Former Newcastle United goalkeeper coach Andy Woodman has revealed the sensational and rather booze-fueled events that led to him, Alan Pardew and the entire backroom staff handing over astonishing eight-year contracts.
In 2012, Pardew and his team got the unprecedented deals, much to the shock of the football world. It was the first time such a thing had been seen in the English game.
Wealthy owner Mike Ashley continued to hit a high after the club took fifth place under Pardew and had great ambitions to make Newcastle a global superpower.
Still, the origins of the now infamous contract episode have a very British theme and revolve around a chance meeting during a night on the tiles of gushing alcohol.
WARNING EXPRESS LANGUAGE
Former Newcastle goalkeeper coach Andy Woodman has revealed the sensational chain of events that led to him, Alan Pardew and the coaching staff being awarded eight-year contracts.
Reveal the story through the Undr the Cosh podcastFormer coach Woodman told the brutally honest story of how the Premier League’s largest contract offering ever came about, and the twists and turns along the way.
Describing how he and his wife had met an old friend, an ex-footballer and his partner, they set off for a meal on the outskirts of Newcastle, which soon morphed into several drinks and carefree dancing.
Woodman explained: ‘We started drinking quite a bit, it’s a Friday night before a game, I mean come on, I shouldn’t be doing this, let’s be honest but I caught up with my friend and we have a good night .
‘Then I hear that Mike Ashley is in the building, and I’m like,’ Oh no damn that’s all I need. And then I see Mike and [managing director] Derek Llambias and their group of friends approach us.
“I was like” ah I’m in trouble right now, this isn’t going to look right. So before he gets to me, I’ll give it “how are you Mike? I just shoot away, just had dinner with the family. I mean it’s about f ****** half past eleven now! ‘
Woodman admits that at the time he thought the Newcastle owner would read him the relact, but Ashley – it soon turned out – felt himself in a very festive mood.
Wealthy owner Mike Ashley saw Woodman on a night out before a game, and the scenes quickly escalated as the company of people shared photos and beer and discussed Newcastle’s future.
After hastily apologizing to Ashley, Woodman continued, “He said,” No, no, you stay here, let’s take some pictures. ” My Miss looks at me as if to say we’re in a bit of trouble here.
“So we’re chatting and it’s all fun and then he says” you did a great job, I love you, I’m going to give you an eight-year contract tomorrow. “
It was as if the music had stopped immediately and everyone had become sober.
“I got it by being really drunk and dancing my wife up there, when she came right up to her and said, ‘Did he say eight years !?”
So I kind of went, ‘no honest Mike, I love it here, you don’t have to do that’ but in my head I think ‘where’s the pen !?’
Woodman admits that the rest of the night, escalating into the wee hours, quickly turned a blur, before finding himself walking down the sidelines at St James’ Park the next day before the game and feeling very much worse with wear and tear. .
Woodman, hoping that the previous night’s antics would go under the radar and assuming that Ashley’s promises had simply been said through the filter of a few pints, quickly realized that events were still going on.
The next day, manager Alan Pardew revealed that he was aware of the evening and the huge contract
Manager Pardew greeted Woodman in his office to show that he knew all about the night in the bar, confirming that only Woodman had gotten the dizzying eight-year deal.
The match unfolded, with Woodman admitting that he was so busy that he couldn’t remember whether his team won, drew or lost.
Given the media frenzy that would naturally ensue if a goalkeeper coach signed a deal far greater than the manager’s own, Woodman told Pardew he would give Ashley his very best after the game, but explained that he couldn’t possibly do such a thing. deal. terms.
Heading into the executive boxes some time after the final whistle, Woodman expected the whole ordeal to come to a friendly end now. Instead, another bomb would soon fall.
Woodman explained, after greeting Ashley warmly, “I said,” I appreciate it, Mike, but it will cause you a bigger problem with the manager, assistant manager and all the other staff. “
By initially declining the deal, Woodman sorted it out so that Pardew also got a massive contract offer, though not long after that it quickly soured on Tyneside and the results fell
The Pardew and Woodman deal was so long that it shouldn’t have officially ended until last year
“He’s just going …” Well, I’ll give you all eight-year contracts. ‘
And so Ashley remained a man of his word and the most bizarre contracts in English football were issued.
Woodman outlines how impressed he was that Ashley also set aside money for each of Pardew and his staff to hire top sports attorneys to look carefully through the fine print.
Woodman says he fully expected his unprecedented contract to include an interruption cause after a year in case things didn’t go well, as is the standard procedure on many long-term employment contracts.
To the lawyer’s surprise, there was no such clause. Struggling to hide his smile, Woodman revealed how the attorney in question joked with him at the time, saying, ‘get a ****** pen and get it signed, and get yourself fired from that job asap the full reward in! ‘.
The deals were so long, and Pardew, Woodman and Co. would have seen their deals officially come to an end last year, in April 2020.
However, after putting ink on paper in 2012, fortunes began to turn quickly for Newcastle, and a once satisfied and optimistic fanbase quickly enlisted the ownership and also the manager.
Woodman and Steve Stone (right) stayed under John Carver for a while after Pardew left
Woodman’s son Freddie remains on the books with Newcastle, on loan to Swansea this season
Pardew left for Crystal Palace in December 2014 after a bad spell. Ashley, as required by the contracts, had to pay each of the respective salaries as the servants left at different intervals thereafter.
Steve McClaren, Rafael Benitez and Steve Bruce have all run the club ever since.
Woodman, 49, spent four and a half years in the back room of the club between 2010 and 2015, along with Pardew and then John Carver.
He remains involved in football and is currently continuing his goalkeeper training in the top flight, at Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal.
His son Freddie has also followed in his footsteps to become a goalkeeper, and is still on the books of Newcastle United, but will be loaned out in the Championship with Swansea City this season.
Watch the full episode of the Undr the Cosh podcast on their YouTube channel here