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After threatening legal action Michael Owen now releasing a book which will counter Newcastle claims

3 years ago

Michael Owen is bringing out a book.

On 5 September 2019, Owen declares his version will get his side of the story across:  “I’d like to be able to fill in the blanks and then if somebody likes me, loves me, hates me, detests me after that then that’s fine because that’s me then.”

Interesting to see what he comes out with but unlikely it will change anything in terms of how Newcastle fans feel about him.

One topic/incident that will be particularly interesting, is what Michael Owen has to say about what happened in the final weeks of his ‘career’ at St James Park.

It is now 13 months since former Newcastle physio Paul Ferris released his excellent book ‘The boy on the shed’ in February 2018.

Ferris detailed how Michael Owen (see below) refused to play in the relegation run-in of 2009 because he didn’t want to risk an injury that might affect him getting a contract at another club.

In July 2018 (see below), Michael Owen appeared to threaten he would take legal action over these claims but 13 months after the publication of Ferris’ book nothing has happened.

Now we will have to wait for September to see what he comes out with in his book instead…

Michael Owen:

“When I wrote my first book (published 2004), it was early on in my career.

“When you look back, as much as I enjoyed writing it, it’s not really what I think now. You get older, you get wiser, you’ve got more opinion, you’ve seen more and I’ve obviously had a full career since then.

‍“I constantly get asked the same questions regarding the teams I played for and get a fair bit of stick on social media.

“You can do a million interviews but no one seems to get the message. At least if it’s there in black and white, I can tell everyone exactly how I feel … and more to the point, how certain situations led me into certain things.

‍“Unfortunately, in this life, people make a quick judgement.

“That’s not anybody’s fault. I’ll do the same.

“Until I get to know a person, I’m just guessing and that’s what people have done, I suppose, with me.

“They might know 20 per cent of my life, maybe a bit more, I don’t know, but I’d like to be able to fill in the blanks and then if somebody likes me, loves me, hates me, detests me after that then that’s fine because that’s me then.”

The Mag – 4 July 2018:

In his excellent autobiography which came out earlier this year, Paul Ferris confirmed what all Newcastle fans think/thought of Michael Owen.

Ferris was a physio at Newcastle United back in 2009, as Newcastle vainly fought relegation.As Ferris’ book revealed, Michael Owen certainly wasn’t focused on that particular fight…

Former Newcastle physio (and player) Paul Ferris included this in ‘The Boy on the Shed’:

‘The doctor and the three physios were sitting to my right in the medical office. Opposite me sat Michael Owen.

I liked Michael and regarded him as a good professional.

He’d complained of a ‘feeling’ in his groin after training, ‘like it was going to go’.

He’d had a career ravaged by muscle injuries so I fully understood his caution.

We’d had a scan on the area and it had picked up nothing. That was good news. Whatever it was, it wasn’t a muscle tear, which would’ve ended our best striker’s season and our best hopes of scoring goals in the last two games of it.

The doctor relayed the positive news to all in the room. I spoke to Michael first.

‘In light of the clear scan results do you think you’ll be fit to play against Fulham? It’s the most important game of the season. A win might be enough for us.’

Michael placed his hand over his groin. ‘Not sure, to be honest. It doesn’t feel too bad. But I’m out of contract at the end of the season. What if I rip my groin on Saturday? I’ll not get a contract at another club if I’m injured.’

I was a little taken aback by his reply. I didn’t share his reasoning. ‘But you already have a contract, Michael. You have a career here now with us.’

He didn’t like mine either. ‘I want to speak to Alan (Shearer) about this.’

I leaned forward and pointed at my chest. ‘You’re speaking to Alan, he’s here.’

He looked behind me and pointed. ‘Is he in the cabinet?’It was getting silly now.’

Moving forward to the present day and this conversation has now taken place on Twitter on 3 July 2018:

Newcastle Fan Michael Phillips writing:

“All the sharing of Michael Owen goal against Argentina in the last day or so.

“Never forget what he is, as shown by the Paul Ferris book.

“No pundits or journalists ever challenge the golden boy on this. Disgraceful.”

Another Newcastle fan Jason Miller commenting:

“If it wasn’t true then Michael Owen would have had Ferris up in court for libel.”

Michael Owen replying:

“I’ll have my time very soon, don’t worry.

“And the dozens who have been led to believe this rubbish and slaughtered me for it ought to hang their heads in shame.”

It will be interesting to see what Michael Owen will do, if anything.It seems very strange to wait five months or more to do anything, or even reply to the claims, why not back in February when the book was released?

Also, it is surely very doubtful that Paul Ferris would open himself up to any kind of legal action.As a qualified barrister, I find it very difficult to believe, especially when it isn’t just a case of one person’s word against another, Paul Ferris saying another four people were in the room when this conversation took place.

The Twitter conversation above saw the two fans include Michael Owen so that he would see their comments on his timeline, so maybe simply a case of bravado from Owen in his reply to them.

One thing for sure anyway, whatever Michael Owen does or doesn’t do, it won’t change one little bit most Newcastle fans’ opinion of a player who was an absolute disgrace at NUFC, only one person should be hanging his head in shame.

Back on 21 February 2018 and an article on The Mag came up with these timeline ‘highlights’ of the depressing ‘contribution’ Michael Owen made to Newcastle United…

24 August 2005 Michael Owen signs for Newcastle United, a club record fee of £16m, receiving a reported £110,000 per week (£5.5m per year, plus bonuses…)

22 December 2008 (After only 47 Premier League starts in three and a half years and around £20m in wages so far) Michael Owen refuses to sign a new contract offered by Newcastle. Owen also states that he will not be seeking a move in the January transfer window and instead intends to postpone talks over his contract situation until the end of the season (when he can leave for nothing and be in a stronger position to demand higher wages from a new club…)

11 May 2009 Newcastle have a must win game against Middlesbrough in their relegation struggle (third last game of season), Michael Owen starts but contributes little. Boro take a shock lead before Steven Taylor scores an equaliser. Owen is subbed on 70 minutes with the score still 1-1, his replacement Obafemi Martins scores within seconds of coming on and Lovenkrands adds another for a 3-1 win.

16 May 2009 If Newcastle can beat Fulham at St James Park they would be hot favourites to now stay up. Michael Owen nowhere in the squad, as per (Paul Ferris explanation of) reasons above…Newcastle lose 1-0 as chances go begging after their best striker opts not to play.

24 May 2009 Newcastle go to Aston Villa needing a result, Michael Owen is only on the bench. NUFC go 1-0 down through a Duff own goal, Owen comes on with 23 minutes to go but contributes nothing. If Newcastle had got a goal/point they would have stayed up. Later (in 2013), Michael Owen responded to claims that he had decided not to make himself available to start that all or nothing Villa match: ‘I was hurt and it’s ridiculous to suggest anything else. I had a lot of pride and I wanted to do it for the fans and the friends I had made up there.’

14 June 2009 Reported that Michael Owen’s management company, Wasserman Media Group, had sent out a 34 page brochure advertising Owen to several targeted potential clubs.

22 June 2009 Michael Owen confirms he has no intention of helping Newcastle get promotion after being one of those chiefly responsible for the relegation. He says that, rather than showing any loyalty to Newcastle, he is looking for a move to a Premier League club, or a top foreign club.

30 June 2009 Michael Owen’s contract comes to an end. He has started only 58 Premier League matches and scored 26 goals. He has been paid at least £22m in wages…you do the maths.

3 July 2009 Michael Owen signs a two year deal to go and sit on Manchester United’s bench (starts 6 PL games in total for Man U).

So a £16m transfer fee and £22m minimum in wages, plus whatever other associated costs (agents, bonuses, whatever), we are looking at £40m wasted on Michael Owen, the return being 26 Premier League goals in those 58 PL starts, and relegation.

Michael Owen also ensuring Newcastle received not a penny in transfer fee either, as he ran out his contract.


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