David Stonehouse, the new Chief Executive, has been raising his profile in the Chronicle - but he didn't bargain for Duncan when he explained how transfer negotiations are left to him and Sweaty Freddie to sort out. So the latest saga with the Scotsman should have opened his eyes - or shut them.

'Get yourself some Karate lessons' 

David Stonehouse thought he might just do that as Big Duncan threw a couple of quid his way from his pay-off.


'You're a big man and you're in bad shape, and for me it's a full time job. Now behave yourself.'

Just at that moment Freddie Shepherd wondered if it had been wise to agree to discuss Duncan Ferguson's pay-off at the top of Gateshead's Trinity Square car park.

The last Pud included a bit about my grudging respect for big Dunc. A smirk came to my face tonight when I looked at Biffa's site and read about the game of bluff now being played by the big Scot. This came after last night's Chronicle - in its most sycophantic spell for ages - which was full of how tough Newcastle had been by not giving in to the big lummox and his demand for a pay-off to sling his hook back to Scouse land. 

We should have know better. Our small town scrap man is out of his league when it comes to dealing with a professional out of town hit man. He's reverting to his old ways again shooting his mouth off too easily. Duncan said nothing, didn't turn up for the medical and left NUFC looking stupid. Little Freddie would learn a lot by watching the Godfather 'Sonny - never let anyone outside the family know what you are thinking.' 

So who would you back in the battle of the big egos? Would you go with the sweaty, bald, Doberman owning scrap merchant? Don't forget that it was his old man who set the business up - little Freddie was the 'Douglas Hall' of his day. Or do you back the quiet, cool, calm, good looking 'face' from Stirling, the former 'daddy' of E wing. 

It easy to play tough and shout the odds with a gang of Wallsend, iron pumping, half wits minding you on the Quayside. Go on Duncan, chin him, he deserves it. 

All The President's Men 

When Paul Cook rang to say that he'd seen the news about Big Dunc departing for Everton on Biffa's site at 12.10 it was - as far as we were concerned - a done deal. After all Biffa has more contacts than the KGB. But when listening to radio 5 at 1pm and there was no confirmation, a call was made to JT. He checked Biffa's site but couldn't find anyone else running with the story. So in a moment of inspiration he gets on to the Mike Baldwin live-a-like below - who by a remarkable coincidence was having lunch in Scouse land with an ex-Everton and England player (I've got the 1970 World Cup coin with his likeness on). He buys him another beer and gets from him the fact that the deal is nearly done but there's a problem with insurance. 

So Big Ish rings JT back, tells him what's going on and says- 'Any chance of you sorting out a policy for Big Dunc at Everton so Bobby can get some money for him?' So JT writes out a policy and the deal is done and .......sorry I got carried away and made this paragraph up. 

So JT emails Biffa and tells him about the problem with the insurance and Biffa covers the story again - this time with info on the insurance snarl-up. And eventually we all live happily-ever-after when the Sun splashes the story over its back page announcing the deal goes ahead on Friday for £5M. Who will Bobby buy ? McManaman? Butt? Wait and see ... but we're sure Biffa knows already.