player among its ranks.   Sounds good.   Trouble is the club has turned into a bit of a plaything for its multi-millionaire owner who seems to run the club with management by whim and with a seemingly total disregard for the Geordie fans, who despite it all still hold the club dear to their hearts.

But the latest whim - the appointment of Joe Kinnear as `Director of Football` - seems to have been greeted either with astonishment or with peals of laughter, for it is  indeed truly bizarre.   If anyone is in any doubt, just have a look at http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2008/oct/03/newcastleunited.premierleague which says much about the calibre of those involved with Newcastle United. However, if you are of a sensitive disposition, I must warn you that it includes some extremely `industrial language.`  

The Geordie faithful surely deserve better but all the while their club is `managed` by  a fiefdom which gives rise to extraordinary events such as this, then even their loyal devotion to the cause must be sorely tested.

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