How 'horrible' can you get?
Derek Llambias has spoken, apparently caught on tape whilst eating out. Should we be surprised?
Most of those on Tyneside who saw the news about Derek Llambias`s indiscretions will not be surprised. It seems to be a prerequisite of Chairmen at Newcastle United should be caught "off the record" from time to time.
For anyone who did miss it, Shearer was responsible for relegation, allegedly Keegan`s "f****** head is all over the place." On Hughton he says "Chris can`t make decisions".
Before getting too worked up, it is worth remembering that Llambias is part of a regime that a tribunal reported systematically lied to and misled supporters. Llambias is therefore on record as being a liar. Some would also argue that he is not a very good Chairman.
The majority of his communications have been in writing, either in the match day programme, in press releases or in bland communications via the club web site. His more recent Mission Statement was welcomed by ToTT. His rare radio interview was also applauded, despite his belittling of Newcastle United history and breathy tongue tied responses over the name of St James` Park.
It will not be forgotten who appointed him. Mike Ashley is the man who spent a fortune on a pile of debt without doing due diligence, a man described by Karen Brady as a "chancer". By luck or judgement, Ashley is rich, but a gambler.
If Llambias, the documented liar, is to be believed, Keegan was appointed due to potential interest from an arab buyer for the club. This was at a time when Ashley was, in public at least, committed to developing Newcastle United. Is this another lie, or has Llambias implicated more liars?
What a tribunal deemed to be fact, or the balance of probabilities based on testimony from self confessed liars, was that Keegan was constructively dismissed. That might legitimately be translated as being lied to over the issue of "last say". Constructive dismissal can be interpreted as undue pressure.
What made Keegan a popular figure on Tyneside is that he was passionate. As a player, his passion for the game was reflected. His first spell as manager produced a brand of football loved all over the country. As his earlier Chairman, Sir John Hall, Life President at NUFC has often reminisced, that passion led to passionate moments. It also put Newcastle United back on the map.
It is easy for Llambias to blame Shearer for relegation. That came in a season where Keegan had been constructively dismissed and the hierarchy at Newcastle United were deemed to have lied. Hughton had been put in charge as caretaker before Joe Kinnear was appointed. Kinnear had a history of heart problems and they resurfaced while working under the pressure of "horrible" Llambias.
Shearer had 8 games to save Newcastle United. Thousands of supporters had written in the January window asking for appropriate investment to stop the drop. Llambias was a part of the hierarchy that ignored those pleas. We were relegated.
The hierarchy was responsible for no less than 5 spells of management that season. It could reasonably be argued that relegation was not the fault of any of the managers but of those who were responsible for the situation that the managers inherited.
And so to Hughton. This was the man who, according to Llambias, could not make decisions. This allegation is not a surprise since this is what has been peddled by Llambias`s appointees.
Just as Llambias is new to running a football club, Hughton was new to management. He was not the most popular appointment but what he did was show enough courage to step into a role made difficult by a hierarchy that had been proven to be liars.
Hughton won the affections of supporters. He did that, not through perceptions of his decision making, but through what he achieved. Llambias, through his approach to the St James` Park issue shows that he has no sense of history. Hughton`s achievements actually give him a status in Newcastle United`s history. He had a quality that Llambias might not comprehend, dignity.
Perhaps Llambias did not realise that Hughton is the first manager in Newcastle United`s long history to achieve promotion at the first attempt. Perhaps he does not appreciate that Hughton was the first Newcastle United manager to achieve a season unbeaten at home in all competitions. Perhaps Llambias does not realise that Hughton`s side had the best defensive record ever in Newcastle United`s history. Perhaps Llambias does not have a clue.
The sort of fossil that dismisses Newcastle United history and seems to take pride in being "horrible" arguably does not deserve a place in management. Certainly, the industrial democracy that Hughton introduced to the squad seems beyond the understanding of fossils.
There is a piece de resistance, the statement that "You guys don`t understand how f****** horrible we can be." It might give some insight into which side of the murky world of gambling that Llambias comes from but we do have had glimpses into how odious Llambias is.
It is noted that Llambias has a very able female PR person. It is also noted that Llambias has never opened himself up to a live debate with supporters. We have a word for men who hide behind women. It is the same word as those who do not stand up to scrutiny. Llambias has taken the cowardly route of not being publicly accountable. The Mirror article highlights that "Newcastle declined to comment last night".
Llambias does seem to have one thing right. The decision to rename St James` Park was made from a safe London base. He was not our choice and has uniquely made himself unwelcome in one of the most hospitable parts of the country. Hiding 250 miles away was the right decision.
If Ashley has any sense, Llambias will never be allowed to return to St James` Park. Under his tenure, the once traditional full houses at St James` Park are a thing of the past. Llambias has been bad for business and confirmed that he is a danger to Mike Ashley`s interests. Does Llambias have the guts to apologise? Does Ashley have the guts to sack the "horrible" little man?