Kevin Keegan has been summoned to London for talks with Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley.
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 Keeganâ€™s comments.
Thereâ€™s two ways to look at what Kevin said on Monday:
- He was just telling the fans the reality that Newcastle will not be a top 4 team over the next 3 seasons. Heâ€™s just being honest and saying how it is
- 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
- Talk to Kevin and reiterate the clubs goals and get Kevin’s agreement – or possibly reset the goals
- Sort out any transfer impasse that may exist, so the club can finally identify the players they want and go after them
- Ensure Kevin is at peace with what he is being asked to do at the club
- 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.
- 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.