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By ESPN Staff

Owen clarifies Newcastle contract claims

Michael Owen has moved to clarify his Twitter comments about his contract situation at Newcastle United.

After appearing on the BBC's Football Focus on Saturday, Owen, 33, used Twitter to deny that he had been offered a deal after the Magpies were relegated from the top flight in 2009.

Angered by claims that he had walked away from Newcastle in their hour of need, he wrote: "Despite the club saying they did, they didn't ever offer me a new contract despite them putting it in the press that they did.

"How could they when they had just been relegated? It would have been financial suicide.

"I've seen it a million times - a club will blatantly lie to their fans to take the moral high ground, leaving the player with no leg to stand on.

"I've taken the stick for years which is fine, but you really don't know half of it. All will be revealed one day."

But on Sunday, he wrote that he had been offered the chance to extend his contract earlier on that season.

"Just to clarify. My tweet yesterday referred to no contract offer after Newcastle relegation, which I said was understandable," he wrote.

"Newcastle did make me an offer to extend in 2008 when Joe Kinnear was manager. Apologies to the club if there has been any confusion.

"I just didn't want the fans to think I had deserted the club after relegation. I didn't."

Owen announced last week that he will retire from the game at the end of the season.

After impressive spells with Liverpool and Real Madrid, he spent an injury-plagued four years with Newcastle, whom he joined for £17 million.

He moved to Manchester United on a free after the Magpies went down, and his performances as Newcastle's fortunes declined were criticised by home fans.

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