Keegan Fights For More Control At Newcastle

Some news about the meeting on Tuesday is starting to emerge, but whether it’s true or not is hard to say.

Kevin Keegan – leading the training at Newcastle

It’s from The Sun, so we’ll take it with a pinch of salt, but what they say doesn’t seem too surprising – but there again maybe that’s an indication that it’s just made up.

At the meeting on Tuesday, that Mike Ashley attended, following the rumpus between Keegan and Llambias the previous day, Kevin was said to ask for the following things to keep him at the club:

  1. Executive Director of Football Wise to leave the club
  2. Vice-President Tony Jimenez, in charge of player recruitment, to also leave
  3. Control of all transfers in and out — which he should already have
  4. The power and responsibility to negotiate all player contracts

We think the fourth point will be a difficult one for Ashley to cede, although Kevin should be giving input on how important the players are to the club, and therefore what Ashley or Wise should give them.

But it seems strange to us that Wise seems to be responsible for players’ contracts, very strange indeed.

It seems like the structure Ashley put together under Chris Mort is in danger of crumbling, because it’s becoming obvious Kevin doesn’t like it, and he wants to be involved with most (all) things at the club, that’s the essence of the man.

If Ashley could appoint a Chairman who is a football man, that could work well, since it appears clear that the bust up on Monday afternoon was between Derek Llambias and Kevin. It seems that even if this current rift is healed, the relationship between Keegan and the Recruitment team is tenuous at best.

The famous Toon insider has been talking to The Sun again and this time they said:

“The way Keegan is trying to pull this round is staggering.”“If he gets his way, he’ll have a power which he hasn’t had since coming back.”

“The players feel surprised and disappointed and they also feel insulted.”

“I’ve never known it so quiet here. It’s like there was a funeral going on, like there had been a death in the family.”

“Kev’s hugely popular among the players, so the mood is nothing like normal — how could it be with so much hanging over the club?”

But this can hardly come as a surprise, because Ashley knows how popular Kevin was and is at Newcastle, that’s one reason he brought him back.

And Kevin’s done one terrific job so far, with not much assistance from the higher-ups, but as in his last reign at the club, he demands almost complete control of things, and is not one to hand off responsibilities.

We also wonder what the players are thinking of all this, and how secure Michael Owen might now feel at the club, with Kevin potentially likely to leave at any time. That will be a situation that we’ll have to watch closely once things get sorted out, one way or the other.

We hope something can be worked out to keep Kevin at the club, because if it can, we’ll continue the upward spiral Kevin has put in place.

But why is all this taking so long?

Comments welcome.

163 comments so far

  • skin d

    Sep 4, 2008 at 1:10 AM

    Comment #1

    ABOUT TIME!!!!!

  • dubsea

    Sep 4, 2008 at 1:14 AM

    Comment #2

    Go on King Kev!!! Fight them all the way!!!

  • Colo's Curly Locks

    Sep 4, 2008 at 1:17 AM

    Comment #3

    we should keep jiminez….but as a scout….as hes done a cracking job so far on player recruitment

  • Malaysian Toon

    Sep 4, 2008 at 1:18 AM

    Comment #4

    Fight Kev…fight for the Toon.

  • hitman

    Sep 4, 2008 at 1:23 AM

    Comment #5

    keegan has played ashley a reet perla…

  • catawbamag

    Sep 4, 2008 at 1:24 AM

    Comment #6

    Looks like Kev is the one parking the tanks on the lawn, not Ashley.

  • shah

    Sep 4, 2008 at 1:25 AM

    Comment #7

    Go kev, wer behind u!

  • The Entertainers

    Sep 4, 2008 at 1:26 AM

    Comment #8

    There has been some irreversible damage done at Newcastle in the past 6 months.

    Time will tell at how bad the damage is.

    Worst case senario is:

    Keegan leaves
    Wise stays
    Owen will pack his bags
    No real investment
    Ashley refuses to sell
    Moral hits all time low
    The R word rears its head.

    Pessimism at my very best !!! ha ha

    However on the up side:

    Keegan stays
    Wise goes
    Owen stays and signs
    Ashley invests in top players
    Ashleys sells a % to more investors
    Moral goes through the roof
    We can dream again of winning something.

    Optimism at my very best !! ha ha

    My guess at what the future holds somewhere inbetween.

  • D.C.

    Sep 4, 2008 at 1:32 AM

    Comment #9

    I’m more interested in what the Telegraph had to say about a player revolt, led by Owen. I’m American, so I could be wrong, but that rag strikes me as one of the more reputable ones.—Football.html

  • craig chisholm

    Sep 4, 2008 at 1:35 AM

    Comment #10

    i think wise has to go and even thick ashley can see that. he knows we all hate wise and that kk is our only true link with the club. i think that they should get rid ofthe lot of them including this twat of a casino owner who is our chairman or whatever. we need a footballing man that kk can relate too. we also need him to be a man who understands us totally. if keegan goes ma might as well sell the club cos he will be finished before he has even began. i never liked ashley and i hate the way he is ruinning things. newcastle is close to us all and ashley has taken it away from us, no information, no emotion and no care for us. i read everywhere that wise put every single newcastle player upc for sale in the last window inc owen, and even tried to sell owen without telling kk. i can say hand on my heart that wise is a dead man walking if he ever shows up around newcastle. i hear all of the players will revolt and put inc transfer requests if kk goes. this really is a defineing point in our clubs mental recent history. i think ashley is knackered myself. kk has the playing staff, the players and the entire city behind him 100%, how can ashley try to ignore this. it would be suicide. i love kk for what he is doing here, the man is mty hero for standing up for what is right.

  • Aussie Magpie Fan

    Sep 4, 2008 at 1:37 AM

    Comment #11

    It would be nice to see this resolved one way or another.. All this “he said” “I heard from an inside source” talk is hurting the club off the field and you can only assume the damage it is doing to the players morale. I really think it is a good thing that the club is keeping a lid on this though, can you imagine the bloodbath in the papers if everything was being leaked out from the board and KK himself.
    Basically what I’m trying to say is………………… It is bloody hard work supporting this club!!!

  • hitman

    Sep 4, 2008 at 1:38 AM

    Comment #12

    ashley has to go theres no other way

  • D.C.

    Sep 4, 2008 at 1:45 AM

    Comment #13

    I think that if the player revolt is true, then Ashley basically has no real choice but to keep KK on his terms. Well, he COULD still sack him, but with the players and fans on KK’s side. MA would have to hire food-tasters and car-starters for the rest of his life! (only kidding, naturally)

  • hadrian

    Sep 4, 2008 at 1:46 AM

    Comment #14

    its the way it should be , had keegan been in charge 0f tranfers from the start , he would have worked within the boundries he had been set and somehow brought in flair players, which would have filled the stadium by now and sold a hell of a lot of shirts .

    what the hell has dennis wise every done to make him more capible of making these descisions over a man with a proven track record in the tranfer market ?

    we need this guy !!

  • ziad

    Sep 4, 2008 at 1:47 AM

    Comment #15

    i think kk should be the one responsible before ashley who pays the cash ( very little cash tbh ) . I dont understand wises job really !! think ashley made a mistake there … but all parties must resolve this ASAP!!!! for the good of the club. HOWAY the toon!

  • Matthew Tom

    Sep 4, 2008 at 1:50 AM

    Comment #16

    i agree he’s played him a right perla! This is full on PR genius by KK. Clever stuff from a tactical/legal point of view as well.

    He had not much to lose anyway, as he’d probably have either been sacked or have resigned claiming constructive dismissal and been suing Ashley for damages.

    You can’t delay resignation much longer than a week from the date of the fundamental breach by the employer (deadline day) when making a constructive dismissal claim, so he’d have to have gone within the next few days, if Ashley had continued to refuse to sack him.

    But with this demand, he knows he has not only NUFC fans’ support, but he is also drawing a line in the sand in the relationship between owners and managers in the new era of the English game. He will have the support of an awful lot of fans, players and other managers for doing that.

    And you never know, it might just work and the cockeyed cockney cock will be stuffed with a million or two and told to leave. Stranger things have happened, and when you consider the massive public support there will be for Keegan, Ashley may just decide that it’s the best thing he can do for our club.

  • Lawman

    Sep 4, 2008 at 1:55 AM

    Comment #17

    The forth point ( The power and responsibility to negotiate all player contracts) will be difficult for Arseley to cede???

    …. but yet it’s normal practice for managers of other clubs to be at least involved with negotiation of players contracts. Check out Fergie at midnight on monday locked in negotiations with Berbatov. Are we really that big a club and that much up our own arses that not even our manager is qualified to negotiate with players on the club’s behalf???

    If Arseley finds it difficult to give king kev responsibility to negotiate with players even though he’s our manager, what makes Wise so qualified? He didn’t even make it as manager ffs (ok, i’ll give him the fa cup final with millwall but big deal, Jones did it with Cardif – don’t see jones offered such responsibilities with the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, Totenham, Man City, Astn Villa etc etc).

  • vic

    Sep 4, 2008 at 2:00 AM

    Comment #18




  • FC Barcelona’s ownership structure is revered across the world and regarded as a model of the ideal football club.

    A group of Liverpool supporters plan to buy the troubled Anfield club from its American owners and run it using a system similar to that of the Catalan giants.

    Barca is owned by its ever-growing membership of 156,366 ‘socis’ (members), who pay 150euros each year and are represented by a randomly-selected group who meet with the board and vote on major decisions.

    These representatives have a major say on significant issues such as sponsorship, finances and sporting affairs, while the president of the club is elected in four-yearly polls.

    The achievements of the illustrious club since its founding in 1899 are testament to the ongoing success of the structure, as is the fact many clubs have attempted to copy the model over the years.

    So why does Barca’s system work so well?

    All adult members are eligible to vote in the presidential elections every four years.

    Club members selected randomly by computer and age, and 25 chosen by the board, join the directors, former presidents and other officials at the annual delegates assembly to discuss key issues, approve the annual report and forthcoming projects.

    Only members can buy season tickets, with membership fees contributing to the overall price of the ticket.

    Fiscal rewards for membership include discounted tickets for the club’s various sports teams including football, basketball, handball and hockey as well as club magazines, e-mail updates, sporting and cultural activities and free entry to the Nou Camp tour and museum.

    Ultimately, though, it is not the material rewards which make the Barca membership structure so prestigious.

    In a modern game spoiled by disaffected supporters and unaccountable owners, it is FC Barcelona’s utopian democracy which justifies its famous slogan ‘More than a Club’.

  • Aussie Magpie Fan

    Sep 4, 2008 at 2:06 AM

    Comment #20

    Maybe Dennis Wise has some photo’s of MA is a comprimising position!!.. I can’t see any reason why he would be in such a powerful position and seemingly untouchable. If all the speculation is true (I doubt it).. the solution is simple in my mind… Bye Bye Dennis

  • shirts

    Sep 4, 2008 at 2:07 AM

    Comment #21

    Barcelona’s model of integrity shows right is might
    Vital role of fans in success and culture of Catalan club sets example for giants and minnows of English game
    David Conn
    The Guardian, Wednesday May 17 2006
    Article history
    In the summer of 1999, after Manchester United fans had beaten off the attempt by Rupert Murdoch’s BSkyB to take over their club, London’s Birkbeck College hosted a conference on how to restore heart and soul to a game becoming ravenously commercialised. In the flush of victory Andy Walsh, a United supporters’ group leader, talked fervently about “rolling back the plc” at Old Trafford. Brian Lomax, a Northampton Town supporter, explained how disaffected Cobblers fans had formed a pioneering supporters’ trust, bought a small stake in the club and elected a director to the board.

    In the front row were four well turned out men, including a little chap with a neat side parting, Joan Laporta. They were from Elefant Blau (Blue Elephant), a group lobbying for more supporter democracy at FC Barcelona, which was then tumbling from greatness under its president, Josep Lluís Núñez.

    The Catalans’ presence inspired a movement here to show that supporter owned football clubs are not Utopian visions conjured up over a beer in the Gorse Hill pub in Stretford or the Butcher’s Arms in Northampton. Almost all British football clubs began as members’ organisations and here was Barcelona, one of the world’s greats, still owned by its 100,000 fan-members.

    The Elefant Blau campaign had rounded on a “Barça 2000” commercial redevelopment planned around the Camp Nou, scorning it as tat – “a kind of Disneyland park,” Laporta said – and a selling out of the club’s proud traditions and values. Theirs is a history with which many British fans are now familiar; Barça became a Catalan rallying point, first against the Spanish dictator General Primo de Rivera in the 1920s, then throughout the rule of General Franco, whose fascist troops bombed Barça’s social club in 1938 and murdered the club’s president, Josep Sunol. FC Barcelona proclaimed itself “more than a club”, becoming a focal point for a region and for sporting and democratic values.

    By 2003 the UK Government had backed the progressive idea of supporter ownership and established Supporters Direct to help fans form trusts, yet it has never given the organisation any funding or had the gumption to introduce reforms to big business football which might help fans gain a stake. The current chief executive, Philip French, talks spiritedly about trust-run clubs becoming “community hubs” but first he must secure money simply to keep the organisation going. Still 140 supporters trusts have formed, and, particularly after ITV Digital’s collapse in 2002, Supporters Direct’s threadbare staff, led by Lomax, toured the country helping fans form trusts. At Lincoln, Chesterfield, Exeter, York and elsewhere, trusts took clubs over minutes from the knacker’s yard of insolvency.

    In the Premier League and Championship, however, the financial value of clubs has blocked supporter ownership. When Roman Abramovich resolved to drop some of his unholy oil fortune into a football club, he found that Barcelona and Real Madrid are member clubs and cannot be bought. All our great names, by contrast, are limited companies and are available.

    In Barcelona Laporta had an avenue for his protest. He stood for election against Núñez’s successor, Joan Gaspart, promising a renaissance through reinvigoration of the membership and David Beckham in midfield. He won.

    Since then Laporta, a lawyer, has not always conformed to an idealised view of how a fan might behave in the halls of football power. His approach has been relentlessly commercial, seeking to turn around £100m debts by signing major stars. The fans missed out on Becks so, poor souls, had to make do with Ronaldinho. Barça are not shy of the language many fans here detest: of the club as a brand, the membership an opportunity to sell merchandise.

    Some United campaigners who met Laporta in London feel let down because he lent no support to their anti-Glazer campaign. The plc was dissolved not by fans but by the Glazer takeover, and Walsh and many fellow disenchanted United fans turned away to form their own democratically run club, FC United, which had a storming first season at the base of the football pyramid.

    Some say that, as Barça are part of the G14 group of elite clubs and hungrily claim their imbalanced share of the domestic Spanish TV deal, they are setting no example for a more collective, sporting way to run football.

    Yet that is a harsh view. Barcelona make money and are obsessively ambitious but they still take the field in Paris tonight embodying a more inspirational identity for a football club than being a private company owned by businessmen or an oligarch’s toy.

    “The fans truly own this club,” Ferran Seriano, one of the club’s vicepresidents, says. “They control its destiny and can decide how it will be managed. This is totally different from Arsenal [two-thirds owned by ITV, businessmen Danny Fiszman and David Dein, and Lady Nina and Sir Charles Bracewell-Smith] or Chelsea, owned by one guy who could one day withdraw his investment.”

    Laporta and his new board have turned the club round by capitalising on playing success, including two La Liga championships orchestrated by Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto’o, Deco and the rest. The membership has grown from 106,000 to 142,000. While the club does work hard to turn that loyalty into cash, democracy is real. The need for the board to be accountable and stay popular with the fans means that season tickets are affordable compared with other major clubs, with the cheapest ?101 (£69), enough to make the holder of a seat at Arsenal’s new Emirates Stadium weep into his credit card statement.

    “It is a challenge to remain memberowned and compete against the richest clubs,” Seriano said. “For example, we run other sports, like handball and basketball – which make a loss – because our constitution states we must promote all sport in Barcelona.

    “But we do compete, with pride in who we are, our history and values. Our supporters would feel alienated if we had a structure like Arsenal or Chelsea.”

    Of the famous, remarkable absence of advertising across the team shirt, Seriano said that the club’s fans voted in 2003 to allow it, given the scale of the debt, but as the finances improved the club never took the plunge. Barça have decided they will not, anyway, accept sponsorship from a gambling company, as Spurs did this week, and are considering instead carrying a humanitarian message on their shirts next season. It is difficult to picture the Glazers mulling over the same idea.

    Tonight the players Laporta signed may bring more glory but, whatever happens, next spring he must stand for re-election. That democracy maintains Barça’s status as a sporting beacon, a people’s club: if supporters do not approve of the people running it, they can vote them out. Imagine that at Old Trafford.

    The Camp Nou way

    142,000 Barcelona members or socios

    4 Major shareholders in Arsenal

    £69 Cheapest adult season ticket at the Camp Nou

    £885 Cheapest at the Emirates Stadium

    £579 Most expensive adult season ticket at the Camp Nou

    £1,825 Most expensive at the Emirates Stadium

    £84m Barça’s income in 2002-03, before Joan Laporta took over

    £163m Barça’s income in 2005-6

    2 Maximum number of four-year terms a Barça president may serve

  • shirts

    Sep 4, 2008 at 2:08 AM

    Comment #22

    NUFC fans and members should own the club and determine its future.

  • ScottyT

    Sep 4, 2008 at 2:17 AM

    Comment #23

    wise out
    llambias out
    jimenez and vetere as scouts
    keegan to stay
    ashley to show some ambition and allow investment in players.
    keegan to have full control over transfers and contracts.

    thats what we need.

  • ObaFan2

    Sep 4, 2008 at 2:19 AM

    Comment #24

    Fans revolt and the players revolt… classic whatever next at our beloved club.

    £1.5 million a year for Wise… and what exactually does he do?

    Ashleys done some good but his penny pinching has got him into 1 hell of a mess.

    I know a good way to save £1.5 million a year…..


    Sep 4, 2008 at 2:24 AM

    Comment #25

    best solution Ashley sell up!! to the indian billionaire and we get free curries every home game!!

  • hadrian

    Sep 4, 2008 at 2:28 AM

    Comment #26

    one thing ashley has certianly lied about , and to the corporate investors aswell as the fans , dennis wise is only tasked with bringing in 6 youngsters per year , i think we can all safely say thsi si complete and utter bullshiite , remains tobe seen what else he lied about aswell i suppose .

  • Phil,Gosforth

    Sep 4, 2008 at 2:31 AM

    Comment #27

    Barca have it sussed.Must be great to be a fan.It’s the way forward I’m tellin ya.

  • Shola Ameobi

    Sep 4, 2008 at 2:31 AM

    Comment #28

    Kevin has the full support of the players and the fans, its hard to see any room for Ashley to not give keegan what he wants. Its bit like hes making un-realistic demands, he just wants the same power 9 out of every 10 other managers have. Wise out!

    ‘Mon the lads.

  • mitch

    Sep 4, 2008 at 2:33 AM

    Comment #29

    I think english football premire league billionaires got the taste of a fans revolt people keep sayin why always the toon its because the toon fans love nufc and we love king kev. did you see city fans turn on there club the way we have when sven was sacked no because here in the north east we say you may be a billionaire and own our club but we are our club us supporters have not bought into the keegan relationship it has built up over decades that is why we feel so strongly. and I say good on the players if MA can not see wise has had it in for NUFC with his egotistic views and ways all our players have a price f*8k off you little gollum We have to stand strong on this as we have nice to see some togetherness from the fans and players as one how we should be only could this happen in a keegan wounderland

  • hadrian

    Sep 4, 2008 at 2:35 AM

    Comment #30

    actually ive thought about all the talk about protests ect , and if kev stays i think theres no better show of supprt than a full house at hull .
    hope it happens , howay the lads

  • ScottyT

    Sep 4, 2008 at 2:36 AM

    Comment #31

    btw why was dennis wise ever appointed?!

    ridiculous decision by ashley. he does absolutely nothing apart from a few youngsters. i certainly wudnt want him talking to potential incoming new players cos keegans is renowned for persuading players. god knows how many players weve missed out on cos of friggen wise.

  • ScottyT

    Sep 4, 2008 at 2:37 AM

    Comment #32

    exactly hadrian

  • ObaFan2

    Sep 4, 2008 at 2:37 AM

    Comment #33

    It seems to me that one man has turned this club around, from lack lustre performances to entertaining value for money matches.

    One man gelled an underperforming, unconfident squad into a fighting force, defending well and scoring goals.

    That one man has been undervalued by one useless piece of profiteering multi billionaire who’d rather blow £5 million in a casino than spend money on his first team squad.

    That one man needs to win the battle of control of the team.

    KK needs to be valued at this club, if not Ashley give him the £8 million pay off and then sell the club and F right off cos you aint wanted here.

    “If Keegan goes the fans will too”

  • ObaFan2

    Sep 4, 2008 at 2:41 AM

    Comment #34

    hadrian, if KK stays and all is well I’d be gutted if it ain’t a full house a week come Saturday.

  • Phil,Gosforth

    Sep 4, 2008 at 2:41 AM

    Comment #35

    Hadrian-Of course there will be a full house if KK stays.I think peeps were thinking protest if he goes.

    MA doesn’t have a choice I don’t think.Not because it would be better for our club if KK stays but because it would be detrimental to his wallet if KK goes.

  • hadrian

    Sep 4, 2008 at 2:42 AM

    Comment #36

    god knows how wisey got the job, he’s a mate of jiminez and ashley must feel that was qualification enough .
    for the little scumbag to think he could rule the roost over signing and undermine our fantastic manager stinks of ego aswell , what the hell has he ever done in life that make him more qualified .
    i dont know whats going to happen at our beloved club , one thing i do know is dennis wise better not be here come next week , and he better not have the cheek to set foot in saint james park again as i would blink and eye if someone battered him , perhaps we could get joey to kick seven shades of shiite out of the little egomaniac .


    Sep 4, 2008 at 2:43 AM

    Comment #37



  • ScottyT

    Sep 4, 2008 at 2:43 AM

    Comment #38

    obafan agree with that totally.. apart from the last bit..

    if keegan goes (which i obviously hope he dusnt) then yes im sure a lot of fans will. but even if he does there will always be the loyal fans who stay and support the actual club. me being one of these..

  • ScottyT

    Sep 4, 2008 at 2:45 AM

    Comment #39

    HPS – im not arguing that i agree that ashley would be better off selling..

    but if he got rid of wise llambias and simplified it so kk gets what he deserves which is total control then as long as he funds him its not the most important thing.


    Sep 4, 2008 at 2:47 AM

    Comment #40

    goodnight lads! as always good crack!!

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