A statement issued by Newcastle United last night seems to have been for the benefit of Sunday’s papers.
Derek Llambias – in charge of negotiating with Kevin – failed miserably
This is the statement issued by the Board last night:
Official NUFC Statement: September 6
NUFC wished, at all times, to keep any dispute that it had with Kevin Keegan private.It is therefore disappointing that information has reached the media through unnamed sources and a briefing has been given by the League Managers Association that could give rise to a misleading impression amongst the Club’s fans.
Newcastle United have no desire to engage in a war of words but inaccurate reporting of factual matters and inaccurate allegations have to be corrected.
It is a fact that Kevin Keegan, on appointment on 16th January 2008, agreed to report to a Director of Football and to the Board.
It is a fact that Kevin Keegan worked within that structure from 16th January 2008 until his resignation.
It is a fact that Kevin Keegan, as manager, had specific duties in that he was responsible for the training, coaching, selection and motivation of the Team.
It is a fact that Kevin Keegan was allowed to manage his specific duties without any interference from any Board member.
It is a fact that Kevin Keegan agreed only to deal with the media in relation to Club matters relating to the Team and not to communicate with the media in relation to the acquisition or disposal of players.
It is a fact that NUFC is a business and operates, like all businesses, with financial constraints.
It is a fact that NUFC’s financial constraints inform its transfer dealings.
The Board of NUFC have responsibility to ensure that the club is able to meet its commitments which include the wages and the transfer fees for players.
The structure at NUFC is clear, and has been clear from 16th January 2008.
This statement does little to improve matters, since significantly it doesn’t say that Keegan was responsible for which players were brought in during the transfer market – and that is the specific and main reason Kevin resigned.
LMA chief executive Richard Bevan said in a statement.
“Kevin Keegan’s chief complaint, amongst others, is that it was always agreed that the director of football could not impose a player that the manager did not want.”
“This agreement has been broken and, notwithstanding the fact that the chairman at the time of Kevin Keegan’s appointment, the director of football and the owner of Newcastle United have confirmed previously in public meetings and publications that he would always have the final say.”
Along with lawyers, the LMA were called in by Keegan in a bid to resolve the dispute and clarify his position. And something we have already pointed out, is that when then Chairman Chris Mort was explaining the new organization early this year, he said Keegan would always have the final decision on who came and who went – that is a fact.
LMA chairman Howard Wilkinson said:
“If you are going to work in a football club, then the most prominent person in that club – certainly as far as the public is concerned, and you could argue as far as anyone is concerned – is the man called the manager or the guy who is responsible for the first team.”
“So to create a position which is going to result in friction through lack of communication, through a failure to communicate what the role is etc, seems to be a recipe for disaster, particularly if you bring someone into that position between manager and board after you have appointed a manager.”
For once, we have to agree with Howard, and it seems to us the club’s position is so weak it’;s hard to defend it, because the manager is responsible for results on the field, and he can hardly be judged for that if he doesn’t have the final say on who those players ultimately are.