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Sep 4, 2008

Keegan ends speculation and resigns at Newcastle

Kevin Keegan has resigned from the post of manager at Newcastle United.

Keegan has been unseen on Tyneside since Monday, with Tuesday seeing an outpouring of Geordie grief amid reports that Keegan had been sacked by owner Mike Ashley after a row with sporting director Dennis Wise and managing director Derek Lambias over transfer policy.

Despite a public statement from the club that Keegan had not been sacked, it was revealed on Thursday night by the League Managers Association that he had resigned.

'I've been working desperately hard to find a way forward with the directors, but sadly that has not proved possible,' the 57-year-old Keegan said in a statement.

'It's my opinion that a manager must have the right to manage and that clubs should not impose upon any manager any player that he does not want.'

'It remains my fervent wish to see Newcastle United do well in the future and I feel incredibly sorry for the players, staff and most importantly the supporters. I have been left with no choice other than to leave.'

The club itself released a statement on its official website, which read: 'Newcastle United Football Club is sad and disappointed that Kevin Keegan has resigned.

'Over the last few days the Club has devoted itself to the discussions it has held with Kevin and as a result of those discussions had put together a set of practical suggestions for how to move forward.

'Today 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.'

LMA chief executive Richard Bevan said: 'The LMA has been supporting Kevin during a very difficult period.

'We share his great disappointment and frustration that the situation could not be resolved.'

Keegan claimed last week the sale of James Milner to Aston Villa was his decision but it is thought the club were prepared to sell other players behind his back.

Matters are understood to have come to a head on transfer deadline day on Monday, when stories circulated that Michael Owen and Joey Barton were available for sale.

All the talk was that he would not resign because of the £1million it would cost him to get out of the three-and-a-half year contract he signed just eight months ago.

But Llambias' letter appears to have made up his mind, ironically just a day after West Ham counterpart Alan Curbishley left his post citing similar reasons.

Predecessor Glenn Roeder left the club in the summer of 2007, just prior to Ashley's takeover of the club, also spoke of his dismay at the chaos the club finds itself in.

Roeder, currently in charge at Norwich, told BBC Radio Five Live: 'The club is a tragedy and it goes from one disaster to another.

'There's no stability at the club and I don't think there has been for a long time. They go from one manager to another and the people who suffer the most are the most important people, the supporters.

Roeder added: 'When they talk about Newcastle being a great club, it's only great for one reason - because it has great supporters.'

'All Kevin wants is to be allowed to manage Newcastle United. Or should I say manage the English way.

'It is the fashion today to use the European way of putting someone between the owner and the manager in some kind of technical director role.

'It never really happened to me at Newcastle. The nearest was when Freddy Shepherd came to me and said he had agreed a £5million fee with Chelsea for Damien Duff and I went along with it because I thought it was a good move for us.

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