Shay Given Exclusive Interview – Ashley Squeezed Every Penny Out Of Me

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.

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Comments welcome.

136 comments so far

  • DubaiMicky

    May 10, 2018 at 3:42 PM

    Comment #1

    So Shay had a 10% sell on clause that would go to himif he was sold without asking for a transfer, the “management” at the time said “If you don’t let it go you’ll never go anywhere”.

    Totally explains what that little fat cu nt has done to our club over the years.

    And I make no apologies for my language.

  • lochinvar

    May 10, 2018 at 3:47 PM

    Comment #2

    Being squeezed by Ashley makes me feel nauseous. It’s just shouldn’t be allowed.

  • RobLeenio

    May 10, 2018 at 3:48 PM

    Comment #3

    This story came out a while ago in Shay’s autobiography. It doesn’t make it any less shocking, however. Shoddy treatment of a true club legend by a shyster.

  • Jib

    May 10, 2018 at 3:52 PM

    Comment #4

    PL players whingeing about money crack me up.
    Two years after Given left the Toon he went from
    Man City to Aston Villa on £3m a year.
    In four years in Birmingham he earned £12m and
    played 53 times – that works out at about £3,000
    a minute.

  • AncientC

    May 10, 2018 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #5

    I thought Given claimed he was forced out?

  • DubaiMicky

    May 10, 2018 at 3:56 PM

    Comment #6

    It’s not the money though jib, you’re missing it. It’s the screwing of every thing and one that they can.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    May 10, 2018 at 4:05 PM

    Comment #7

    He should never have been allowed to leave its been a total farce the way that Ashley has treated club legends (apart from Beardsley and Moncur who seemed to have done anything to keep their jobs!)

    We had some great players who I am sure would love to come back and coach or be involved in the club in some capacity ! Can’t tell me a few sessions with Shearer , Ginola etc wouldn’t do wonders for our strikers ?

  • Tsunki

    May 10, 2018 at 4:24 PM

    Comment #9

    Umm well it’s one of the smaller sticks to hit Ashley with. What’s most significant isn’t the money side it’s more that Given gave up on a club he’d served for a very long time because he could see the recruitment policy was sending the club on the slide and he couldn’t resist a decent money move while he was still a decent player. Add to that no testimonial or send off for one of the club’s longest serving players hardly made him friends with Mike and his board of goons so the money thing was more of a cherry on top.

  • RobLeenio

    May 10, 2018 at 4:29 PM

    Comment #10

    Have there been any testimonials given out under Ashley? I always thought it was a shame Shola didn’t have one. Not everyone’s favourite player, but he was here as a kid until he was thirty-odd and scored some huge goals for us.

  • Online Guy

    May 10, 2018 at 4:37 PM

    Comment #11

    Shut yer gob Given Iv heard it all before . I’m with Jib on this one …not even thinking about Ashley’s part in how he left. I was glad to see the back of Given the whinger.

    Every time Steve Harper got a few games and done well Given seemed to be threatening to leave Newcastle if he was ever sat warming his fat arrogant arse on the bench.

    Given was not loyal despite his time with us. “If I don’t get my place back I’m leaving” was what he said more than once. An aloof character. Sod off Shay.

  • bettyswallocks

    May 10, 2018 at 4:40 PM

    Comment #12–~C/YXBwaWQ9c3JjaGRkO2g9ODA3O3E9ODA7dz04MDA-/

    Lesh”…………What have my grannies tits got to do with anything? Also I see your obsession with wor Donald is not waning. Still if it keeps you happy carry on.

  • Jib

    May 10, 2018 at 4:42 PM

    Comment #13

    I think Seamus Given has re-written history to try
    and sell more copies of his autobiography.

    I was sure I recalled the goalie’s desire to jump
    ship was more to do with antipathy twixt Kinnear
    (who he couldn’t abide) , and himself.

    Then lo and behold the following article bore out my memory.
    (I’m not so senile after all)

  • Lindisfarne

    May 10, 2018 at 4:46 PM

    Comment #14

    When I saw Murphy preparing himself to come on last night my first thought was, I hope it is for Gayle and push Perez forward. Playing Murphy in the #10 role would have been the progressive move to make rather than bringing on the no hope Joselu up front.

  • Pottsclock

    May 10, 2018 at 4:49 PM

    Comment #15

    On the surface, the two statements (summarised) “Ashley forced me out” and “I was told that if I didn’t give up the 10% I was going nowhere” do not make sense.
    Given admitted that he wanted to leave…so why was it an issue if he put in a request and gave up the 10%?
    I’m not a fan of Ashley at all. But likewise, not everything is Ashley’s fault and everyone – including players – have their own agendas.
    We were actually quite well covered with keepers at the time and had Given stayed – who was 34 at the time – I doubt Krul would have developed in the way he did. He would have ended up as Harper did.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 10, 2018 at 5:07 PM

    Comment #16

    Googled this, don’t know if it clarifies anything.

    Li’l Sebastian Obituary by Leslie Knopeedit
    He was an animal, a legend, a friend. He was our beacon of light. He was Pawnee’s horse. In what is surely the most monumental news to come out of Pawnee since the eradication of smallpox in 1993, it is with sorrow that we report Li’l Sebastian is dead. But he will never leave our hearts and our memories.

    Sebastian may have been li’l, but his impact on this town, and the Parks Department, was anything but li’l. When his owners, Michael and Elizabeth Stone, first discovered him, Elizabeth says it was “like seeing an angel and being punched in the gut at the same time – because as perfect as he was, we knew we’d never see anything that perfect again.” Michael goes on to say, “I love my wife, I do. But I LOVED Li’l Sebastian.”

    Li’l Sebastian spent his years out in the field, changing the world. He was a goodwill ambassador for Indiana Veterans and went to Kuwait to entertain the troops. A champion climber, he was a member of the Great Lakes Ski Patrol and Emergency Rescue Team, serving as its captain from 1996-98. He participated in the celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee, even marching in front of Buckingham Palace. (Speaking of marching, that wonderful tiny horse trotted in every single Pawnee Independence Parade from 1987 on – except for 2003, when an ankle injury kept him sidelined. Though with no fewer than four floats in his honor, it sure felt like he was there!) And who can forget when he received his honorary degree from Notre Dame University? That’s Dr. Li’l Sebastian to you!

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 10, 2018 at 5:10 PM

    Comment #17

    Pity we hadn’t got AC in last nights game, he’d have buried that cross that Gayle barely reached.

    As for Perez nobody seems to have mentioned the way he barged that defender off the ball, didn’t look lightweight to me.

  • Toonces

    May 10, 2018 at 5:18 PM

    Comment #19

    EGB – Was a great surprise to see Perez knock Vertonghen off the ball – unfortunately Perez was so surprised himself that he forgot to smash the ball past Lloris and instead passed it to him.

  • MonkseatonMag

    May 10, 2018 at 5:30 PM

    Comment #20

    “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.

    You can’t have it BOTH ways Shay! Ashley may be screwing the club – but so are you.

  • lesh

    May 10, 2018 at 5:40 PM

    Comment #21


    You seemed to be having fun a Jesper’s expense and it struck me that if that’s your way of getting pleasure, hence the mangle. And as for Trump, I ain’t obsessed but concerned for the future of this earth of ours. Unfortunately, it was the gullibilty of voters who put him in and many of them were likely too blind to Facebook and other media delivered conditioning to see through him. They remind me of the questions being asked of what drove what’s probably a lot of brexit voters to vote the way they did – not seeing the bigger picture.

    Which takes me to Ashley, whose greed goes beyond reason. He’s a billionaire who continues to squeeze every last penny from people and situations. He bought NUFC for a few hundred million, was willing to sell it for £300m and now he’s upped his asking price to £400m. Why does he want another £100m? Does he need it? Do his bairns need feeding, a pair of shoes, to pay the rent??? Nope. So, is he going to give it to some NGO to feed the starving millions throughout the world?

    His and others like him’s greed is just immoral.

  • DaveD1000

    May 10, 2018 at 5:44 PM

    Comment #22

    That Halo take a lot of upkeep Lesh or is it just a bit of Brasso?

  • GeordieTwo

    May 10, 2018 at 5:47 PM

    Comment #23

    It looks like we’ll finish somewhere between 10th and 13th now. Highly unlikely to finish 10th. Last season 10th got 119.8M while 13th got 113.4M. Clearly this season the payouts will be larger. A good haul. Our total revenue should exceed 140M. How much of that will Ashley give Rafa? Or a new owner hopefully. I could see 50M plus player sales. A good start if it happens.

  • bettyswallocks

    May 10, 2018 at 5:52 PM

    Comment #24×600.jpg

    Lesh………. I was merely retaliating to Jesper’s attempt at banter this morning when he dug out Jail, Tsunki and myself. If he was offended I’m sure he would let me know.

    Your agenda stands out like Trump’s hair . My advice is join the party and have fun. The party in the picture looks like a bit of you.

  • GeordieTwo

    May 10, 2018 at 5:56 PM

    Comment #25

    Last season our average weekly wage was 32k a week. Total first team wages of about 43M pounds a year for the first team. Total club wages under 55M then?
    Total operating expenses of 80-90M? So a possible profit of 50-60M? It looks good but most of it or all of it has to go to improving the squad.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    May 10, 2018 at 6:12 PM

    Comment #26

    Betsy…have you signed up for an advanced senior internet course now that you master the copy paste ritual?

    Here’s a link for you:

  • lesh

    May 10, 2018 at 6:14 PM

    Comment #27


    And where did you find your ‘party’ picture? Breitbart? Facebook? The Daily Heil?

    The fact that you demonstrated your prejudices by posting that pic says all there is to say about you and your narrow mindedeness.

    It’s just a pity that Rees Mogg, Fox, Gove, Johnson and their sponsors couldn’t take you and their other disciples away to some remote planet so allowing you all to thoroughly enjoy each others company. Maybe you could invite Trump to join you all

  • GeordieTwo

    May 10, 2018 at 6:23 PM

    Comment #28

    Hasn’t there been enough name calling for today? Let’s focus on the club and what the future might bring. I hope it’s good news for a change.

  • bettyswallocks

    May 10, 2018 at 6:26 PM

    Comment #29×600.jpg…………

    Red Lesh……….. You obviously have too much time on your hands.

  • bettyswallocks

    May 10, 2018 at 6:28 PM

    Comment #30

    Jesper…….. Thanks for that it’ll be useful for the future.

  • Moonraker15

    May 10, 2018 at 6:30 PM

    Comment #31

    Given the greedy tw@t didn’t deserve 10% as he wanted to leave! In his crazy Irish logic he seems to forget we made him a multi millionaire in the years he was here. Now he’s always on tv and trying to sell his book having made even more millions by leaving us. By the way, I think wed’ve stayed up if he hadn’t left us!

  • lesh

    May 10, 2018 at 6:33 PM

    Comment #33


    If you don’t write for the Mail or Murdoch’s organs you should apply for a job. They’re always open to contributors who can string words together.

  • bettyswallocks

    May 10, 2018 at 6:36 PM

    Comment #34

    Sorry my tablet seems to have a mind of it’s own .

    Lesh……….. Be quiet and get back to work.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    May 10, 2018 at 6:42 PM

    Comment #35

    It most definitely will Betsy…but try not to wear ‘em out Betsy! Use your new skills with care 😉

    …you’re a bit repeating and sadly a bit boring. And that’s a real let down seeing as you were suppose to be the real blog attraction!

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    May 10, 2018 at 6:47 PM

    Comment #36

    GT…you live in a Canadian bubble it seems. Where have you been for the past 5 years or so…

    Name calling is the least of our problems on here. This blog has become a breeding ground for xenophobic language and gender stereotypes. It’s definit something to be proud of…especially of all those ppl that voice their opinion about the issues…sorry not ppl it’s really just OG and Lesh it seems!

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    May 10, 2018 at 6:49 PM

    Comment #37

    Essex gets it ;D lol

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    May 10, 2018 at 6:51 PM

    Comment #38

    Our beacon of light…that’s you Betsy!


  • jane

    May 10, 2018 at 7:07 PM

    Comment #39

    if West Ham beat Man Utd tonight they will join Newcastle, Crystal Palace, Bournemouth, Watford and Brighton in the almighty scramble for 10th place on Sunday.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 10, 2018 at 7:09 PM

    Comment #40

    Gayle, Joselu and Atsu all figure in a list of 21 players that are said to be the worst finishers in the premier league this season.

    In three PL seasons Gayle has scored 5-3-5 goals in total.

    Joselu was claimed to have had his best game for Stokes in a match against them by The Stoke Sentinel.

    Atsu I suppose has some excuse being a winger rather than a striker>


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