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Putting JFK In Control Is Like Pete Doherty Being In Charge Of The Drugs Cabinet

8 years ago

My missus is an expert negotiator.

I don’t know how she does it but she walks into a shop, decides how much she’s going to pay for something, and I just walk away and pull the car up to the loading bay.

We once walked into an Arabic Carpet shop and she took a shine to a carpet. The ‘Carpeteer’ wanted the equivalent of £300 for the carpet, which was around 2m x 3m and hand crafted by a blind Pashtani Welder.

When I came back with the car we had trouble getting the 2(???) carpets into the car, but for a hundred quid, they were certainly a bargain.

Otherwise she’s a very quiet person. I’d guess that those with good persuasive powers don’t need to be noisy or ‘gobby’.

Loud and obnoxious people tend to end up standing in the corner on their own, or leaving early, often on their back.

I would also guess that in situations where persuasion and negotiation are necessary the individual needs to be quiet, level headed, eloquent and credible.

Can you guess where I’m going with this one?

So why are we surprised at this particular stage of the transfer window that JFK has not yet managed to persuade a busload of new EPL Superstars, their Managers, Agents and Clubs that Newcastle is the place to be, Kinnear is the person to work for, and that it should all be transacted at a very reasonable price?

If Kinnear came to me and wanted to buy a used telly, I can guarantee that after a few minutes listening to his blether I’d be insisting on twice the original asking price, and at the end of it all I’d still say no. Just because the guy gets on my tits.

If I was a young player who had no idea who the Crazy Gang were, and didn’t particularly care, but had access to Youtube and was capable of typing in “JFK Interview Gaffes” I’m pretty sure that my mind would be made up fairly quickly, and I’d be looking at a position with Wycombe Wanderers as the preferable option.

This is assuming that I had also failed to notice that he has the worst record of any Toon manager in recent history. He doesn’t even make the top of the list of those who have had heart attacks!

Putting JFK in charge of negotiations would make about as much sense as putting Pete Doherty in charge of the drugs cabinet,  or giving Granddad the remote for the SkyBox, or putting Sports Direct on the roof of a football stadium, or Wonga on a Shirt……

You can imagine the negotiations, can’t you.

“We won the league last season, well maybe not last season but it was recently, and it might have been a different league, and you’ll be playing in front of 120,000 fans every week, though some of them won’t be able to see you, with the biggest singing section in the city.

When you stand on the halfway line you can see the Danube, and we’ll give your family use of the Directors Box which is actually on the pitch. And the FA have given us special dispensation to play all of our games at home. And you can live in London and commute, it’s only twenty minutes away by cab, and yes – we’ll let your dad play, but only against Fulham, we have standards, I intend to play now and again myself to keep my hand in, and you’ll get to play every week, regardless of how well you play, and if we get relegated it will make you look even better, and we’ll give you a bonus, but you have to learn to speak French, otherwise it just won’t work! ”

Its not that long ago that I was confident that we’d have half a team in by now but every bloody year we seem to have somebody new making excuses for not quite getting the players in on time, and they always come up with some plausible reason. The players wanted a salary, the Agents wanted a signing fee, the Clubs wanted a transfer fee, somebody else had more money. And every bloody year this takes them by surprise.

It‘s like the leaves on the railway tracks, or the wrong kind of snow on the roads. Or the floods. Or the droughts. It can chuck it down for 40 days but as soon as the sun is spotted in the sky there’s a hosepipe ban. Despite the fact that this happens every year we are never ready for it.

We have a dog called Titus, who when we first got him would climb to the top of the stairs then launch himself down three flights of stairs, achieve terminal velocity, and splash into the wall at the bottom, almost losing consciousness. He did this 3 or 4 times a day for a month before he finally figured out that no matter how many times he did it, it was still going to hurt.

But he did figure it out.


He seems to be a couple of pages ahead of our beloved Toon Management.

I have another dog called Shola. She’s 112, slow, falls over if we turn the Aircon Fans on full and spends most of her time lying face down on floor. The similarities are frightening.

I have made no secret in the past that I am a fan of Mike Ashley. I honestly believe that he has to be a shrewd and clever guy to get to where he is at his age, and to put the amount of money into the club that he has shows guts.

I also truly believe that he, with his ‘money ball’ financial attitude and European business models might actually have a plan.

But Mike, I can’t believe you gave Granddad the remote for the SkyBox.

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