Newcastle United legend Shay Given has explained how he was forced to put in a transfer request by owner Mike Ashley.
There is no doubting the fact that Shay Given is an absolute legend at Newcastle United and with the Irishman having made over 450 appearances for the Magpies, the fans certainly have a very soft spot for him.
Unfortunately though, Given left Newcastle under unceremonious circumstances despite his wonderful contribution to the club after he was hastily sold to Manchester City back in the winter of 2009 for a fee believed to be around £6million.
It was believed at the time that Given may have forced a move away from St. James’ Park after handing in a transfer request but now the 41-year-old has gone on to finally clarify the circumstances of his departure.
While Given admitted that he did hand in a transfer request, the goalkeeper has revealed that his hands were forced by owner Mike Ashley who ‘sort of put a gun to his head’ to do so and in the end he was left resigned to leaving St. James’ Park.
The Newcastle hero said, “I didn’t have much to do with Ashley and then we had a coming together when I left the club. I was there for nearly 12 years of my life and they paid £1.5 million for me and Manchester City paid seven or eight million for me and he sort of put a gun to my head and made me put a transfer request in.
“I just saw Pablo Zabaleta leave Man City and he was given a fans farewell, they gave him a send-off and I never had a chance to say thanks to the fans.
“So when I put the transfer request in because I wanted to go to Manchester City, a club who was ambitious, he came out and said ‘We had no choice, he asked for a transfer and we could do nothing to keep him’.
“And people will come out and probably say it was my own decision but at the same time I felt that after 12 years of service and over 400 games for the club, it could have been dealt with a bit better.”