Shay Given Thanks Newcastle’s Phenomenal Fans

Shay Given has spoken out today both about the phenomenal Newcastle fans and the current hierarchy at the club being less than helpful.


Shay Given thanks Newcastle fans

The 32-year-old said that Newcastle’s devastating 5-1 home defeat to Liverpool on December 28th was the last straw, and after that he had his lawyer go public on his desire to finally leave Newcastle United.

Given was transferred at the last moment on Monday, and it doesn’t even look like the club got as high a fee as first reported. The fee is now said to be £5.9M, with some add-ons for appearances.

Shay talked about the way his long drawn out transfer was handled by the club:

“I felt Newcastle could have dealt with it a little bit better, to be honest,”

“I spent nearly 12 years of my life there, and that’s a long time. I want to thank the fans for the support they’ve given me over the years. “

“They’re absolutely phenomenal.”   “But this is a new challenge, and a new set of supporters to try and impress.”

“I’d been there nearly 12 years, and with the service I’d given the club, I felt the regime could have dealt with it a little better.”

“I was disappointed with the way the regime handled it.”  “It’s a difficult time for Newcastle.”

“They’re going through a difficult period, and the fans deserve better.”  “They’re extremely loyal supporters up there.”

“They want the club to be firing up the league, and I wish them well.”

“The Liverpool game was a real kick in the teeth. It was a low point in my career, and a low point for everyone.”

“I wasn’t very comfortable with the way the club was – I wanted to be challenging for silverware, but I didn’t know if I was going to leave the club.”

“I’ll be forever grateful for what (the fans) have done for me in my career, but I felt the regime were very unhelpful.”

Parting words from Shay, and it’s really sad to see him go.

But the way the club has been run since last August is nothing less than a complete disgrace.

Comments welcome.

47 comments so far

  • RyanToon

    Feb 5, 2009 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #1

    cheers shay

  • Kash

    Feb 5, 2009 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #2

    He also said that the board are bunch of Nob Jockeys too!!! Good on him!!!

  • beyethegreat

    Feb 5, 2009 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #3

    imo still the prems best keeper

  • Yellow Belly

    Feb 5, 2009 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #4

    beyethegreat – I am getting old whats does imo mean is it a homo thing?

  • dougnufc

    Feb 5, 2009 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #5

    in my opinion = imo

  • Kash

    Feb 5, 2009 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #6

    Well I rate Joe Hart very highly, and with Given around, he’s gonna be even better!!!

    I can see Joe Hart displacing Given in a couple of years!

  • Yellow Belly

    Feb 5, 2009 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #7

    dougnufc – cheers mate, for about two years I thought lol meant ‘lots of love’ and every one was being puffs. Getting old

  • Mags

    Feb 5, 2009 at 12:06 PM

    Comment #8

    I assume that he is annoyed they forced him into actually handing in a transfer request to speed things along.

    Thanks Shay for 12 years service but I would have appreciated you seeing this season out with us to help stave off relegation.

  • Troy Stavers

    Feb 5, 2009 at 12:14 PM

    Comment #9

    Dear Mr Ashley,

    I am a life long Newcastle United supporter and would like you to know how i feel about the way the club is being currently run.

    I do not have the resources to have the privilege of owning such a great North Eastern institution, which represents the hopes and dreams of many thousands of individuals in the region.

    However, you do.

    I am not going to go into great depth, of what i would like to see happen to the club but i will make it succinct and to the point;

    Please use your staff efficiently, make them do their homework between each transfer window to identify suitable targets which are going to enhance and improve our first team. I say first team because at this moment in time that must take priority above long term youth policies.
    By doing this, once the window opens, your well prepared staff will be able to put their plans into place, make a realistic bid and have a full transfer window to negotiate.

    However, this is what appears to have happened since you and your staff have been at the club;

    In the preceding weeks to the window opening, your recruiting staff remain absolutely silent whilst your team manager, whether it be Keegan or Kinnear, inform the fans that players will be bought and the fans will be suitably pleased. They reassure the fans the recruiting staff have a plan to buy the targets which will improve the team.

    What happens next?

    The window opens and speculation mounts, fans expectations are raised but nothing happens. Fans become bemused, frustated, angry and expect to have information from your staff as to the transfer situation. The weeks go by without any activity yet games are being played with a severely under strength squad and we continue to struggle at the foot of the table without gaining valuable points which may save us from relegation. It always comes to the final weekend of the window and no transfers have been made. The only information comes from the manager who has to speak on behalf of the recruitment team and in hindsight, have clearly been misguided by the recruitment team. Keegan and Kinnear have both spoken on tv to explain why our best talent are being sold, ie Milner, n’Zogbia and Given, but the recruitment team will replace them with the money they recieve, with quality signings which will improve our team.

    The result:

    We sell our best talent on the final weekend of the window before making any buys ourselves. The buys we finally bring in are clearly cheaper, less talented and unproven in the premiership.
    There have been four windows since you took charge and so far you have made approximately £10m profit on transfer dealings. Our team has steadily dropped further down the league and have spent most of this season either within or perilously close to the drop zone.
    The last window closed a few days ago and you have made an 8m profit having sold two established premiership stars and brought in a striker who had to have a trial before given a contract until the end of the season, a player who had lost his place in another relegation rival and a young player who was relatively unknown who cost nothing.
    Yes there were reports of the club making half a dozen large bids for star players, strangely all made on the final day of the window. This has happened on each of the four transfer windows you have been at the helm, however on each occasion, we are repeatedly rebuffed by their respective clubs.

    Finally, Mr Ashley, i want you to know that i understand about the world financial crisis and the major impact this has had on your own personal financial fortune. However, the way i see it is, if things remain the same, this great club which you own financially and thousands own spiritually will slip back to sleep like it did in the early 80s and was kindly woken by your predecessor Sir John Hall in the early 90s.

    Let us not forget, you are not the only one suffering financially. Many thousands within our region have been forced to sell their houses because, like yourself bought big in the boom but when the bust came, they had to sell up and take a loss. Many of those, i am sure, could have remained in their houses and tried to get through the hard times but it would have meant their family going without. Their children who have no influence on the situation would have suffered greatly. For that reason, those home owners have sold up and moved on to pastures new. Unfortunately they are the hard facts of biting off more than you can chew.

    I now plead with you to take a long hard look at your situation and take the actions which those home owners have had to take. To sell up to a buyer who will pay a realistic price, even if it means you lose a substantial amount of money. Luckily for you, this is not your home, your kids wont suffer. You need never come back to Newcastle again. Due to the lack of time you spend here anyway it would not be a hardship. You would still have many hundreds of millions in your bank. More money than the 50 thousand fans could muster together.

    I hope this letter has made you think about how i feel and hope it influences your future decision to sell up.

    Please reply to this letter if you feel it warrants it.

    Kind regards,

    Troy Stavers

  • WesToon

    Feb 5, 2009 at 12:14 PM

    Comment #10

    Agreed Mags 🙁

  • RyanToon

    Feb 5, 2009 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #11

    troy, have you sent it to the club?

  • Waddles mullet

    Feb 5, 2009 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #12

    email it to mike himself.
    He does read them or his chief exec reads it and forwards them on.

  • Mags

    Feb 5, 2009 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #13

    Troy. I love the sentiment in your letter but I doubt it will have any effect on the guy, however you never know . Nothing ventured nothing gained.

    I think we all need to group together and form ourselves into a single voice so that hopefully, we can bring some influence to bear at the club. Like it or not, (and I can assued you I don’t), for the foreseeable future we are stuck with Ashley, so let us see how best we can work with him for the sake of the club.

    That is why I have joined NUSC and why I will be at the rally prior to the Everton game.

  • Magpietillidie22

    Feb 5, 2009 at 12:33 PM

    Comment #14

    Mags – have NUSC organised the rally?

  • Wallsend Will

    Feb 5, 2009 at 12:33 PM

    Comment #15

    I hear what Shay Given has said, and agree with his comments about Ashley and Co. BUT why did he have to go in the January window knowing how desperate we are at the moment. Surely he could have stayed till the summer like Michael Owen has? Sad, very very Sad.

  • Stardust

    Feb 5, 2009 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #16

    Troy youre deluded, the letter starts off well but you lost the plot. Reality is reality, he has tried to sell the club and couldnt. An appeal to speak to the fans, inform us, and work with us would have been far better. You just asked him to close the stable door after the horse had bolted.

  • shearer4pm

    Feb 5, 2009 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #17

    any one else think that its a p’ss take that given has only got the number 37 shirt at city, i know its only a number, but he deserves the number 1, but i dunno bout clubs changin numbers half way thru a seaon or whatnot, jus fort it was silly,

  • PrinceMonkey

    Feb 5, 2009 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #18

    Shay can beat it!

    Oh we’re soooo sorry shay that we tried to offer you more money to stay. We’re also soooo sorry that we did not accept citey’s 1st insulting bid and held out for a slightly higher insulting bid which we accepted rather than have you pissing and moaning till the summer.

    PISS OFF!!!

    I just hope newcastle learn from this mistake and don’t sell martins for £3m if he decides he wants to leave!!! Sporting didn’t accept any offers for a player who wants to leave. Neither did citey with johnson.

    To quote another person who claimed to have newcastle in his heart “He’s gone down in my estimation when he said that” (or something similar)

  • Troy Stavers

    Feb 5, 2009 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #19

    does anyone have Mike Ashleys email address. ?

  • Obafan

    Feb 5, 2009 at 1:01 PM

    Comment #20

    Thanks Shay to defend the colours of NUFC for 12 years.

    I don’t think this will influence the team a lot, cause Harper also is a very good keeper (seen that last Sunday). And backup is also very good Forster end Krul.

    But indeed the best players leave the club because of Ashley’s regime, so sad.

  • toonoholic

    Feb 5, 2009 at 1:04 PM

    Comment #21

    “I’ll be forever grateful for what (the fans) have done for me in my career, but I felt the regime were very unhelpful.”

    there u go… regime is very unhelpful. still fancy MA anyone ?

  • Waddles mullet

    Feb 5, 2009 at 1:08 PM

    Comment #22

    yes thanks troy
    not rocket science really
    send me a email and i will send you it

  • Nobby_Long

    Feb 5, 2009 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #23


    Ashley tried to sell the club, but more than likely the true picture is that he could not sell it for the price he wanted.

    His words after taking the club off the market, were that he was going to drive the club forward during 2009. Well it looks like we are going to have to wait until the next transfer window for that to happen in terms of the first team then . However the sceptical amongst us have heard very similar utterings in the past……when Keegan returned. It did not happen though, and that was prior to the credit crunch.

    Even you are not happy with the lack of signings – I’m sure you admitted this.

    Troy’s email is no doubt doomed to failure. Ashley appears to be someone that does not take well to others telling him what to do – he is stubborn. However, it also appears he is out of his depth, both financially and in understanding how a football club needs to be run.

    A good businessman in one arena, does not always make a good one in another.

  • Will

    Feb 5, 2009 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #24

    @ Wallsend Will

    I Agree and have been saying this for a while. You couldn’t give to sh*ts about us fans, as he left IN THE MIDDLE of a relegation battle. cheers.

  • workyticket

    Feb 5, 2009 at 1:51 PM

    Comment #25

    Exactly Prince Monkey.

  • Stardust

    Feb 5, 2009 at 1:54 PM

    Comment #26

    Nobby Long – IF Ashley comes back into the fold as has been reported today. I feel that is the best for everyone. I hope NUSC dont ruin it with pointless demo’s.

    All thats needed is communication and honesty.

    I have spoken with Troy and told him to reword his last few paras – pointless – but worded in a constructive way could be worth a punt.

    If Ashley is happy he is far more likely to support the club financially.

  • craig s chisholm

    Feb 5, 2009 at 2:09 PM

    Comment #27

    bollox it shay given, he has ruined his image with the toon army today inthe things that he said. What was the point of it?? He is no different to us in that he thinks ashley and his henchmen are worse than shite but the bottom line is shay got very well paid for 12 fooking years at newcastle. he did not do it for charity. twice before he fed the odd line to the press that he might leave and in the end got his contract improved each time. when given was injured through the west ham game and harper came in and did very well given again let it be knwn he was not happy being second fiddle etc.
    The worst thing he said today is that he has moved to a higher stage, to a better level from newcastle. he said he looked around at the players and they are much better than the ones he left behind at newcastle – this lads is shit talk and has nothing to do with ashley. Its only since the arabs bought man city that they have become anything other than a nothing team. How can anyone say that playing at city of manchester os a bigger stage than st james park ffs. at least our fans are real. Shay’s words are an insult to every player at newcastle, the city and us as fans.
    i hope that this interview of his fires up our team and that we finish higher than given and his team of big names. bolloxs to given, we owe him nothing and for me, he has shown he never really thought that highly of newcastle united in the first place.

  • Nobby_Long

    Feb 5, 2009 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #28


    I don’t disagree with most of what you say – it will be interesting to hear/read what statements get made in the next few days – sometimes a bit of honesty goes a long way. That’s one of the big things for me. The void created by the silence from board & owner have recently been filled with tripe from Kinnear.

    A bit of open dialogue, plus some visible & tangible evidence of planning & strategy would make a lot of people feel a whole lot more supportive. However, NUSC have asked for a meeting already – that request has not been acknowledged.

    If the board don’t have a dialogue with supporters, then what alternative means do fans have to vent their frustrations than to arrange demonstrations or boycotts?

    The board/owner have mismanaged lots of things – I, like many season ticket holders, signed up for the three year deal – we did our part. The board did not reciprocate. That’s why people have been angry.

    The board & owner need to step up to the mark – admit the mistakes, provide the plan/strategy open up communication channels, then put the strategy into action.

    The (lack of) strategy employed to date has got us where we are. Its time for change.

    It is not for us to fawn all over Ashley in the hope he will spend – we did that nearly two years ago – it didn’t work.

  • reillers

    Feb 5, 2009 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #29

    That’s not his full interview. His full one is a lot more telling on the club. And people say oh he roule have and should have stayed till the end of the season but he couldn’t. In the full interview he says that not only was the liverpool game the lowest point it his career but he someone had told him them that he could never see a ball again he’d have been happy about that. He was that low. If he had stayed it would have killed him. He’d been miserable for months. Now he sounds genuinely happy.

  • sirjasontoon

    Feb 5, 2009 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #30

    I hope Ashley goes in the summer…get someone in that will at least invest for the future as well as the NOW.

    I am bored of club spin,players like Ameobi and Butt that have recently signed contacts couldn’t even get in Hull reserves…this is not good enough.

  • sirjasontoon

    Feb 5, 2009 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #31

    Bennytoon must have been kicked out of the library for looking at smut again : )

  • Stardust

    Feb 5, 2009 at 2:33 PM

    Comment #32

    Nobby long “A bit of open dialogue, plus some visible & tangible evidence of planning & strategy would make a lot of people feel a whole lot more supportive. However, NUSC have asked for a meeting already – that request has not been acknowledged.”

    I agree with that BUT NUSC have totally missed the point and opportunity. In situations of conflict of any kind – you simply cant demand things. The ONLY way to resolve any conflict on BOTH sides to to be happy to meet on common ground – i.e. all of us Owners and Fans want the club to be successful – thereon to discuss how it could be more successful.

    Weve seen the about conflict situation spiral out of control all over the world over centuries. Common ground and improve is the only way to progress.

    If you start with demands, peoples backs go up and a ward of words and agendas start.

    For this reason i see NUSC as greatly misguided, they accuse Ashley of terrible PR and go and do the same thing themselves – ego and lack of thought I suggest. They need leading far better than they are at present.

    I felt Troys letter started with a decent foundation to implore talks, then I felt he lost his way asking him to sell the club, he will be better served by asking how we all can help in providing a path for improvement and more common ground for us all.

    Honesty and communication its the only way.

  • Brazilian Geordie

    Feb 5, 2009 at 2:44 PM

    Comment #33

    I really like Shay, respect him as one of the greatest players the club ever had but I’m still a bit angry about he lefting us to MANCHESTER CITY.

    The way he talks about challenging for honours whatsoever, he’s kind underestimating our club, and I’d honestly love it if Man City get fucked up and then he think what was his attitude.

    It’s a shame believe someone has gone to a moneybag club which so fucking small and just talk about ”challenging for honours”.

    I’ll love it if Man City fails in everything they fight for.

  • Brazilian Geordie

    Feb 5, 2009 at 3:13 PM

    Comment #35

    I like Shay and fully respect him for everything he has represented in our club. But I’m still a bit angry with his decision.

    And more than that, he says he moved to Man City to ”challenge for honours” in a way which everything looks so easy. But I’m sure he will not get any honours at Manchester City. Yes, and he’s underestimating our club.

    Just hope one day he’ll see he left a REAL massive club for a moneybags team which is fucking small and are in no better situation than us.

    Honestly, I’ll love it if Manchester City get focked up and he end his career with no titles.

    ”Challenging for honours”

    Make me laugh, Shay Given.

  • miloflembo

    Feb 5, 2009 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #36

    We’ll take him back when MAn City dont want him anymore 🙂 (WISHFUL!)

  • Nobby_Long

    Feb 5, 2009 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #37

    Stardust – OK , but why have we had to wait until now??? We should not have to implore them to talk to the fans.

    What Ashely has done seems to follow very much what Sports Direct’s approach has been…….Take a well known but ailing brand, replace the quality with cheaper rubbish, put the same badge on it….try to convince everyone nothing’s changed, even though it falls to pieces.

    (Heaven forbid we get Lonsdale strips with Sports Direct logo on the front)

  • craig s chisholm

    Feb 5, 2009 at 3:58 PM

    Comment #38

    bollox to shay given.

  • Ericles

    Feb 5, 2009 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #39

    Shay’s going says everything about Ashley’s running of NUFC. For the time being we are stuck with Ashley. That is the rub. So we support the team as best we can regardless of the fat moneybags who used the transfer window not to bolster the club but to make a profit.

  • Stardust

    Feb 5, 2009 at 5:13 PM

    Comment #40

    Nobby Long

    “Stardust – OK , but why have we had to wait until now??? We should not have to implore them to talk to the fans”

    One of the things we seemed to have learned about the way he acts – he gives his Chairman – the chair literally – he gives them credit for being able people – many of the most successful people keep their best by setting them free.

    So one one hand you had Chris Mort who spoke with the fans and we were happy. At the opposite you have Llambias who runs things his way – again without interference.

    Chairmen are buffers, they remove stress from shareholders (Ashley) and run events – only reporting back company and financial matters.

    The real progress will hopefully come as Ashley has now said he is coming back. I think you view things a little too simplistically on that issue of the SD model.


You must log in to post a comment.