The truth behind ex-Celtic transfer guru Nick Hammond’s sharp Newcastle United exit

Nick Hammond’s stay at Newcastle United was a very short one - and here’s the reason why.

NewcastleWorld has learned that Nick Hammond’s time at Newcastle United is officially over, contrary to reports elsewhere.

This month the former Celtic, Reading and West Brom transfer guru’s name continues to be linked with the club’s January transfer window negotiations. However, NewcastleWorld understands Hammond left the football club in December, just a short time after arriving, as per a report in The Times.

That hasn’t stopped his name being mentioned in relation to United transfers, though. It’s understood he’s had no hand in the two deals completed so far in the winter window.

But why did he depart? Here’s the answer - and it’s simpler than you think.

Who is Nick Hammond?

As a player, Hammond was a goalkeeper at the likes of Swindon Town, Plymouth Argyle and Reading before retiring in 2000.

Not long after hanging up his boots, Hammond became the Royals’ youth academy director. Three years later, he landed the director of football role.

Indeed, Hammond played an integral part in the club’s rise to the Premier League, as he helped appoint the manager who guided them there, Steve Coppell.

After a 20-year association with the Berkshire club, Hammond joined West Bromwich Albion as a technical director and then Celtic as head of football operations.

Hammond resigned from the role at Parkhead in March and remained out of work until assisting Newcastle’s new owners.

What role was he employed to do at Newcastle United?

While speculation circled last month that Hammond was potentially joining in a trial capacity ahead of landing the as yet unfilled director of football position at United, the reality is much more basic.

Hammond was, in fact, brought in purely in a consultancy role, on a short-term basis.

The football administrator’s task was to help evaluate and fine-tune the club’s extensive transfer plan ahead of the January window.

Due to his deal-making expertise he was asked to look over potential bids and player valuations to check they were realistic and correct.

It is not known which arm of the club’s ownership sanctioned the arrival of Hammond last month.

Why did he leave?

Again, this is a simple one to explain - Hammond’s consultancy contract came to an end.

It’s understood he left United in the days prior to the club’s Premier League encounter with Manchester United.

What next for the club?

Newcastle manager Eddie Howe (l) and assistant Jason Tindall react on the touchline during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Watford at St. James Park on January 15, 2022 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

The club’s transfer committee is a four-person panel. It consists of head coach Eddie Howe, his assistant Jason Tindall, director and co-owner Amanda Staveley as well as chief scout Steve Nickson.

Staveley, known as a shrewd, tough operator despite her lack of obvious ‘football’ experience, and Nickson have been tasked with getting deals over the line.

The quartet have already completed transfers worth around £37million this month, having signed Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid and then Chris Wood from relegation rivals Burnley.

The transfer committee is set to continue to operate in its current form until the end of the January window, with no director of football appointment imminent.