Newcastle fans 'paying tribute' to Saudi owners says reporter
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Former Newcastle United player Geremi has thrown his hat into the ring to become the new director of football at the club. Plenty is up in the air at Newcastle following the takeover led by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and Geremi believes he could be the man to help guide his old club to a successful future.
The Magpies are currently without a manager or director of football after the new ownership group sacked Steve Bruce last week.
Bruce’s assistant Graeme Jones took charge of the team’s 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace on Saturday, with PIF and their advisors yet to make a decision on the club’s next full-time manager.
Managing director Lee Charnley is expected to be the next person out of the door, following Bruce and former owner Mike Ashley.
Ajax director of football Marc Overmars is interested in taking the same role at Newcastle, according to Dutch outlet De Telegraaf.
However, he isn’t the only person hoping to move to St James’ Park, with former Real Madrid, Chelsea and Newcastle defender Geremi making his thoughts clear on the project.
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“Of course if the club ever called me and asked for my help, I have my qualifications in management and administration, but I don’t have coaching qualifications,” the 42-year-old, who played for Newcastle between 2007 and 2009, told Ladbrokes.
“I can be a director of sport at a club and I have experience with some of the biggest names in management, so I think I’d have the experience to do a job like that for the team.
“I won’t name anyone in particular, but I think Newcastle should be looking to give the job to a former player who has only recently retired, because football has changed a lot in the last few years.
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“It’s a great opportunity for someone who has just started coaching. The owners need to take the time to find the right person for the job.”
Former Barcelona midfielder Overmars has been Ajax’s director of football for the past decade, helping establish the Amsterdam club as the dominant force in the Eredivisie.
He was previously linked with a similar job at Arsenal – and it remains unclear whether Newcastle are considering him.
Meanwhile, ex-Roma manager Paulo Fonseca has been strongly linked with the vacant manager’s role on Tyneside, but a decision is yet to be made.
Whether Newcastle would consider his services or not, Geremi has outlined his hopes for the future of his old club.
“I don’t want someone to just come in on a short-term basis to keep the club in the division; the decision they make has to be with a long-term vision in mind,” he said.
“Bringing someone in and changing things in the summer is not a good option. The project has started now, so the right person has to come in for the long-term.
“It’s worth remembering that whoever comes in should be given the time to succeed as well – I don’t think they should think about getting rid of a manager after a few bad results – they should be judged on their work after two or three seasons.
“The first objective is to keep the team in the league; at the moment they’re fighting for survival. Then my next objective would be to win one trophies in the next two or three years.”
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