Pardew signs new eight-year contract

NEWCASTLE owner Mike Ashley yesterday placed the future firmly in the hands of manager Alan Pardew when he handed him a staggering eight-year contract.

Pardew, assistant John Carver, coach Steve Stone and goalkeeping coach Andy Woodman have all been given identical deals with chief scout Graham Carr having signed his own eight-year deal in June.

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The announcement represents a huge vote of faith in Pardew and his staff with the 51-year-old having initially taken over from the sacked Chris Hughton in December 2010 on a five-year deal which few expected him to see out at the time. Pardew has presided over a remarkable rise since launching his career on Tyneside with a 3-1 home victory over Liverpool. He was appointed after Ashley and managing director Derek Llambias decided Hughton, who dragged the club back into the Premier League in the wake of relegation at the end of the 2008-09 campaign, had taken the Magpies as far as he could.

The former Reading, West Ham, Charlton and Southampton manager kept them in the top flight at the end of their first campaign back there, and then paved the way for a remarkable second season. Against all the odds, Newcastle finished fifth in the league in May to secure a return to European football after an absence of five years. Indeed, they were only five points shy of qualifying for the Champions League for just the third time in their history.

Pardew has built upon the spirit that was instilled by Hughton, and astute signings – with the help of Carr he has brought in the likes of Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse with great success – have helped to restore optimism at a club which had been through years of turmoil.