Ashley Summons Keegan and Wise To London


Kevin Keegan has been summoned to London for talks with Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley.

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Kevin Keegan – frank talks needed

The meeting is of course sensationally reported in the Mail and the Sun today as showdown talks, and will take place tomorrow, and also include Dennis Wise, who is responsible for player recruitment at the club.

With Dennis Wise present it looks like the meeting will have some substance, and hopefully will be concentrated on the transfer targets for the summer.

Kevin has to switch his pre-match press conference to today so that he can meet the billionaire and Dennis Wise, Newcastle’s Executive Director of Football.

Mike Ashley is reported to be furious with Keegan, because of his outburst on Monday after the Chelsea game. And it turns out that Dennis Wise will have to miss his own Charity Gold event to meet with Keegan and Ashley tomorrow.

We would not be surprised if Ashley is annoyed with some of Keegan’s comments.

There’s two ways to look at what Kevin said on Monday:

  1. He was just telling the fans the reality that Newcastle will not be a top 4 team over the next 3 seasons. He’s just being honest and saying how it is
  2. Kevin knew very well the targets the club has, and his statements were out of line and uncalled for. He should have expressed his comments inside the club and not to the press. He looked like a loose cannon on Monday night and hardly was aligned with the rest of the Newcastle management.

We suspect that Ashley will take some of the the latter view, and will use the meeting to try to understand why Kevin made the statements.

As we reported yesterday, we think the problems that Kevin has is because of a lack of communication, probably not only with Chris Mort but with Mike Ashley too, and this meeting will help that.

But we’re also sure that Mike doesn’t want Kevin to be a loose cannon and keep talking to the press about the club in a negative way about the ambitions of the club, and what is and isn’t possible.

You have goals at the club and if you don’t think you can achieve them you shouldn’t sign up for them.

We think Ashley will want to get the following out of the meeting tomorrow

  1. Talk to Kevin and reiterate the clubs goals and get Kevin’s agreement – or possibly reset the goals
  2. Sort out any transfer impasse that may exist, so the club can finally identify the players they want and go after them
  3. Ensure Kevin is at peace with what he is being asked to do at the club
  4. Encourage Kevin to call Mike frequently just to keep the communications lines going – he should be able to call whenever he feels a need for it – and probably Chris should be on the calls too.
  5. Ensure Kevin doesn’t go to the press in the future with his concerns, before he has discussed them internally at the club

If the three of them can have a good substantial meeting, it will all be to the good.

The concern Newcastle fans will have is that Kevin may not be willing to sign up for the goals Mike wants to set for the club over the next 3 seasons.

But we’ll wait for the results of the meeting first before we look at what could happen after the meeting. We hope it goes well, and we think there’s every chance it will solve the rift that seems to have grown around Kevin.

Comments welcome.



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27 comments so far

  • Murvar

    May 8, 2008 at 9:49 AM

    Comment #1

    I think losing Modric was a big issue for KK. Especially as he went to Spurs rather than one of the big 4. What is it with footballers and Spurs? They flock to it like flies round dog’s droppings. Anyway – much as I love KK I don’t think you treat your employer with respect when you go to the press in the way he did the other day. If the boot was on the other fott and Ashley had said in public that the manager didn’t seem likely to bring success, KK would have been on the next bus out of the Haymarket before you could say George Gillett. So – keep it indoors, do nothing to convey to potential players that the club has tensions, and do nothing to leave us without a manager in the close season.

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  • HeronMag

    May 8, 2008 at 9:50 AM

    Comment #2

    This has all got so out of hand. Keegan comes out and states (he did not “rant” as Sky Sports put it) that realistically we cannot break into the top 4 anytime soon.

    The press have jumped on this as Keegan showing disillusionment. Why? No one on this blog seriously thinks we can get in the top 4 in the next 2-3 years. We HOPE we can but believing that is totally different.

    When KK took over he made it clear he had unfinished business here. I believe he intends to do the best possible job he can to take us back up the league. Like the fans he saw just how big the gulf between the likes of the top 4 and the Toon in the 2nd half against Chelsea. He just voiced his concerns and his thoughts at the time.

    I’m sure Ashley has called KK and Wise down to begin talks on just how we are going to start rebuilding this club, starting this summer.

    Don’t believe the London Press. Keep the faith lads.

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  • Tehab

    May 8, 2008 at 9:58 AM

    Comment #3

    HeronMag, couldn’t agree more. This is more stirring by the press. As I’ve said before, if Ashley wanted to have day-to-day business with the club he wouldn’t have employed Mort. I don’t think Ashley has ANY reason to speak to Keegan, that’s not his job at all, in fact I’d be worried if he did. How often do you think the Glazers speak to Alex Fuggerson?

    This meeting is hopefully about transfer targets, it makes sense anyway, Keegan – our manager and final say on targets – , Wise – our executive director – and Ashley – our purse.

    Ed I think you’ve been taken for the ride the press wants everyone on.

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  • Hammy

    May 8, 2008 at 9:59 AM

    Comment #4

    Spot on.
    The press are desperate for stories and they know we are dumb enough to go out and buy them.
    The press isn’t there to tell us the truth,
    they are a business, they need to make money.

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  • nate dawg

    May 8, 2008 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #5

    all sounds a bit ominous but hopefully be alright , hope keegan aint annoyed wit losing modric only went to spurs cause they are in europe next season aren they

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  • Leo

    May 8, 2008 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #6

    i also think it was a reasonable ‘rant’

    im backing keegan 100% if they sack him i will be so angry.

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  • Leo

    May 8, 2008 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #7

    but i dont think it will come to that

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  • Kash2

    May 8, 2008 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #8

    I think MA is clever enough to take the comments spun with a pinch of salt! The meeting tomorrow is blatantly a transfer meeting, because Dennis Wise is there. They’re going to go through the players they want and make sure they try and sign them as quickly as possible so they’re available for pre-season. I wouldn’t be surprised if Thierry Henry is on that list too! Henry will NOT go to Spurs, Chelsea or Man Utd. I can’t see him being bought by Liverpool either!

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  • Eric

    May 8, 2008 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #9

    Read the Daily Mail article. Sensationalist rubbish. How do they know what KK is going to see Ashley about? That paper has never substantiated any of its anti-NUFC tripe. It is also typical that the Sun also runs this rubbish today. We have known for weeks that once the season has run down KK would meet Ashley, Mort and company for talks about rebuilding. The Sun has us competing with Pompey for the
    signature of Gudjonson (how on earth are we always rivals with them?). And the Mirror Mirror on the shitehouse wall is negotiating on our behalf for Zoltan Gera. A storm in a teacup is being whipped up by the gutter press to try and destabilise NUFC. It has been going on nearly all season and none of this hoo hah is shown to be true.

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  • Richard

    May 8, 2008 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #10

    If we cant challenge for top 4 in next 3 seasons I will be VERY surprised. With a few signings and by playing some good football which we have already started to show we wont be too far from challenging for 4th spot if not next season then deffo by the season after. Not saying we will get it but challange atleast.

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  • JakartaDean

    May 8, 2008 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #11

    Thanks Ed, for the insightful post.

    I think Mike didn’t get to where he is though angry outbursts, which many others might have sunk to. Face it guys, I like Kevin but it’s not appropriate to go in front of the TV cameras and criticize your employer, which is how most employers would have interpreted Kevin’s comments. I hope you’re right; most of your thoughts are exactly how I hope the meeting will turn out.

    I don’t know that he will encourage Kevin to call him regularly — I’d suggest that Kevin and Chris ought to be calling each other regularly, though, and I’m not sure that’s been happening. As an employee, it’s always a good idea to have communicated your plans with your boss; as a manager it’s always a good idea to make sure those under you understand the objectives and situation/constraints.

    All in all, this is probably a good thing. Kevin needs to keep some thoughts in the family, and I’m sure he’ll understand that tomorrow.

    Dean

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  • Vitorbarbosa

    May 8, 2008 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #12

    KK did not criticise MA or CM. He is just telling the fact that next season, we won’t be able to compete with the Top 4 yet.

    He knows that, and he also want us to know as well. Some seasons ago, our expectation is just too high. The game nowadays is different 10 years back. Good players come in a very high price. Scouting network is so large that any kids showing some glimpse of potential will be spotted.

    It’s hard to get in player to lift the club anymore. At least, we are not in position to attract the next big thing in football.

    I believe if indeed KK is summoned to London to meet up with MA, it is about summer planning. I think MA realize that we need to act fast, and he wants to know what KK needed in order to succeed in the summer.

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  • derek mooney

    May 8, 2008 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #13

    It always makes me chuckle when people actually believe the london press on anything newcastle based – just remember, there is no such beast as a stupid billionaire – the club is in better hands now than it has been for decades, we have to be patient for once and let the new wheels start to turn. It’s taken this long just to fit them to the car!

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  • staffsmag

    May 8, 2008 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #14

    Re: article in the ’scum’ newspaper – does anyone not realise this is tabloid sensationalism at it’s best. This paper has always had something against Newcastle and who ever is in charge. Does anyone remember the 1998 4th round tie against Stevenage Borough? Their bloody shirts were sponsored by The Sun !!!!!! And all the souther toss pots in the crowd weraing their plastic red and white sun bowler hats !!!!! These are just a bunch of souther w*nker tabloid hacks that have nothing better to do but have a pop at Newcastle at every opportunity!!!! I vote everyone avoids buying this cheap rag – I certainly don’t buy it and would encourage you all to do the same. Sorry if you read this on another blog – but the sun newspaper really p**ses me off !!!

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  • staffsmag

    May 8, 2008 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #15

    Well said derek mooney – Howay the lads

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  • Darren Mac

    May 8, 2008 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #16

    This story has come from The Mail. They are determined to give each quote or story that comes from our club a negative spin. Then you have the Sun, who will quickly jump on the bandwagon and report another “crisis at Newcaste” story. We know we aren’t going to become a top 4 club overnight, nor do we expect to in the next few years. The quotes from Chris Mort about not becoming the next Leeds proves to me, they are building slowly and surely for a more positive future. Ignore the Mail, and the Sun. They play tabloid games to see who they can bring down next, such is the influence that they think they have.

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  • Jim

    May 8, 2008 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #17

    All the reports about this meeting are regurgitations of a single story that is being repeated like Chinese Whispers.

    ‘Furious Ashley’ – Who knows?
    ‘Keegans outburst’ – An insult to a realistic appraisal of the current situation.

    Dennis Wise seems to have something to do with this. I think there may be some difference of opinion between him and Keegan but the truth is Wise lost Modric, not Keegan. I wonder if Keegan was having a dig about transfers because the ‘backroom boys’ aren’t doing enough.

    Anyway, I think a face to face meeting with Ashley about transfers is what Keegan wanted and it’s what he’s going to get. The fact that Wise is there is a bonus because Ashleys appointment and his role in the pecking order will be formally defined. This crap about missing a golf trip is an insult to the club and I imagine is just tripe from the press to stir it up.

    From this meeting I hope Keegan is vindicated in his views with the authority to slap Wise down and get his finger out of his golf bag. I also hope Ashley develops some realism to the situation and uses some of his passionate money to bring in some top quality to bridge the gap between the current thin squad and the developing youngsters.

    Invest heavily to succeed. That’s Keegans message. Success breeds success!

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  • marcus owen

    May 8, 2008 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #18

    kk has made a big mistake here.that’s why so many of us rated him as our second choice but at least better than Big Sam.

    If his comment is bcoz of the chelsea game, then i doubt kk know what he want to say.It is very obvious that the game changed after he brought in Alan Smith for Viduka.So, what is the point for blaming the owner?

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  • Nobby's dad

    May 8, 2008 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #19

    This is a complete none story.

    How do the press get hold of these things? Cos for sure Ashley doesn’t call the Mail and say I’m having showdown talks with KK and Kev doesn’t call the Sun and say I’ve been called to London for showdown talks.It’s all about making a mountain out of a mole hill

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  • Bill F

    May 8, 2008 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #20

    I’m curious as to why this “meeting” even needs to be in London. If it is purely a transfer strategy talk then what is wrong with St. James or a local pub. My take on this is that MA wants to bang the heads of KK and DW together and get them working together. I can’t help thinking there may be a little bit of fire in the smoke and that KK is a little put out with all of the backroom changes , to be appointed as manager and saviour and then be told by the way we are getting a load of advisors for you has to be a blow to the ego and none of the really good managers would have tolerated this imposition. i.e. Shankly, Clough, Mourhina, Ferguson.
    I doubt that MA is looking to sack KK but now that Sven has suddenly become a prospect I do not think he would be to fussed if KK decided to walk.

    It would be a damn shame if this happened and I would suggest a mass boycott of a match next year if it did. (although I doubt if that would ever happen).

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  • willowtoon

    May 8, 2008 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #21

    I am suprised the soutern press dross did not state that Sven is going to the meeting.

    Get ready we will get this nonsense all summer long.

    I think KK has realised that he has a smaller chance to bring glory in his 3 years than when he took over.

    Its not like the past but the issue is that players do not want to go to newcastle over london.

    I would rather lose modric than get him over payed and miserable on tyneside.

    We need a team, which is what we ve got.

    Viduka showed quite clearly what he brings to the team when he was subbed.

    If we get cover for him we will be fine

    If MO had scored one of the 2 glorious chances in the first half we would have seen a different result.

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  • valle

    May 8, 2008 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #22

    I have said it before and i will say it again… Proof?… Quotes?… Media speculation

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  • Peter Hughes

    May 8, 2008 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #23

    RE: MARCUS OWEN…….Kevin Keegan was everyone’s second choice?? Who was your first choice then? If you say mourinho then you are more naive than could be believed. If we can’t sign Modric (who choose Sh*te heart lane ahead of us for less money) what makes you Mourinho would manage us ahead of the likes of INTER, AC or Barca….get real….the reason Smith replaced Viduka was because Viduka was injured tho he did very little in the first half to contribute to the good football we were playing…..Alan Smith was signed by BFA, say no more, even titus bramble scored a goal a year for us.

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  • domtoon

    May 8, 2008 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #24

    When Keegan voiced his concerns, I didn’t immediately think ‘My GOD he’s criticising the management there will be a s***storm out of this’. No. Not at all. I can see now how it can be construed this way, but I fear that is all it is – KK’s words being twists by the prats with the typewriters, who let’s face it, mostly hate the Toon and support the Man Us, ‘pools, Arses and Spuds.

    KK is an emotional fellow and I’m pretty sure MA knows this. This is not to say MA won’t be annoyed at KK, but not exactly because of what he said, but because of his naivity at saying something that could be turned by the press into the sensationalist headlines being painted up and down the back pages.

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  • ronaldeano

    May 8, 2008 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #25

    The Sun….. SHOWDOWN TALKS? CRISIS AT THE TOON? MA IS NOT HAPPY WITH THE ‘MASSIAH’???????!!!!!!!!

    Why do they love to write such bulls**t about us for??

    Kevin Keegan said those things after the Chelsea game because he is fustrated with 1) the Modric deal colapsing. 2) why Owens contract is not done and dusted yet. 3) he feels he is being kept in the dark about how much money thats available to him. 4) lack of comunication with the owner.

    Kevin Keegan is a realistic manager, and most of us are realistic fans. Keegan is SPOT ON with his comments on Monday. Im sure all of the above will be sorted out at the meeting. The way the Sun puts it out in their paper is laughable!

    Every Toon fan should do what Merseysiders did and BOYCOT their poxy paper because its shite.

    PS, nobody wants to see anymore of thair rotten pics of Winehouses face either! I nearly puked in my cornflakes this morning! 🙂

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  • macitect

    May 8, 2008 at 6:15 PM

    Comment #26

    Ed, you offer 2 ways to look at what KK said. I would argue that there are many potential ways to look at what he said…
    Here’s what I think;
    He’s a fantastic, positive manager who knows how to build a team and get the most out of the players that he has. He was simply (and correctly) lamenting the state of the premiership at the moment. The top 4 clubs have resorted to doing what I always detested Real Madrid for doing – buying huge teams. As a north american toon faithful, I can assure you that our coverage of the premiership over here consists of ManU, Chelsea, & Liverpool (sometimes). There really are two leagues like he said and it’s bloody frustrating.

    He put out his best side against Chelsea and was given a harsh reality check – after having just lost out on Modric. His “rant” was frustration at a situation – there was no criticism toward the owner or chairman at all, not even any insinuations. This was simply a manager showing that he is human and venting some frustration after his side puts in a good show and just couldn’t keep up.

    I am glad that we’ve got a human manager and not a politician! Long live King Kevin!!!

    Totally agree with heronmag and all those who see this for the pathetic scandal-mongering media that it is.

    Things are better at NUFC and will continue to improve!

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  • marcus owen

    May 8, 2008 at 11:31 PM

    Comment #27

    for peter,

    just want to clarify that i didn’t mention kk is everyone second choice, i said “many of us” and i didn’t mention mourinho either.To be frank, i like kk too, but sometime you just have to admit his tactical knowledge is awful.

    Yes,Viduka was injured at half time, but why alan smith instead of duff and where is carroll?

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