Three interesting facts about Xisco…

He is still only 31.

Newcastle are still the only club to ever pay a transfer fee for him.

He cost NUFC £6m ten years ago, more money than Mike Ashley allowed Rafa Benitez to spend on a striker last summer (Joselu – £5m).

However, maybe the most astonishing fact is that currently, Xisco can proudly declare that he is currently ‘top scorer’.

It has taken him a long time and it is only the second tier in Spain but Xisco has seven goals in all competitions for Osasuna, making him their top scorer this season.

Only one club in the top 10 of the Spanish second division has scored less goals than Osasuna but nevertheless, the former Newcastle striker has helped his club into sixth place and a chance of the play-offs, which could lead to a return to La Liga for Xisco.

It was one of the most disgraceful episodes in Newcastle’s history when Mike Ashley and his minions lied to Kevin Keegan, Keegan taking the manager’s job on the understanding he would have control of transfers.

The reality all along though was that Ashley had told Dennis Wise he had control and it was proved in court that they had lied to Kevin Keegan when he filed for constructive dismissal.

Players were bought and sold behind his back and the final straw was when Xisco was signed on 31 August 2008.

To cap it all, he was useless, and one of the dodgiest looking transfers ever seen, the player having done nothing to suggest he was worth the £6m Newcastle paid.

He ended up scoring one league goal for Newcastle and started only three league matches.

The rest of his career has confirmed how suspect that transfer fee was, no other club has ever paid money for him, a career full of loans and free transfers.

Apart from a few goals in Thailand and lower divisions elsewhere, Xisco has only scored six top flight goals since scoring his one goal for Newcastle in a 2-1 defeat by Hull.

Amazingly, Xisco is at least a step up on another useless £6m striker Newcastle bought and who played for Osasuna last season, as the side were relegated from La Liga last season, Riviere scored not a single league goal all season in his final year on loan from Newcastle.

Anybody who doubts what Mike Ashley is all about, only needs to remind themselves of two things (though the list is endless), Dennis Wise and Xisco.

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  • Leazes.

    I seem to remember that the six million for Xisco wasn’t actually for the player….it was a bung for the agent to sweeten any future deals.

    Was it Dennis Wise who came into conflict with Keegan over his role in player purchases?

    • Kneebotherm8

      Dodgy Den……..

    • Mark Potter

      Your memory is wrong. See above.

  • Mxpx

    That stadium looks lovely without the adverts on

    • Leazes.

      I understand why we have grey seats now… if they fade in the sun they are still grey….. now that is forward planning.

      • Peaky Magpie


      • MichaelMaximusMoose


  • Mark Potter

    You have the history completely wrong. Surely it wouldn’t have been hard to check your facts?

    Claim 1 “The final straw was when Xisco was signed on 31 August 2008.” Wrong.

    The issue that caused the breakdown of the relationship with the club was not the signing of striker Xisco, but the loan of midfielder Nacho González, who I think never played a single game for the club. It was González who Keegan had never heard of, and who he was told to look up on YouTube.

    Sky reported at the time: “Keegan revealed that his position had become untenable after the club signed Uruguayan midfielder Ignacio Gonzalez against his wishes.”

    The BBC reported: “Gonzalez’s signing was made on deadline day of Sunday, 31 August 2008, an act which prompted Keegan to tender his resignation.”

    None of the reports mention that Xisco’s purchase was the subject of any dispute between the club and Keegan. Keegan never said that he had not been consulted about it, nor that he thought it was a bad move. It should be mentioned that the club at that time had Owen, Viduka, Martins and Ameobi plus Carroll coming through from the youth. Xisco never seemed to be anything other than a slightly speculative move to secure a young player with some potential. It only took on more significance because of the mistaken identification – most fans couldn’t seem to understand the difference between Xisco and Nacho González, because they have such similar names, background and position. One is Spanish the other is Uruguayan, dead easy mistake to make…

    Claim 2 “It was proved in court that they [Ashley and Wise] had lied to Kevin Keegan when he filed for constructive dismissal.” Wrong.

    There was no court case. The constructive dismissal wasn’t even heard by an Employment Tribunal, but by a Premier League arbitration panel. The panel doesn’t hear witnesses under oath, and isn’t required to prove a case beyond reasonable doubt, making an assessment on the balance of probabilities. There is no judge and jury. It is not a court of law.

    There was no reason for the panel to have to decide whether some people lied.
    Several key senior staff, Dennis Wise and Derek Llambias, gave statements that they had publicly claimed to the media and fans that Keegan had “the final word”; but they stated to the tribunal that this was not in fact the case and that their claims were just “PR”. In other words they admitted to PR statements that weren’t actually true – lying.

    Since Ashley never gave media interviews, he was not involved with this “PR” lying. Ashley is not even mentioned in this part of the panel’s report, only Wise and Mort are mentioned. And ironically, Mort’s lying was during an interview with The Mag.

    Claim 3 Xisco was “one of the dodgiest looking transfers ever seen”. Wrong.

    The report stated: “The ‘commercial interests’, according to the club, were that the signing of the player [Gonzales] on loan would be a ‘favour’ to two influential South American agents who would look favourably on the club in the future.

    “The loan deal cost the club nearly £1m in wages for a player [Gonzales] who was not expected to play for the first team.” There was no such arrangement involved in the signing of Xisco.

    Claim 4 “The reality all along though was that Ashley had told Dennis Wise he had control.” Wrong.

    Wise was appointed after Keegan, there was no Director of Football while Allerdyce was manager, or when Keegan first arrived. Ashley (and club officials) however did tell Keegan that there was likely to be a DoF, and Wise was one of several names mentioned as candidates for the job. Keegan confirmed that. Ashley took the view that the appointment of anyone as DoF under a “continental” model meant it was “bleeding obvious” that Keegan wouldn’t have the final say. The panel did not make any conclusion about what was or was not discussed between Keegan and Ashley. But it’s interesting to see exactly what the panel said:

    “It is unnecessary for us conclusively to determine this issue but we consider that it is probable that although when he left the meeting Mr Keegan reasonably and genuinely inferred that he would have the final say since the Contract provided that he should perform the usual duties of a Premier League Manager, nothing was said expressly to that effect by the Club’s representatives.”

    Got that? A complicated legalese sentence, but “we consider that it is probable that … NOTHING was said [that Keegan would have the final say] by the Club’s representatives.” So again you are wrong. Rather than Ashley having lied to Keegan, the panel agreed that he did not.

    Keegan won his case despite this, because the club gave him a written contract, and when you have a written contract that always takes precedence over what was said. He was told verbally there would be a DoF and continental model, but the contract implied he would have the standard English Prem League Manager role. The contract didn’t actually say explicitly he would have the final say, but the panel decided that this is what it meant. So the club’s lawyers got it wrong, they should have spelled it out in the contract what restrictions there would be on transfers, and whether the DoF (once appointed) or Manager had the final say.

    Xisco has turned out to never display the potential he had suggested when the club (and by implication) Keegan bought him. But his transfer didn’t cause Keegan to leave the club, and had no undercurrents of a dodgy deal to help agents. And Ashley is not referred to in the panel’s report as telling any lies, either to Keegan or to the media/fans. Just the opposite – they decided Ashley probably told Keegan the truth about the DoF and Continental model. Keegan objected only to one of the deals made that summer, and it was Gonzales. That loan deal was the sole reason that Keegan left. Xisco’s name appears nowhere in the panel’s report or the press reports of the time. This was something which was concocted later. Gonzales has long been forgotten, Xisco in the minds of many fans has carried the blame all this time.

  • Philippines

    There surely must be a corruption trail of money for some of these transfers? I am surprised nobody has looked into this more seriously.

  • Phil Yare

    give him time he could have scored 300 goals. dennis wise prodigy