The Plot Thickens on Owen’s Intentions for Next Season

There may be more truth in the rumor that Owen may leave Newcastle in the summer than we first thought.



If Newcastle Chairman Freddie Shepherd is challenging Owen to state what his intentions are for next season – it can only mean that Shepherd himself is uncertain of what those are.We don’t believe Michael Owen – after playing only 12 games for Newcastle – and being paid over £9M in salary for those games – would elect to leave the club in the summer.

Having played in so few games for Newcastle since his £17m transfer from Real Madrid in August 2005, Owen has expressed “guilt” about his metatarsal and knee ligament injuries that have badly impacted his Newcastle career. We know this is not Michaels’ fault at all – and things like this happen in life (although we wish they wouldn’t).
But with rumors flying around that Manchester United want to sign him in the summer – there has been no statement from Owen yet that he will still be a Newcastle player next season .

Here’s what Chairman Shepherd said on Wednesday:

“I’m telling Michael he has two choices,. “He either comes out and tells our fans, who have taken him to their hearts, that he is happy here or I tell him that not one of the big four clubs, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal or Liverpool, are interested in him. Because that’s the case. The loyalty this club has shown him over the last two years when he had injury problems in his first season and has missed virtually all of this season deserves something in return.”

We applaud Shepherd for requesting that statement and we agree with what Freddy Shepherd says – and it will be a kick in the teeth for not only the club, but the fans and people of Newcastle – if he indeed elects to leave.



Freddy Shepherd

However, if he does decide to leave in the summer – we can’t stress enough that it will be a bitter disappointment to the club and the fans – and it’s probably best for both parties to part company.

If Owen does leave it shows there is little credibility – and certainly no loyalty – existing in the game of football today – and that is really sad.

Newcastle fans would like to have Owen say he will be at St James’ regardless of offers made in the summer – and we also recall in October – that Michael Owen said the following:

“In terms of how long I stay at Newcastle, I’m here as long as everybody wants me. I had four years on my contract when I signed last year, so I would say at least that length of time and then you’d have to ask the chairman for the rest.”

We are sure that Sam Allardyce, the former Bolton manager, and odds on favorite to be appointed Newcastle manager next Monday would also be interested in what Owen’s intentions are.

As we indicated yesterday – if Michael Owen does leave – he should ensure he never comes back to the City of Newcastle.

That may well sound harsh – but if he does leave – he has shown no loyalty or devotion whatsoever to Newcastle.

But again – we have to stress – we don’t believe this is what Michael is going to do – and we look forward to a public announcement from him to clear this matter up.


20 comments so far

  • Karolina

    May 10, 2007 at 5:06 AM

    Comment #1

    We want Owen in Manchester. Bring him at Old Trafford!

  • Ahmed Bilal

    May 10, 2007 at 6:25 AM

    Comment #2

    Ed – I don’t think Freddy S has any doubts about Owen – and that he is correct to ask Owen to make a public statement. Newcastle deserve as much, considering what they’ve gone through over the past 2 years.

    I question the wisdom in Freddy’s public comment though – such things are kept internal and only fuel speculation, not to mention that it puts Owen under needless pressure.

  • Ahmed Bilal

    May 10, 2007 at 6:26 AM

    Comment #3

    Oh and…Man Utd don’t want him. Liverpool, not sure, but at 9m he’d be cheaper than Villa and a popular choice as well, no?

  • Barry Bethel

    May 10, 2007 at 8:15 AM

    Comment #4

    I said when this story first broke that Owen’s interests have always been self-serving. Unlike some who blindly think that being at Newcastle means anything other than a fat pay cheque, I can recall when he signed. His abject disappointment that he had signed for Newcastle rather than get the return to Liverpool he wanted was writ large all over his face. He even alluded to wanting a Liverpool return first and foremost – and this is on the day he signed! Lets face it, things are worse now at Newcastle than when he came, the squad is poorer in terms of quality and at the time of writing the club is managerless. Shepherd’s outburst today is hardly likely to make Owen feel any more empathy with the club – it would probably be better for everyone if Shepherd directed his ire at the over-paid wasters who’ve actually been on the pitch than those who’ve been out injured. As for Owen, I personally hope he does leave. His best days are behind him, his commitment to the club is marginal, he is a drain on resources and by his style of play dictates that the system revolves around him. Unfortunatley, I doubt even at £9m, there will be any club willing to take on Owen and his wage demands.

  • Ed Harrison

    May 10, 2007 at 9:38 AM

    Comment #5

    Ahmed – I agree with your comment on Shepherd – it should have been done behind the scenes. Shepherd could have asked Michael what his intentions were.

  • Ed Harrison

    May 10, 2007 at 9:39 AM

    Comment #6

    Barry – I may be very very naive – but I think Owen wants to do well at Newcastle – and will stay with us …. we’ll see 😀

  • Raza

    May 10, 2007 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #7

    I think he owes us one good season. If he does decide to leave, it would be very unfortunate. But a fit Owen means goals – that have become something of a rarity at SJP in recent times.

  • Neil

    May 10, 2007 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #8

    Shepherd is an idiot. If Owen does leave it will be a direct result of Shepherd having no people skills.

  • W

    May 10, 2007 at 2:14 PM

    Comment #9

    Looking at another champions league victory for liverpool, not even guilt can overwhelm the idea of being left out and what he could’ve done at liverpool. I believe Owen leaked out this clause in his contract. If he was truly sincere, shepherd wouldn’t have to say anything about it, i’m sure he has met with him, i bet owen has refused to comment on it, because it’s his only way out he’s alternative path! Next year Liverpool are going for the premiership title with their new huge war chest and new stadium coming. DOn’t u think owain would like to be a part of that. So don’t go blaming freddy for this, he is doing us a favour. Owen will be public enemy no. 1 inevitable.

    Cult hero? Legend? we wish.

  • W

    May 10, 2007 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #10

    Who was too stupid to accept a 9 mil sell out clause. that’s naive.

  • Barry Bethel

    May 10, 2007 at 3:58 PM

    Comment #11

    Benitez style of play made Owen surplus to requirements at Liverpool and it suited Madrid from a commercial shirt sales point of view to take him – hence his almost permanent bench warming job there. There is more chance of Shearer joining Liverpool than Owen going back. Liverpool have much bigger fish to fry. I think Owen is hankering after a move to the north-west in general rather than one club in particular…wait and see.

  • Ed Harrison

    May 10, 2007 at 5:54 PM

    Comment #12

    Barry – yes I guess we’ll have to wait and see – but if he goes it will be the worst deal for Newcastle in the history of football – we paid out $9M in wages – lost $8M on transfer fee – and all for maybe 13 games – that’s about $1.3M per game and about $2M per goal.
    If he leaves – shame on him.

  • Kein

    May 11, 2007 at 7:47 AM

    Comment #13

    1. I think that Owen himself not commenting the situation to the media tells the story. When he has something positive to say, he is been quoted in every press..but the silence might mean he is either thinking about moving to ManU (or somewhere else) or he has already decided to do it.

    2. Freddy Shepherd’s angry comments to the media must mean that he knows something that we don’t. Why would get pissed off at Owen if he wants to stay or hasn’t expressed any desire to leave. Or maybe Shepherd is a total moran with his comments (he has already proved that he is…).

    I’m not sure how many big teams want him though..he is very injury prone player and his wages are sky high. I think he should show some loyalty considering all the investment we have put in him!

    P.S. Ed – we are talking about £:s not $:s…that makes it even worse for Newcastle!

  • Ed Harrison

    May 11, 2007 at 8:53 AM

    Comment #14

    Kein – those are two good points and I’m concerned he’s not saying anything
    – already worked it out if he leaves after Sunday’s game he would have cost us about $1.3M a game and $2M a goal. We may run short story on this today – was hoping he would have said something by now

  • Shaz

    May 11, 2007 at 9:19 AM

    Comment #15

    If owen had something to say on the matter, he would have done it by now. I think he should sit tight , job is half done. Geordies are bad mounthing him already. but i think he will take that rather over the prospect of playing for Newcastle United.

  • Ed Harrison

    May 11, 2007 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #16

    Kein – we have quoted you in our new article on the Owen situation – thanks.


  • Ed Harrison

    May 11, 2007 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #17

    Shaz – if Owen leaves Newcastle this summer – he will show himself up as being a greedy self centered footballer – and better away from Newcastle.
    IF he leaves that is – don’t think that’s bad mouthing….but he should say something if he wants to stop the speculation about him – which is what it is – just because of his silence.

  • Shaz

    May 11, 2007 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #18

    Ed-Michael Owen can make vasts amounts of money anywhere and that is a fact .The money is immaterial , the main point is that Michael is 27 now, time is ticking for him to win a major trophy. He is not a geordie,he owes it to himself to save his career. I have watched Newcastle’s last two games and they are terrible.They can’t offer him what he deserves and that is to play for a decent side.

  • Ed Harrison

    May 11, 2007 at 4:03 PM

    Comment #19

    Shaz – don’t disagree with most of what you say – but why doesn’t he see out his contract – 2 more years.
    Newcastle can legally keep him at St. James’ until June 2009 – not that they would.

  • Shaz

    May 11, 2007 at 5:58 PM

    Comment #20

    He will be 29 then and almost at the end of his career. No-one will want him then. I think Owen leaving would be the best thing.Atleast Shola Ameobi, the man who i think would take his place would appreciate the opportunity to play for Newcastle.Don’t the fans want players who want to play for them?I know it is unlikely rafa will go for him but I want to see Owen playing with Gerrard and Carragher again.


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