Kinnear ‘won’t be missed by fans’

Joe Kinnear “will not be missed” after resigning as Newcastle director of football, fans’ groups claim.

Kinnear left the club on Monday night after barely seven months in his role without making a single permanent signing.

Fans had reacted to his initial appointment with incredulity and to his relative lack of activity since — and in particular his failure to replace the Paris St Germain-bound Yohan Cabaye last week — with fury.

Mark Jensen, editor of online fanzine www.themag.co.uk, said: “My personal reaction is that, like any other Newcastle fan, Joe Kinnear won’t be missed.

“In the time he has been there, Newcastle have spent no money on incoming transfers and have sold somebody for £20 million.” During Kinnear’s tenure, Newcastle recruited only two senior players — Loic Remy and Luuk de Jong — both on loan.

Despite being armed with the proceeds of Cabaye’s sale, they were unable to push through deals for either Lyon’s Clement Grenier or Montpellier’s Remy Cabella last week, leaving a gaping hole in manager Alan Pardew’s team which was horribly exposed during Saturday’s 3-0 derby defeat by Sunderland.

Ashley, who appointed the 67-year-old in response to the club’s 16th-placed finish last season, is in no immediate rush to replace him.

However, it remains to be seen who assumes responsibility for player recruitment, with managing director Derek Llambias having stepped down from his post days after Kinnear was drafted in. Llambias, chief scout Graham Carr and Pardew had previously worked together to identify and acquire targets on Ashley’s approval, but it is not yet clear whether the owner is ready to abandon the post of director of football.

Asked whether that role, which had previously been occupied by Dennis Wise — his exact title was executive director (football) — can work on Tyneside, Jensen said: “It’s hard to judge whether or not a director of football really would work at Newcastle as we haven’t had a working example of it. We have had somebody who has been given the title...

“We have somebody like Graham Carr, who has shown working with not very much money, he can identify people who are assets to the club.

“But in the last two transfer windows, whoever he has recommended, apart from the two loan signings, have either been ignored or not followed up seriously.

“If Alan Pardew hasn’t got the power to bring people in, there probably is a need for a director of football to present an overall strategy. But if a manager has an eight-year contract, it’s strange that he isn’t the key person to decide who he needs to fulfil his ambitions and the ambitions of the football club.”


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