Many a football fan was left open-mouthed on Thursday when the news broke that Newcastle manager Alan Pardew had signed a staggering eight-year contract to keep him at the club until 2020. It is an unprecedented deal in a ruthless age where managers are lucky to be handed more than a three-year contract, with many not even able to see out the duration of that deal.
Newcastle’s owners have stated that they have bold ambitions to emulate the success achieved by long-standing managers Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger. The simply stunning contract more than highlights the trust and belief the club have in Pardew and his approach and methods but, some quarters will view it as a big risk.
Newcastle have previously developed an unwanted reputation as a manager merry-go-round club, highlighted by the fact that before Pardew’s appointment in December 2010 they blitzed through an unbelievable seven managers in six years.
It certainly can’t be questioned that Pardew has worked wonders since arriving in late 2010. By the end of the season he had kept them in the league - which was the main aim - with a respectable 12th place finish.
However, it was his first full season in charge in which he really set the top flight a light. Against the odds, and even the most audacious of supporter expectations, Pardew led the club to an extremely impressive fifth-place finish. The Magpies were in contention for a Champions League qualification spot from start to finish but in the end agonisingly missed out by just four points and instead settled for a place in the Europa League. Pardew’s work was recognised and he was awarded with the Manager of the 2011-12 Season accolade.
One good season in football doesn’t always guarantee success for future campaigns and many will be questioning the duration of the deal. Coral have handed Pardew odds of 8/1 to see out his new Newcastle contract, while the 51-year-old is available at 11/1 to win either the Premier League, FA Cup or Europa League during the eight-year span.
For the meantime Newcastle will be looking to achieve another top six finish this season, and can be backed at 5/2 to do so. They are currently 10th in the Premier League, having picked up eight points from their opening five matches, and next up is a trip to Reading on Saturday. The Magpies go searching for their first win on the road, with Coral handing Pardew’s men 6/4 to claim the victory. Meanwhile Reading can be backed at 7/4 to claim their first win since returning to the top flight.
Alan Pardew/ Newcastle Specials
All odds supplied by Coral