Kevin Keegan tells Alan Shearer – The best ever day will be when Mike Ashley sells Newcastle United
Kevin Keegan was born on 14 February 1951.
Kevin Keegan first arrived at Newcastle United in 1982 as a 31 year old, he came to save NUFC as a player. Leaving two years later after retiring, the Magpies returned to the top tier of English football with promotion in 1984.
Nine days before turning 41, Kevin Keegan came back to St James Park on 5 February 1992.
Newcastle United heading to the third tier, KK ensured safety from the drop that season, United promoted as champions the next, the rest is then history…
The best ever promoted team in the Premier League era, Newcastle United finished third in 1993/94, sixth in 1994/95, then Kevin Keegan’s team second and runners up in both 1995/96 and 1996/97.
Keegan leaving halfway through that 1996/97 season, in typical fashion, it didn’t make any sense to anybody else as Newcastle United had just beaten Leeds 3-0 and Spurs 7-1 in the Premier League.
On the 16 January 2008, a month before Kevin Keegan was to turn 57, incredibly he was back at Newcastle United.
The relief that Sam Allardyce was gone, with Kevin Keegan replacing him, what could possibly go wrong?
After finding out what he’d inherited, Keegan started to get it sorted on the pitch, a run from 17 March 2008 onwards saw Newcastle United go seven matches unbeaten with four wins and three draws, playing attractive football.
However, as we all know now, Mike Ashley had been playing him along all the time, telling Kevin Keegan he had final say on all transfers in and out, when in actual fact it was Dennis Wise that Ashley had placed above Keegan in the pecking order of command.
Could there ever be a greater more vivid illustration of Mike Ashley and his ownership of Newcastle United, totally undermining Kevin Keegan with Dennis Wise!!!
The man universally loved by Newcastle United fans and the one universally despised, only Mike Ashley could have made that choice and made clear the type of person he wanted running the show at St James Park.
A 57 year old Kevin Keegan walked away from Newcastle United on 4 September 2008, never to return.
Today, a day before he turns 70 (on Sunday 14 February 2021), Kevin Keegan has given a quite brilliant interview to The Athletic and interviewing him…Alan Shearer!
Newcastle United’s two greatest living legends and both of them not welcome at St James Park whilst Mike Ashley remains.
Here are a few extracts from this Kevin Keegan interview with Alan Shearer on The Athletic, does it get any better than this?
“The best day they [Newcastle fans] will have is when he [Mike Ashley] sells the club, because anybody – and I mean anybody – can run it better.
“It cannot be run worse than it is.”
“You have to give people hope. It won’t go on forever [with Mike Ashley].
“Someone, somewhere, will see the benefits of that great football club.
“The problem with Mike Ashley is that he didn’t really know what he was buying. He doesn’t get it.
“But if he doesn’t understand what it’s about, he should hire people, employ people who do. Even if he keeps the ownership, he just needs to put bright people in charge.
“That’s all Newcastle needs. If you could put three or four of the right people in there …”
“I don’t care what anybody says, it’s a special club.
“It’s not like any other club.
“If you’d said in 1927, the last time they won the league, that nearly a century later they wouldn’t have won it again, people would have laughed at you! They’d won it four times by then. You can never foresee.”
“It just needs running. It needs direction, leadership. It needs understanding of what it is. It needs some care.
“If you take Newcastle by takings, crowd, whatever, it’s something like the 17th biggest football club in the world. That means it should be amongst the top four or five in England.
“Yes, Man United are bigger. Yes, Liverpool are bigger, but they’re only bigger because they’ve won things. It could all change with new ownership. You never know, it might just be around the corner.”
“Has he spoken to prospective buyers?”
“Two or three over the years but I don’t really get involved because most of them are just flying kites.
“I’ve had a couple of emails — people saying they’ve got serious backers involved and would I come in, but they were fishing.
“The people you’d want to get involved with would do it properly, do it openly, get the club first and then look at what they need to do to get it back to something like it was.
“There’s a big PR job to do at Newcastle.
“It’s difficult to run a club and please everybody but you’d think it was impossible to run one and please nobody. That’s what they’ve got.”
“I always watch them and there’s a strange part of you that wants them to do well and another part of you that doesn’t.”
(If at all possible you need to read the full long Kevin Keegan interview with Alan Shearer and there is currently a free 7 day trial offer on The Athletic you can make use of here)
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]