Steve McClaren has finally been announced as Newcastle’s new head coach six months after initially being offered the job.
The Magpies, who parted company with John Carver and Steve Stone on Tuesday, announced yesterday evening that the 54-year-old has been installed as Alan Pardew’s permanent replacement after signing a three-year contract which could eventually be extended to eight.
Managing director Lee Charnley said: “From my first meeting with Steve, I knew he was the perfect fit for Newcastle United. I am delighted that we have secured the services of one of the best coaches in English football.”
McClaren’s primary challenge will be to take the Magpies into the upper reaches of the Barclays Premier League and to aim for the clubs’ first trophy since 1969.
Charnley added: “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 Mike Ashley made clear in his comments on the last day of the season. Steve is excited by this and he has our full support in trying to achieve this goal.
“Our immediate focus will be on working with Steve to assess and improve upon our playing squad, as well as appointing individuals to his backroom staff.”
McClaren has also been appointed to the club’s board of directors along with Charnley, chief scout Graham Carr and club ambassador Bob Moncur, with owner Ashley stepping down along with finance director John Irving, who is leaving the club. Legendary former Newcastle and Scotland captain Moncur was the last man to lift a trophy for the Magpies when he skippered the 1969 Fairs Cup-winning side.
Charnley said: “It was particularly important for us that the head coach also became a board member in order to gain a full understanding and appreciation for the club and its operations as a whole, not just the football side. In Steve, we have an individual that embraced that responsibility.”
Former England boss McClaren was identified as the club’s top target within weeks of Pardew’s departure in January, but opted at that point to remain at Derby and see through the club’s bid for promotion to the Barclays Premier League.
Ultimately he was to fall short in that quest for the second successive season, but another more urgent approach proved equally fruitless when Newcastle came calling again in May in desperate need, with just three games of their own unravelling campaign remaining. However, they finally got their man after investigating a series of possibilities – Frenchman Remi Garde was an early candidate and compatriot Patrick Vieira’s representatives also received a call – were considered.
McClaren said: “I am privileged to be appointed head coach of Newcastle United FC. This is a big club with a wonderful heritage.
“St James’ Park is like a cathedral on a Saturday afternoon, a symbol for the city, and I am excited to be given this opportunity. I know how important Newcastle United is to the city and the region.
“The supporters are some of the most loyal, passionate and devoted in the world. Despite everything, they maintain their faith. We owe it to them to do everything we can to reward them with success.
“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. 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 of Newcastle United a team they can be proud of. The hard work starts now.”