We remember during our first relegation season 2008-2009 after Kevin Keegan had suddenly left the club because he had been double-crossed by Mike Ashley and the Director of Football Dennis Wise related to two transfers he knew nothing about.
And one shock was that Shay Given became so disenchanted with the Newcastle owner that he wanted a transfer and Manchester City – then being managed by Mark Hughes – wanted him.
The deal dragged on during January and of course Newcastle fans wanted to keep our star player but eventually, the deal was struck for £2M.
And the rest is history – backup Steve Harper came in and did well but we were still relegated for the first time from the Premier League.
Shay Given – while Newcastle’s goalkeeper
Here’s Shay Given, speaking exclusively to 888sport:
“At the time I left the club were selling all of their best players and getting free transfers in and there seemed to be no leadership at the club.”
“The club I joined all those years ago was challenging for the Premier League and now it was bobbing along with no direction.”
“It just wasn’t the club that I joined and when Manchester City came in it was an opportunity to go to an ambitious club that wanted to go up the league and challenge for trophies.”
“I wanted to be part of that.”
“I wanted to go at the time and Manchester City wanted me and I think deep down Mike Ashley wanted to sell me but he was holding on for the best price which he was entitled to do.”
“But I had a 10% sell-on clause in my contract if I didn’t ask for a transfer request. He squeezed every penny out of the deal and then told me if I didn’t sign the transfer request I wasn’t going anywhere.”
“So I gave up 10% of the fee and then it was released to the press that I’d put in a request and there was nothing they could do to keep me.”
“It was a double-sworded dagger through the heart because I’ve been there eleven and a half years with forty hundred and something games.”
“They had paid one and a half million for me and then quadrupled that after all that service to them. I felt it was dealt with really poorly.”
That doesn’t reflect very well at all on owner Mike Ashley who is still in charge of the Newcastle club.
And Shay – not surprisingly – believes a new owner is vital for the future.
We remember that episode well and it was while people like (Director of Football) Dennis Wise were still at the club and Sir Bobby Robson was attending the Newcastle games just six months before he passed away with cancer.
Read the full 888sport interview with Shay Given, including his thoughts on why a new owner is absolutely key to Newcastle’s progression.