Alan Shearer was interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live yesterday, and he says he thought he had the Newcastle manager job on a permanent basis, shortly after Newcastle had been relegated. And the news is all over the papers this morning.
Alan Shearer – thought he had the manager job
Shearer had been appointed permanent manager on April 1st last year and had surprisingly been brought in to take over from Chris Hughton, who had been assisted by Colin Calderwood, since Joe Kinnear had his heart problems in mid February, that started just before the game at WBA.
With this the first management job ever for Shearer, he also brought in his pal, the experienced Iain Dowie as his assistant manager, to run the training sessions.
Alan said after that Sunday, when Newcastle were relegated by being beaten 1-0 at Villa Park from an own goal by Damien Duff, that he had attended talks with owner Mike Ashley, and apparently left the meeting thinking he had got the job for the following season.
This is what Alan told Radio 5 Live yesterday:
I thought I had the job at Newcastle,” “We had got relegated and I had sat down with the appropriate guys and we had agreed everything. Then two days later…”
“I have not spoken to them since. I rang someone up and he didn’t know what was going on and I never got a phone call after that.”
So we have no idea what “then two days later ….” really means other than he found out he didn’t have the job.
And it would be interesting to hear what the other side of this story is – but we never will, because Ashley has never commented on what was going on in the days and weeks following Newcastle’s disastrous relegation from the Premier League.
As we recall there was all kinds of stuff going on in the week following our relegation, with news that Alan wanted fairly high wages for himself and his two assistants, and was demanding £25M in transfer funds.
Of course we have no idea if that was true, but that’s what was being reported in the press at the time, and if it was true it shows Shearer had no idea about the financial running of the club.
When a club is relegated from the Premier League you get about half the revenues, and the very last thing you are able to do is come up with big transfer money – you have to do the opposite and cut your costs to make ends meet. The club trimmed the wage bill by getting rid of some of the high wage earners like Michael Owen, Mark Viduka, Habib Beye, Damien Duff and Oba Martins.
And even after that, the club were about £25M in the hole last January, because their outlay was way ahead of the lower revenues they were bringing in from the Championship, and Ashley had to loan Newcastle another £25M to keep the books balanced.
And we remember Ashley making the statement later that week that Alan would have to lower his demands if he was to become manager at Newcastle.
That was the last week in May and it wasn’t until about five weeks later, just before training began on July 1st, that Ashley appointed Chris Hughton as manager, and Chris immediately brought in Colin Calderwood on a weekly contract.
We also have to remember the club had again been put up for sale that summer, and Ashley was hoping to sell the club quickly, but nobody seemed interested. Chris and Colin started the job as caretakers, thinking they would be at Newcastle only a matter of weeks, before the new owners came in – but of course we now know that didn’t happen.
So those are the facts as they were reported in the press – true or not.
And Alan spoke of a possible return to Newcastle:
“I absolutely loved my time at Newcastle, despite what happened.” “I have never, ever worked so hard in my life and my kids have never seen so little of me.”
“But I loved the challenges that it brought and yes, if the right one came along, then I would seriously look at it.”
We don’t think things were quite as simple as Alan says, but in any case Chris Hughton came in and did a wonderful job for the club and of course we were promoted 11 points in front of 2nd placed WBA and a full 23 points above 3rd placed Nottingham Forest.
We have to think that Alan is after a management job somewhere, and this interview may help him to secure a position at some club, but it would be a long shot if he ever manages at Newcastle, while Mike Ashley still owns the club.
What do you think of all of this?
Comments always welcome.