SPORT

Joe Kinnear Returns To Newcastle United As Director Of Football

16/06/2013 17:20 BST | Updated 16/06/2013 17:38 BST
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Newcastle football club manager Joe Kinnear checks his watch before their Premier League match against Newcastle at Craven Cottage, London, on November 9, 2008. AFP PHOTO / Glyn Kirk FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY Additional licence required for any commercial/promotional use or use on TV or internet (except identical online version of newspaper) of Premier League/Football League photos. Tel DataCo +44 207 2981656. Do not alter/modify photo. (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

Joe Kinnear has returned to Newcastle United as the club's director of football, signing a three-year contract.

The 66-year-old managed Newcastle on an interim basis during their toxic 2008-09 campaign, when supporters' disenchantment with owner Mike Ashley peaked and the club was relegated from the Barclays Premier League.

Kinnear, however, relinquished his role as coach when he underwent a heart bypass operation in February and has not managed since.

Kinnear told Sky Sports News: "It's an interesting role for myself and I don't think I could be at a better club to do it."

Kinnear confirmed he met with club owner Mike Ashley earlier today to sign a contract with the St James' Park outfit, with the agreement reportedly lasting three years.

"It's absolutely done," he said. "I signed it with Mike today and that's taken care of.

"I intend to meet Alan either tomorrow or within the coming week to discuss the future and go through the team itself.

"We will discuss where it's glaringly clear we need to improve and that will be my job, to go and find those players."

kinnear's surprising appointment in 2009 was compounded by a memorable first press conference, in which he called the Mirror's Simon Bird a "c**t" during a foul-mouthed session with the press. Kinnear swore 52 times.

Kinnear had been appointed just under four years after his resignation as Nottingham Forest manager in December 2004.

When hired to replace Kevin Keegan, who resigned in September 2008, Newcastle were unaware Kinnear still had two matches of a touchline ban to serve from his days at Forest.

He called a referee "Coco the Clown" four seasons earlier.

Magpies manager Alan Pardew could find himself undermined by Kinnear's role at the club, with the former Tottenham player given "final say" on transfers.

Kinnear's most successful spell as a manager came with Wimbledon between 1992 and 99, when he cemented the Dons' status as a top-flight club.