Last week we saw Celtic coach Gordon Strachan and his witty responses to silly reporters questions this week, Arsenal soccer coach Joe Kinnear, at his INTRODUCTORY press conference started off on a hilarious note. Bill Belichick take note, THIS is how you start off a press conference. If English soccer continues to be so entertaining I might have to actually start paying attention!
Joe Kinnear: Which one is Simon Bird [from The Daily Mirror]?
JK: You’re a cunt.
SB: Thank you.
JK: Which one is Hickman (Niall, from The Daily Express)? You are out of order. Absolutely fucking out of order. If you do it again, I am telling you you can fuck off and go to another ground. I will not come and stand for that fucking crap. No fucking way, lies. Fuck, you’re saying I turned up and they fucked off.
SB: No Joe, have you read it, it doesn’t actually say that. Have you read it?
JK: I’ve fucking read it, I’ve read it.
SB: It doesn’t say that. Have you read it?
JK: You are trying to fucking undermine my position already.
SB: Have you read it, it doesn’t say that. I knew you knew they were having a day off.
JK: Fuck off. Fuck off. It’s your last fucking chance.
SB: You read the copy? It doesn’t say that you didn’t know.
JK: What about the headline, you think that’s a good headline?
SB: I didn’t write the headline, you read the copy.
JK: You are negative bastards, the pair of you.
SB: So if I get a new job next week would I take the first day off? No I wouldn’t. If I get a new job should I call my boss and tell him I am taking the first day off?
JK: It is none of your fucking business. What the fuck are you going to do? You ain’t got the balls to be a fucking manager. Fucking day off. Do I want your opinion. Do I have to listen to you?
(After the jump the rest of the full transcript of the press conference.)
SB: No, you can listen to who you want.
JK: I had a 24-hour meeting with the entire staff.
SB: Joe, you are only here six weeks, you could have done that on Sunday, or Saturday night.
JK: No, no, no. I didn’t want to do it. I had some other things to do.
SB: What? More important things?
JK: What are you? My personal secretary? Fuck off.
SB: You could have done the meeting Saturday night or Sunday. You could have had them watching videos, you could have organised them.
JK: I was meeting the fucking chairman the owner, everyone else. Talking about things.
SB: It is a valid point that was made in there. A valid point.
JK: I can’t trust any of you.
Niall Hickman: Joe, no one could believe that on your first day at your new club, the first-team players were not in. No one could believe it in town. Your first day in the office.
JK: My first day was with the coaches. I made the decision that I wanted to get as much information out of them.
NH: But why Monday, no one could believe it?
JK: I’m not going to tell you anything. I don’t understand where you are coming from. You are delighted that Newcastle are getting beat and are in the state they are? Delighted, are you?
NH: Certainly not. No one wants to see them get beaten, why would we?
JK: I have done it before. It is going to my fucking lawyers. So are about three others. If they can find something in it that is a court case it is going to court. I am not fucking about. I don’t talk to fucking anybody. It is raking up stories. You are fucking so fucking slimy you are raking up players that I got rid of. Players that I had fallen out with. You are not asking Robbie Earle, because he is sensible. You are not asking Warren Barton? No. Because he is fucking sensible. Anyone who had played for me for 10 years at any level … [but] you will find some c**t that …
Other journalist: How long is your contract for Joe?
JK: None of your business.
SB: Well it is actually, because we cover the club. The club say you are here to the end of October, then you say six to eight games which would take it to the end of November. We are trying to clarify these issues. We are getting no straight answers from anyone. How long are you here for. It is a dead simple question. And you don’t know …
JK: I was told the length of contract. Then I was told that possibly the club could be sold in that time. That is as far as I know. That’s it finished. I don’t know anything else. But I have been ridiculed. He’s trying to fucking hide, he’s trying to do this or that.
SB: What happened at your meeting with Ashley?
JK: At the meeting I was asked how did it go, what reception, this that and the other. I told him not too clever. He wanted to know how the team done. I told him. Better second half than we were first half. I asked him what is the situation. Any news or updates on what is going one. He said I have six to eight consortium lined up and that is all I can tell you. That was it.
SB: Have you met Mike before?
SB: Not even at the Orange Tree pub Totteridge?
JK: You want to get your facts right. Dennis Wise never played under me.
SB: None of us have even written that…
JK: Another one of you wrote. We met in a pub. We are friends in a pub and that is when it was done, in a pub. Good imagination eh? It is nonsense. Will I get time and get judged on results?
Steve Brenner (from The Sun): We are all grown men and can come in here and sit around and talk about football, but coming in here and calling people c**ts?
JK: Why? Because I am annoyed. I am not accepting that. If it is libellous, it is going to where I want it to go.
Newcastle Press Officer: What has been said in here is off the record and doesn’t go outside.
Journalist: Well, is that what Joe thinks?
JK: Write what you like. Makes no difference to me. Don’t affect me I assure you. It’ll be the last time I see you anyway. Won’t affect me. See how we go at Everton and Chrissy [Chris Hughton, assistant manager] can do it, someone else can do it. Don’t trust any of yous. I will pick two local papers and speak to them and the rest can fuck off. I ain’t coming up here to have the piss taken out of me. I have a million pages of crap that has been written about me. I’m ridiculed for no reason. I’m defenceless. I can’t get a point in, I can’t say nothing, I can’t do nothing, but I ain’t going to be negative. Then, half of you, most of you are trying to get into the players. I’m not going to tell you what the players think of you, so then you try and get into them in some way or another, so I’ve got a split camp or something like that, something like that. It’s ongoing. It just doesn’t stop.
Journalist: It’s only been a week.
JK: Exactly. It feels more like a year.
Journalist: It’s early days for you to be like this.
JK: No, I’m clearing the air. And this is the last time I’m going to speak to you. You want to know why, I’m telling you. This is the last time. You can do what you like.
Journalist: But this isn’t going to do you or us any good.
JK: I’ll speak to the supporters. I’m going to tell them what the story is. I’m going to tell them. I don’t think they’ll interpret it any different, I don’t think they’ll mix it up, I don’t think they’ll miss out things. I mean, one of them last week said to me … I was talking about in that press conference where you were there, I said something like “Well, that’s a load of bollocks …”
Journalist: “Bollocks to that” is what you said.
JK: Bollocks to that. And what goes after that?
Journalist: That was it.
JK: No it wasn’t, no it wasn’t. What was after it? I don’t know if it was your paper, but what went after it?
Journalist: I don’t know.
JK: It even had the cheek to say “bollocks to Newcastle”.
Journalist: I didn’t write that.
JK: That was my first fucking day. What does that tell you? What does that tell you?
Journalist: Where was that? Which paper said that?
JK: I’ve got it. I can’t remember. It was one of the Sundays, not a Saturday. It was a Sunday.
Journalist: But you didn’t say that to the Sundays, you said that to us. That was during the Monday press conference.
JK: I’ll bring it in and show it to you. Why would I want to say that?
Journalist: Are you saying that someone has reported you saying “bollocks to Newcastle?”
JK: Yes. Lovely.
Journalist: I don’t know who’s reported that.
JK: I’ll tell you what, I’ll bring it in.
Journalist: That’s obviously going to damage you. That’s not a good thing. But I don’t think someone’s done that. We have to have some sort of relationship with you.
JK: So have I. But I haven’t come in here for you lot to take the piss out of me. And if I’m not flavour of the month for you, it don’t fucking bother me. I’ve got a job to do. And I’m going to do it to the best of my ability. I’m not going to spend any more time listening to any crap or reading any crap. Stick to the truth and the facts. And don’t twist anything.
Journalist: You know, you know the game …
JK: Of course I know, but I don’t have to like it.
Journalist: Today we’ll print the absolute truth, that you think we’re c**ts, we can all fuck off and we’re slimy. Is that fair enough?
JK: Do it. Fine. Fucking print it. Am I going to worry about it? Put in also that it’ll be the last time I see you. Put that in as well. Good. Do it.
Journalist: Ferguson said it the other day to the Man U lot. But down in London some of your best friends were journalists.
JK: Like who?
Journalist: *************. They were big mates of yours weren’t they?
JK: I don’t know ******************. I know a *************. But they were honest. They were honest. They didn’t twist anything I had to say. That’s why they were my friends. I’m as straight as they come, but I will stand up and fight for myself in any corner. You’re not going to fuck me off or frighten me in any manner. Whatever you do, or whatever headlines you run,you’re not going to embarrass me. I’m not going to stand for it. I’ve come up here for a simple chance to fucking prove myself. Just wait, wait and make a decision after whatever period of time you want to. That’s fine. Until then, get off my back and let me get on with my job. That all I ask. Just do that. That’s all I ask of you. fucking hell. Was it last week, who wrote the headline ‘It’s gone from bad to worse, it’s Morecambe and Wise’. That’s one fucking headline. I’ve got that as well. I don’t know which one of you has done that. ‘It’s a circus now’, that’s another fucking headline. ‘The circus leader’s come to town’, another headline. That’s journalists. Are you happy with that?
Journalist: The people who write the headlines are based in London. We don’t write them.
JK: Am I supposed to be delighted with it?
Journalist: “Newcastle has been called a circus long before you arrived.
JK: Yeah, I’m the ringmaster of the circus.
Journalist: It’s the situation. It’s not just you. The club’s up for sale. It’s the whole situation of the past three months, all the Keegan stuff, whatever, that you’ve come into. But you’re not the spearhead of everything. It’s not a case of ‘you’ve come in so now we’re going to slaughter you’. That’s not how it works.
JK: For two days I don’t think I saw a decent report. There might be one today. For the first two days, I haven’t seen one. Not one. A pile like that (gestures). Some of you are either feeding some dummy to say even more, to put the boot in even more. So it’s like that.
Journalist: But you’ve hardly come in to a club where it’s stable anyway, there are so many other problems going on, everyone…
JK: But why do you want stories on the negative side? The only way to get the positives is to get a result.
Journalist: Seriously, with the best will in the world, when you got the job, the club released a statement, and in your first interviews you contradicted that statement by saying you’d got the job for a longer period of time, you admitted you got the job because everybody else had said no.
JK: Well I can’t tell a lie about that, that’s a fact.
Journalist: You said that Alan Shearer and Kevin Keegan were parked around the corner to get the manager’s job after you.
JK: Hold on, hold on. I said that was relayed to me. But you didn’t put that in though. You missed that bit out. You did, I saw it as well. You wrote it “I’m not saying it was you” in such a way that you didn’t put in half the things that I said. You twisted it each time. I’ve been in the game long enough to know that.
Journalist: Can I finish my point?
JK: Yes, well I’m telling you your answer.
Journalist: We have to reflect and report on and try and find out what’s going on at this football club. In your first public statements you contradicted things and said things.
JK:Tell me what I contradicted.
Journalist: The length of the contract, who was coming in next …
JK: Do you want to see it? So you’re calling me a liar then?
Journalist: No, I’m saying that it was a contradiction of the club’s statement, which we’ve already established.
JK: I didn’t know that. I didn’t know there was a statement, why didn’t you tell me you had a statement?
Journalist: I think we did say that.
JK: I told you exactly what the truth was. What it says on my contract.
Journalist: Yes but it was contradictory to what the club said.
JK: Ok, I take your point.
Journalist: You also made several other points that we had to find the truth out of. KK and Alan Shearer. Now if we approach those people and they say ‘no, we’ve never heard of it’, it doesn’t help the feeling around the club.
JK: Well where have you been then? Where have you been before I come, what were the headlines then? Where were you? Another planet.
Journalist: It was chaotic before you got there.
JK: No. The write up. What was the write up.
Journalist: Sorry, I don’t know what you’re asking me.
JK: The write up was the consortium from Nigeria or wherever it might be, the agent spoke quite clearly that he had spoken to Mr Ashley and we’ve decided on such a such fee and yes, hold on, let me finish, you might have wrote it, it’s true to say that I’m in talks with KK and AS. Right, ok. So that’s written.
Journalist: That doesn’t mean it’s true.
JK: Really? You asked me what the consortium said. And I said exactly what was said in that paper. And I’m saying exactly what was told to me. I’ve got no reason to say it and you tried to change it, whoever it is, one or two of you, that you thought I was hiding behind it. Yes you did, yes you did.
Journalist: There’s a difference between a consortium coming in and saying we want KK and we’ve spoken to KK and you reporting what Mike Ashley is telling you, that KK and AS are parked round the corner.
JK: No. Mike Ashley told me that he had got that from the consortium. So you’re not getting your facts right. So when I said the consortium told MA who told me, that was discreetly missed, it was missed and so you go onto the negative stuff.
Journalist: The point I’m trying to make is that this was your first day in the job and it’s created more chaos and unrest and we’ve reflected that. It’s not about you as a manager. I don’t think of us have called into question your ability as a manager or what you bring..
JK: What are you talking about? I’ve been crucified. Absolutely crucified in every single newspaper.
Journalists: No, that’s not true.
JK: Absolutely. Morecome and Wise headlines!
Journalist: You said yourself you got offered the job because everyone else had turned it down.
JK: What’s that got to do with Morecome and Wise?
Journalist: I don’t know, I didn’t write that headline. You said that fans would be disappointed you got the job.
Journalist: Right, ok, we’ve reflected that. No one has criticised your qualities as a manager. We’ve not seen them, we’ve not seen the evidence on the pitch.
JK: What other way did I get the job then?
JK: What other way did I get the job then?
Journalist: Because of your track record?
JK: No I got the job because I was honest. Half a dozen managers turned it down. Ask them what reasons they turned it down. Why did they turn it down?
Journalist: I don’t know.
JK: Well they you are then. Do your fucking homework and ask them.
Journalist: But that’s the reason why it’s farcical. Not just you, it’s the whole situation. Nothing specific about you. The farce is that it’s a club up for sale with no manager, six people are turning down interim jobs, it’s not you.
Dennis and Mike can’t even come to the ground, it’s the whole situation, the squad’s threadbare. This all predates your arrival. But your arrival didn’t help the situation in the short-term, that’s what I was trying to say.
It’s not 100 per cent personal with you, no way. Even Chris a few days before had admitted he’d had no contact with the people upstairs. It’s the whole lot that’s a farce, that’s the thing. If you look at the papers before your arrival, they’re exactly the same, that this club had become a laughing stock.
The fans are saying it, go on the message boards. They’re saying even worse than us. We’re just reflecting the whole situation, it’s not just Joe Kinnear. Then you’re banned for the first two matches. Not your fault, but it doesn’t help the mood around the club. Is your decision not to speak to us final?
JK: I think so, yeah. I don’t see any future in it, anyway. Whatever happens, the only way I’m going to win anything is by getting results. And it’s still going to be negative, negative, negative. I’m reading one negative story after another after another. Half of the stuff is shit, I don’t know where you’re getting your information from or who’s feeding you the stuff. Anything I tell you, you can write. You can write what I’ve said today. Go on, bang away. I’ve said it and done it. I don’t have to hide anything.
Journalist: I don’t think it’s in your interests and it’s certainly not in our interests “I’m being selfish” not to speak to us. I don’t think that’s a good decision. Obviously you’re very angry and perhaps with some justification in certain circumstances, but I don’t know if that’s a good decision on your behalf in the long run.
JK: Well that’s your point of view.
Press officer: Let’s get on to football. Let’s have an agreement that everything said so far, if anyone has got their tapes on, it’s wiped off and we’re not discussing it.
Journalist: But that’s what Joe has said he thinks of us.
Press officer I’m saying don’t push it. Let’s accept what’s been said and try and move on.
Journalist: Move on to not doing any more press conferences?
Press Officer: No, to doing something now.
Journalist: What, one press conference only?
Journalist: Any knocks?
Press Officer: Come on, let’s go football.
Journalist: What are your plans for training in the next three days? How’s the training going?
JK: It’s going very well. No problems at all.
Journalist: Enjoyed getting back in the swing of things?
JK: Absolutely. I’ve loved every moment of it. What can I say? I don’t need any more burdens than what’s happening at the moment. The only thing I want to be doing is to be left alone to work with the players, try and get a vocal voice and feedback from the players. I’ve sat them all done and had one on ones with Michael, Nicky Butt, Shay Givens, I mean Given, you’ll pick up on that again. And it’s been good. I’ve enjoyed it. It’s difficult asking players to play out of position and getting some shape in the team.