An incredible story has emerged today, revealing how Alan Shearer was all set to take over at Newcastle United in the summer of 2009, only for Mike Ashley and co to totally ignore him despite positive talks – offering him no explanation to this day as to why they turned their backs on the NUFC legend.
This all cones from Paul Ferris – a man who knows a thing or two about Newcastle United after several years at the club, going from top youngster at NUFC to a highly regarded physiotherapist.
He’s shared an insightful and pretty infuriating tale about Alan Shearer’s managerial stint at the club and what followed after relegation in the summer of 2009.
More will be revealed when new book ‘The Boy on the Shed’ is released later this week, but here’s what Ferris told the Chronicle about Mike Ashley’s handling of Alan Shearer following our relegation all those years ago:
“We had eight weeks at the end of a season to turn a disastrous campaign into something else. We were the fourth management team of that season after Kevin, Chris Hughton, Joe Kinnear.
“You don’t quite know what you are walking into.
“You walk into Derek Llambias and we didn’t see much of Mike Ashley. They were supportive in that eight weeks of getting the help you need to be successful.
“At the end of that season we just fell short.”
“All of the noise coming from them, and all the noises in the city were that Alan would be the next manager of the football club.
“He wanted it, and they wanted him to be manager too. We then had a meeting two days later and Mike Ashley caught us on the hop because the first thing he said was: ‘I’m selling the football club’.
“He bought a guy with him who sold Chelsea and other things called Keith Harris.
“We’re sitting in the deserted canteen.
“I talk about it in the book but Alan said: ‘Whether you are owner or not I’d like to be manager’. Mike said to Keith Harris: ‘Does that work?’
“Keith said: ‘It does and might make it easier to sell the football club’
“Then we went forward over the next two or three hours, and Mike and Alan had a very private conversation which I wasn’t part of but I was glad they had it.
“I thought Mike would see that as Alan being passion and vision for the club.
Ferris then went on to reveal when things then took a turn for the worst, explaining how former NUFC managing director Derek Llambias threw a spanner in the works in a comment that was to be his and NUFC’s last for Shearer:
“There were negotiations but then Derek Llambias came back and said: ‘There’s a slight problem with the bank and we can’t get a loan but we’ll keep you informed’.
“That is the last time we heard anything from Mike Ashley, Derek Llambias or anybody.
“That’s not so bad for me, in my opinion, for Alan Shearer, if they’d changed their mind give him a call – he’s got broad shoulders.
“If you’d told him you’d changed your mind he’d have said: ‘Thank you and good luck’.
“Not to contact him after that for what he’d done for the football club left a very sour taste for me.”
“Then I see Mike Ashley on Sky Sports saying he made a decision that Alan lacked experience. That’s the first time I’d heard that.
“If that was his feeling back then, just say it back then. He said never say never.
“For me, the right thing to do was to say: ‘I’ve had a meeting and decided you are not the man for me and let’s move forward’.
“Not to ignore somebody who gave so much to the football club. What Alan gave to the football club was enormous. It’s a shame that it finished that way.”
“Whatever the thinking is behind those things I don’t know. I can only speak from being there for that eight weeks.
“We were as professional as we could be.
“It was only two games from the end of the season we beat Middlesbrough and Mike Ashley was very happy with Alan at that point.
“Even when the season had finished there were statements coming out saying he’d made lots of mistakes but appointing Alan was not one of them.
“To then say years later it was a lack of experience?
“My own view is that somebody who had given his all for the football club and meant so much to the club should have been told. Especially after what happened with Kevin Keegan.”
Disgraceful stuff. There’s ways and means to handle any situation like this, but to totally ignore a bloke whose given as much to this club as Shearer has is a joke and utter disgrace.
Ashley’s true colours exposed once again. More proof that the NUFC owner doesn’t have a shred of respect for our club.