Tag: Newcastle United

FA Cup Third Round Weekend 2: Stevenage 3-1 Newcastle United

It was in 1969, before man had walked upon the moon and before the introduction of colour television on BBC1 or ITV, that Newcastle United last won a major trophy. They beat Újpesti Dózsa of Hungary over two legs in the final of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, a tournament that metamorphosised into the UEFA Cup two years later. In the second leg, Newcastle supporters may have taken the opinion that the black and white striped goalposts were a sign; a portent of the victory to come. Few would have believed at the time that, over four decades on, Newcastle would still have been waiting for a repeat of such triumph, but after this evening’s performance another year can be added to one of English football’s more enduring ticking clocks. It was in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup in 1998 that Stevenage Borough almost caused one of the great shocks in the history of the tournament, forcing a replay against Newcastle before losing narrowly at St James Park in a match which included an Alan Shearer goal that didn’t seem to have crossed the line. Their supporters could have been forgiven for believing that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity that passed them by but this evening, almost thirteen years later, offered them a second bite at this particular cherry. Things have changed somewhat in the...

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2010: A Football Financial Review

You could frame it. If you wanted a short, pithy representation of all that has been wrong with football finance in 2010, you could do no better than quote a Plymouth Argyle fan known as “Sensible Surfer” on the BBC Football website over the Christmas period. “Ridsdale set to take control… good news,” he/she said, a phrase which would sit nicely as an explanation of irony…except that it didn’t appear to BE irony. And it served as fair comment on Argyle’s current state that, relatively, Peter Ridsdale – the failed former Leeds and Cardiff chairman and serial over-borrower – IS good news for the cash and panic-stricken South Westerners, with the heaviest possible emphasis on the word ‘relatively.’ If professional football entered 2010 in a state of moral and financial bankruptcy, it is leaving it in much the same manner. Certain football problems have been “solved.” Some more have emerged. While others, hello Portsmouth, look set to run forever. The “greater fool” theory still underpins much of the game’s financial strategies. The theory is about as scientific as it sounds – buying something in the belief that you will be able to sell it again for a higher price (to a “greater fool”), regardless of what has happened in the meantime (increased debts, usually), or even whether the original price was rooted in reality. Finding a “greater fool” is...

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Alan Luvs Mike: Which Way Now For Newcastle United?

Five and a half years. Has any manager been given a contract that long before? No-one springs immediately to mind. Over the last couple of days, Newcastle United supporters have been consoling themselves over the departure of Chris Hughton that it might not be Alan Pardew that succeeds him. The rumours of him being a friend of Derek Llambias from before Llambias even became involved in the running of Newcastle United sounded like an internet conspiracy, a story with just the right combination of probability and credibility to hoodwink the gullible for a couple of days or so. Some people actually make up this sort of thing for fun, you know. But no. If the hopes of Newcastle’s supporters rose with the news that Martin Jol had been relieved of his position at Ajax, they didn’t so much sink as plummet this morning with the confirmation that Pardew hasn’t just been appointed, but appointed on a contract that will keep him at St James Park until the summer of 2016. What had been considered a practical joke by some Newcastle supporters had become a reality. The betting price for Newcastle to get relegated from the Premier League this season has, since this morning. fallen from 6/1 to 7/2, and it would be unsurprising to see it fall further. This in itself doesn’t mean anything material in terms of what may...

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Both Chris Hughton And Newcastle United Supporters Deserve Better Than Mike Ashley

In this case, to say the very least, you can’t spell “dismissal” without the word “dismal”. The sacking of Chris Hughton from the Newcastle United manager’s job is not the most surprising sacking that we will season, but it might well be the most stupid. In getting rid of a manager that had managed what many on Tyneside may have considered to be something approaching a holy grail of a combination – that of being both popular and successful – Mike Ashley has given us yet further cause to question whether he should allowed anywhere near the ownership and overall management of Newcastle United Football Club. Yes, as the owner of the club he is immovable, and Newcastle supporters now have fresh cause for concern over what the future may bring. It is worth considering just what the condition of Newcastle United was when Hughton took over the management of the club. Alan Shearer, appointed solely on the basis of what can only be described as sentimentality, had taken a club that was laden down with extravagantly-contracted players down from the Premier League, and there was conjecture over what effect failure to get straight back into the Premier League might have upon the club’s finances in the long term. It is a testimony to his success last season, as Newcastle won their way back into the Premier League with...

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Just Leave Chris Hughton Alone

There wasn’t a great deal of positive gloss that could be put upon Newcastle United’s thumping at the hands of Arsenal in the League Cup on Wednesday night. Comprehensively outplayed by a team that is starting to look more than capable of ending its trophy drought by the end of this season, Newcastle supporters were offered a reminder of how difficult this season could yet become for them and, in the press, the subtle yet dread sound of knives being drawn for manager Chris Hughton has become audible. Just as many of the club’s supporters may have begun to hope that the element of soap opera that had dogged the club for longer than anyone cares to remember had begun to subside, so the rumours begin again. It is in itself a testimony to Hughton’s qualities as a manager that the absolute chaos in which Newcastle United found itself a year and a half ago. After the ruinous decision to appoint Alan Shearer for the relegation run-in at the end of a desperate season ended in the club dropping out of the Premier League altogether, it felt as if this relegation could just be the beginning of their difficulties. Hughton, however, pulled the team together and his achievement in getting promoted back into the Premier League as champions at a canter cannot be understated. Newcastle supporters, who had spent...

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