Just what is going on at Newcastle United? It had been widely suggested yesterday that Kevin Keegan was a goner at St James’ Park, after crisis talks had been held on Monday. However, the former England manager remains at the helm today…but for how long?
There’s sure to be more on this story, although The Guardian report that Keegan is consulting his lawyers following a day that won’t be forgotten by Newcastle fans in a hurry.
At the end of one of the most baffling days in Newcastle United’s history Kevin Keegan’s future as the club’s manager looked increasingly untenable last night. As his second stint in charge of the club seemed poised to end in disillusion and no little anger, Keegan is understood to have spent the evening inside a Manchester hotel in the company of his lawyers.
After a day of rumours that Newcastle had sacked their manager, and during which Keegan told friends he had been fired, the club issued a confusing statement shortly before 7pm which stated that the former England coach had not in fact been dismissed but failed to confirm that he would continue in his job.
Although Newcastle claim he is expected at training this morning, Keegan and Mike Ashley, the club’s billionaire owner, appear to be wrangling over his severance demands. It is understood that a clause in the manager’s contract makes him liable to pay Ashley more than £1m should he resign but Keegan feels he has a strong case for constructive dismissal and believes he should be paid £8m in compensation.
While the club eventually released a statement yesterday, claiming that the manager is ‘important now and in the future’, many supporters have criticised the fact it took them all day to make a comment which turned out to be disconcertingly vague when it arrived. It doesn’t appear as though Mike Ashley is going anywhere in a hurry, although surely it would be a surprise to see Keegan still in charge for Newcastle’s next match?