Jaap Stam has confirmed that Newcastle United made an approach to hire him in the summer, even though he had only just begun his work at Feyenoord.
It was announced in March that Stam, 47, would succeed Giovanni van Bronckhorst as the Feyenoord manager, but the Dutchman’s contract at De Kuip did not begin until June 1.
Former Reading manager Stam has now revealed that not long after his contract with the Rotterdam giants officially started, Newcastle made a move to hire him but it was an approach that he could not accept.
“Newcastle United applied a few days after I signed my signature at Feyenoord. So it was not an option right away. I am a man of my word. It was beautiful and honorable, because the people in England apparently know what I stand for as a trainer,” Stam told Dutch news outlet VI.
It was a bit of a longshot by Newcastle to try and hire Stam when he had literally only just started his job at Feyenoord. Plus, why would a Dutchman walk out on the chance to manage one of the biggest clubs in the Eredivisie to head to St James’ Park and work for Mike Ashley? Stam has a chance of winning silverware at De Kuip and is also managing Feyenoord in the Europa League. Newcastle might have been able to offer him more money and yes, Premier League jobs are attractive. But Stam definitely took the right decision in the summer to reject the Magpies’ advances. It’s not like he would have been guaranteed to be a good manager for Newcastle anyway. Steve Bruce has experience in the Premier League while Stam’s only experience in England’s top-flight came during his playing days at Manchester United between 1998 and 2001.