It would appear that I have been somewhat ungracious and inaccurate over my remarks about the limitations of the Leadership and the Cabinet (of Newcastle City Council) over footballing matters and have quite understandably been taken to task over this (Rob is Labour Councillor for Benwell-Scotswood ward as well as a big Newcastle fan).

I would therefore wish to retract these comments (read View From The Civic Centre) and apologise for any offence caused to my colleagues and I am reassured by the knowledge that there is considerable goodwill towards the Club from the Council and its Leadership.

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Consequently I hope that we can now employ this sense of goodwill to begin to heal some of the past rifts that have occurred over issues such as the naming of the stadium and other perceived PR gaffes.

We are now starting on our European adventure and I for one shall be booking my trip to Madeira, Bordeaux and Bruges so that we can carry the name of our wonderful club and city across the world.

Moreover I feel that there is still time to acknowledge the outstanding achievement of Alan Pardew last season in confounding all his critics in bringing such success to the club and it is my hope that this can be revived on the City Council agenda in the weeks ahead.

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