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Page last updated at 19:41 GMT, Saturday, 6 December 2008

Owen talks delayed by 'turmoil'


Owen blames 'turmoil' for contract delay

Michael Owen has pinpointed Newcastle's boardroom "turmoil" as the reason for his delay in agreeing a new contract.

After former manager Kevin Keegan's controversial exit in September, owner Mike Ashley put the Magpies up for sale but has been unable to find a buyer.

"We had a few meetings earlier on in the season and things were going fine," striker Owen, 28, told BBC Sport.

"Then the manager left as did someone on the board who we were negotiating with - talks haven't picked up since."

Joe Kinnear has come in and has had a steadying influence on the club

Michael Owen

Owen's current deal ends next summer and he could walk away from the club for free at the end of the season.

"Before it's gets twisted again, that's not me snubbing Newcastle," added the England striker, who scored twice for the Magpies in Saturday's 2-2 draw with Stoke City.

"They've got bigger things to fry than sorting out my contract, or the contracts of Steven Harper, Shola Amoebi, Mark Viduka and Nicky Butt - there are a lot of people out of contract.

"They haven't got round to talking with the players. There has been a lot of turmoil at the club and I suppose they have been shuffled to the back of the queue."

Owen praised the work of Keegan's successor Joe Kinnear, who recently signed a contract as Newcastle's manager until the end of the season.


"We needed someone to steady the ship - there has been so much surrounding the club this season, as well as other seasons, it seems to attract unwanted publicity," said Owen, who has now scored six Premier League goals this season.

"He has come in and has had a steadying influence on the club and has done really well.

"We're quite hard to beat - we've had a lot of draws and if we can turn those into wins we'll be on the right road."

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see also
Benitez rules out move for Owen
02 Dec 08 |  Liverpool
Magpies offer Owen improved deal
31 Aug 08 |  Newcastle
Owen is told to wait for new deal
17 Oct 07 |  Newcastle
Newcastle 2-2 Stoke
06 Dec 08 |  Premier League
Kinnear stays for rest of season
28 Nov 08 |  Newcastle

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