Newcastle owner Mike Ashley faces a big decision over whether or not to replace his trusted lieutenant as the fall-out from Joe Kinnear's arrival shows little sign of abating.

Managing director Derek Llambias resigned yesterday after learning that the 66-year-old Irishman would assume some of his duties under a surprise shake-up of the club's football activities instigated by the sportswear tycoon.

It is not yet clear if a direct replacement will be appointed, but what is obvious is that things at St James' Park will change significantly.

The club is currently in limbo with Ashley controlling from arm's length, but his day-to-day manager has gone, leaving Kinnear, finance director John Irving and club secretary Lee Charnley holding the fort.

Kinnear has wasted little time in making his presence felt with a series of free-ranging interviews which have hardly enhanced his reputation.

However, on a positive front, he met manager Alan Pardew on Tuesday for the first time since he was installed, and the pair are said to have held amicable talks over the way forward.

Pardew has since indicated his intention to remain as manager as he attempts to restore the club's on-field fortunes after a difficult season which saw the club flirt with relegation before eventually finishing in 16th place in the Barclays Premier League.

However, the current focus is on events off the pitch at a time of year when the summer transfer strategy is paramount.

Kinnear has already indicated the FC Twente defender Douglas and Aston Villa striker Darren Bent are among a list of players who could be targets, although both men were under consideration long before his arrival.

Newcastle, of course, have won praise for their shrewd dealings in recent seasons, although as ever, Pardew will be keeping his fingers crossed as much over those players who could leave as over those he wants to bring in.

France midfielder Yohan Cabaye, referred to by Kinnear in a radio interview this week as "Yohan Kebab", has been linked with a series of potential suitors with big-spending Monaco the latest to be credited with an interest in him.

But Mark Jensen, editor of online fanzine, is not convinced there is a coherent plan in place.

He said: "To be honest, I've never, ever thought there has been any kind of a plan. They just live day to day, month to month.

"When they kept trying to say there was a five-year plan - was relegation in that plan? I find it hard to believe there's even a five-minute plan.

"For whatever reason, Mike Ashley has responded to what happened last season or what has happened this summer in his negotiations with Alan Pardew, and his reaction to this has been to bring Joe Kinnear, which he thinks is a great idea.

"Now he's going to have to react to Derek Llambias' resignation."