The Evening Chronicle today has a new series out on Michael Owen, who was signed by Newcastle for £17M from Real Madrid in August of 2005, when Graeme Souness was managing the club.
Michael Owen – while at Newcastle
And Newcastle signed Michael to a wage of £110K/week for four years, and of course it was a massive signing for Newcastle at the time.
And Newcastle had to use future payments from our Northern Rock sponsor to be able to buy him – something that Chris Mort revealed when he became Chairman in 2007, and financing deals in that way is very unusual – to say the least.
In other words we didn’t have the money to buy Michael, so we used money that was going to be paid to us in the future by a sponsor, and that kind of deal can lead to financial suicide.
20,000 turned up to see him at St. James’ Park – just to welcome him – but his injuries made it a very bad deal in retrospect, and Newcastle were relegated when his contract ended in 2009.
But Michael is very positive about his time at Newcastle, as he said this to the Evening Chronicle today:
“It was a dream start. It has hurt me over the years since I left that every question that is asked to me is always a negative one about Newcastle.”
“I am always trying to say positive things about Newcastle – because that’s what I thought about my time up there.” “A lot of negativity came out and the bandwagon rolled on.”
“Whenever I say anything decent nobody wants to write it.” “So I mean it when I say it was an enjoyable time for me. “From the first minute I arrived with the amount of people that were there to greet me when I signed, it was fantastic. It was unbelievable.”
“I got off to a great start in that sense.” “After signing it was an absolute dream in many ways.” “Leading up to the turn of the year, one of the big pulls of going up to Newcastle was playing alongside Alan Shearer.”
“There were plenty of good players in the team at the time.” “I signed when we were in the bottom three, but there were only three or four games gone.”
“That didn’t worry me.” “I signed, and then in my second game away at Blackburn, me and Alan basically went on a great run and scored loads of goals together.”
“We rocketed up the league and everything from my point of view was just as I had hoped in many ways.”I was buying a house up there.” “Alan put myself and my wife and eldest child up at his house.” “I found a house of my own and it all got taken care of pretty quickly.”
” was buying a house up there.” “Alan put myself and my wife and eldest child up at his house.” “I found a house of my own and it all got taken care of pretty quickly.”
“It was great and I settled down really quickly.” “Everything was going perfectly for a good few months. “We were in the top 10 at the turn of the year and then obviously at White Hart Lane came that fateful day.”
“I always look back on it and think it was a major turning point of my career because it led on to so many other things.”
Those are good words from Michael, who seems to be trying to put a positive spin on his time at Newcastle, and it was certainly very positive at the start – at the time he signed my son Neil thought it was simply a fantastic signing, and so did the vast majority of Newcastle fans – maybe 99%.
But he broke his foot in a collision with Paul Robinson, the Spurs goalkeeper, in early 2006, and he was out for the rest of the season, and that was the first of his many injuries at Newcastle, which dogged his time at the club.
And after four years on Tyneside, he played only 79 times with 30 goals, in a black and white striped shirt.
But it’s still good to hear him taking so positively about his four year stay on Tyneside.
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