Steve McClaren, the first-choice candidate of Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, has turned down the chance to take over the Northeast club and once again manage in the Premier League.
McClaren, who’s been in charge at Derby County since September 2013, was offered the job and invited to start as soon as this week, as Newcastle currently have three games left in the 2014-15 Premier League season and sit just two points clear of the third and final relegation place. John Carver, who is in charge at St James’ Park on an interim basis, will instead manage Newcastle’s final three games of the season.
“I reiterate what I said on Saturday straight after the game,” said McClaren on Wednesday. “And what I’ve said to the board and the players yesterday – I’m 100% committed to finishing the job [at Derby].
“I hear the speculation, I see it, but I’m 100% committed to Derby County at this point. I’ve been saying it for months, that my total focus, my total commitment, is on Derby County.”
Derby, who held the Championship’s top spot at one point this season, completed their epic fall from first to completely out of the promotion playoffs with a 3-0 defeat to Reading last weekend, but McClaren intends to remain at the club and make another run at promotion next season.
“For three quarters of the season we were one of the best teams in the league, we were top of the league. We looked as if we were going to go on. Since that moment a lot of things have gone wrong but it is not a bad team, it is not a bad football club overnight. That is why I want to stay here and finish the job.”
There’s also the added incentive of avoiding the chaotic and often times disastrous situation at Newcastle, which could very well end with relegation into the same league as Derby next year.
According to the UK’s bookmakers, David Moyes, Michael Laudrup and Frank de Boer are currently favorites to land the Newcastle job during the summer. Having already been turned down by a Championship manager, what makes anyone thing the more established likes of continental managers would jump at the offer instead?