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Tyne Talk

Joe Kinnear Insults Newcastle Fans’ Intelligence Yet Again

8 years ago

For anybody who missed it, there was something very interesting in the match programme when Newcastle played Liverpool.

There was a column ‘written’ by Joe Kinnear.

I don’t know what I find most insulting, the actual content of Joe Kinnear’s column, or the fact that we are honestly supposed to believe that what is reproduced below was written by our Director of Football?

That Column Wot I Wrote

‘Today we are playing one of the world’s highest revenue-generating clubs, and ahead of the publication of Deloitte’s annual report into football finance, I thought it an appropriate time to highlight the financial disparity within this league.

The chasm that exists between the league’s six most commercially powerful clubs and the rest is significant and growing ever wider. Even putting the strongest four performers to one side, clubs like ours have to over-perform in all areas in order to compete season after season with the likes of Liverpool and Spurs.

Their last published accounts show turnovers of £169m and £144m respectively, compared with our £93m. While that gap is striking enough, it is in respect of commercial turnover where the real gulf is evident.

Liverpool reported a commercial turnover for 2011/12 of £64m while Spurs reported £53m. Ours in contrast, was just shy of £14m, increasing to £17m for 2012/13.

In terms of our turnover and commercial strength, we compare with the likes of Everton and Aston Villa and experience the same challenges as they do to compete every season against clubs with far greater financial resources.

The astonishing commercial income streams of the six clubs puts them in an incredibly advantageous position when it comes, in particular, to building, retaining and strengthening their squads.’

It appears patently clear to me that there is as much chance of Kinnear having wrote this, as there is of Alan Pardew having written the propaganda put out by the club after the close of the Summer transfer window. Having repeatedly said Newcastle desperately needed to get at least one or two extra signings in, Pardew then had his name put to an official NUFC release which stated how great the transfer window had been and Joe Kinnear’s contribution to it.

The Kinnear column is I’m guessing going to be a regular feature in the programme, the medium whereby Mike Ashley puts out his message without JFK even moving his lips. Even if you are just visiting planet earth for today and believe Kinnear actually wrote this nonsense, then you need to know that the Director of Football had previously said his only job was to help Alan Pardew get the players he needs to do his job.

Now however, Kinnear is apparently our football finance and governance expert, spending his nights in front of the fire poring over the Deloitte reports.

Of course, Mike Ashley took the extraordinary step of now not even pretending he has anybody running the club on his behalf. When Ashley gave Kinnear the job and Llambias resigned on the back of that, the Newcastle owner bizarrely didn’t appoint another Chief Executive or Managing Director, Llambias may have only been a sporadic visitor to St.James’ Park but at least his name being out there as an alleged active Managing Director meant we could all pretend somebody was properly in charge and co-ordinating what was going on. Instead of just making it up as they went along…

What was printed in the Liverpool programme is clearly an attempted justification as to why Newcastle didn’t buy any players and telling us all that we have no right to expect United to be trying to compete with those six or more clubs. The justification being that Newcastle don’t have the money coming in so the club can’t afford to.

The way this is portrayed is that all of this commercial income is somehow handed out/allocated on an unfair basis that Newcastle United and Ashley don’t have any chance of influencing. A bit like kids standing in a line waiting for their pocket money and for some unspoken reason Newcastle get a pittance compared to the rest.

The point isn’t that Newcastle can’t get as much commercial revenue as Manchester United, we all know that, it is that for whatever reasons NUFC/Ashley aren’t even trying in any way to maximise Newcastle United’s commercial money.

Of course one part of the equation is that the Newcastle owner clearly wants the status quo to continue and Sports Direct to retain the massive benefits of all the free advertising Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct gets from another business he owns. However, why Newcastle are making next to no effort to forge more commercial partnerships is something only Ashley and his inner circle will know.

While every other Premier League club has never employed more people or deployed more resources in trying to take advantage of the worldwide marketing of the Premier League, especially with the new massively expanded broadcasting deal in North America, Mike Ashley stands back and allows Newcastle to be bystanders as every other Premier League club either pulls further away or gains ground behind us.

Some suggest that starving the club of commercial income is a way of punishing supporters for making Ashley’s life uncomfortable in the past, while others believe he just can’t be bothered to employ and resource a commercial department to chase this commercial income. Maybe not surprising when his paper wealth went up by over half a billion in the last yearly wealth list published.

What would an extra £10m/£15m mean to Ashley when he is raking it in elsewhere? On the other hand it would/could mean an awful lot to Newcastle United, when you see a manager not given a penny to spend in the last transfer window.

Newcastle United are stagnating at a rate of knots at a time when the sky is the limit for well run ambitious Premier League clubs.

Whether Ashley is negligent or vindictive, the end result is the same.

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