Derek Llambias’ tenure with Newcastle United

Derek Llambias at Glasgow Airport, courtesy of Tony Nicoletti

Mike Ashley’s right hand man & longtime confidant, Derek Llambias, has been charged with being a consultant for Rangers as the management of the club goes through yet another transitional period.  Many assume that he will eventually take over the chief executive position since vacated by Graham Wallace.  

Llambias became Newcastle’s managing director soon after Ashley took over control of the club.  He served in that role from 2008-2013.

In order to get a glimpse at Llambias’ tenure Rangers Report received permission from Ed Harrison, who covers the Geordies for The Newcastle United Blogto repost some of his archive so Rangers supporters can get more insight into Llambias’ leadership style & his relationship with Newcastle’s fans.

All posts were written by Ed Harrison.

So Where Was Derek Llambias Yesterday? from December 10, 2010

So most Newcastle fans would have been shocked that when the news conference started yesterday, there was only one seat there behind the table and Derek Llambias didn’t even bother to turn up. Seems he was too scared.

One definition of courage – the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, and the like without any fear.

That’s a decent definition, and it seems that Derek showed no courage yesterday whatsoever, because he would have had to answer some very difficult questions, the main one being – why Newcastle wanted a more experienced manager than Hughton.

The fact that when Chris was fired he had more points than experienced long term managers like  Roy Hodgson, Avram Grant and Gerrard Houllier seem to give that reason very little weight.

And it would have been very uncomfortable for Derek, to be sure, but no he didn’t want to face the press – and that’s because it would seem he has little courage – and we’ll not even mention he has no skills or background at all to be in the position he’s in currently at the Newcastle club.

That hasn’t cost Derek his job of course, but lack of experience cost Chris his job, even though he had done a magnificent job for Newcastle over the last 16 months – something you cannot accuse Llambias of.

No – it was all left to Alan Pardew to take all the heat yesterday and he did well, but he had to answer questions that he had no right to be addressing for the club.

When you hold an executive position at a company there are many times you have to hold meetings,  that you’d rather not be at, but it’s all part of the job and that’s one reason you get the big bucks.

Some of the most difficult meetings I had at IBM were to meet (should that be confront?) dissatisfied customers – as you are then the face of the company – at least to them – and you have to be prepared to get pummeled – because they are not happy for whatever reason.

It takes a certain amount of courage and guts to put yourself into those uncomfortable positions, and at least we were very pleased yesterday to see the new manager show some  courage, and presumably lots of it.

Alan’s shown courage just to take the job of course, given the terrible conditions surrounding the Newcastle club once again.

But in closing, not only are the two leading executives at the club inept, but they also have shown no courage whatsoever to face up to what they have done this week.

Is it any wonder they are despised on Tyneside?

Mike Ashley And Derek Llambias Haven’t Got A Clue, from June 11, 2009

John Anderson, who joined Newcastle on a free transfer in 1982 from Preston North End, and played 10 years for the club, has spoken out  about the ridiculous situation Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias have created at the Newcastle club, and that’s only in the last 18 days!

The former Newcastle full back, who played for Ireland 16 times and Newcastle 337 times (14 goals) is shocked at the current situation, where no manager is in charge and all players in the first team squad have been put on the transfer list.

A couple of weeks ago Mike had said Alan Shearer was 110% the right man for the manager position at Newcastle, but still refuses to install him, seemingly out of spite more than anything.

We know for a fact two consortia want him as manager and we’d be surprised if the other two didn’t given the fans’ overwhelming support for Alan. We don’t want anybody but local people running the club form now on.

Ashley, just since the club was relegated 18 days ago, has again made Newcastle club a laughing stock – not for the first time in his two year disastrous tenure on Tyneside.

John said today:

“It needs to be sorted very, very quickly.” “They (Ashley and Llambias) have made a complete mess of the club from top to bottom from day one. They don’t have a clue.”

“They need an owner, they need a manager, they need to get pre-season sorted out.” “The first-team is back for pre-season on July 1 and then it’s only a few weeks to the start of the season. It needs sorting very, very quickly.”

“People have said they will fly back out of the Championship, but other big clubs have gone down and not got out of it.” “It’s a worry and it needs to be sorted very, very quickly.”

The former Ireland international, who was born in Dublin, believes Ashley would have some chance of selling season tickets if Shearer was installed as boss.

The tickets should arrive at fans’ homes tomorrow, but we doubt many will sign up with the club in such turmoil, brought on by the complete incompetence of the current owner and his cohorts.

John continued:

“That’s the worrying thing.” “He [Ashley] has put the club up for sale now – does he appoint Alan?”

“He may feel he has more chance of selling with Alan in charge – they certainly have more chance of selling season tickets if he is in charge.”

Very soon some sense needs to prevail at the Newcastle club, whoever is responsible to take the initiative, but a manager has to be installed,  so that some preparations can be made for the upcoming season, and some controls can be levied on the outgoing players.

It would also be nice to get some players into the club too.

The current situation is completely laughable and is hardly doing Ashley’s reputation much good at all, as he seems completely incompetent and out of touch with any sort of reality.

And this man is rumored to be a decent businessman?  You could have fooled us – many times over, and a six year old could have done better – and apologies to all the six year olds out there.

But this situation must not be allowed to continue for much longer – otherwise the club will be in really serious trouble and we mean serious.


Mike Ashley & Derek Llambias, courtesy of Michael Regan (Action Images)

Derek Llambias Has Been Great With Usfrom September 27, 2011

There’s some good news today that the often criticized Managing Director of Newcastle United, Derek Llambias,  has been staying out of things and letting Alan Pardew and the players just get on with things this season.

Newcastle’s in-form center-back Steven Taylor has praised Derek Llambias today, for helping sort out disagreements he had last year with the players, regarding their bonuses. They get bonuses on top of their huge wages?

A  players’ delegation last season met with Llambias, and it  included two senior players who have now left the club, Kevin Nolan and Joey Barton, and they felt they were due some bonuses they had not received.

And the disagreement was still going on in July, when manager Alan Pardew stepped in and helped to sort it out between the players and the Managing Director.

Apparently Llambias has given his word that there will be no such disagreements again this season, and this is how Steven Taylor explained the situation:

“Last season, you probably read about how the chairman Derek Llambias and the players couldn’t come to an agreement about bonuses,” “We had a bit of a divide between the chairman and the players last year. That doesn’t help.”

“At the start of this season we sat down with the gaffer and I think it’s important that you have the chairman on your side. He’s been great with us, sat us down and given the lads their bonuses for this season straight away.”

“He has just kept himself to himself, hasn’t bothered the players – has let us concentrate on the pitch and let the gaffer do his job. So that’s what you want, it’s been good for us this season.”

Since Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias have elected not to have regular communications with the fans, it’s probably best they keep a low key at the club.

Alan Pardew, courtesy of Getty Images

But they must also make sure they support the manager and the players, and don’t interfere with the playing side of the club, which is Alan Pardew’s responsibility.

While we wish it were different and there was much better communications between the Board and the fans,  that’s the way they have decided  to run the Newcastle club, but since there seems some success coming this season, it’s also important they don’t mess things up.

As Steven Taylor has indicated, things need to be run smoothly at Newcastle,  so that Alan Pardew and his coaches and the players, can get on with the business of becoming a good side, which they seem to have been doing so far this season.

And that has to be good.

courtesy of PA

Karren Brady Blast At Derek Llambias, from April 11, 2011

Newcastle issued their financial results for the year June 2009 through June 2010 last Wednesday, for the time that Newcastle were in the English second division.

The revenues dropped almost 40%,  but it appears the club managed things extremely well under the rather dire circumstances, and Newcastle were able to stay afloat, even with a massive wage bill of £47.5M, through interest free loans from owner Mike Ashley.

And that strategy of keeping top players at Newcastle paid off big time, when Newcastle easily won automatic promotion and were 32 points clear of 3rd placed Nottingham Forest.

Just think Newcastle could have lost 10 of the games that they won in that season, and still been automatically promoted, and that;s just one measure  of the terrific job manager Chris Hughton did that season for Newcastle.

To put things in perspective,  WBA and Blackpool were also promoted and had wage bills of £15M and £6M respectively.

That was a good news story for Newcastle,  but Karren Brady has taken exception to Derek Llambias over-praising owner Mike Ashley last Wednesday, and particularly the statement that Newcastle wouldn’t have survived without Mike’s money.

Karren Brady

This is what Ms. Brady said in her Sun diary:

“I can’t let one comment from his (Mike Ashley) chief executive Derek Llambias go quietly.”

“Rubbing his boss with the embrocation of gross flattery, he says: ‘Quite honestly, Newcastle United would not be here without him.’ Quite honestly, that’s rubbish.”

“The club is bigger than him, just as West Ham is bigger than us all.”  “Newcastle United will exist when Mike Ashley has gone to the great casino in the sky.”

We suppose Karrren had to write something in the Sun, and of course the more controversial it is the better, we suppose.

What Derek meant was that Newcastle couldn’t have kept so many good (and expensive) players at the club, without Mike Ashley’s loans during the season, because the incoming revenues couldn’t have supported the wage bill.

But we hope this is the end of this little story, and Derek doesn’t come back with any stinging response to what the outspoken Karren Brady has said – sometimes saying nothing is the class thing to do.

The facts are that Mike Ashley is disliked by many (most?) Newcastle fans, and whatever he does will not sway them one little bit.

And it’s not surprising that Llambias tries to over praise the owner and his boss, who still surprisingly refuses to say anything to the Newcastle fans.

That’s a very strange way of treating your customers, and he couldn’t have learned that in business school – but we better leave it at that.

That Stark Slow Streaker Was Derek Llambias from August 23, 2009

Newcastle United Managing Director Derek Llambias was spotted sprinting, to use the word loosely, completely naked across St James’ Park.

Apparently it was something he had promised owner Mike Ashley he would do, if he lost a bet over the form of Shola Ameobi, with the Newcastle  owner.

And of course when striker Ameobi hit his great hat-trick against Reading last Saturday, and his first ever  in his Newcastle career, Llambias had no option but to strip and streak.

Unfortunately the stadium was not as empty as the two had thought, and guests were  still finishing their drinks in the stadium’s corporate boxes.

One or two must have thought they had had one too many, and they were said to be stunned to see a chubby figure, sprinting across the pitch at much less than the speed of light.

And they were even more amazed when it become clear the middle-aged streaker was Ashley’s right-hand man.

A Newcastle source revealed:

“Mike insisted that Derek honor his bet and, to his credit, that’s exactly what the managing director did.”

“He did his streak thinking that everyone had gone home but there were still some stragglers in the corporate boxes and they saw it all.”

Some story – and what a scream!

Some light-hearted entertainment at Newcastle, and it’s welcome.




6 thoughts on “Derek Llambias’ tenure with Newcastle United

  1. If Mike Ashley can do what he does best and brings stability to the club and a good team on the park he can put up as many sports direct boards as he likes at Ibrox..his main problem with the fans is going to be his alliance with the Easdales as the fans will never accept that poisonous two headed snake at the club and want them out quicker than celtic in Champions League.


  2. What a weak article and argument to try and highlight Llambias flaws in his Newcastle reign. He never turned up at a meeting when they appointed Pardew, Karen Brady says he’s not bigger than the club and just a general rant about how deluded Newcastle fans wanted Shearer in to take them put of the Championship despite Shearer being one of the causes for their relegation in the first place.


  3. Newcastle fan here, i wouldn’t be too afraid in terms of stability, they’ll reduce ticket prices (£5 for kids at most home games this season), and bar the god awful sports direct signage it wont be too bad bar the name change.

    What they do have the flawless ability to do is suck any sort of passion from the club, you’ll buy a ton of players you’ve never heard off, (can imagine they’ll share Graham Carr) some will be Cabaye’s, others the Amalfitano and Anita’s of this world. Once there successful and the fans have a hero to worship they’ll be sold to the highest bidder, ready to start again. Don’t even get excited about the Derby, as long as its a full house then its a good day

    Hopefully they will have learnt from there mistakes from newcastle, as if they get it right it could be very fruitful, in the premier league they have the Citys, Chelseas of this world, in the SPL your only looking at Celtic, 4-5 top end Carr specials and you could be back in champions league, you’ll never get past the first round with this lot but the clubs balance sheet will be the pride of Glasgow


  4. Interesting to hear a Newcastle fan give a more balanced view .If Ashley goes down the same route it wouldn`t be that bad .The Stadium is already plastered with advertising , what does it matter if it is all Sports Direct, and we will always call it Ibrox no matter what .Signings are always a mixture of good and not so good for every team , some work and some don`t and if they excel enough to be sold on for good money to a higher level , that is no different to what we have done for years , Van Bronckhorst, Hutton , Cuellar ,Ferguson , Boumsong (sorry Rich!) etc, etc.No matter who is running the club as long as the team is playing good football and being successful that is what we want.I personally don`t think the Rangers support will ever trust anybody ever again after the last few years, as successive owners including David Murray have dropped us in the crap.IF and its a big if , he invests the money needed to return us to the top , and he profits from it in merchandise sales then I don`t see the problem , if we took out a loan , we would have to pay it back , no-one will put money in without something in return.All we can do is hope this is what he wants to do, as there is nothing that can stop him .


    1. Couldn’t have said it better. We have been fooled before – but for whatever reason I am (slightly) hopeful that this will work out. Ashley is looking for his next big profit & that will be tied directly to the success of Rangers. It appears that he is ready to invest money in the club (less money then would be necessary for Newcastle) & that can bring back some normalcy to the club. If he can create a sustainable club then what’s the complaint? It’s a long shot that in modern football, will you ever see a “Rangers man” or “Arsenal man” take over the club…we’ve been burned before & that will always create that hesitancy of trust. All we can do is hope for the best


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s