Newcastle chairman has wisely moved to clarify the Michael Owen contract situation, before the popular press has Owen moving to Manchester City for Â£6M on January 1st.
Chris Mort has told the media there is no longer any buy-out clause in Michaelâ€™s contract.
Hopefully they’ll now stop writing about it and make up something else in the papers.
Chris Mort - wisely moves to end speculation on Owen’s contract – no buy-out clause exists now
It could have been activated only last summer and this summer. But it doesnâ€™t exist apparently in the last 2 years of Michaelâ€™s contract. The next thing one naturally thinks of is whether Newcastle will extend Michaelâ€™s contract but they can hardly do that right now, with Owen still having only played a handful of games for the club, since he singed for the Tyneside club in August, 2005.
This is what Chairman Chris Mort said today:
“There was a clause in Michael’s contract which allowed him to leave for a certain fee during the last transfer window and the summer before that as well, but that sort of clause does not exist any longer.â€
“We want to see a fit Michael Owen scoring goals for Newcastle United for many years to come.â€
“There is no nervousness here about his contract situation.”
Manager Sam Allardyce addressed Owenâ€™s contract situation more head on when he challenged Michael to be available for Newcastle for 20 games in a row when he said today:
“I’d like to see him fit for the next 20 games on the trot or more, and then enter into a new contract.â€
“The most important thing is that he’s available for selection every week and we can control it.â€
“Whether that means we lose him at the end of the day or not is non-negotiable because if it happens it happens, but we want to see him fit, playing and scoring on a regular basis.”
Seems like the shoe is now firmly on the other foot (excuse the pun) and the club are wanting to see more of Michael on the field and get their moneyâ€™s worth. Thatâ€™s not only for the huge Â£17M fee Freddy Shepherd was willing to pay out for Owenâ€™s services, but also the huge wages of at least Â£110K/week Michael is said to receive at the club.
Thereâ€™s no doubt the club want Michael, but he has to perform at the highest level for Newcastle, and because of injuries he has never done that in the time he’s been on Tyneside. We all hope that is about to change and Michael will help the club surge up the table in the coming months.
But we’ll see, time will tell.
Comments very welcome.