The Newcastle Evening Chronicle commented yesterday, 'To say the appointment of Alan Pardew is bewildering and perplexing to Newcastle United fans is an understatement.'
It went on to capture the mood of powerlessness among fans that may translate into empty grey seats at St James' over the coming months and next season: 'No amount of chanting, protests, gnashing of teeth or complaint is going to change the decision. As long as Ashley holds the reins and controls the finances of the club, he calls the shots.'
The fans' website nufc.com is usually reserved. On Thursday it referred to Pardew as 'a chancer appointed by chancers' [very good - ed], adding: 'And in making the change, Mike Ashley has once again demonstrated the utter contempt that he now holds for the fans that he once sought to buddy up with. At a stroke he's managed to successfully re-ignite the bad feeling on and off the field that resulted in our fall from grace two seasons ago. Is he trying to take us down?'
Of course, if Newcastle beat Liverpool tomorrow, Pardew will be hailed as the saviour Geordies have been waiting for since [fill in date of your choice].