Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
JawD

Morts Comments

Recommended Posts

Chris Mort’s honeymoon as Newcastle United chairman has not lasted long but, as he told Luke Edwards, he is only just starting to get his hands warm as he attempts to end the decades of under-achievement at St James’s Park.

 

EVERY long journey begins with a single step and the man charged with the task of leading Newcastle United towards an exciting new era is more concerned with making the first move forward than where it might end up.

 

Chris Mort does not have the charisma of some Premier League chairmen and he does not have the football experience of others, but what he does have is a sharp mind and proven business acumen.

 

A lawyer by trade, Mort does not hurry his words or his judgements, he is careful and considered in his approach, but a cool exterior hides a burning determination to succeed.

 

Those expecting a rollercoaster ride of fast spending, showbiz signings and delicious soundbites might be disappointed with Newcastle’s new chairman, but those who want to see their football club finally have clear direction and a long-term plan should be thrilled by his presence in the boardroom. It is sometimes said a marriage heads downhill as soon as the honeymoon starts and, while Mort has no intention of ending his relationship with Newcastle in an acrimonious divorce, he will perhaps have some sympathy with those sentiments.

 

Barely were the new man’s feet under the desk in his new office when the first whispers of criticism began to be heard. He was criticised for a lack of spending in the transfer market as Sam Allardyce struggled to sign the defenders his squad desperately needs, sniped at for failing to move his family home to the North-East and questioned about his long-term commitment to the club, with rumours buzzing around the City that owner Mike Ashley would look to sell the club at a profit as quickly as possible.

 

“It is not a short-term project for Mike Ashley or myself and I want to put that to bed straight away,” said Mort, who has revealed he will spend the majority of his time in his office at St James’s Park, despite keeping his family home in London. “If you look at the companies Mike has bought, like Dunlop and Slazenger, he has developed them over a period of 20 years.

 

“He does small investments like he did in adidas, which he then sells on, but that is not a whole business, it’s a minority stake. He has bought an entire asset here and the plan is to develop it over a lengthy period of time, not turn things around quickly and sell it on again.

 

“We are here for the long term, this is a long-term project. We are looking at how to take the club forward over various timescales. We are looking at the short term, which is making sure the team is a strong as possible for the start of the Premier League season, which means getting the squad and staff right.

 

“Then there is the longer time frame, like property development, which we haven’t really looked at yet at all. We have to get the foundations right here to sustain long-term goals.”

 

Although long-term goals are fine, it is the strength of the squad for an assault on the Premier League on which Mort and manager Sam Allardyce will first be judged. With rumours of financial trouble limiting the funds made available to the manager and even talk of tension between the two men, Mort confirmed the club’s debt – perhaps conservatively estimated at £80m – is larger than they first believed. He was careful not to openly criticise the club’s former owners, but there was also the clear inference that things would be better managed in the future.

 

There was also an overt pledge that the necessary money would be made available to Allardyce to buy the players he wants. Mort said: “The calibre of player we want to bring in is someone with a lot of Premiership experience or Champions League experience and they are in short supply. We are at a stage where we don’t want to just bring players in to add to the squad, we want players who are going to be in the first team. We are not just trying to add numbers, we are trying to add quality. I think Sam and I are not that focused on the money side of things, we are just trying to bring in the right people. We are conscious we don’t want to overpay, or panic buy and so we are managing our funds properly. But we both know we are going to have to pay decent money to bring decent players in. We are certainly willing to spend the money we have to strengthen the squad and we are close to bringing in two or three players before the start of the season.”

 

He continued: “The debt was certainly higher than we thought. The club’s finances were not in as strong a position as we first thought when we arrived, but that’s something we will work with over a period of time. It obviously wasn’t a positive thing to find out that the business isn’t in as good a financial health as we believed. It’s not a criticism of the previous regime, their heart was in the right place to do what they could to bring success to the club, but we’ll look at the debt and get it to a level which is suitable for the size of the club and its revenue.

 

“It has not been a hindrance to what we are doing in the transfer market and for me the two are separate. We are doing lots of things on the financial side and buying players is just one of those, the debt is another. The debt has not stopped us from trying to buy the players we want to improve the squad.”

 

There were also further assurances for Allardyce he will be given the chance to construct the firm foundations needed to sustain long-term success at the club. Mort added: “The aim is to win that first trophy, of course, but we are not setting Sam any specific goals for this season or beyond. We appreciate there is lots of work to do with the squad and behind the scenes in terms of backroom staff support.

 

“We want to be heading in the right direction in the Premiership, but we haven’t said we want this finish or that finish. We want to have a team which is tough to beat and who other teams are wary of, but this is going to be a gradual process. Our ambitions are to take the club back into Europe, but this is just the first step forward. We are getting the foundations in place in the first team, but also across the whole of the club. We are not focusing too much on what happens in the first few weeks and months.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mothercunny! You beat me to it. I agree though, reassuring, and the bloke in the Journal is spot on with this comment:

 

Those expecting a rollercoaster ride of fast spending, showbiz signings and delicious soundbites might be disappointed with Newcastle’s new chairman, but those who want to see their football club finally have clear direction and a long-term plan should be thrilled by his presence in the boardroom.

 

 

There's far too many celebrating Shepherd's demise whilst simultaneously wanting the new fella to carry on in the same vain (vein?).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good article that one.

It sounds as though Chris Mort knows fully well what he is doing. I like the part about aims for different time strategies. He is doing his homework on the club and will work out a way to make it successful.

 

Howay!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest James_coDurham

To be fair, taking his time and long term planning is commendable, but that shouldn't and doesn't take away our need to sign players now. As our squad is beyond thin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd hope that at some point he does move to the area though.

 

 

Why?

 

Because being chairman of a business is a day to day job. I doubt he'd be able to do much of it from his home in London.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd hope that at some point he does move to the area though.

 

 

Why?

 

Because being chairman of a business is a day to day job. I doubt he'd be able to do much of it from his home in London.

but in todays world it's entirely possible to run a business of any size from phonecalls and emails. I know it'd be nice to have a body in the chair, but I'm happy with his approach and if this reduces the amount of nonsensical journalistic pressure he'll suffer than I'm more than happy for him to live down south.

 

He can commute and be there when he's needed and deal with the day to day stuff (the fact and figures) from any desk with a pc and a phone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd hope that at some point he does move to the area though.

 

 

Why?

 

Because being chairman of a business is a day to day job. I doubt he'd be able to do much of it from his home in London.

 

 

Sorry, thought you meant mike! :icon_lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest alex
I'd hope that at some point he does move to the area though.

 

 

Why?

 

Because being chairman of a business is a day to day job. I doubt he'd be able to do much of it from his home in London.

but in todays world it's entirely possible to run a business of any size from phonecalls and emails. I know it'd be nice to have a body in the chair, but I'm happy with his approach and if this reduces the amount of nonsensical journalistic pressure he'll suffer than I'm more than happy for him to live down south.

 

He can commute and be there when he's needed and deal with the day to day stuff (the fact and figures) from any desk with a pc and a phone.

Piece of piss commuting to/from London. It's about a 40 minute flight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dunno like.

 

40 Min flight, but add the 90mins hanging around in the airports, traffic around london to get in and out. Delays and such. Its a pain in the arse.

 

Still, while Id like to see him relocate, I dont see it as a big problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
He told me today: “Mike will come to St James’ Park and support the team.

 

“I do not expect him to come to every game but he will be here for some of them.

 

“However, don’t expect him to come out on to the pitch juggling a football.”

 

:icon_lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest alex
Dunno like.

 

40 Min flight, but add the 90mins hanging around in the airports, traffic around london to get in and out. Delays and such. Its a pain in the arse.

 

Still, while Id like to see him relocate, I dont see it as a big problem.

The likes of him won't be hanging around the airport for too long and if they do they'll be sat in posh lounges etc. Plus, he'll stay overnight sometimes etc. He won't neccessarily be up and down every day. Either way, I agree, not living here is no problem whatsoever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We finally appear to have some professional business people in charge. This should mean the club is run in the right way and hopefully mean success on and off the pitch.

Edited by Great Toon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"We are at a stage where we don’t want to just bring players in to add to the squad, we want players who are going to be in the first team"

 

hmmm. smith to start in midfield then. if that quotes true i guess sam's prefered midfield lineup next season will be:

 

geremi----barton-----smith------duff/n'zogbia

 

 

unless he goes 4-3-3. fuck knows how he'll fit our players into that formation

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm, at 4-3-3 I would only assume

 

Geremi-Barton-Smith/Milner

 

Martins/Smith-Viduka-Owen

 

Of course this is if everyone is fit, which would be rare.

 

at 4-4-2

 

Smith - Geremi - Barton - Milner

 

Viduka - Owen/Martins

 

 

I suppose the likes of Duff and Zoggy would find their way in if we could relax our midfield slightly for more flare.

 

Good to have these options though as opposed to wondering who will partner parker and le-sib.

 

Looks like emre/Butt will be destined for the bench also.

 

He said he wanted 2 for each position though, pretty much giving us

 

Smith/NZogbia - Geremi/Emre - Barton/Butt - Milner/Duff

 

Owen/Milner - Viduka/Ameobi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hmm, at 4-3-3 I would only assume

 

Geremi-Barton-Smith/Milner

 

Martins/Smith-Viduka-Owen

 

Of course this is if everyone is fit, which would be rare.

 

at 4-4-2

 

Smith - Geremi - Barton - Milner

 

Viduka - Owen/Martins

 

 

I suppose the likes of Duff and Zoggy would find their way in if we could relax our midfield slightly for more flare.

 

Good to have these options though as opposed to wondering who will partner parker and le-sib.

 

Looks like emre/Butt will be destined for the bench also.

 

He said he wanted 2 for each position though, pretty much giving us

 

Smith/NZogbia - Geremi/Emre - Barton/Butt - Milner/Duff

 

Owen/Milner - Viduka/Ameobi

 

I can't see this lineup working at all tbh:

 

Geremi-Barton-Smith

 

Martins-Viduka-Owen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest alex

Now it looks like a few defenders may be on the way Dan finds a new outlet for his pessimism :icon_lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Now it looks like a few defenders may be on the way Dan finds a new outlet for his pessimism :icon_lol:

 

do you think smith should be an automatic starter like? where would you play him in the team? do you think he's a player we need when you look at what we already have?

 

i'm encouraged by the news of the new defenders btw - not a moment too soon tbh. just a bit non-plussed by the smith purchase.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

Recent tweets

Toontastic Facebook

Donate to Toontastic

Keeping the lights on since... well ages ago
TT-Staff


×