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Page last updated at 20:38 GMT, Thursday, 4 September 2008 21:38 UK

Fans' fury at Keegan exit


Fans devastated after Keegan's departure

Newcastle United fans have expressed their anger after Kevin Keegan resigned as manager on Thursday.

Keegan quit as boss after three days of talks with the Magpies' board.

Steve Wraith, editor of Newcastle fanzine Players Inc, said Keegan was the "most important man in Newcastle United's history that's still alive".

About 200 Magpies fans gathered outside the club's St James' Park ground, urging owner Mike Ashley and director of football Dennis Wise to step down.

On Tuesday, Newcastle had to issue a statement saying the club had not sacked Keegan as angry fans gathered at the stadium to support him.

That fervent backing of Keegan continued following the 57-year-old's resignation on Thursday night.

A Newcastle statement said the club was "sad and disappointed" that Keegan had resigned and said the club had "devoted itself to the discussions it has held with Kevin" over the last few days.

However, fans chanted the name of the man they affectionately call 'King Kev' to leave no doubt as to where their loyalties lay.

Supporters have even mooted the idea of boycotting Newcastle's next Premier League game at home to Hull on Saturday 13 September to protest against Keegan's exit.

Wraith added that fans have a special affection for Keegan because of his long history with the Magpies.

The former England boss played for the north-east club in the early 1980s and later managed the side from 1992 to 1997, guiding them to the Premier League and to within a whisker of the title, before returning for a second stint in January.

"It's not just the 21 games that he's been in charge this time around," said Wraith.

"He was a great player, he got us out of the old First Division as a player and he did it again as a manger. He nearly won the Premiership for Newcastle United."


The club made it clear to Kevin that if he had any outstanding concerns on its proposals, he should raise them with the club. The club regrets that Kevin has, instead of taking up that offer, chosen to resign.
A Newcastle United statement

(Newcastle) Council recognises the widespread public support for Kevin Keegan, and knows how much he means to Newcastle United fans. (The) Council believes that he is an asset to the club, the city and the wider community.
A motion passed by Newcastle City Council

It has been a very difficult time for Kevin Keegan. We share his great disappointment and frustration that the situation could not be resolved.
League Managers' Association chief executive Richard Bevan


A selection of views from BBC Sport's 606 section.

Keegan deserves so much better than this, we are ruined. Any shred of credibility we had has now gone out the door with Keegan - he is all we had and he's gone. It's a shambles, we are a complete mockery of a club.

Today is the last day I officially support Newcastle United. I know this may sound stupid as it is hard to just stop supporting something you've supported all your life, but I'm now tired (just like KK) of being let down. I feel as though my once proud football club is nothing more than an episode in some north-east soap-opera.

How many times has Keegan given up now? Every time he has managed anyone.
Shabba Stokie

Kevin Keegan should have put his foot down as soon as Dennis Wise was brought in.

When Mike Ashley goes then the new owners can reappoint KK as a manager and let the man - one of the very few principled genuine men in football - get on with the job as a manager. Then we'll see the self-styled big four cartel break up.

Obviously, we don't know what happened behind closed doors but Ashley should have sacked him anyway after throwing a wobbler and not turning up for training for three days. Very unprofessional to say the least. And 12m is an outrageous amount of money for someone like (James) Milner. They had to sell at that price.

Managers have to make decisions on transfers - it's stupid otherwise. He works with the players, he knows what they need. What's happened to (Alan) Curbishley and now Keegan is beyond a joke. Football has gone mad.

Football has changed from the 80s and now the men who have all the money want to be a part of the decision making - and why shouldn't they?

I sure feel for Newcastle fans. I know that their passion for football is huge. You do deserve better. Keegan is a truly passionate man too and I feel for him as well.

see also
Keegan resigns as Newcastle boss
04 Sep 08 |  Newcastle
Reaction to Keegan's resignation
04 Sep 08 |  Newcastle
Keegan's coaching career in photos
02 Sep 08 |  Football
Newcastle sign Gonzalez on loan
01 Sep 08 |  Newcastle
Magpies sign Depor striker Xisco
01 Sep 08 |  Newcastle
Magpies offer Owen improved deal
31 Aug 08 |  Newcastle
Aston Villa seal Milner transfer
29 Aug 08 |  Aston Villa
Magpies hold 'good' Keegan talks
09 May 08 |  Premier League
Keegan returns as Newcastle boss
16 Jan 08 |  Newcastle

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