As we are all aware, Sunday is usually the “slow news” day for the tabloids, but the news coming out of St James’ Park has, once more, given the journos something to feed on, and it’s another head-scratcher. The news is that Joe Kinnear’s buddy Mick Harford will soon be announced as Joe Kinnear’s assistant. This appointment raises a few questions, such as, does Joe have the remit to hire his own staff who are answerable only to him? Will this not cause some conflict of interests with Pardew’s staff? Given that Kinnear outranks Pardew, does this mean that Harford outranks Pardew too? Why does a Director of Football need an assistant? Finally, is Kinnear assembling a backroom staff for the inevitable departure of Alan Pardew? All the above questions deserve to have the spotlight shone on them, but it is this last question that I really want to focus on as I fear it is the most Machiavellian and shines a light as to the real reason Kinnear was brought in as “Director of Football”. Many speculated that Kinnear’s arrival would serve to undermine Pardew’s position as manager, and the first few gaffe-ridden interviews seem to point to such a conclusion. However, Pardew seemed to claw back a lot of integrity with the way he managed the press going into pre-season, and even had many of his detractors feeling sorry for him for the shoddy treatment he was receiving. As the dust continued to settle, many felt that Kinnear was simply going to handle the transfer side of things (albeit badly up to this point) and that Pardew would be left to prepare the first team. There was no real evidence that Kinnear was gunning for Pardew’s job, until now that is. Kinnear’s remit as Director of Football is to get our transfer targets to sign on the dotted line, to negotiate wages, fees and to open doors with managers across the world to see what players are available, he does not need an assistant to fulfil this seemingly simple task. When Llambias held Kinnear’s position he never needed an “assistant”, Lee Charnley, the club secretary, would assist him in negotiations, so surely this practice would continue with Kinnear in charge, and anyway, Harford has never shown any degree of aptitude in being a wheeler dealer capable of such a role anyway. In fact, what has Harford demonstrated as being his forte when it comes to football? It may interest you to know that Mick Harford once played under Kinnear at Wimbledon, before becoming a part of his coaching staff. He followed Kinnear to both Luton Town and Nottingham Forest. He has managerial aspirations too, having managed Luton, Rotherham and QPR, and recently plied his trade as Karl Robinson’s assistant at MK Dons before announcing he was to take a coaching role at Millwall. So it is safe to say that Mick Harford is a coach, who has managerial aspirations. If Newcastle United were to bring in a coach, surely that would be within Pardew’s remit, as he is the man in charge of training the first team? So why then, has Kinnear hired a coach? I firmly believe it is with the view to Harford either being Kinnear’s assistant when the inevitable implosion arrives and Pardew’s tenure as manager becomes untenable, or perhaps more interestingly, Harford could become the next Newcastle manager, with Kinnear maintaining his role as Director of Football. These underhand tactics, no doubt overseen by one Mike Ashley, only serves to show the backhand nature of the political arena that currently exists at Newcastle United, and once more shows that Pardew is not the only problem we have to contend with as Newcastle fans, as removing him as manager will only ensure that one of Ashley’s cronies gets the job. If you do what you’ve always done, you will get what you’ve always gotten, and as long as we have Ashley at the helm we will always see mediocre managers at the club, playing mediocre football as well as being the laughing stock of English football. Harford’s coaching, and managerial career, is nothing to shout home about, and the fact that he is a Mackem only rubs salt in the wound. Personally, I feel this is another constructive dismissal case in the making, which would show that Mike Ashley not only does not learn from his mistakes, but purposely goes out to repeat them. One thing is absolutely certain though, this will not be the last we hear about these off field rumblings, and I foresee this situation coming to a head very soon. I think many of you would join me in saying that if Pardew is still our manager by Christmas I would be very surprised. It is true what they say, the devil you know is much better than the devil you don’t. Unless that devil is Joe Kinnear, then you’re buggered! Comments welcome.