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Truth Of The Joe Kinnear Newcastle United Bonus Scheme?

8 years ago

Many of you will have heard second hand via newspapers/websites about the Joe Kinnear Newcastle United staff bonus scheme, details of which appeared in Saturday’s match programme.

This was announced via the now infamous Joe Kinnear Newcastle United programme notes that appear each match under his name. A bit of an easier write up for JFK this time after him previously explaining how the various revenues worked at the club and the impact of FFP (financial fair play).

That Column Wot I Wrote

Joe’s latest ‘write up’ has attracted most headlines because of the fact that the players have agreed to bonuses only if they finish top 10, whereas last season it was if they finished top 12, not exactly radical news but fair play to the players who have agreed to this shift, though what part bonuses exactly play these days when all the first team players are already guaranteed tens of thousands of pounds a week is anybody’s guess.

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However, I think there is another interesting angle that has been missed so far in the words wot Joe wrote this time, this is part of it;

‘While supporters see the togetherness on the pitch they rarely see the great unity that exists in all other areas of the club.

I want to emphasise this by making reference to the bonus scheme agreed at the beginning of the season, which for this season will only pay out if the team finishes in tenth place or higher.

Everyone who works here has bought into this concept. Me, the football staff including the manager, the directors and all the eligible administrative staff employed at Newcastle United – we are together.

What has been especially pleasing is the willingness of the players to sign up to the same scheme as our employees.’

Now I was sucked in by the whole ‘isn’t Ashley great for his S***** D***** employees’, until I found out that the attractive bonus schemes for staff only applied to less than 10% of the staff, basically the management, while it turned out the other 90% or so of staff were on zero hour contracts which meant they had no guarantee of work from week to week and no holiday or sick entitlement.

Joe Kinnear talks of ‘Everyone who works here has bought into this concept’ and goes on to mention ‘all the eligible administrative staff’ in relation to the bonus scheme at Newcastle United. So one big happy family then with ‘the great unity that exists in all other areas of the club’?

Now I’d love to think that any progress on the pitch at St.James’ Park will see everybody working at the club benefit. However, unless I find out otherwise, I can;t help thinking that the bonus scheme must surely operate in a very similar way to the S***** D***** model – those at the top reap the benefits while those staff at the sharp end are unhappy bystanders.

If it turns out that ticket office staff, shop staff (if they are actually still employed by Newcastle United and not S***** D***** as is widely rumoured), groundsmen and all other lower paid staff are included in the bonus then a big well done to Mike Ashley.

If however it turns out that the much talked about Kath the tea lady and the rest of the workers on the ground are excluded then I don’t quite see how ‘everyone who works here has bought into this concept’ and I have no belief in ‘the great unity that exists in all other areas of the club’.

Yes let us all (even Mike Ashley and Joe Kinnear) enjoy Saturday’s result that pushed Newcastle up to eighth but don’t feed us yet more rubbish claiming everything is great behind the scenes at St.James’ Park.

Sadly Mike Ashley is playing divide and rule with supporters via bans for local press and NUST from the Fans Forum, amongst other things, the same would appear to be the case inside the club with their bonus scheme. We all want Newcastle United to be one big family with everybody pulling together but the truth is we are a million miles from that.

Yes we can all come together and support the manager and team on a matchday but that doesn’t mean we can’t wish for better off the pitch and question the running of the club at other times.

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