Newcastle legend Alan Shearer discusses the club takeover
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Former Liverpool academy director Frank McParland is reportedly being lined up for a key role at Newcastle United following their £305million Saudi-backed takeover. The move for McParland will fuel speculation that Steven Gerrard and Rafael Benitez could be among the contenders to replace Steve Bruce if the Premier League club part company with the manager.
Newcastle became one of the world’s wealthiest football clubs after the Saudi Arabia-backed Public Investment Fund (PIF) bought the club from Mike Ashley on Thursday.
The PIF, backed by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, now owns 80 per cent of the club, with the remaining 20 per cent split between British businesswoman Amanda Staveley and the Reuben brothers, David and Simon.
PIF Governer, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, is the club’s new chairman, while Staveley is set to take care of the day-to-day running of the club.
And she is believed to be lining up recruitment specialist McParland, formerly of Liverpool and Rangers, to help turn Newcastle into Premier League giants.
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Staveley will turn to McParland as Newcastle’s new owners look to take a cautious approach to transform the club’s fortunes, according to i, while The Times reports that he will be a key football adviser.
McParland worked as Liverpool’s chief scout from 2003 to 2007 before returning to Anfield as academy director from 2009 to 2013.
He is said to have a close relationship with former Newcastle boss Benitez, currently in charge at Everton, who was being lined up for a return to the St James’ Park hot-seat last summer when the takeover was originally set to go ahead.
McParland was also Rangers’ director of recruitment from 2015 to 2017, before becoming director of football at Nottingham Forest.
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Gers manager Steven Gerrard has been touted as a potential replacement for Bruce should the Newcastle boss get the sack.
And while the former Liverpool captain didn’t take charge at Ibrox until 2018, McParland’s relationship with the Scottish Premiership giants will only heighten speculation that the Magpies could move for the 41-year-old.
McParland has also worked at Bolton, Watford, Brentford and Burnley in various roles.
His huge experience in youth development will help Newcastle grow their academy. While the club intend to appoint a director of football, it is not yet known whether he will stay at St James’ Park in the long term.
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Despite McParland’s relationship with Benitez, a return for the Spanish coach to Newcastle would seem unlikely given he was appointed as Everton’s manager only this summer.
The Telegraph reports that Benitez told friends he didn’t think Newcastle’s takeover would go through, which is part of the reason why he took charge at Goodison Park instead.
Everton are currently fifth in the Premier League under Benitez, who has overseen four wins and just one defeat in his seven games at the helm so far.
Newcastle are 19th, having failed to win so far this season – although fans will hope that soon changes following the takeover.
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