Rob appeared to be a one man club knocking up 394 appearances
for Bristol City and earning a testimonial before joining Norwich
in July 1991 for £600,000. Although primarily a centre half,
Rob has played in midfield and up front for the Canaries with
mixed results. His aging legs sometimes lack pace but his commitment
could not be doubted. Out of favour in the 1997/98 campaign, he
first joined Motherwell on loan before finishing the season on
loan to John Deehan's Wigan. Rob was
expected to join either Wigan or Motherwell when his contract
expired at the end of the 1997/98 season as Norwich were unwilling
to renew it. Surprisingly he joined Southend United which means
he can retain his home in Norfolk. No jokes about donkeys on Southend
His role at Roots Hall evolved to involve some coaching and he
was appointed Assistant Manager to David Webb. When Webb quit
in October 2001, Rob was appointed caretaker manager. One of his
first acts was to attempt to sing Adrian Coote
on loan to boost Southend's forward line. This position was made
substantial on October 22nd.
Along with assistant David Crown, Rob was sacked from his post
on March 25th 2003 as Southend were going nowhere fast in Division
Three. He was replaced by coach Stewart Robson who would manage
the remaining seven games of the season.
Newman quickly found two new jobs. After playing alongside Chelmsford
manager Paul Parker in Steve Tilson's testimonial, Rob signed
for Chelmsford City as a player to act as cover until the end
of the season. BBC Ceefax also reported that he had signed for
West Ham as a part-time scout. At the end of July 2003, he signed
for Ridgeons League side Gorleston and made his debut in a pre-season
friendly against former club Chelmsford.
In November 2003, Rob was linked strongly with the managerial
vacancy at Kings Lynn with his agent Neil Featherby confessing
that Rob had indeed made enquiries. Neil also added that a number
of former Canaries and other players with league football would
be interested in teaming with Rob if he took over at the Walks.
This list included former Norwich and Colchester striker Adrian
Coote. However Neil was quick to stress that another Football
League side, 2 Conference side and 1 Dr Martens League side had
also expressed interest in Rob's services.
In April 2004, Rob was linked with the managerial vacany at Dagenham
and Redbridge following Garry Hill's resignation. Losing out to
John Still, Rob was next linked with the vacacny at new club AFC
Telford that had arisen from the ashes of bankrupt Conference
side Telford United. In September 2004, he was linked with the
managerial vacancies at Newport County and at Kings Lynn whom
he had applied to join the previous year. Rob is currently scouting
in Europe for Birmingham City but took over the control of the
Gorleston first team on a temporary basis in October 2004 when
current incumbent Martyn Sinclair stepped down as results went
against the Greens.
At the end of December 2004, struggling Cambridge United appointed
Steve Thompson as manager and he sought to appoint Newman as his
deputy - Newman had been helping caretaker manager Ricky Duncan
with coaching duties. Unfortunately his efforts could not prevent
United being relegated to the Conference on 24th April 2005. This
led to Thompson being sacked and Newman taking over as caretaker
at the beginning of May 2005. He was given the permanent position
when the Us came out of adminstration towards the end of July
Newman signed a new contract with Cambridge on 8th April 2006
as did assistant Tony Spearing. However
after a poor start to the 2006/7 season saw them at the bottom
of the Conference following a defeat at Exeter on 1st September
2006, Newman and Spearing were sacked with new chairman Lee
Power temporarily taking over team selection.
On 16th October 2006, Rob was named as Bournemouth's Assistant
Manager, working with Kevin Bond
Despite valiant efforts which saw the club pull back from being
14 points adrift from relegation in March 2008 - primarily caused
by a ten point deduction when the club went in to administation,
Bournemouth were relegated into League Two following a 1-1 draw
with Carlisle on the final day of the season and other results
going against them.
Bond and Newman were sacked by Bournemouth on 1st September 2008
after the Poppies only took two points from their first four games
of the 2008/9 season.
In mid-October 2008, Newman joined Steve
Bruce at Wigan becoming part of a new scouting network led
by Bernard Paintin with general manager John
Benson also involved.
He then moved on to Manchester City where he is responsible for
scouting in Spain. In August 2012, following approaches from Liverpool.
man City promoted Newman giving him responsibility for global
scouting. This changed to a role as European Scouting Manager. He is also a coach at the Langley Football Academy.
In July 2021 he left Man City to join West Ham as Head of Recruitment. West Ham fans' joy at a high profile appointment was soon marred when it was reported that the terms of his departure from Man City would mean Newman going on gardening leave and not able to take up the new role until after the Summer 2021 transfer window had closed. He was officially unveiled by the Hammers on 1st October 2021 saying “I’m really pleased to be here and coming in at a great time, especially after what’s been a fantastic start for the club this season. In the last window alone, West Ham brought in four international players, coming to the club because they’ve seen how well everything is going. They’ve seen what a great club it is and what an even greater club it could become. Hopefully I can be part of that process now. I’m going to give it 100 per cent." West Ham boss David Moyes added: “I am delighted to welcome Rob to West Ham United and look forward to working closely with him as we continue to restructure and enhance our recruitment and scouting department.