FORMER England manager Steve McClaren stands to pocket a significant bonus if he ends Newcastle’s 46–year wait for a major trophy, Magpies managing director Lee Charnley has revealed.
McClaren completed a return to the Premier League yesterday by signing a three-year contract and, in an unusual move, taking up a seat on the board at St James’ Park.
The 54-year-old has been told he is expected to finish in the first eight places in the top flight and challenge for the FA Cup and League Cup – with a cash reward if he succeeds.
“This is a huge job which comes with considerable pressures and I am convinced that Steve not only understands the weight of expectation that comes with this role, but that he has the strength of character and professionalism befitting of a club of our size and status,” said Charnley.
“Steve has been tasked to secure a top-eight finish in the Premier League and he is also heavily incentivised to try to win a cup competition. We recognise supporters’ strong desire to win a trophy, an ambition which the club now shares as [owner] Mike Ashley made clear in his comments on the final day of the season. Steve is excited by this and he has our full support in trying to achieve this goal.”
Newcastle’s last major trophy came in 1969, when they won the now-defunct European Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. They won the FA Cup, their last serious domestic honour, in 1955.
McLaren’s appointment to the board came as controversial Newcastle owner and retail tycoon Mike Ashley stepped down. Despite the change, Ashley is still expected to run the club.
Former Middlesbrough boss McClaren has endured a series of disappointing stints since leading FC Twente to their first Dutch league title in 2010, but believes he can end the Magpies’ drought.
“There’s a lot of work to do, but the club has made it clear about wanting success and I would not have come here if I didn’t believe they were serious,” McClaren said.
“This club has waited far too long to win a trophy. That’s one of my primary objectives here. I’ve already won trophies as a manager, and a club the size of Newcastle United should be winning cups and finishing in the top eight in the Premier League. I’m determined to give the supporters a team they can be proud of.”
McClaren replaces caretaker head coach John Carver, who was sacked this week after presiding over a run of just three wins in 20 games that saw Newcastle narrowly avoid relegation, finishing 15th. Alan Pardew, the club’s last permanent boss, left for Crystal Palace in December.
RETURN OF THE MAC: HIS HIGHS AND LOWS
McClaren’s humdrum playing career gave way to coaching, and a spell as No2 to Sir Alex Ferguson at Man Utd paved the way for his managerial break at Middlesbrough. He won the club’s first major trophy, the League Cup, in 2004, improved their top-flight league position from 14th to seventh and engineered a rollercoaster run to the 2006 Uefa Cup final.
WALLY & BROLLY
McClaren’s success at Boro saw him beat Sam Alladyce to the England job, but he proved unable to steer a star-studded national team to the 2008 European Championships. The imaage of McClaren watching from under an umbrella as England’s fate was sealed by a home defeat to Croatia has haunted him.
CALL ME SCHTEVE
McClaren fled to Holland to repair his name. Misguided attempts to speak like the locals aside, he did very well, earning Twente a first ever league title in 2010. He jumped ship for Wolfsburg but proved less successful in Germany, getting the sack after nine months.
Abortive stints at Nottingham Forest and Twente (again) followed before he took charge at Derby in late 2013. Only a late QPR goal denied him promotion via the play-off final, but despite a strong start his side faded badly this year and he was sacked in May.