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On this day in 2008: Newcastle announce Joe Kinnear as interim manager

Joe Kinnear had a short spell in charge of Newcastle (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Joe Kinnear had a short spell in charge of Newcastle (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley sprang a major surprise by appointing Joe Kinnear as the club’s interim manager on this day in 2008.

Ashley asked the former Wimbledon, Luton and Nottingham Forest boss to step into the breach after Terry Venables rejected the temporary post.

Kinnear was initially handed a contract until the end of October with the expectation that Ashley would push through his sale of the club in the wake of protests following Kevin Keegan’s departure three weeks earlier.

Soccer – Barclays Premier League – Newcastle United v Manchester City – St James’ Park
Joe Kinnear’s brief reign at Newcastle was marred by controversy (Owen Humphreys/PA)

“I am very excited about the challenge in front of me,” Kinnear said in a statement.

“Results have not been great of late, but there is a lot of quality in the squad and I am very confident the players are capable of climbing the league table.”

Kinnear anticipated some of the supporter unrest that would follow by adding: “It was a call out of the blue, to be honest. The fans are going to be disappointed, I am aware of that and I can do nothing about that.”

Kinnear marked his first press conference with an expletive-ridden tirade against journalists the following month, and stepped down from his role in February due to ill health.