Mort To Open Contract Talks With Owen This Week

Good news reported in the Times today that Newcastle United will open contract negotiations with Michael Owen, the England striker this week.


Michael Owen – Mort will start discussions later this week

Kevin Keegan has already openly expressed his disappointment this week that discussions about extending Michael Owen’s deal at the club, which expires next summer, have yet to start.

The Newcastle Chairman, Chris Mort, has already said the club want to retain the 28-year-old star, although the club were obviously reluctant to offer terms until their league status was settled.

The wage bill at Newcastle makes up 80% of costs and the figure usually is nearer 60%, so it’s just too high.  But we also think that a number of players, at least seven by our count, will be leaving the club in the summer, and that should help reduce the overall wage bill.

Michael is said to be on around £115K a week but that is not expected to be a problem in the negotiations.

We feel this is good news and we know Kevin was anxious that the club get a move on, to secure Michael to Newcastle over the next 4 years or so.

There’s no doubt at all that Keegan sees Owen as a key player in Newcastle’s future.

Comments welcome.

34 comments so far

  • Leo

    May 7, 2008 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #1

    good news i guess

    what about oba and taylor

  • Bill F

    May 7, 2008 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #2

    Hooray, what about Taylor has he signed up yet.

  • Bill F

    May 7, 2008 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #3

    Blimey Leo, same time you must have hit the submit button nano-seconds before me. 🙂

  • Taiwantoon

    May 7, 2008 at 11:41 AM

    Comment #4

    Finally a good news. 🙂

  • Stami - PLAY CARROLL

    May 7, 2008 at 11:46 AM

    Comment #5

    sign him up, give him what he wants. Owen is key to us! as is Martins, Taylor, Faye and Beye!

  • GM

    May 7, 2008 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #6

    I honestly dont see what the big deal is, his contract runs out NEXT summer, 1 year from now, no one has been in for him, as this would be all over the papers, the club want him, he seems to want to stay, and I dont care how good he is, i think we are the only club that will pay him £115k/week, so getting it sorted in the close season seems to make sense to me. I seem to remember MO stating that same fact after the sunderland game, that negotiations would start at the end of the season, not with 3, 4 or 5 games left…press stiring…there is a theme here, does anyone else see it yet….

  • JJ

    May 7, 2008 at 11:53 AM

    Comment #7

    Just an idea for you ED HARRISON:

    We are all sick and tired of the press twisting Newcastle stories and making our club look like arse.

    Therefore I suggest (as the bset supporters in the world) that we make a stand for our club and try to get some coverage on it.

    Say we targets Skysports News.

    We got every possible Newcastle fan we can to email Skysports stating that we are pleased with the way things are going with the club and beleive we have the set up to make the club huge in the next few years.
    Also stating that it is not our expectations to breech the top 4 and that we have faith in both our manager and the board!!!!!
    We then state that no matter how much nonsense is printed to stir trouble at our club it will only unite the supporters behind the club and management!

    If we can get everyone on the blog to do it and spread the word. Surely we can make some sort of impact.


    At the end of each article state your name, support for the club and country.

    Ed perhaps you can write something we can copy and paste and add our names to via email?

  • Faustino

    May 7, 2008 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #8

    As I said in the other thread, I reckon he’ll be asked to take pay cut in these negotiations. The change in postion was an admission he is suffering due to injury and I’m sorry, he’s good but he aint 115k a week good and I beleive that’s what Mort thinks.

    Problem is with todays agents that will mean trouble.

  • THE mike ashley

    May 7, 2008 at 12:07 PM

    Comment #9

    superb JJ i’m emailing them now!!!

  • Nick Dryden

    May 7, 2008 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #10

    Owen is on an obscene amount of money £115k a week – 6M a year in wages!! He is forever one kick away from being injured again and his glaring open goal misses against Blackburn, Portsmouth and Chelsea have cost us a lot of points. It’s worrying that we are the only ones prepared to pay this ludicrous amount of money and no one has made an official approach for him. I love KK but I’m with CM and MA on this one. I would be hesitant to retain his services. The model and blueprint of going after younger up and coming players and putting a sensible wage structure in place has to be the way to go.
    I can understand Wise’s and the other’s frustration with Keegan at times. Wise, Jimenez and Vetere are earmarking exceptional new talent which KK seems to be knocking back if we are to belive what we hear and KK talks about journeymen like Riise, Dunne etc.

  • shearer

    May 7, 2008 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #11

    JJ. That is the most ridiculous thing i have ever heard! Supporters from other clubs would just send stupid messages and sign off as a newcastle fan.

    The papers just reflect how everyone outside of newcastle thinks of your club. You are a laughing stock! As for showing the yids how big you are. ……….

  • Faustino

    May 7, 2008 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #12

    Also Ed, given that everyone expects 5 players of real quality to be signed and the calibre of the 7 going out the door, do you really think that will see us get anywhere near the elusive 60% mark?

  • CG

    May 7, 2008 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #13

    Shearer – who do you support you mug. why dont you f@*k off and take your crap comments with you

  • Toon boy

    May 7, 2008 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #14

    Not may more clubs would pay Owen in excess of 115k per week!! He will know this and IMO will obviously be open to Negotiation!!!

    OH NO, SAMUAL NETTO may be coming back to toon!!

    Lock the F##king doors!!!!

  • valle

    May 7, 2008 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #15

    Again… Proof?… Quotes?… Media speculation

  • JJ

    May 7, 2008 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #16

    Shearer, you and the other three Spurs supporters wouldnt make a difference. Send as many emails as you like.

  • Glenn_United

    May 7, 2008 at 1:17 PM

    Comment #17


    HOWAY THE LADS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ONWARDS AND UPWARDS I SAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • andyc290

    May 7, 2008 at 1:44 PM

    Comment #18

    I dont think Owens contract negotiations will be easy at all. Ashley/Mort will be reluctant to pay upwards of £100k when they know no one else would pay him that. I personally dont think he is worth that and we should be looking to decrease the wage bill. If Owen wants to stay he should accept around £80k with decent bonus payments dependant on goals and club success. This is a much more realistic amount. Ive got the feeling Owen might prefer to wait and see what wages he gets offered in January from other clubs. I cant see Ashley/Mort being bullied into paying more than they want to so i could definatly see the negotiations going all the way.

  • andyc290

    May 7, 2008 at 1:47 PM

    Comment #19

    Shearer i dont know who you support but ill bet none of us waste our time reading your clubs blogs and message boards.

    Theres a message in there – you work it out you loser.

  • ObaFan2

    May 7, 2008 at 1:52 PM

    Comment #20

    Owen has been scoring goals again, so he misses some but doesn’t evryone from time to time, even Ronaldo ! lol

    If Owen is replaced we would have to cough up a huge fee as well as wages so to me it makes sense to keep him happy and pay him well.

    Oba needs a new contract too imo.

    Genuine question…… how much is Owen worth if we were to sell him?

  • Ian

    May 7, 2008 at 2:48 PM

    Comment #21

    Once we are playing two games a week will he be able to cope?

    Viduka went on the first tough match since he came back.

    If we can afford to buy an exciting striker such as Djibril Cisse and keep Owen then fair enough, if we can only afford Owen and no one else if we sign him then we have problems.
    I wouldnt like to see any of the three strikers be unavailable for any match as we would slip down again without any one of them and no Ameobi if two of them are off. Still we have Smith!!
    If we have a limited budget on wages then we need to be careful paying £115,000 per week for 20 goals max per season. We could buy other players who are capable of that number, Bellamy would be just over half that price for starters, he could play on the left with Martins inside just for one example.
    We should not blow the budget on a couple of players.


    May 7, 2008 at 3:15 PM

    Comment #22

    I agree with Nick and Andy if Owen wont agree to 80k we should let him go.Birmingham look to be going down Zarate can replace Owen looks good whenever he comes on as a sub.Against Fulham he came on and played well wining free kicks and he is young and talented that leaves him with time to develop.What do think guys?

  • Obafan

    May 7, 2008 at 6:22 PM

    Comment #23

    I think some of you are a bit arsch on MO. Okay he missed a few golden opportunities in a couple of games, but he has also made a few fantastic and important goals recently. It is funny how some of you change thoughts as quickly as the changing of the weather 😉 .

    Oba and Taylor (after recent form) should be given new deals too ASAP!

  • Jeff D

    May 7, 2008 at 7:23 PM

    Comment #24

    Give him a new contract!
    It would unbelievably stupid not to. Not only is he a world class striker, but he is also the sort of name in a team that other world class players look for when deciding if they would like to join Newcastle. Players need to know that the team persuing their signature is ambitious, and is capable of being successful. Selling a player of Owens proven calibre would almost certainly lead them to the conclusion that we are neither.

  • geordie till i die

    May 7, 2008 at 7:49 PM

    Comment #25

    get him tied down MA his wages should reflect what he has done. Bonuses should be implemeted to stop the wage bill becoming huge, if it gets any bigger we will have to sell big stars

  • Reb

    May 7, 2008 at 8:04 PM

    Comment #26

    I’ve said this on other sites, and I’ll say it here. Cutting Michael Owen’s wages is foolish. Forget whether you think he has “earned” it, or should ever have been paid that much to begin with. That’s done, and can’t be undone. Cutting the captain’s wages, who is also the best and most prestigious player at the club as well as being the most marketable and nationally popular player at the club, sends out all the wrong signals. It says one or more of only a few things:

    1) there’s no money, the club is in financial trouble — not a good way to attract new top players

    2) the club is punishing Owen for injuries that occurred on the pitch during matches — and most of his time out with injuries has been with two serious injuries, not little niggles. A vindictive club is also not attractive to players.

    3) the club wants rid of Owen entirely, but is offering him an insulting contract (cutting his pay, on the back of a very good run of form and fitness) so he’s the one to leave rather to “save” the club the PR problems. Except that won’t work, because Owen is far more popular nationally than Newcastle United is. If Owen is pushed out the door, NUFC is the one who will look bad, not Michael Owen.

    4) the club doesn’t have the ambition to keep or sign the top players.

    Which, if any, of these options are the sort of signs that Mort/Ashley/the club want to send out? None of them!

    Owen is expensive, yes. He’s worth it. He’s the most marketable person Newcastle have, a truly talented player (a “one dimensional” top-class striker who can apparently play a decent midfield playmaker role as well), and the exact kind of MAN that Newcastle need as captain. He’s intelligent, he rarely says or does the wrong thing to get into the papers and rather is in for the right things. He leads by example, and is quite popular in the dressing room (see comments from Harper and Beye, among others, as well as the huddle and goal celebrations). He’s a tireless worker on the pitch (his workrate since his injuries ended [touch wood] has been phenomenal) and an optimist of the Keegan vein. He’s heavily involved in charities, both in giving of his time as well as financially.

    Reward all of that with an insult? Cutting his wages is an INSULT to a player who has done nothing more than suffer horrible luck with injuries and then come back at the second half of this season to have an very important and influential run of good form, standing up and stepping up as captain.

    Even if you personally don’t like Owen, think of what such a move would indicate about Newcastle United Football Club. It’s all wrong. If the wage bill is too high, worry about players like Smith, on 65k a week or so — to sit the bench mostly and play poorly when he is on. There are other ways of addressing the problem than to insult and likely drive out the best player Newcastle have got.

  • Leo

    May 7, 2008 at 8:14 PM

    Comment #27

    Reb i totally agree with everything you said there, well put bud, i had put a downer on owen previously but i see that he has not purposefully done anything wrong and got unlucky and the newspapers lapped it up to anger the fans

  • hanzowen

    May 7, 2008 at 8:37 PM

    Comment #28

    yea i thought i was a bit harsh in criticising MO (so to the others) when he was not playing that well in many games notably in middle season as we’d like to do his job. But as soon he ( so did many others e.g. Butt, Barton,Taylor just to name a few) turned good & score some goals which is his job, they deserve my praise & their pays even a new contract. Future is so convincing let’s push for Europe next season & top 6th place in the league.

  • Punk Skunk

    May 7, 2008 at 9:45 PM

    Comment #29

    Bang on Reb!..Here, Here!..

  • Taiwantoon

    May 8, 2008 at 12:03 AM

    Comment #30

    Almost totally agree with Reb. Except one thing: Owen is not only a national popular player, he is a popular player worldwide. I remember talking to many ppl in Asia and many of them are Owen fans.

    It might be true that our international marketing is not as significant as our board would like it to be, but Owen is definately one of the main reasons we are still drawing ppl’s attention internationally despite our recent slumps in the league. We need to explore the potential market or we will never be able to compete with the global marketing power of Man yoo, Arsenal, Liverpool and the Oil power of Abra. And trust me, Owen holds a key for us. The problem is that the board just seem less than interested in making ourselves popular outside of Newcastle.

    I remember reading Ed’s article mentioning the club is paying 80% of its turnover or what on player’s wages. Okay, that does sound serious to me. But where can you find a company that cut one of its top ppl’s wage and could still survive? As Reb has suggested, it could well send a very bad message to ppl outside Newcastle.

    When I was living in Japan last year, I found 3 out of the big four are paying to have their classic games showed on TV there. They are really investing for the future! (I don’t think the idea of showing classic games will really boost the fan base in far east, I am just trying to say they are putting in efforts.) Arsenal is perhaps the most succesful considering they are weaker economically. Their trick was simple, sign 1-2 promising looking players from the nation, have your tops printed with the player’s name and number in the department stores and the news papers and stations will do the rest for you!
    Okay, sorry for going too far from the topic…
    I am just trying to express that, Owen’s marketing potential alone almost worth that amount of wage.

    Finally, I must admit that I wasn’t a big fan of Owen prior the KK reign, but I think he has just make me changing my mind with recent perfomances.

  • tapir

    May 8, 2008 at 1:51 AM

    Comment #31

    i couldnt agree more that what you have wrote.
    Asian people knows Owen better than Berbatov ,Cruz,Crouch imo.

    p/s: by the way I am from Malaysia

  • Songbird

    May 8, 2008 at 3:06 AM

    Comment #32

    Many girl likes owen..

  • Russel

    May 8, 2008 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #33

    in china,michael owen is one of the most popular footballer,ppl respect him as a decent man as well as a great player.
    YES,many girls like him.haha.

  • SB

    May 9, 2008 at 1:24 AM

    Comment #34

    Yeah, he’s the only NUFC player that people know worldwide. Especially, he’s really popular in Asia (one of the most). I heard that even LFC shirts with Owen name on it sell better than their most current players. Also think people take notice of us (i mean people who’ve never heard spurs, pompey, everton, villa etc knows about us is mostly down to Owen tbh)

    Oh, in US (from my experience), they know about Beckham, a very few players of ManUre, Chelsea and our MO!

    He may not worth £115,000 on the pitch even he’s our one of the best player but it’s already a done deal and he’d never take a paycut. But he’s definitely worth it for marketing purposes: shirt sales, advertising (not only fans but also players, managers or even investors if MA wants to sell)

    PS: I didn’t mean everypeople in those continent, I meant generally. Of course, there’re lots of football fans who know everything, lol


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