Xisco says money was too good to turn down for Deportivo and himself from Newcastle United
Xisco says it was a complete shock when he was told he was moving to Newcastle United.
The then 21 year old striker had only played one season in La Liga and scored nine goals.
When the offer came in, Xisco says the money was far too good to turn down for both himself and Deportivo.
This was a pivotal time in Mike Ashley’s ownership of Newcastle United. The NUFC owner having convinced Kevin Keegan to return to the club by promising he (Keegan) would have full control and final say on transfers, only for Ashley to have secretly given Dennis Wise that final say.
Mike Ashley and Dennis Wise had blocked Keegan’s attempts to buy the players he wanted and then late in the summer 2008 transfer window, Keegan was told that if he agreed to sell James Milner, they would be willing and able to buy Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Instead of the German superstar though, Xisco was signed for £6m on 31 August 2008, then midfielder Ignacio Gonzalez on loan on 1 September 2008 just before the window shut.
Media reports immediately said the next day that Kevin Keegan had walked out, whilst Mike Ashley’s people denied it.
There were claims then of behind closed doors meetings but then on 4 September 2008, Kevin Keegan released a statement confirming that he had resigned, stating that ‘a manager must have the right to manage and that clubs should not impose upon any manager any player that he does not want.’
Kevin Keegan going on to successfully win a tribunal case against Mike Ashley having proved a case of constructive dismissal, which revolved around having been misled by Ashley and his people in terms of having the final say on transfers.
Even though he only ever started three league games for Newcastle, Xisco insists it was the right move football wise as well as financially.
Little wonder when Dennis Wise had handed him a five year contract on a reported £60,000 a week.
Newcastle fans quickly realised that Xisco was nowhere near Premier League level on the little they saw of him and after a series of loans, eventually left on a free five years later for Spanish second tier club Cordoba.
Now aged 33 and on the books of Penarol in Uruguay, the fact remains that Newcastle United are still the only club to ever pay a transfer fee for the striker.
Xisco always seemed to be willing and tried his best but was basically hopeless. Which very much sums up Dennis Wise, arguably the very very worst Mike Ashley appointment at Newcastle United, which considering the competition, is some achievement.
Xisco now speaking to Riazor.org (A Deportivo site for fans) about his move to Newcastle United:
“Everything happened very fast.
“They (Deportivo club management) called me and told me that the transfer is completed and that I cannot play (Deportivo were preparing to play Real Madrid).
“(They told me) That I had to go down and talk to (inform) Lotina (Miguel Angel Lotina was Head Coach).
“It caught me by surprise because I was not thinking about leaving…but it was a very good opportunity for both parties (Xisco and Deportivo) financially.
“After the game I left on the plane that took Madrid back and from there to Newcastle .
“It was quick, unexpected and by surprise.
“It is a pity that my time at Newcastle cut my progress. But hey, it’s soccer.
“I found a very good squad with great players.
“A different country, a different football.
“When you arrive, the first year you have to try to adapt and get good minutes (in the first team).
“But it wasn’t to be.
“I enjoyed a few games but that progression was cut short – it was the right decision (though to move to Newcastle) and anyone would have done the same ”
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