Kevin Keegan has not been sacked as Newcastle United manager, according to a statement issued from St James' Park.
Speculation has mounted all Tuesday that the Geordie idol had been sacked after a row over transfer policy with owner Mike Ashley and director Dennis Wise. However, United said: 'For the avoidance of doubt the Club has not sacked Kevin Keegan as manager.'
The statement was released as a baying mob of Toon fans stood outside St James' Park. Bookmakers had stopped taking bets on the Premier League's next managerial casualty. Many sources suggested Keegan had either left the club or had been removed. Reasons for the parting of the ways had been suggested as lack of movement in the transfer market and a dispute over Joey Barton. The midfielder, recently released from prison, was linked with a number of Premier League clubs prior to the transfer window closing on Monday night.
However, after hours of radio silence from the club the following statement was released: 'Newcastle United can confirm that meetings between members of the Board and manager Kevin Keegan were held both yesterday and today.'
'Kevin has raised a number of issues and those have been discussed with him. The Club wants to keep progressing with its long-term strategy and would like to stress that Kevin is extremely important, both now and in the future.'
'Newcastle United values the effort and commitment shown by Kevin since his return to St. James' Park and wants him to continue to play an instrumental role as manager of the Club. For the avoidance of doubt the Club has not sacked Kevin Keegan as manager.'
Keegan himself did not attend training at Newcastle and is yet to publically speak on the subject.