Kevin Keegan sums up everything I love about Newcastle United.

As a player, as a manager, and indeed just when speaking any time about the club, I love it, just love it.

He has his new autobiography (My Life In Football) coming out on 4 October and it is looking set to be everything that you would expect from him.

Heart on the sleeve, honest, and 100% believable.

In fact, everything that Mike Ashley is not.

The book is now being serialised in The Times and the tasters we are now getting (see below) are making the autobiography look like a must read.

On top of all the manipulations in terms of how the owner has Newcastle United as a stooge to prop up Sports Direct and the rest of his retail empire, Kevin Keegan exposes the actual stupidity of Mike Ashley in trying to run the football side of things.

Rather than putting trust in the likes of Kevin Keegan and Rafa Benitez, Ashley thinks he is clever and can cheat the system, can succeed by doing things in an unorthodox way, which basically means putting people in positions of power who haven’t got a clue what they are doing, backing the likes of Dennis Wise and Tony Jimenez, and many others, over the likes of Rafa and KK.

Some classic examples outlined here by Kevin Keegan, as published in The Times from the forthcoming book:

Incompetence, deceit and arrogance:

‘I came up against a wall of incompetence, deceit and arrogance; you really couldn’t make up some of the things that happened at Newcastle under this regime. It was a tragicomedy.

I knew it was important to build a relationship with [Tony] Jimenez. I was intrigued by this guy and wanted to know how a property developer had found himself in such an influential role at one of England’s top football clubs. He certainly talked well, but was there any substance to it?

Jimenez had risen without trace. Yet I did find out he had a background, of sorts, in football. It turned out this Newcastle executive — a man given the title of “vice-president (player recruitment)” — had previously been a steward at Chelsea’s home games. That was where the link with Dennis Wise, formerly a Chelsea player, came about, and how he had befriended some of the players at Stamford Bridge. It wasn’t the most glittering CV I had ever seen.

That wouldn’t have mattered too much if Jimenez could walk the walk, as well as talking the talk, but it wasn’t long before I began to suspect there might not be a great deal of substance behind the big promises.

Jimenez had positioned himself as a football expert but it turned out this bewildering character — the man in charge of Newcastle’s recruitment, no less — admitted during discussions about potential transfer targets that he had never even heard of Per Mertesacker.

Can you believe that? Mertesacker had made his debut for Germany four years earlier. He was recognised as one of the outstanding players in the 2006 World Cup and had been an ever-present for his national team when they reached the final of Euro 2008. He was one of the best defenders in Europe and would go on to win over 100 caps for his country. Yet Jimenez didn’t have the foggiest who he was. I tried my hardest to retain a sense of humour and, somehow, I could laugh on occasion at the absurdity of it all. But there were other moments when it made my head ache to think what they were doing to a famous old sporting institution. It was an incredible story, but a sad one, mostly — and I had never known anything like it at any other football club.’

Kevin Keegan in negotiations to sign Luka Modric:

‘His (Luka Modric’) agent flew up from London and this time it was me inviting Jimenez to be part of it, rather than him cutting me out of the loop. It was an opportunity to sign one of the outstanding young footballers in Europe and, to begin with, I was making decent inroads. I explained what a great club Newcastle was, how the supporters would adore Modric and how we were looking for someone to spark us off.

Then Jimenez piped up. “Can I come in here?” he said. “I don’t think Luka is good enough for the Premier League. He’s too lightweight. He’s decent, but he’s not good enough.”

Terry [McDermott] was also in the meeting and we just stared at each other in disbelief. The agent looked shocked. “What do you mean?” he asked. “Are you saying my player is not strong enough? Luka’s a very strong boy, I can assure you.” “That’s exactly what I mean,” Jimenez continued. “My view is that he’s too lightweight for English football, he’s too small.”

It was an awful moment and, ten years on, it needs only a cursory glance at Modric’s achievements to realise what a nonsense it was. Even back then, however, it was laughable.’



  • Cockneytrev

    So you have a Chelsea Stewart having the final say on player recruitment,,, I know it’s been said so many times about Newcastle United,, but you couldn’t make it up,,
    Why is the premier league not investigating the incompetent running of a football that takes hundreds of millions in tv money???
    If this was , Liverpool, Manure, Arsenal etc the media would be all over it….
    Keep up the pressure!!!

    • Leazes.

      I think its deliberate…..why else would Charnley be there?

      Its now coming up to three years since the Chronicle had banner headlines on its front page…..

      ‘Charnley has two things to do firstly secure the signature of Benitez and then in the name of god Go!’

      • Cockneytrev

        I believe that the local papers have been derelict in their duty to the public (customers) of the north east, in their reporting of this whole disgraceful saga.
        Where’s have all the journalists gone with any degree of integrity?

        • Tweed Mag

          They are all part of the same group, with no independence. The local BBC are no better, they rarely mention anything.

          • Cockneytrev

            And there lies part of the problem,,

        • Toon Arnie

          You’re totally right with this – The Chronicle seem to have the shackles on, it’s been like this for years now though. I’ve stopped buying the paper altogether because of that. I’ve switched from Sky to Virgin for the same reason – after that Jim White ‘intetview’ that was me done with Sky.

        • nufcslf

          I would have been banned from the ground or sacked with what I would’ve written and said right after KK was forced to walk. The North East media needs to be taking to task for letting such a piece of sh*t get away with this for going on 12 years. Disgraceful.

    • Phildene

      I’ve actually had a reply from the PL and they’ve passed me onto the club!! Apparently the ‘Rules’ are only Errol Guidelines! Talk about passing the buck! I’m going to reply to their response again later. Thank about frustration!

  • Fatwasp

    Breaks your heart doesn’t it? It’s like a ten year old getting a Scalextric for his birthday, inviting his mates around, breaking it and then losing interest. What a spoilt brat Ashley truly is.

    • Toonrobbybobson

      Perfectly summed up

    • gordon

      Brilliant analogy. 👍

  • Toonrobbybobson

    Could cry

  • TheFatController

    This book’s revelations are of course acting as a brochure that advertises the job to Rafa’s successor ….

    Strachan, Pardew, O’Leary, McGhee at al will still punt their CV in.

    Given you get a million a year for 3 years and only do the first six months before being sacked for incompetence shown in the results delivered, maybe failed managers should throw their cv in ?

  • wheyayeman

    I hope King kev not only gets his message across about the mess he worked under but it also helps us finally rid ourselves of this hideous period of mismanagement.

  • wheyayeman

    Rafa lad, keep your dignity and walk.

  • Leazes.

    Good grief…. unbelievable stupidity or playing the opening moves in the downsizing operation.

    He then sold Given, Milner and N,Zogbia………. and brought in the Xisco undeniably a taller player at 6’2″.

  • Paul Patterson

    Ashley, Wise, Jimanez, Kinnear, Llambias, Pardew.
    The Cocknney Mafia. Six names that should act as a damning review of the last twelve years. Names that have put this club back 25 years . .

    • Leazes.

      …. and Bishop to keep the trajectory!

      • Tweed Mag

        And the shadow in the background code named Barnes.

  • GToon

    I think with Rafa looking to leave, us looking likely relegation candidates, the TV money rolling in but not being spent, Keegan’s comments in the paper from his new book, another profit in the transfer window and the media starting to get on our side instead of believing the fat slob then maybe, just maybe we will galvanize enough people to finally rid ourselves of that piece of vermin.

    • Mike D

      We can only hope.

  • DeadToiler

    Let’s hope Kev makes emough money from the book to buy the club

    • Phil Yare

      i doubt its ever been for sale mate

      • nufcslf

        Too bloidy true

  • toonterrier

    As soon as we get a new owner the first thing they should do is bring back King Kev as director and then watch the club progress instead of going backwards as it has over the last twelve years. With KK in the driving seat we’ll be dancing on the streets and I will join the massive queue to get my season ticket back.

  • Tweed Mag

    Ashley does not like having people in his inner circle who are talented and capable. He appoints puppets to do his bidding, but the puppets also turn out to be idiots, con-men, or both. KK has seen it first hand. If Ashley had invested in the right people, the club and the team, his brand and reputation would have been sky-high. Instead he has ran the club from a distance, with no ambition other than to promote SD. Unfortunately his arrogance will not let him see the mess he has made.

    • Cockneytrev

      Unfortunately I think KK will be either deceased, or too old to be of any use to us by the time we are rid of this parasitic slug,,,,,

  • gordon

    I don’t like Mr Ashley very much.

    • Steven05

      I’m not keen either

    • nufcslf

      Mr. Ashley is far too kind. Arrogant fat c**t describes him much better.

  • Leicester Mag

    To quote Cromwell: (Ashley and your cabal) you have been here too long for no good in the name of God go!

    • panther

      kev is our thomas fairfax

  • Kenny

    Signed copy to Rafa, large print version

  • Phil Yare

    in ashley’s eyes bringing KK back was all about maximising financial commitment from the fans (who would believe that!) in terms of merchandise and gate receipts. then hes cleverly built a wall between him and keegan by hiring the most deplorable scumbags who will take the cash to be his yes men which ultimately would drive keegan out because of his principles.

    the man is utter scum and I’m afraid we’ve made him rich for a decade to long. as fans collectively we must take the blame for allowing him to rape our club

    • Geordiegiants

      We meaning anyone that gives him money. You can count me out of that we.