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Last Updated: Thursday September 04 2008 18:34 GMT

Keegan quits as Newcastle boss

Kevin Keegan

After days of rumours and news stories, Kevin Keegan has resigned as manager of Newcastle United, just eight months after starting the job.

The announcement follows days of talks between Keegan and his bosses, which has left Newcastle fans confused.

Keegan was said to be unhappy about the amount of control he had over the buying and selling of players.

In a statement on Thursday he said: "I have been left with no choice other than to leave."

Keegan, 57, said he'd been working "desperately hard" to find a way forward with club bosses, but added "sadly that has not proved possible".

He said: "It's my opinion 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."

At Newcastle two other men - Dennis Wise and Tony Jimenez - decide which players the club buys and sells. The manager then has to pick the team and coach them.

That system of management is common in Europe, but is fairly new in the UK. Alan Curbishley had similar problems at West Ham, and he resigned earlier this week for the same reason.

Fans holding a Don't Go KK sign (Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire)
Fans didn't want Keegan to go
Keegan added: "It remains my fervent wish to see Newcastle United do well in the future and I feel incredibly sorry for the players, staff and most importantly the supporters."

Keegan's resignation marks the end of his second spell in charge of the club.

In 1997, he left fans stunned when he quit as the team's boss, leaving the team fourth in the Premier League table.

Fans were delighted when Keegan made his shock return to the club in January, and this week gathered outside St James' Park to show their support for him.

This season the club have picked up four points in their three opening games, and are 11th in the league.