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Premier League

Joe Kinnear makes shock return to Newcastle – and will be in charge of transfers

Alan Pardew’s position under threat as surprise move sees former manager made director of football

Alan Pardew’s position as the manager of Newcastle United was placed into doubt on Sunday when the club made the controversial appointment of Joe Kinnear as director of football.

Kinnear has not been involved in football since he was rushed to hospital before a Newcastle game at West Bromwich Albion in 2009, after which he had a heart bypass operation.

The 66-year-old, however, confirmed in an interview he has signed a three-year contract to become the director of football, a move that will be announced formally today. Kinnear insisted he, and not the chief scout, Graham Carr, would be in charge of transfers, and also spoke of the success he has enjoyed as a manager.

The decision to appoint Kinnear, one that came as a huge surprise, is seen as having the capacity to undermine Pardew, who endured a difficult campaign last season. Both Carr and Pardew were given eight-year contracts last year.

Kinnear is also expected to be a regular face at the club’s Benton training ground.

“I’ve been very fortunate in my life as a manager, I’ve been manager of the year three times and I’ve had a great football career, so I think I’m ideal for this situation,” he said.

“I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to come back. I have turned down managerial jobs in the lower leagues, because I felt I’d gone past that and I wanted to get my teeth into something in the Premier League. It’s an interesting role for myself and I don’t think I could be at a better club to do it. I signed it with Mike [Ashley, the Newcastle owner] today and that’s taken care of.

“I intend to meet Alan either tomorrow or within the coming week to discuss the future and go through the team itself. We will discuss where it’s glaringly clear we need to improve and that will be my job, to go and find those players.”