Former Newcastle United manager Kevin Keegan’s autobiography reveals the staggering details of two transfer dealings during his tenure.
Toon hero Keegan’s book has been serialised by the Times and the former England boss goes into depth about the arrivals of Xisco and Ignacio González.
He left the club in 2008, and talks of his treatment by Mike Ashley and Dennis Wise, which is shambolic and shameful.
In his own words
Keegan writes: “Dennis Wise rang to ask me to go online and check out González. Dennis said he had heard great things but admitted he had never actually seen him play. Nobody, in fact, from Newcastle had ever seen this guy kick a ball.
“Xisco alone was costing £5.7 million as well as a salary of £60,000 a week. He was 22, which was a better age than González; but when I checked out his background it was unremarkable stuff again.
“Dennis explained [the Gonzalez deal] was a favour for two agents — Paco Casal, and Marcelo Lombilla, who had helped us get Coloccini and Gutiérrez, and that if we took the hit on this one occasion and agreed to “park” González, they would look upon us favourably in the future.
Wise also told Keegan that Gonzalez need not ever feature for the club, and Ashley was happy for him not to set foot at the club.
Remarkable that Ashley remains
This is shambolic treatment of a club icon; and the use of Newcastle as a home for players to be parked is spectacularly disrespectful to the fans.
It will surely only serve to anger a fanbase that is already intensifying its protests.
Perhaps Rafa Benitez is fortunate that he is ‘only’ having to cope with a non-existent transfer budget…