Thursday, October 09, 2008

One down, three to go

Tony Jimenez's brief tenure as Vice President (Player Recruitment) came to an end today. According to the official club statement, he's left to "pursue other interests" aka get away as far as possible from the lunatic asylum that is St James's Park.

My feelings on this are mixed. On the one hand, this would seem to be a first step in paving the way for King Kev's return once the club's under new ownership. The real friction was between Keegan and Messrs Wise and Llambias, but as an integral part of the structure Mike Ashley put in place soon after his arrival, Keegan may well not have looked on him kindly.

On the other hand, Jimenez had some good connections in Europe, by all accounts - exactly what DFW hasn't got - and, having had plenty of time to digest what Ashley had to say in his statement announcing he was putting the club up for sale, I'm inclined to feel that the structure itself may not necessarily be the problem, and that if Keegan had been assured of having the final say on transfers and not had players foisted on him against his will, it could have worked.

Anyway, the question now is how long before Ashley, Llambias and DFW follow him out of the door?

Speaking of which, I was a little bemused by the following sentence, which appeared in a statement put out by the recently formed Newcastle United Supporters Club: "What is clear is that Mike Ashley is not acting quickly enough to end his disastrous relationship with our club". Now, while I don't doubt Ashley wants to make some money out of any deal, he's clearly also desperate to get out of Toon as quick as he can, having had it made plain to him that he's not welcome. Regardless of the rumours in the media, it's hard to believe there could be too many interested potential buyers of the club, given that our finances are still in something of a parlous state and we're evidently in such turmoil - certainly, that's what the extended deadline for the submission of bids suggests. And even if and when serious bids do come in, the bidders will no doubt take heed of Ashley's mistake in steaming in with a bid to wrap up a deal overnight, by ensuring everything's done with due diligence. If that's Ashley's fault, then it's only indirectly so.

Still, at least today we can laugh at the Mackems instead of the other way around, following Roy Keane's claim that FA rules are unfair on his side: "If you look at our academy, we are restricted in terms of our location. You can only bring in kids from a certain area. It's a certain radius and a lot of our radius is in the water. We have to look at whether there's any good fish out there." No, Roy, kids don't want to come to Sunderland because IT'S A SHITEHOLE.

And if that wasn't funny enough, Scott Murray of the Guardian has decided the time is right to re-evaluate Graeme Souness's managerial career and conclude he's really not as bad as he's been made out to be...


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