WHO would have thought it? Newcastle United a sanctuary for football sanity.
Less than a week since the end of the Premier League season and technically speaking Alan Pardew is the top flight’s second longest-serving club boss behind Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger.
I know Sir Alex Ferguson is still officially at Manchester United and likewise successor David Moyes at Everton.
But you get my general drift.
Not even the three managers coming up from the Championship, regardless of who wins next Monday’s play-off final, can trump Pardew’s long service award.
And the beleaguered Magpies boss himself has still to see three years out.
It all shows, if you did not already know it, just how crazy English football has become.
Thank heavens then for wise old sages like Toon owner Mike Ashley and chairman Derek Llambias for giving Pardew the opportunity to repent after this season’s sins.
To be honest, given all the soiled goods out of work at the minute, I don’t know where the pair could have gone for anyone better.
Not anyone, that’s for sure, who would have been prepared to put up with the club’s frugal transfer policy.
A policy I imagine that extends to ruling out paying a transfer fee for someone’s else manager.
Be prepared for the following lines over the coming months.
“We did a lot of our summer shopping in the winter window.”
Yes but only because “we” didn’t get the credit card out much last summer.
Oh and “we are £8m down on the places pot after falling from fifth to 16th this season”.
Well what about this extra £60m everyone is getting just for being in the Premier League next season?
Newcastle gambled last summer that the successful 2011-12 squad were good enough to repeat the trick without any substantial additions.
That wager very nearly backfired spectacularly with the club ending up as many points from the Championship as they were from the Champions League only 12 months ago.
But if you like a bet – I know one lad with end-of-season withdrawal symptoms who is already taking a crash course in the Aussie leagues – then do not spend too much money on Newcastle spending too much money.
– GAVIN LEDWITH