Newcastle United: Pardew fares badly in fans poll

Bookies favourite Alan Pardew attracted just 14 votes in a newspaper poll of fans on who they wanted as the new Newcastle manager.

Indeed, Chris Hughton, who was sacked on Monday, received more backing in the on-line survey carried out by the city's evening paper, the Evening Chronicle.

There were more than 1,000 responses to the poll with Pardew claiming less than two per cent of the vote - interestingly, Hughton managed three times that.

Predictably, Martin O'Neill, who is understood not to be one of the front-runners for the job, was a runaway favourite with a 42.3 per cent share, while Martin Jol attracted 32.8 per cent of the votes before it emerged that his interests may lie elsewhere.

Talks with potential successors to Hughton were ongoing today, although no firm decisions have yet been taken.

Owner Mike Ashley hopes to have the new man in place by the weekend, when the Magpies entertain Liverpool in a 5.30pm kick-off on Saturday evening.

Support for Pardew increased when it emerged that Jol's resignation from his job at Ajax was purely coincidental with the Dutchman also being linked with former club Hamburg.

Former Reading, West Ham, Charlton and Southampton boss Pardew was being quoted as a 1/4 to land the job by Ladbrokes this morning with Alan Curbishley a distant second at 7/1 and former Chelsea number two Ray Wilkins the big mover at 8/1.

But what is clear is that whoever replaces Hughton will have to work under similar financial restrictions to those with which the former Republic of Ireland international had to deal during his time at the helm.

He was one of the lowest-paid managers in the Barclays Premier League and was told in the immediate aftermath of promotion from the Coca-Cola Championship last summer that there would be no additional capital outlay on new signings.

Hughton was able to recruit the likes of Ivory Coast international Cheik Tiote, defenders James Perch and Sol Campbell, Dan Gosling and loan signing Hatem Ben Arfa, but all on a budget.

His successor may fare a little better, but Ashley is determined to reach the stage where a club which was debt-ridden when he bought it is self-sufficient sooner rather than later, and the retention of its Barclays Premier League status is key to that process.

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