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Mick Harford's proposed appointment as assistant to controversial Newcastle director of football Joe Kinnear has collapsed.
Harford, who had a brief spell as a Newcastle striker during his long career, was in discussions with the Premier League club about joining up with his former Wimbledon manager Kinnear.
It had been suggested that Harford, who also worked as an assistant to Kinnear at Luton and Nottingham Forest, would concentrate on scouting the domestic transfer market, helping to identify potential targets from the lower leagues and monitoring those players sent out on loan by manager Alan Pardew.
However, news of the talks sparked claims Pardew was being undermined amid accusations that Newcastle owner Mike Ashley was installing a shadow management team above him.
Kinnear was put in charge of all football-related matters when he was controversially appointed to his new post by Ashley, but the Magpies remain the only Premier League club yet to sign a player since the end of last season.
And Harford admitted on Monday that he had decided to remain as an assistant at Championship side Millwall rather than move to St James' Park.
"After meeting with Mike Ashley and Joe Kinnear, I made the hard decision that it is not the right time for me to take up this role," Harford told Sky Sports News.
"It was an honour to be asked to work at a fantastic club and I have the utmost respect for the Newcastle United and its fans. I am currently enjoying a role helping out at Millwall, but would like to thank Mike Ashley and Joe Kinnear for the opportunity."