Newcastle United are reportedly close to appointing a successor to Alan Pardew. Tony Pulis and Steve Bruce were the early potential candidates, although the club denied the former Stoke manager was under consideration and Hull City boss Bruce quickly ruled himself out. The search has now moved abroad with Remi Garde looking favourite for the job.
Whoever is appointed the position will be Head Coach rather than manager. Alan Pardew official role was manager but it is well known that the recruitment process was overseen by the board with players identified by influential head scout Graham Carr. Pardew reluctantly agreed to this system but it is also one of the reasons he moved to Crystal Palace. His successor will be under no illusions about his place at the Tyneside outfit which is perhaps why Newcastle took their search across the continent where head coaches are more common.
The only club in England to operate with a similar system is West Brom who have recently appointed a new Head Coach themselves. Pulis left Crystal Palace following disagreements over new signings but West Brom were willing to give the Welshman a greater involvement in the process. This is perhaps as the past few seasons have seen Steve Clarke, Pepe Mel and Alan Irvine leave the club following continued dismal performances.
In Europe where the head coach role is more commonplace there is perhaps less job security but in recent years this is the same in England. Tony Pulis is officially head coach at West Brom but the line between this and manager have been drawn closer following this recent appointment. For West Brom, one of the only Premier League clubs to operate on this system for a number of years to now move back to a more traditional set up is perhaps a lesson to Newcastle.
Mike Ashley is a man who likes to be in control so is unlikely to be bothered about criticism. Newcastle have operated a profit on transfers during his time at the club and for a businessman he will be happy with the way the football club is run. In the long term it will be interesting to see how the new appointment affects the club as Pardew was the second longest serving Premier League manager after Arsene Wenger.