The Sunday Mirror yesterday, reported that owner Mike Ashley has intervened personally in the Steven Taylor contract dispute.
Steven Taylor – Ashley stood by young Taylor
Apparently Mike Ashley has instructed the clubâ€™s new Managing Director, Derek Llambias, to make Taylor’s contract a top priority at the club.
Taylor is a good player, and at just 22 years old, his best years are ahead of him, and if he did become available, there would be many top clubs after him.
But Steven has said repeatedly he would like to stay at his home town club, and apparently he was very pleased with the developments, and the fact the owner stepped in personally, to solve his contract difficulties.
Steven will be offered a 3 year deal worth Â£30K/week.
Negotiations between Taylor’s representatives and Newcastle had come to a standstill last September, and negotiations only started up again in early May.
A Newcastle insider told the Sunday Mirror:
“Mike Ashley let Steven Taylor know he wanted him to stay and that meant a lot to the player. â€œ
“The lack of contract activity over the past year left Taylor feeling he was being forced out of the only club he wanted to play for.”
“With Ashley committing Newcastle to a major wage reduction policy it was a bad time to be negotiating a new contract.â€
â€œBut the owner gave his managing director Derek Llambias and his negotiator Tony Jiminez the go-ahead to make Taylor an exception.â€
“Things are now moving towards a satisfactory conclusion on a three-year deal and it looks likely that Taylor will sign a new contract when he returns from holiday.â€
“It makes a lot of sense for the club to secure the future of a player who is on the fringe of the England team.â€
â€œIn six months’ time he could have agreed a deal to move on and Newcastle wouldn’t have got a penny.â€
“And Ashley doesn’t have to break the bank to keep Taylor.â€
â€œEven with his new deal he will still only be on half what the likes of Alan Smith, Damien Duff and Joey Barton earn.”
Taylor was earning less than Â£10K a week on his old contract, but the new offer will give him parity with fellow young players such as Charles N’Zogbia and James Milner, who both earn about Â£30K a week.
Our information last September was that both Charles and James were offered Â£30K/week deals yet Steven was offered only a Â£20K/week deal, which he refused.
I’m not sure we can blame him for that, because he would have known what the other two were getting, and he was on parity with them on the field – and they were our best three youngsters at the club.
Why we just didnâ€™t offer Steven what he knew Charles and James were getting last September, and get him signed up, weâ€™ll never know.
But the right thing has now been done, if indeed this report is true. But why we had to wait 10 months to sort this out, is a complete mystery to us.
And we think Smith, Duff and Barton may all be gone by the end of August, depending if we can get good, younger replacements in for them.
They’re not worth the money we pay them, based on last season’s form. The only one that is would be Joey Barton, but he’s in a mess he’s made all on his own.
If we replace Smith, Duff and Barton, with appropriate good and possibly younger replacements, that would be excellent for both the squad long term, and the wage bill.
This also augers well for our captain, Michael Owen, because we think Ashley will also make an exception for Michael, and Kevin Keegan will ask that he do that, you can be sure of that.
It will also help greatly if Mike doesn’t have to pay Smith, Barton and Duff their exorbitant wages next season.