Getting off on
the wrong foot...
Joe Kinnear: Which one is Simon
Bird (Daily Mirror journalist)?
JK: You're a c***.
Bird: Thank you
JK: Which one is [Niall] Hickman (Daily Express)? You are out of order.
Absolutely f****** out of order. If you do it again, I am telling you you
can f*** off and go to another ground. I will not come and stand for that
f***** crap. No f****** way, lies.
F***, you're saying I turned up and they f***** off.
Bird: No Joe, have you read it, it doesn't actually say that. Have you
JK: I've f***** read it, I've read it.
Bird: It doesn't say that. Have you read it?
JK: You are trying to f****** undermine my position already.
Bird: Have you read it, it doesn't say that. I knew you knew they were
having a day off.
JK: F*** off. F*** off. It's your last f****** chance.
Bird: You read the copy? It doesn't say that you didn't know.
JK: What about the headline, you think that's a good headline?
Bird: I didn't write the headline, you read the copy.
JK: You are negative b*******, the pair of you.
Bird: So if I get a new job next week would I take the first day off? No I
wouldn't. If I get a new job should I call my boss and telling I am taking
the first day off?
JK: It is none of your f****** business. What the f*** are you going to
do? You ain’t got the balls to be a f****** manager. F****** day off. Do
I want your opinion? Do I have to listen to you?
Bird: No, you can listen to who you want.
JK: I had a 24-hour meeting with the entire staff.
Bird: Joe you are only here six weeks, you could have done that on Sunday,
or Saturday night.
JK: No, no, no. I didn't want to do it. I had some other things to do.
Bird: What? More important things?
JK: What are you? My personal secretary? F*** off.
Bird: You could have done the meeting Saturday night or Sunday? You could
have had them watching videos, you could have organised them?
JK: I was meeting the f****** chairman the owner, everyone else.
Talking about things.
Bird: It is a valid point that was made in there. A valid point.
JK: I can't trust any of you.
Hickman: Joe no one could believe that on your first day at your new club,
the first team players were not in. No one could believe it in town. Your
first day in the office.
JK: My first day was with the coaches. I made the decision that I
wanted to get as much information out of them.
Hickman: But why Monday, no one could believe it?
JK: I'm not going to tell you anything. I don't understand where you
are coming from. You delighted that Newcastle are getting beat and are in
the state they are? Delighted are you?
Hickman: Certainly not. No one wants to see them get beaten, why would we?
JK: I have done it before. It is going to my f****** lawyers. So are
about three others. If they can find something in it that is a court case
it is going to court. I am not f****** about. I don't talk to f******
anybody. Everything I f****** say or do.
It is raking up stories. You are f****** so f****** slimy: you are raking
up players that I got rid of; players that I had fallen out with. You are
not asking Robbie Earle, because he is sensible. You are not asking Warren
Barton? No. Because he is f****** sensible. Anyone who had played for me
for ten years at any level you will find some c*** that .....
Journalist: How long is your contract for Joe?
JK: None of your business
Bird: Well it is actually, because we cover the club. The club say you are
here to the end of October, then you say six*to*eight games which would
take it to the end of November. We are trying to clarify these issues. We
are getting no straight answers from anyone. How long are you here for? It
is a dead simple question. And you don't know....
JK: I was told the length of contract. Then I was told that possibly
the club could be sold in that time. That is as far as I know. That's it
finished. I don't know anything else. But I have been ridiculed. He's
trying to f****** hide, he's trying to do this or that.
Bird: What happened at your meeting with Ashley?
JK: At the meeting I was asked how did it go, what reception, this that
and the other. I told him not too clever. He wanted to know how the team
done. I told him. Better second half than we were first half. I asked him
what is the situation. Any news or updates on what is going one. He said I
have six to eight consortium lined up and that is all I can tell you. That
Bird: Have you met Mike before?
Bird: Not even at the Orange Tree pub, Totteridge?
JK: You want to get your facts right. Dennis Wise never played under
Bird: None of us have even written that...
JK: Another one of you wrote. We met in a pub. We are friends in a pub
and that is when it was done, in a pub. Good imagination eh? It is
Will I get time and get judged on results?
Steve Brenner (Sun): We are all grown men and can come in here and sit
around and talk about football, but coming in here and calling people c***?
JK: Why? Because I am annoyed. I am not accepting that. If it is
libelous, it is going to where I want it to go.
Press office: What has been said in here is off the record and doesn't go
Journalist: Well, is that what Joe thinks?
JK: Write what you like. Makes no difference to me. Don't effect me I
assure you. It'll be the last time I see you anyway. Won't effect me. See
how we go at Everton and Chrissy can do it, someone else can do it. Don't
trust any of you’s.
I will pick two local papers and speak to them and the rest can f*** off.
I ain't coming up here to have the piss taken out of me. I have a million
pages of c*** that has been written about me.
I am ridiculed for no reason. I am defenseless. I can't say nothing. I
can't do nothing. Then half of you are trying to get into the players...
and I am not going to tell you what the players think of you all. So you
will think I have a split camp. It just doesn't stop.
Journalist: But it's only been a week!
JK: I'm ridiculed for no reason. I'm defenceless. I can't get a point
in, I can't say nothing, I can't do nothing, but I ain't going to be
negative. Then, half of you, most of you are trying to get into the
players. I'm not going to tell you what the players think of you, so then
you try and get into them in some way or another, so I've got a split camp
or something like that, something like that. It's ongoing. It just doesn't
Journalist: It's only been a week.
JK: Exactly. It feels more like a year.
Journalist: It's early days for you to be like this.
JK: No, I'm clearing the air. And this is the last time I'm going to
speak to you. You want to know why, I'm telling you. This is the last
time. You can do what you like.
Journalist: But this isn't going to do you or us any good.
JK: I'll speak to the supporters. I'm going to tell them what the story
is. I'm going to tell them. I don't think they'll interpret it any
different, I don't think they'll mix it up, I don't think they'll miss out
things. I mean, one of them last week said to me * I was talking about in
that press conference where you were there, I said something like ‘well
that's a load of b*******'.
Journalist: 'B******* to that' is what you said.
JK: B******* to that.’ And what goes after that?
Journalist: That was it.
JK: No, it wasn't, no it wasn't. What was after it? I don't know if it
was your paper, but what went after it?
Journalist: I don't know.
JK: It even had the cheek to say ‘b******* to Newcastle'
Journalist: I didn't write that.
JK: That was my first f****** day. What does that tell you? What does
that tell you?
Journalist: Where was that? Which paper said that?
JK: I've got it. I can't remember. It was one of the Sundays, not a
Saturday. It was a Sunday.
Journalist: But you didn't say that to the Sundays, you said that to us.
That was during the Monday press conference.
JK: I've got it, I've got it. I'll bring it in and show it to you. Why
would I want to say that? And why would you want to put something like
that behind it?
Journalist: Are you saying that someone has reported you saying ‘B*******
JK: Yes. Lovely.
Journalist: I don't know who's reported that.
JK: I'll tell you what, I'll bring it in.
Journalist: That's obviously going to damage you. That's not a good thing.
But I don't think someone's done that. We have to have some sort of
relationship with you.
JK: So have I? But I haven't come in here for you lot to take the piss
out of me. And if I'm not flavour of the month for you, it don't f******
bother me. I've got a job to do. And I'm going to do it to the best of my
ability and get on with it. I'm not going to spend any more time listening
to any c*** or reading any c***. Ok?
I know you've got a job to do. Stick to the truth and the facts. That's
all you've got to do. Stick to the truth and, I'm saying, the facts. And
don't twist anything. That's all I'm asking you. But that's impossible in
journalism. Because I've been...
Journalist: You know, you know the game.
JK: Of course I know, but I don't have to like it.
Journalist: Today we'll print the absolute truth, that you think we're c****,
we can all f*** off and we're slimy. Is that fair enough?
JK: Do it. Fine. F****** print it. Am I going to worry about it? Put in
also that it'll be the last time I see you. Put that in as well. Good. Do
Journalist: (Sir Alex) Ferguson said it the other day to the Man U
lot. But down in London some of your best friends were journalists.
JK: Like who?
Journalist: *************. They were big mates of yours weren't they?
JK: I don't know ******************. I know a *************. But they
were honest. They were honest. They didn't twist anything I had to say.
That's why they were my friends. I'm as straight as they come, but I will
stand up and fight for myself in any corner. You're not going to f**** me
off or frighten me in any manner. Whatever you do, or whatever headlines
you run, you're not going to embarrass me. I'm not going to stand for
I've come up here for a simple chance to f****** prove myself. Just wait,
wait and make a decision after whatever period of time you want to. That's
fine. Until then, get off my back and let me get on with my job. That all
I ask. Just do that. That's all I ask of you. f****** hell.
Was it last week, who wrote the headline ‘It's gone from bad to
worse, it's Morecambe and Wise'. That's one f****** headline. I've got
that as well. I don't know which one of you has done that. ‘It's a
circus now', that's another f****** headline. ‘The circus leader's come
to town', another headline. That's journalists. Are you happy with that?
Journalist: The people who write the headlines are based in London. We
don't write them.
JK: Am I supposed to be delighted with it?
Journalist: Newcastle has been called a circus long before you arrived.
JK: Yeah, I'm the ringmaster of the circus.
Journalist: It's the situation. It's not just you. The club's up for sale.
It's the whole situation of the past three months, all the Keegan stuff,
whatever, that you've come into. But you're not the spearhead of
everything. It's not a case of 'you've come in so now we're going to
slaughter you'. That's not how it works.
JK: For two days I don't think I saw a decent report. There might be
one today. For the first two days, I haven't seen one. Not one. A pile
like that (gestures). Some of you are either feeding some dummy to say
even more, to put the boot in even more. So it's like that.
Journalist: But you've hardly come in to a club where it's stable anyway,
there are so many other problems going on, everyone…
JK: But why do you want stories on the negative side?
JK: The only way to get the positives is to get a result.
Journalist: Seriously, with the best will in the world, when you got the
job, the club released a statement, and in your first interviews you
contradicted that statement by saying you'd got the job for a longer
period of time, you admitted you got the job because everybody else had
JK: Well I can't tell a lie about that, that's a fact.
Journalist: You said that Alan Shearer and Kevin Keegan were parked around
the corner to get the manager's job after you.
JK: Hold on, hold on. I said that was relayed to me. But you didn't put
that in though. You missed that bit out. You did, I saw it as well. You
wrote it “I'm not saying it was you” in such a way that you didn't put
in half the things that I said. You twisted it each time. I've been in the
game long enough to know that.
Journalist: Can I finish my point?
JK: Yes, well I'm telling you your answer.
Journalist: We have to reflect and report on and try and find out what's
going on at this football club. In your first public statements you
contradicted things and said things.
JK: Tell me what I contradicted.
Journalist: The length of the contract, who was coming in next ...
JK: Do you want to see it? So you're calling me a liar then?
Journalist: No, I'm saying that it was a contradiction of the club's
statement, which we've already established.
JK: I didn't know that. I didn't know there was a statement, why didn't
you tell me you had a statement?
Journalist: I think we did say that.
JK: I told you exactly what the truth was. What it says on my contract.
Journalist: Yes but it was contradictory to what the club said.
JK: Ok, I take your point.
Journalist: You also made several other points that we had to find the
truth out of. KK and Alan Shearer. Now if we approach those people and
they say 'no, we've never heard of it', it doesn't help the feeling around
JK: Well where have you been then? Where have you been before I come,
what were the headlines then? Where were you? Another planet.
Journalist: It was chaotic before you got there.
JK: No. The write up. What was the write up.
Journalist: Sorry, I don't know what you're asking me.
JK: The write up was the consortium from Nigeria or wherever it might
be, the agent spoke quite clearly that he had spoken to Mr Ashley and
we've decided on such a such fee and yes, hold on, let me finish, you
might have wrote it, it's true to say that I'm in talks with KK and AS.
Right, ok. So that's written.
Journalist: That doesn't mean it's true.
JK: Really? You asked me what the consortium said. And I said exactly
what was said in that paper. And I'm saying exactly what was told to me.
I've got no reason to say it and you tried to change it, whoever it is,
one or two of you, that you thought I was hiding behind it. Yes you did,
yes you did.
Journalist: There's a difference between a consortium coming in and saying
we want KK and we've spoken to KK and you reporting what Mike Ashley is
telling you, that KK and AS are parked round the corner.
JK: No. Mike Ashley told me that he had got that from the consortium.
So you're not getting your facts right. So when I said the consortium told
MA who told me, that was discreetly missed, it was missed and so you go
onto the negative stuff.
Journalist: The point I'm trying to make is that this was your first day
in the job and it's created more chaos and unrest and we've reflected
that. It's not about you as a manager. I don't think of us have called
into question your ability as a manager or what you bring..
JK: What are you talking about? I've been crucified. Absolutely
crucified in every single newspaper.
Journalists: No, that's not true.
JK: Absolutely. Morecambe and Wise headlines!
Journalist: You said yourself you got offered the job because everyone
else had turned it down.
JK: What's that got to do with Morecambe and Wise?
Journalist: I don't know, I didn't write that headline. You said that fans
would be disappointed you got the job.
Journalist: right, ok, we've reflected that. No one has criticised your
qualities as a manager. We've not seen them, we've not seen the evidence
on the pitch.
JK: What other way did I get the job then?
JK: What other way did I get the job then?
Journalist: Because of your track record?
JK: No I got the job because I was honest. Half a dozen managers turned
it down. Ask them what reasons they turned it down. Why did they turn it
Journalist: I don't know.
JK: Well there you are then. Do your ******* homework and ask them.
Journalist: But that's the reason why it's farcical. Not just you, it's
the whole situation. Nothing specific about you. The farce is that it's a
club up for sale with no manager, six people are turning down interim
jobs, it's not you.
Dennis and Mike can't even come to the ground, it's the whole situation,
the squad's threadbare. This all predates your arrival. But your arrival
didn't help the situation in the short-term, that's what I was trying to
It's not 100 per cent personal with you, no way. Even Chris (Hughton)
a few days before had admitted he'd had no contact with the people
upstairs. It's the whole lot that's a farce, that's the thing. If you look
at the papers before your arrival, they're exactly the same, that this
club had become a laughing stock.
The fans are saying it, go on the message boards. They're saying even
worse than us. We're just reflecting the whole situation, it's not just
Joe Kinnear. Then you're banned for the first two matches. Not your fault,
but it doesn't help the mood around the club. Is your decision not to
speak to us final?
JK: I think so, yeah. I don't see any future in it, anyway. Whatever
happens, the only way I'm going to win anything is by getting results. And
it's still going to be negative, negative, negative. I'm reading one
negative story after another after another.
Half of the stuff is ****, I don't know where you're getting your
information from or who's feeding you the stuff. Anything I tell you, you
can write. You can write what I've said today. Go on, bang away. I've said
it and done it. I don't have to hide anything.
Journalist: I don't think it's in your interests and it's certainly not in
our interests "I'm being selfish" not to speak to us. I don't
think that's a good decision. Obviously you're very angry and perhaps with
some justification in certain circumstances, but I don't know if that's a
good decision on your behalf in the long run.
JK: Well that's your point of view.
Press officer: Let's get on to football. Let's have an agreement that
everything said so far, if anyone has got their tapes on, it's wiped off
and we' re not discussing it.
Journalist: But that's what Joe has said he thinks of us.
Press officer: I'm saying don't push it. Let's accept what's been said on
both sides and try and move on.
Journalist: Move on to not doing any more press conferences?
Press officer: No, to doing something now.
Journalist: What, one press conference only?
Journalist: Any knocks?
Press officer: Come on, let's go football.
Journalist: What are your plans for training in the next three days? How's
the training going?
JK: It's going very well. No problems at all.
Journalist: Do you feel as though they've accepted you?
JK: Yeah, I think so.
Journalist: Enjoyed getting back in the swing of things?
JK: Absolutely. I've loved every moment of it. What can I say? I don't
need any more burdens than what's happening at the moment. The only thing
I want to be doing is to be left alone to work with the players, try and
get a vocal voice and feedback from the players.
I've sat them all down and had one on ones with Michael, Nicky Butt, Shay
Givens, I mean Given, you'll pick up on that again. And it's been good.
I've enjoyed it. It's difficult asking players to play out of position and
getting some shape in the team.