Newcastle United caretaker manager Joe Kinnear is not a fan of the press at the moment. Nor is he shy of saying what he thinks.
The result? A five minute torrent of abuse hurled at the assembled pack at a press conference yesterday, mainly directed at Daily Mirror reporter Simon Bird.
During an astonishing rant containing 52 swear words – which, thanks to the Mirror, you can listen to and read the full transcript of – he called reporters “fucking so slimy”, threatened (unspecified) court action and promised to never speak to the press again.
It was Bird who revealed that Kinnear gave his team the day off on his first day in charge. Legitimate issue, according to Bird. Not so, said Kinnear:
“It’s 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 you opinion. Do I have to listen to you?”
Bird told the BBC’s Today programme this morning:
“Joe Kinnear thinks he’s been ridiculed by the newspapers which we would dispute.
“I think it’s important to challenge managers like that…If he wants to have bully boy tactics and bully the press into seeing it his way, it isn’t going to work”
Bird said reporters tend to get rollickings like that two or three times a season “to clear the air”
Bizarrely, Bird said that reporters asked Kinnear three times if he wanted his rant quoted on the record – most club manager briefings are for background only – “and he said three times that we could go ahead and print it”, he said.