The departure of Newcastle United Managing Director Derek Llambias has prompted renewed concern that the club could be set for more upheaval and a relegation battle in the season ahead.
Llambias announced his decision to depart the club via a short message on the Magpies’ official website:
“I have had an incredible journey during my five years at the club, including some challenging times. I will reflect with great fondness on my time in the North East and, in me, Newcastle United have a lifelong supporter.”
The move comes just days after Joe Kinnear was appointed Director of Football – a controversial decision given the former Wimbledon man’s chequered history with the club.
Kinnear’s previous spell as Newcastle boss ended in disaster with the 66-year-old forced to vacate the position due to ill health, while the team suffered relegation from the Premier League.
His return as Director of Football, following a season in which the Toon Army flirted with the drop, has sparked renewed concern for the coming season with Llambias’s departure only adding to these worries.
Newcastle United are currently available at 10/1 to go down next term while the odds of them finishing in the top four – a realistic goal just two seasons ago – are out at 33/1.
The Toon Army also face a daunting start to the Premier League season, with an away trip to Manchester City on the opening day.
Alan Pardew will be desperate to make a positive start to the new campaign, but the Magpies remain major outsiders to win the match at 7/1.
In the meantime, the former West Ham boss is likely to be the subject of renewed speculation over his own future and is available at 7/4 to be the next Premier League manager to leave his post.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.