Former Newcastle midfielder Rob Lee has dubbed the club a "laughing stock" after Joe Kinnear was appointed as their director of football.
Kinnear, who spent a chunk of the unsuccessful 2008-09 campaign in charge of Newcastle before leaving the club after a health scare, returned to St James' Park last week in a shock move.
Fans were stunned when told club manager Alan Pardew and chief scout Graham Carr would report into Kinnear, and that the 66-year-old would have the final say on transfers.
A disastrous radio interview, in which Kinnear insulted the club's fans and pronounced the names of several players wrong, only served to deepen the anger of supporters,
And Lee, who made over 300 appearances for Newcastle, was seething in his Northern Chronicle column and followed the lead of club legend Alan Shearer in openly criticising Kinnear's appointment.
Lee said: "It's official. Newcastle United are once again a laughing stock.
"Here we are in the weird and not-so-wonderful world of Joe Kinnear again. Newcastle always seem to shoot themselves in the foot.
"It is one step forward, two steps back. To bring Joe Kinnear in above Alan Pardew's head is just a crazy decision.
"Nobody would have done what Newcastle have done in the last week or so."
The decision to appoint Kinnear came from Newcastle's controversial chairman Mike Ashley and Lee has called for an explanation, although he feels that is unlikely.
"Unfortunately we're no nearer it being explained either, and I certainly don't expect Ashley to come out and tell us any time soon – he never does," he said.
"It's sad really, because it was at a time when he seemed to be winning the fans over.
"There is this deafening silence from St James' Park. All fans want to know is what is going on. It is just madness."