Would NUFC benefit from employing a Football Director?

Do you remember when?

A DoF. Anyone but Dennis Wise!
The Director of Football debate is a long standing one in England. There are a lot of cases in which it doesn’t seem to work, or more so is destined to fail.

Managers in England all too often seem to feel undermined by such a position and this can cause major problems. In saying that it is a method that can be effectively utilized by many clubs when everyone knows where they stand.

It is the reason I have been entertaining the idea. Alan Pardew seems to be under no illusions as to the power and influence he has as manager and it is blatantly obvious at this stage that as business savvy as the likes of Mike and Derek may be, the extent of their knowledge of football and ability to relate to and communicate with fans and media leaves a lot to be desired.

Obviously I am fully aware of the complete disaster that was Dennis Wise and his portfolio of YouTube clips. Besides the fact he was not qualified for the job it was a decision made without consultation with fans or even manager and was therefore ill received from the outset. That doesn’t automatically make it an option to be written off. It just means it would have to be executed well this time.

As much as the board do their best to make Geordies pull their hair out at times, there have been good decisions and appointments made behind the scenes and their financial model for the club is clear. People either agree with it or don`t. Personally I think it is the best way forward for the club at this moment in time.

I do however think we are a club that could really do with a continental management structure as the managers role itself is based more on coaching of the first team than overall management of the club in the Sir Alex Ferguson sense, and as I said the board are business men, not football men.

I am delighted with our backroom staff for the most part these days. A great scouting system in Graham Carr and his team. Peter Beardsley is in charge of the reserves and seems to be getting the best out of them. John Carver and Steve Stone as part of the first team coaching set up. A good tactician and man manager in Alan Pardew and Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias for the business and finance end of things.

I don`t like Llambias one bit as a bloke but in fairness there are very few who do like the suits upstairs at any club. In terms of his position as MD, I think while he does a good job in certain aspects he has major flaws on the football end of things which let him and us down. I think someone alongside the board with a long standing football background would solve this problem and make for a more effective running of the club.

This person should have a wealth of knowledge and experience in football, that much is a given. With that should come an extremely good reputation in football and a lot of good contacts and relationships both at home and abroad. It also has to be someone the board, and especially Pardew and the fans approve of. That is pivotal I think.

The responsibilities of this role are up for debate. What should the role entail? With the qualities listed above this person would, in my opinion, have to be instrumental in transfer negotiations, obviously once players have been put forward by Pardew and Carr.

They would also be vital in managing the relationship between board and existing players. Any contract talks or conflicts between players and board would be handled better by someone who understands and can relate to footballers rather than ruthless business men.

It would allow Pardew to concentrate on the first team alone and how to improve it while a Football Director can take the bigger picture approach to the club. Ensure the investment in the youth academy and development is reaping rewards. Ensure that there is someone on top of the football side of things at all times.

I also think they would be a valuable figure to have for fans and media. It would eliminate Pardew having to answer questions he should not be answering in the first place. A football director should have to attend press conferences in case there are questions that do not concern first team footballing matters.

I`m just spinning ideas at the moment and there is a lot of planning and questions that come with such an appointment. I would be very interested to hear what other people think.

Would it be beneficial to the club to have a Director of Football?

What should the responsibilities of the role be?

What would be the most effective method of appointing such a person?

Should it be a selection made by Pardew? By the fans? By the board?

Are there more pro`s for board or fans? Do the pro`s outweigh the con`s?

A lot more questions than answers at the moment to be honest, just something I have thought about a small bit recently.

As usual, all thoughts and insight appreciated.

34 thoughts on “Would NUFC benefit from employing a Football Director?

  1. Personally I’m not convinced, however there are 2 arguments that I would like to throw in the mix. The 1st is that Llambias’s background is in entertainment and hence should be focussed on building up the corporate side of the business. It’s income is way below what it should be for a club of newcastle’s size and reputation. The 2nd is that it would give a football man the job of handling Players contracts and transfers, and therefore it should be better handled. However both these posts report to a chairman, neither are the chairman. So I would be looking at not just the appointment of a director of football. Also do not want a DOF who chooses the players for the coach, but buys the ones the coaches identify.


  2. Nowt would change from the present. A DOF could identify the next Messi but the deal would fail or succeed on what MA and DL decided was the financial deal


  3. Just to throw another aspect into the debate, what is the role of Wendy Taylor at the club??? Supervising the flights over SJP? 😀


  4. If lamearse was cut out of the equasion as far as transfers was concerned and Carr was allowed to not only scout but also handle the deals , then we would already be a lot better off . Lamearse could then concentrate on the corporate side only as PREMANDUP has already suggested . We have a press officer that could then start doing her work (has anyone ever heard or read anything from her ?) and would then not need a DOF keeping Ashley happy because its one less wage to pay .


  5. Maybe there is something brewing inside SJP , Pardew seems to be going to war with Lamearse if you read his interviews in the press the last few days . Even going to Zwitserland to scout just to make a point .Pardew is starting to prove he is no patsy maybe ? wonder who are next manager will be 🙁


  6. Hitman I have said all along that imo Lambsarse is the biggest problem, yeah ok he may be carrying out his duties but I think the way he goes about it and the way he treats people is a big part of the problem.
    I think that MA has a plan for the club, and issues DL with what he wants for the club, then MA steps back and leaves it up to DL in the day to day running of the club.
    So aslong as DL carries out his duties MA doesnt get involved and therefore doesn’t see the problems that DL causes in carring out them duties, just the end results.


  7. I have posted before about the difference in media coverage for both NE teams, I watched the mackems game online yesterday and was appalled by a deliberate stamp by Bardsley on Mata whilst he was lying on the ground with the ball nowhere in site, disgusting thuggish attack from a man who almost broke Collocinis leg in 2.
    The incident is not mentioned in either the People or Mirror this morning and was not shown on MOD either, now this makes my piss boil as im sure if it had been any of our players, it would be shown every hour, on the hour in order to force the FA into retrospective action.
    When he did Collocini, the pundits were saying that he is ” not that kind of player”, hard to defend him now.


  8. what have the good decisions and appointments been ? and the financial situation is far from clear it changes on a monthly basis ! The problem at the toon is its like a pyramid with the big mistakes being made at the very top and spiriling down , by adding another tier to that you would be adding to the problems .While ashley remains and his fortunes surge and fall on the spin of a wheel and his interest in the club depends on how loved he feels , and the manager askes us to judge him on his signings then tells us its not in his job specification , building this week dismantling next week .we are stuck in limbo .what i would like to see (under a different regime obviously) would be a manager given modest powers to buy and sell in transfer windows whilst trying to keep a blend of young and experienced players including proven goalscorers because they are very hard to come by , but with newcastle it always has to be about expremes smith geremi owen 70000 plus a week etc , and now the ridiculously rigid plan of buying young cheap players and getting rid of older proven premier league players .When i say rigid thats only when it suits them ofcoarse ie the sale of a carroll because the offer was to good to turn down and the offer of a new contract to s amiobi taking him into his 30s as he is the future of the club !


  9. obviously the answer is no on this one. any bloke that is appointed will be a yes man and would only serve to make the managers job even harder. its just about impossible now ffs.
    What we need is a real footballing chairman, nothing more.

    By the end of this season or before the next one starts i expect simpson, colo, jonas, tiote and krul all to be gone.


  10. No matter what the structure of the club is Lamsarse and the fat man make the decisions and cut everybody else out. Appointing anybody else would be a waste of money. They don`t listen and have their own plans whether you agree with them or not does`nt matter. Ashley has proved throughout his career he makes the decisions and anyone who disagrees will not last long. KK a perfect example!


  11. I think essentially it would work, but the problem falls over with Ashley on this one as he would obviously prefer to hire someone that he trusts.

    Problem with that is that we will end up with only his mates like Llambias.

    I can see how it would and could work, and essentially its not a million miles away from what is happening at the club right now, but I can’t see us getting a football orientated director in.


  12. FS i agree mate,i dont understand fans wanting a new PR,they would just pass on what the two gits want them too bloody pointless imo


  13. It is not what they are called – it is what they do. If Llambias and Charnley have responsibility for getting the negotiations completed it patently did not work. If Graham Carr was given a budget by the Board and operated within it and Pardew could work with him then the people are already there. Llambias and Charnley no. Another antagonistic football director no. It just needs common sense, less abrasive management and a realisation that it is football that puts bums on seats. All a Dennis Wise type appointment would do is tell us the Board don’t learn or listen and gates will fall even further.


  14. I see Sunderland are misleading their fans again. Coming out and claiming players are forcing their way out. Gyan has now said he had no choice to leave once Sunderland accepted the offer.

    It seems the EPL is filled with lying owners/chairmen now…


  15. The sense and reason behind the DOF can’t be argued with.

    The article above states how happy Keith is with our backroom teams other than Llambias – but its Llambias that’s put that team together.

    Not really sure what people want any more.

    Often it seems a collective dislike of an individual means all the good he has done is ignored.

    I can see all of the good Ashley and Llambias have done and it outweighs the poor decisions 10 to 1.


  16. Stardust, you can’t be serious. 10 to 1? Strewth. Wise, Xisco, JFK, relegation, falling gates, the striker cockup. I must have been dreaming.


  17. Blaydon – its easy to heckle from the sidelines with the benefit of hindsight.

    Every decision will have been made for the betterment of the club, some work out some don’t. Overall we are in the best shape we have been in for 10 years imo


  18. I agree that hindsight is an exact science. Are you really suggesting that fans didn’t see the disaster that the appointments of Wise and JFK would be or that few of us believed that Carroll would be replaced. We may be in better financial nick but only because the club now owe the owner. We will support the regime when we see that lessons are learned and appropriate action taken. The frustration of Pardew is obvious. The last thing we need is another October upheaval.


  19. But Stardust, you were slating The Regime for months when Hughton was sacked.

    You spouted hatred towards them yet now you love them.

    The trouble is dusty, no one takes you seriously because you are all over the shop with your views.

    You hate the truth .    


  20. @stardust

    Another classic ! We are in the best shape for 10 yrs.

    Explain to me what debt we were in 2001?
    I seem to recall SBR was leading us to the knock out stages in the CL and 3rd in the league around 2002/03.

    Please explain? We are all dying to hear your explanation but we all expect a rant of ridicule without answering the question. 


  21. DOF was poorly implemented with Wise. Not the frame of reference that should be used when entertaining the idea. Not suggesting for a second that if it was done in the same manner it would work or i`d want to see it. But there is no doubt we lack a football man upstairs.

    As Big Dave & Hitman say, DL has flaws on the football side of things, major ones. The ideal would be to simply replace him with someone who has a good balance of both business acumen and football experience. Reality is there is very little if any chance of that ever happening, so how do you ensure for the future that we are not relying on his weaknesses as well as strengths. Imo a workable solution is to get someone alongside him with strengths on the football end if he cannot be replaced all together.

    A DOF is a given in Italy and Spain. Damien Commoli seems to have had a very good influence at Liverpool since going there. Spains two biggest clubs work on the principle of a DOF. There`s dozens of clubs on the continent that work with a DOF when their manager has the exact same role Pardew does here. If you have an owner or MD that is well rounded you dont need someone. We dont. A football man is needed on the board imo.

    Expected a point blank no to this one to be honest . Whether you fall in line with my thinking or generally disagree with most of what I put forward, a lot of people with good insight comment on this site, was the reason I still posted the article. More so interested in hearing thoughts on if and how it could be made to work.. What would be the best way of appointing such a person.. What should the role entail.. If done the right way would it be beneficial.. How so.. As Premandup says would it allow DL to concentrate more on the corporate end, creating revenue streams for the club.. Would it instead cause more problems than solutions.. Are there more pro`s than con`s..


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