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Newcastle United January transfer window consultant appointment cut VERY short – Report

1 week ago
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On 17 December 2021, The Athletic had an exclusive revealed that the Newcastle United owners had made a short-term appointment of a consultant to help ensure they had the best possible January transfer window.

With no permanent appointment of a Director of Football to be made in time for the January window, the Newcastle United owners turning to Nick Hammond.

Nick Hammond taking the temporary role at St James Park, having resigned as Celtic’s head of football operations in March this year.

Previously, Hammond spent two years as technical director at West Brom but is best known for the job he did at Reading. Nick Hammond credited with playing a key role in the club’s rise to playing in the Premier League for the first time in their history in 2006, handling player recruitment and contract negotiations, also appointing Steve Coppell, the manager who got them promoted.

With only two weeks to go until the transfer window opened on January 1, The Athletic said that the short term consultant would be ‘using his knowledge of the game and array of contacts to advise the board on recruitment.’

However, this Saturday (15 January 2022) has brought another exclusive on Nick Hammond.

This one from The Times, who have revealed that Hammond’s short-term Newcastle United appointment turned out to be VERY short-term.

The Times saying that Nick Hammond had his NUFC employment ended on Christmas Eve, only seven days after the announcement of his appointment. Rather than short-term appointment, more like a week’s work experience.

The report doesn’t give the club’s reasoning for cutting the consultant’s time so short.

However, what they do focus on, is that they say the swift departure of Nick Hammond has led to Eddie Howe having far greater power over recruitment than had been expected when he was appointed in November.

The Times reporting that in Head of recruitment Steve Nickson, Eddie Howe has found an ally.

The report saying that Nickson raised the prospect with Steve Bruce of signing Chris Wood but that the then Head Coach knocked him back, the newspaper also says this was the case with Rafa Benitez. The Spaniard not interested in Wood when Steve Nickson put his name forward.

So it now looks a case of third time lucky for Steve Nickson and Chris Wood, when it comes to the now former Burnley striker finally making it to St James Park.

The Times do make clear that of course Amanda Staveley is the one at the top of the chain in terms of decisions on player recruitment, with the minority shareholder heading up things on behalf of the club’s owners.

With both Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood recruited in time to play in the first NUFC game since the transfer window opened, I think overwhelming agreement amongst fans that this has been a very credible start to the new owners’ transfer activity.

With still 16 days though to go until the January window closes, there is no doubt Newcastle United need to follow up with more quality added to this squad.

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