NEWCASTLE United continued their policy of long-term planning yesterday by handing manager Alan Pardew and three key members of his coaching staff eight-year contracts.
If Pardew were to see out the deal it would take him to just short of ten years at St James’ Park. He was appointed as manager in December 2010, and the extension runs until the summer of 2020.
Assistant manager John Carver, coach Steve Stone and goalkeeping coach Andy Woodman have also been given new deals as Newcastle strive to create greater stability at a club with a turbulent recent history.
“If you look at clubs like Manchester United and Arsenal, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsène Wenger have shown stability gives you the best platform to achieve success and that is the model we wish to emulate here,” explained managing director Derek Llambias.
“We’re looking to build on the success we had last season and these new contracts are aimed at keeping the club progressing on and off the pitch, as we have done since returning to the Premier League in 2010.
“Alan has done a fantastic job over the last couple of years and has proved what a great Premier League manager he is. I have total respect for him in all football matters and have an excellent relationship with him which I think benefits the club enormously. Alan also has one of the best backroom teams in the country.”
Ferguson is approaching his 26th anniversary as Manchester United manager, while Wenger took over at Arsenal in 1996. In the ten years leading up to Pardew’s appointment, Newcastle had eight managers, plus caretakers.
The deal is the longest of any current Premier League boss, although not unprecedented at Newcastle. Kevin Keegan was handed a 10-year contract extension in 1993-94, although he had quit by January 1997.
It demonstrated that the link between the length of a manager’s contract and the time he serves is no more than theoretical, but with compensation clauses believed to be in place in the event of them ending early, it does at least give Pardew and his team a healthy degree of security.
Long-term deals have been all the rage at St James’ Park since the Magpies returned to the Premier League. On replacing Chris Hughton as manager, Pardew was initially given a contract which ran until 2016.
During that season Cheick Tioté committed for six-and-a-half more years, Carver for five. Steven Taylor, Nile Ranger and Andy Carroll signed for five-and-a-half years. Carroll still left to join Liverpool midway through the campaign, while Ranger’s deal has lumbered the club with a striker who is no longer part of Pardew’s plans.
At the start of this season, chief scout Graham Carr was also handed an eight-year contract.
Fifty-one-year-old Pardew is the current League Managers’ Association Manager of the Year. He received the accolade for leading the Magpies into this season’s Europa League, finishing above Chelsea and Liverpool in the Premier League last term. Out of work after being sacked by League One Southampton earlier that season, Pardew was initially an unpopular choice, with supporters having warmed to Hughton and sceptical of Pardew’s links to the club’s hierarchy. The fact he was a Cockney – the brush Buckinghamshire-born owner Mike Ashley and his right-hand man Llambias were repeatedly tarred with at the time – did not help his cause.
It reflects the turnaround that Llambias was able to say of yesterday’s announcement in all sincerity: “We hope this announcement will be great news for the fans, whose support and commitment to this club over the years has been fantastic.” Pardew, who did not turn professional as a player until the age of 26, previously managed Reading, West Ham United and Charlton Athletic.