Keegan was robbed.

Posted on October 3rd, 2009 | 58 Comments |

At least £6.6m down
At least £6.6m down
I must admit when I first read the Keegangate tribunal report I was staggered that Keegan had actually claimed £25m from Newcastle United. But as the Keegan-bashers grasped at that one remaining thing to hit him over the head with (I’m thinking about articles like this one in the Daily Mirror) I began to think about it some more and have now come to the conclusion that Keegan was actually robbed in all this.

First and foremost we have to bear in mind that Keegan has done nothing wrong. The tribunal ruled that he was constructively dismissed and was forced out of a job he didn’t want to leave.

So what would you estimate that has cost him? First of all it’s cost him the £8.6m outstanding on his contract, which is easy enough to calculate because it’s all down in black and white on the contract. Then there’s his claim for ‘stigma damage’. I do think that’s a fair claim because, let’s face it, this isn’t going to have Premier League teams jumping over themselves to employ him. It doesn’t matter that he’s innocent in all this – mud sticks.

So if Keegan, because of the dirty deeds of Ashley and co, is unable to work as a Premier League manager again, how much do you think that will cost him? I can see that it might all add up to £25m when you get down to it.

In the end, thanks to a clause in his contract limiting compensation payments, Keegan got £2m. Even forgetting the ‘stigma damage’, that puts Keegan down by £6.6m, which is a pretty harsh loss for being illegally forced out of a job you don’t want to leave. So yes, I do think Keegan was robbed.

There are ‘side issues’ too in all this of course. The sentimentalists will say “how can he try to take £25m from a club he supposedly love?” but I’m afraid in the real world of solicitors and legal boffins preparing a case for tribunal, that sort of fairy tale thinking is irrelevant. Keegan’s solicitors will have wanted to prepare the best case they can for him, illustrating the damage this has caused him as emphatically as possible.

Personally I don’t think he ever really expected to get £25m from Newcastle United. I think he may have hoped for more, but not £23m more. If Keegan and his solicitors really did think he was going to get £25m then I would expect this case to be taken on to the High Court (which either side can do regardless of agreements not to). It’s not as if we’re talking a couple of million difference here – £25m is an order of magnitude more than the £2m he eventually got.

But I don’t think it will go to the High Court because I don’t think he expected £25m anyway. I think Keegan will be happy with things as they are, having cleared his name.

From a personal perspective, I’m quite happy with the way things turned out in the end. Even though I have argued here that Keegan was robbed, I don’t really want to see Newcastle United paying out huge sums of money it can ill afford. It wouldn’t be Keegan’s fault if it did have to pay out big money of course, but nevertheless – whichever way you look at it – it is money taken from the club I support and I’m happy it turned out to be a mere £2m.

I still think there needs to be balance in all this though. Ashley and co have screwed up big-time with all this and there’s no denying that, but it is just one incident. It’s a pivotal incident certainly, but it’s not the totality of Ashley’s tenure at Newcastle United. It was Ashley who brought Keegan back after all – however misguided a move that might have been it was something he did to try and please the fans. The Keegangate incident is what Ashley will be most remembered for but I think that’s unfortunate because I truly believe that in other areas he had the right idea.

To us fans it’s irrelevant in some ways. Keegan is gone and won’t be returning. Ashley was going anyway and I can’t imagine that has changed as a result of this tribunal. In fact the only thing that remains constant is us.

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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58 Responses

  1. Keegan was most definitely robbed by only getting £2 million pay off when you consider that absolute complete and utter wasters like Souness and Allardyce both walked away from our club with more than double that ammount of money.

  2. Doesn’t matter how big of a crock Ashley is, the fact remains that Keegan got exactly what he was entitled to; 2 million as stipulated in his contract – hence, it’s not a valid reasoning to argue that he was “robbed”.

    Remember, (and the report state this as well) that the club never needed just cause to dismiss Keegan, as long as the club paid the 2 million stated in the contract.

    NB! I do NOT support Ashley et al. I am merely stating my opinion that Keegan was not “robbed” no matter how bad he was treated – but that part is a different story and we all know that the current regim is a bunch of thugs so it shouldn’t come as a big surprise.

  3. 100% in agreement with you Hugh. The club have got off very lightly indeed in this matter.

    What irks me the most is I bet that Ashley & Co are smirking away from their permanently closed mouths behind closed doors.

  4. Robbed!!!… Are u guys out of your mind!

    He got more money from walking away from his job than most of us will ever see in a lifetime!. KK has walked away from us twice, Man city, fulham and England… It cant keep on being the other guys fault ppl. As much as we all dislike MA, there is NO honour in what KK did. He split once things didnt go his way, and we, the fans, meant nothing compared to his own pride it seems. Because he left NUFC once again. He is NOT a hero, he thinks of KK first and foremost, not of you guys.

  5. Hmm, I wonder if the club / Ashley had done that to you Valle, would you still have this same attitude?

  6. I agree with Andreas – the details of the judgement are clear. I don’t see Keegan as being “robbed” – and if the club have got off lightly (the club, not MA) then good – it’s MY club that would be knackered by a £25 million payout so sorry Mr Messiah, you don’t even come a close 2nd. I haven’t forgiven you for all the “told you so” crap I had to put up with from my Manc and Thieverpool colleagues who had chortled on your appointment that you wouldn’t stay the course – and I foolishly defended you to the hilt because you (still) are one of my heroes. And whatever the circumstances you COULD have stuck it out a bit longer. So really sorry you’re crying all the way to the bank over ONLY £2 million pounds – more than most Toon fans will see in a lifetime.

  7. Valle, I appreciate what you’re trying to say about his history but in this instance the tribunal found that he didn’t actually split because “things weren’t going his way”. He was constructively dismissed because his contractual right to the final say on transfers was breached.

    If he had left simply because “things weren’t going his way” he’d have lost the tribunal.

  8. Andreas, you have a point of course. In the end he got the payout he deserved according to his contract, which is the way it should be. I’m using a bit of ‘artistic license’ to hit back at that Mirror article and in that respect I stand by what I wrote.

  9. Magpie6699, I’d have to question the relevance of this: “So really sorry you’re crying all the way to the bank over ONLY £2 million pounds – more than most Toon fans will see in a lifetime.”

    I suspect you get more money in a year than a lot of 3rd world residents get in a lifetime – does that make what you get wrong?

  10. Listen… Keegan asked for 25 million ppl. Do you really think that kind of money would come out of MA’s pocket?. It would all end up on NUFC’s books. Keegan, must have known that, so he tried to rob NUFC in fact. 2 million is allot of money, and im sorry if that is not enough for Mr. Keegan to get by with. Im sure he will soon end up in the shelter.

    I loved KK… But you cant close your eyes ppl… This shows that in the end, money talks for KK… he got greedy on our behalf ppl.

  11. As always he ran away once the going got tough. This is a man who at almost every stage in his career when met with an obstacle turns round and runs home rather than tackling it head on. By no means does this justify the way Ashley and Wise carried on but it is fairly typical behaviour of a man with a complete lack of fight. And by the way I’d love to be “robbed” of £2 million for running away from my job….

  12. I’m not a Newcastle fan but have found this story about Keegan’s claim against the club very interesting. It’s usual for managers who are sacked or resign to seek compensation – and given the contracts they have this is no surprise and I don’t think anyone would blame them for that. However, I was quite shocked to see Keegan had also claimed “stigma damages” of £16.5 million. Here is a man who has been labelled a “Messiah” by Newcastle fans and a man who has spoken about his love of the club many times, yet he has just tried to sting the club for £25 million pounds. This doesn’t seem very loving. As football fans I think we all like to look up to players and managers, if they are successful, and put them on pedestals as heroes and idols. However, sometimes I wonder if this is just a delusion that we football fans allow ourselves to believe. Then when a story like Keegan’s compensation claim breaks, the financial reality of football hits home and challenges the lofty beliefs we have of such ‘heroes’.

  13. Hope it costs Keegan £2m in legal fees the greedy b@stard. Hope he never works in football again and his soccer circus folds.

    It’s funny reading the papers saying Keegan has won but the truth is the club are laughing their arses off.

    I would pi$$ myslef laughing if he was offered £4M to settle and turned it down. I know he denied it but you would to save face. HAHAHAHAHA

  14. The very fact there are fans and non-fans’ views that are pillorying Keegan at this point, notwithstanding some are actually over the £25m claim, surely justifies his claim that his reputation is damaged?

    When was the last time Keegan claimed constructive dismissal? But of course, those who’s agenda it suits, lump it in with other roles in which he has justifiably left. He left us first time in ’92 because things weren’t right and subsequently we nearly won the Premier League. He then left in ’97 when he had taken us as far as he could go and he didn’t feel the club were moving in the right direction. But he left us in a healthy position. He left Fulham to manage England and held his hands up when he believed he didn’t have what it took to do the job. He left Man City for the same reasons he left us second time. Would it be better to struggle and tarnish your reputation but still pick up compensation? I guess Keegan never thought so.

    The £25m does stick in your craw when you say it outloud but as Hugh and many others have stated, this is a sols strategy that enables the claimant (and the sol) to get what they believe they are due, knowing it may ultimately be a small percentage of what they ask for. Keegan would have understood he was never going to get awarded that much.

    Keegan is not whiter than whiter. He is stubborn and he is driven and is undoubtedly sometimes hard to work with but by virtue of those things he has also dragged three teams kicking and screaming into the real world of Premier League football and went very close to the pinnacle with us.

    When you talk about the contributions to this club and compare those of Keegan and Ashley, there is a million miles between the two. You may not agree with his actions over the years, but the ferocity of those who attack Keegan in light of this tribunal, is based on prejudice formed prior to the tribunal in my opinion.

    Put aside what he did anywhere else and concentrate on what he has done for NUFC over the years, ponder it and tell me is that venom justified?

  15. It’s correct that KK’s legal team would have been obliged to prepare the best case for him going to tribunal and it’s almost certain that neither the team nor KK would have expected to win the full amount.

    As for the club being hit for whatever the payout was, if the tribunal had granted KK more than the two million stated in his contract, would it not be covered by employer’s liability insurance, in which case it would not be damaging the club in financial terms?

    As this kind of thing is brought to light more, I think that if more people in football had the integrity and principles of people like KK and Bobby Robson, the game would be in a better state than if it’s left to those who think you cannot run a club without dodgy deals and sweeteners.

    Cashley and his cronies come out of this looking like a blagging bunch of kids who’ve been found out and cannot even get their lies to look consistent.

  16. 14 valle says:
    October 3, 2009 at 9:07 am

    Yah, i would have been devestated if i only got 2 million mate…

    Its called irony mate…

  17. As i’ve said in another thread I feel the 25 million claim was to make sure this thing went to court, he knew he wouldn’t get anywhere near that amount and probably expected the payout to be 2 million but I think that he made such a huge claim to enable the truth of the situation to come out. If he’d settled out of court with MA then none of the shady dealings taking place at Newcastle would have been aired. Congrats Kev and if in the future a third spell arose at our club, then I would support you fully.

  18. Im aghast – he claims for 25million – therefore he was willing to take it if awarded.

    Wake up tot he reality of what he is fellas – and remember – prior to this I was a Keegan fan.

  19. “Im aghast – he claims for 25million – therefore he was willing to take it if awarded.”

    So? Not sure what the problem is.

    That is to say I didn’t want the club to lose £25m either but if it did it wouldn’t have been Keegan’s fault would it? He was innocent.

  20. If he’d claimed 2 million Stardust, Fat Mike would have paid it and slapped him with a confidentiality agreement!

    I personally feel that our Shouldn’t be greasing the palms of dodgy south american agents! Thats how in the future Clubs get hauled over the coals. Keegans tribunal has alerted the fans and anyone in authority to the kind of deals currently taking place.

    When should a Premier league club (as we were then) EVER sign a player who isn’t intended to play first team football and pay him 60 grand a week!!! Where do you think this 60 grand was going??

  21. My guess would be 20k for each party…..which equals Bungs for agents! Which is last time I looked against Premier League rules. This looks to me like a new way for the Agents to make a killing and our Football club is endorsing it!

  22. bowburn – good post i agree 100%…now just sit back and have a good laugh at the anti-KK brigade raging with anger haha.

  23. Oh yes Mr Cropper – how wronged he was – a loan player – yikes – no wonder he walked – I am incredulous you can not see your King for what he has become.

  24. Stardust it said in the tribunals verdict that they wouldn’t rule out anymore “commercial deals” without KK’s Approval, so this was probably the first of many….. If he allowed the first one to pass, then a second one, then a third…. Where do you actually draw the line and say this is wrong! KK drew the line where he should of in my opinion, right at the start.

  25. After the first one Maverick?

    Im in the middle of an article on my take of all of this – the consequences of him walking are there for us all to see.

    Men stay and change people to their thinking by gaining trust.

    Lots to say on this but I will save it for the article (and get slated then lol)

  26. Stardust says:
    October 3, 2009 at 11:32 am
    After the first one Maverick?

    Im in the middle of an article on my take of all of this – the consequences of him walking are there for us all to see.
    <<<<<ohhhhh nooooo lol

  27. Stardust: “the consequences of him walking are there for us all to see.”

    In light of the findings of the tribunal, I would suggest your statement should read:

    “the consequences of Ashley constructively dismissing Keegan are there for us all to see.”

  28. Stardust, Yes after the first one, especially when they refuse to rule out more shady dealings. Where did Newcastle’s £1,000,000 go?? What did it fund?? Who knows!

  29. As an aside, it’s interesting to reflect on the ‘human condition’ in all this.

    I’m sure some opinions have been modified or even changed by the tribunal but, in the main, those who were KK supporters still are and those who were slating him are still doing so.

    Opinion trumps fact every time for most of us.

  30. @ Stardust

    Obviously you still think Keegan was wrong and nobody is going to change your mind.

    But have your views on Mke Ashley changed, now that he has been proved to be a liar?

  31. I have never been a fan of Ashley but when people said he just bought us to make a quick profit then i thought they were wrong, especially when he made the statement about making us like Arsenal

    However now that he is a proven liar i get the feeling he just got someone to make the Arsenal statement up, and he probably did buy us hoping we would have 1 good season so he could sell for a profit.

  32. Stardust – I will save my finger tips for your article :)

    I’m sure there will be plenty to say about it. Although I imagine I could probably copy and paste much of what I’ve said already.

    Ashley is going to get sh~tloads of stick today. Justifiably so and that is what bothers me most about your current stance and not necessairly about your view on Keegan. Let’s just say you’re right, for arguments sake and he’s wrong to claim the £25m.

    There is ‘another party’ who has literally been butchered by an independent, objective and candid review and yet you stubbornly refuse to acknowledge that the current board have been well out of order.

    If you would accept that perhaps your understanding was incorrect, I genuinely believe you would not have so much blind hatred of Keegan.

    You constantly ram it down the throats of those you debate with that you deal in facts and you are not hate-filled. I’m sorry to say that some of your fiercest rivals can be justified, in saying that your previous statements are a load of cock.

  33. batty says:
    October 3, 2009 at 11:55 am

    Tino 11 ide be srprised if he will answer you on that 1 m8
    Ha ha, maybe, but i don’t Stardust would pass at a chance to defend MA, would he?

  34. bowburnmag says:
    October 3, 2009 at 11:58 am

    I’m sorry to say that some of your fiercest rivals can be justified, in saying that your previous statements are a load of cock.
    Nicely put! :-)

  35. Howay Stardust come out and admit you were wrong, we would respect you for having the balls to do it.

  36. You say you deal in Facts Stardust, you said that it’s Mike’s money if he chooses to use it this way thats fine!!

    That isn’t a fact! The Fact is it was Newcastle Uniteds Money that paid this guy’s wages and Newcastle United’s money doesn’t just come from MA, it also comes from Sponsors, Advertisers, Cooperate Hospitality, The Premier League, Selling Merchandise, Ticket sales etc…. so it’s everybody’s money! Anyone whose bought a shirt, programme, a pint, a pie, a ticket, a season ticket!! And I wouldn’t be surprised to see some sponsors and advertisers take their money elsewhere after finding out where the revenue they supply is going.

  37. There is exactly a 0 % probability that Stardust ever will state that anything done by the present owner and his Executives (and other staff) is bad/unprofessional.

  38. Sounds about right, that’s what i thought might be the final outcome.

    Now jog on loser.

    If kk had properly won he would have got far more than £2m, so it was obviously a very close call & the tribunal thought they had to award something.

    kk take your £2m and, bye.

  39. Yes Clint I was forewarned there were a few nobs on here!!

    1 million we paid in wages Tino which probably went to some Greasy South American Agents!

    Personally i’d love to see an official investigation into dealings like that and prosecutions as required.

  40. Article Up – lol – glad im off to the game soon – only so long I can take abuse for lol

  41. It’s a paltry amount to WIN really, compared to what he wanted, so i’m glad.

    If that makes me a knob, boo-hoo, i suppose i expected the typical narrow-minded abuse from people whom are bitter and still feel like that even though their messiah won.

  42. Anyway, onwards and upwards, he got his £2m that was in his contract and that’s it.
    Can we get into football again now, yea? whey hey.

  43. The tribunal basically came down to wording in Keegan’s contract, it saying about him being in charge of training, motivating etc as well as reporting to a DOF is the clubs way of saying that he didn’t have the final say on transfers, as most continental clubs that have a DOF don’t have the manager having final say on transfers.

    Keegan’s argument was that in another paragraph in his contract it says he would be expected to carry out duties of what most other Premiership managers do, which he says includes buying players.

    That’s basically what it all came down to, wording in his contract.

    I’ve got to say I was expecting a major scandal out of all of this, how they had been on each others backs for months, how Keegan wanted the likes of Henry, Lampard etc and how Wise had forced all of the players that came in that Summer on him and he just couldn’t take any more after fighting it for months.

    The truth turned out to be it was all over one loan signing that the club didn’t care if he played or not, Keegan may have proven his contract was breached so he could put in a claim for constructive dismissal but where was the fight from him? He’s not the first manager who would have been leaned on by the board to take a player and he won’t be the last, Sir Bobby didn’t walk out when Shepherd brought in Stephen Carr, Souness didn’t walk out when Shepherd brought in Luque instead of Boa Morte, Mourinho didn’t walk when Arnesen brought in Shevchenko and Redknapp didn’t walk at Portsmouth when they brought in Nugent.

    Keegan may have proven that he was allowed to walk as they had breached his contract but I would have preferred him to be more flexible and to tough it out like the list of managers I’ve given when they’ve been in the same situation, that list is just off the top of my head too.