The Magpies, who parted company with John Carver and Steve Stoneon Tuesday, announcedlast night that the 54-year-old has been installed as Alan Pardew’s permanent replacement after signing a three-year contract which could eventually be extended to eight.
Managing director Lee Charnley said: “From my first meeting with Steve, I knew he was the perfect fit for Newcastle United. I am delighted that we have secured the services of one of the best coaches in English football.”
McClaren has been handed the challenge of securing a top-eight finish in the Premier League and to aim for a first trophy for the club since 1969.
Charnley added: “Steve has been tasked to secure a top-eight finish in the Premier League and he is also heavily incentivised to try to win a cup competition.
“We recognise supporters’ strong desire to win a trophy, an ambition which the club now shares, as Mike Ashley made clear in his comments on the last day of the season. Steve is excited by this and he has our full support in trying to achieve this goal.
“Our immediate focus will be on working with Steve to assess and improve upon our playing squad.”
Former England boss McClaren was identified as the club’s top target within weeks of Pardew’s departure in January, but opted at that point to remain at Derby and see through the club’s bid for promotion to the Premier League.
Ultimately he was to fall short in that quest for the second successive season, but another more urgent approach proved equally fruitless when Newcastle came calling again in May in desperate need, with just three games of their own unravelling campaign remaining.
However, they finally got their man after investigating a series of possibilities — Frenchman Remi Garde was an early candidate and compatriot Patrick Vieira’s representatives also received a call — were considered.
McClaren said: “I am privileged to be appointed head coach of Newcastle United FC. This is a big club with a wonderful heritage.
“St James’ Park is like a cathedral on a Saturday afternoon, a symbol for the city, and I am excited to be given this opportunity. I know how important Newcastle United is to the city and the region.
“The supporters are some of the most loyal, passionate and devoted in the world. Despite everything, they maintain their faith. We owe it to them to do everything we can to reward them with success. This club has waited far too long to win a trophy.”