"When it was first suggested by Mike, I was a bit shocked," said Pardew who nonetheless signed swiftly on the dotted line. "To try to foresee what's going to happen in the next eight years is difficult – and to be given that length of contract, well it hasn't really sunk in yet."
Only Pardew, Ashley and their lawyers and confidants know the precise contents of that agreement and the various exclusion clauses within it catering for assorted contingencies. It is for instance unknown whether it would cease to be binding were Pardew to consistently fail to meet particular targets – or if he received an offer to manage England.
Yet if the deal may potentially not be quite as tightly binding as advertised, it offers Newcastle financial protection should rivals attempt to poach their manager while also sending a message that a once volatile club are now a model of stability.
Newcastle's manager may not have been able to sign all the players he wanted during the summer but the trade-off of agreeing to continue to work within Ashley's tightly budgeted business plan is that he now has a higher level of job security than most of his peers. So, too, do his coaches John Carver, Steve Stone and Andy Woodman, who also signed eight-year deals.
Ashley though is expecting to be repaid in trophies. Asked about the owner's demands, Pardew replied: "Win every week." He was only half joking. "Regardless of my contract, there's always pressure when you are in charge of Newcastle, in Mike's mind it's, 'You'd better do well'," added the former Reading, West Ham and Southampton manager."
Even so many on Tyneside will be surprised if he is still in office come 2020. "I have entered contracts in the past and I haven't seen them out, so I can't say I've been totally loyal on that front," said Pardew, who upset Reading fans when he left for West Ham. "Sometimes in the past I've put my own personal ambition in front of what was best, maybe, for the club I was at. But you get older and wiser and I would like to say I'll see this contract out. It would be great for Newcastle if that was the case because it means I would have brought success."
David Moyes believes Pardew's contract offers Newcastle a chance to enjoy the sort of stability he has had at Everton, yet claims there is no rush to extend his own deal at Goodison Park, which expires at the end of the season and he wants clarification on "the way the club is going in general" before committing to an extension.
"For Alan to have an eight-year contact is good for him, for the Newcastle supporters and the club in general because they know where they are heading," said Moyes. "There are 10-year-olds in the academy who could be given their debuts for Newcastle by Alan. That stability gives a club a chance."
As for his own situation, however, Moyes added: "We have no real need [to agree a new deal] at the moment. … I am heavily concentrating on the team now and don't feel we have the need to sit down and do it. I don't think the club feel there is a need either because whatever happens, I'm here until the end of the season anyway."
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image: © Newcastle City Council