That phrase, ‘moving in mysterious ways’, is surely a perfect description for Newcastle United under Mike Ashley.

Thursday night saw Newcastle fans receiving an email (see below) from the club with Steve McClaren’s name attached to it, ‘revealing’ Newcastle United’s backroom team.

Whilst it is some relief that at long last the club have confirmed coaching staff have been signed up, it does lose a little impact when the announcement comes AFTER pre season training has begun and a week after the names appeared in the press as having been pulled ‘over the line’.

Just in case you missed it; Ian Cathro is McClaren’s assistant manager, Paul Simpson is first team coach, whilst Alessandro Schoenmaker is fitness coach and Steve Black a consultant. Andy Woodman retained as goalkeeping coach.

It appears clear that this email is another attempt to make season ticket holders/members feel a little bit special and the email says that further ones will follow, including at least another before the squad depart for America next weekend.

It isn’t difficult to read between the lines and assume that this is clearly to get the message out of ‘working hard behind the scenes, plenty of time to sign the ‘right’ players’, not like those other daft Premier League clubs who have already bought around fifty players between them this summer.

Steve McClaren’s name is attached to this message much as Joe Kinnear with ‘his’ infamous programme notes.

mike ashley

When supposedly Director of Football at Newcastle, a number of articles appeared in matchday programmes under JFK’s name, explaining football finance and FFP (Financial Fair Play), which was all basically just nonsense to justify not buying credible/any players.

The club later admitting that of course the programme articles hadn’t been written by Kinnear, though they did bizarrely claim that he had played a part in their preparation – presumably passing the crayons over.

Nothing wrong with this form of communication but once again you just feel that they are trying too hard to make it look as though they are bothered about the supporters and look for PR gimmicks to back that up.

Rather than Mike Ashley just getting on with the job of putting proper investment into the squad and his minions going out and signing them up.

It may be an old fashioned view but I quite liked it when the likes of Kevin Keegan or Sir Bobby Robson picked out decent players and the club bought them, then KK or SBR held a press conference answering questions alongside the new arrival.

That may sound a bit radical but just a thought.

The email from…Steve McClaren:

mike ashleymike ashley

I can’t wait for the next one telling us who Newcastle have bought!