I bet you Alan Pardew can remember where he was when he heard about JFK.
No, not the assassination of the former US president, but the incredible return to St James’ Park of Joe ‘F******’ Kinnear – a move that has seen bwin make the Newcastle United boss the favourite to be the next Premier League manager to leave his post.
In a decision that can at best be explained as inexplicable, the ever erratic Mike Ashley has once again endeared himself to the Geordie public (ahem) by appointing Kinnear, who managed the club for five months from October 2008, to the role of director of football, four years after a heart attack forced him to leave the club during their relegation season.
And if the Toon Army were baffled and outraged by the former Wimbledon manager’s appointment back then, it is nothing compared to how they feel now.
Kinnear, whose infamous, expletive-ridden rant in his first press conference as Newcastle manager has gone down in folklore, came out on the attack before his latest appointment was even confirmed by the club.
Over the course of two shambolic interviews, an abrasive Kinnear peddled a series of untruths about his time in management and made wild claims about his ability and contacts within the game – the majority of which have been subsequently disproved as nonsense.
The entire thing is an embarrassment to the loyal Geordie faithful, who certainly deserve better than the circus currently engulfing the club, but where does it leave Pardew?
The former West Ham manager is not everybody’s cup of tea himself, but he doesn’t exactly deserve having Kinnear thrust upon him as some sort of all-seeing football overlord (if Kinnear’s claims are to be believed, that is).
A 16th-placed finish last season was a poor return for Pardew, especially in light of his superb campaign the year before, and the move by Ashley to appoint Kinnear could be viewed as an attempt to alienate a manager that is not even one year into an eight-year contract.
But whatever the motives, the signs aren’t good for Pardew and bwin make him the 37/20 favourite to be the next Premier League boss to leave his post.
And if you think that trouble could escalate quickly in the north-east, you can get 19/4 that Pardew is gone before the 2013/14 seasons starts (1/10 to still be in situ).
Elsewhere in the ‘sack race’ market, Michael Laudrup is 12/5 second-favourite as whispers about his Swansea City future refuse to go away, while Tottenham Hotspur’s Andre Villas-Boas, reportedly a target for French champions Paris Saint-Germain, is 7/1.
Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio is also single figures to be next manager to go at 9/1, with Fulham’s Martin Jol an 11/1 chance.
All other managers range from 14/1 to David Moyes, newly installed at Manchester United, at 50/1.