It has emerged that Newcastle fans have Karren Brady to thank for helping Newcastle United to at last land a striker with some kind of goalscoring pedigree at the top level.
Islam Slimani completed his loan move inside the last hour of the January transfer window, to hopefully add goals that will help ensure Premier League survival.
Wednesday’s signing of the Algerian striker happened to a back drop of competition from elsewhere.
West Ham were one of those keen on Islam Slimani, The Mirror revealing that somebody high up at the Hammers had called Leicester to try and sign the forward.
They got an instant knockback though – due to an interesting/amusing reason.
As well as being vice-chair of West Ham, Karren Brady loves the media limelight and as well as TV exposure such as working on The Apprentice, she also has a newspaper column in The Sun, where she likes to grab attention with a bit of controversy whenever possible.
It has backfired this time though.
Last February Leicester sacked Claudio Ranieri and Karren Brady then wrote in The Sun:
‘A fellow Premier League director reports that last night he bumped into the Leicester chairman (Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha) at London’s most-expensive wine shop.
The Leicester owner told him they’d sacked Claudio Ranieri.
He then casually settled his bill for wine and champagne.
Since the sum was close to £500,000 I guess the compensation to his old manager is pocket change.
At least the owner can drown his sorrows in style!’
The Mirror say that even though West Ham have since apologised for Brady’s actions, the Leicester City owner instantly put the block on allowing Slimani to move to the Hammers.
On joining NUFC, Islam Slimani revealed that there had been other competing clubs:
“It’s true there were a lot of clubs that were interested in me, but knowing the power of the fans and crowd here and how great they are, and also speaking to the manager, it gave me the confidence to know that this was the right place.
“Rafa Benitez is a big coach with a big reputation, so him calling and him being here, had a big effect on my choice.”
Obviously there can only be one thing you can say to Karren Brady…’You’re fired’!