Retiring goalkeeper Steve Harper calls for the dust to settle at Newcastle following arrival of Joe Kinnear

Managing director Derek Llambias has left and there is uncertainty over the future of manager Alan Pardew

Steve Harper is hoping the furore surrounding Joe Kinnear's appointment as Newcastle's director of football will have settled down long before the start of the new season.

The 38-year-old goalkeeper, who will officially end his 20-year stay at the club when his contract expires at the end of this month, worked under Kinnear during his brief spell as manager at St James' Park and is keeping his fingers crossed that Mike Ashley's bold decision to employ him once again pays off.

Harper told the Northern Echo: "Joe is very likeable, speaking as a player. He is a larger-than-life character, a good motivator.

"He came in at a very difficult time, a very turbulent time and sadly, his time was taken away from him because of illness.

"One plus side is that he does know the club, he knows a few of the players, he is not coming in as a total novice to the place. He does have that head-start, unlike anybody else who might have been in the role.

"I am glad it has happened now, that it has happened in the June rather than mid-season. Everything should have settled down by the start of the season."

Kinnear's return to St James' Park has thrown the club into turmoil once again, prompting managing director Derek Llambias' resignation and speculation that others could follow.

However, manager Alan Pardew has insisted he is staying and after a first meeting between the two men on Tuesday, the 51-year-old will hope for progress on a summer recruitment drive, one of the responsibilities taken on by the Irishman.

But with the club's fans still in revolt over the appointment, the club has been plunged into chaos once again.

That is something to which Harper has become used over the years, but he admits he is now seeing it from a slightly different perspective.

He said: "As for being surprised - I have been there for such a long time and nothing surprises me anymore. Now I am on the other side of the fence, like a fan, and you realise what all the fuss is all about.

"As a fan, I want it to work well. Having a director of football seems to work well on the continent. We even had Gordon Milne working with Sir Bobby [Robson] here at Newcastle. He was in that role when I was here and it worked fine."

Derby rivals Sunderland, of course, have undergone a restructuring process of their own in recent months in the wake of Paolo Di Canio's arrival, with his fellow Italians Roberto De Fanti and Valentino Angeloni having been installed as director of football and chief scout respectively.

The north-east rivals have gone about the business of installing their new management teams in markedly different fashion, but former Black Cats striker and chairman Niall Quinn admits only time will tell how effective either will be.

Quinn told the Northern Echo: "I know Joe Kinnear is a well-respected guy within the ranks of football. I always feel that if you have a manager who is constantly under pressure from somebody he feels isn't even the chairman of the club, it is a second edition of issues and problems.

"But if you have a director of football who really supports the manager, wants to bring in the players, creates things, then it is a good thing.

"We are still to find out whether Joe will be a firefighter to prevent Alan Pardew from delivering the growth strategy he will have, or whether he will help that growth strategy. Until we know, it is a hard one to call.

"I take the point that Sunderland did it under the radar and it looks like Paolo will have huge support, but I presume Ellis Short feels comfortable with that.

"But if Newcastle win their first three games and Sunderland lose their first three, then we are all wrong if we say stuff like that.

"I just can't wait for the football to start again. It will all work out."


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific