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By ESPN Staff

Keegan reasserts position over departure

The war of words surrounding Newcastle escalated tonight with former manager Kevin Keegan reasserting his position in response to an earlier statement from the Magpies.

Keegan has claimed he resigned because he no longer had full control of the club's transfers, but Newcastle insist the 57-year-old had agreed to the structure in which he was operating.

However, Keegan - who again chose to make his views public through the League Managers' Association - is sticking to his guns following his departure from St James' Park earlier this week.

LMA chief executive Richard Bevan said in a statement: ''Kevin Keegan's chief complaint, amongst others, is that it was always agreed that the director of football could not impose a player that the manager did not want.

''This agreement has been broken and, notwithstanding the fact that the chairman at the time of Kevin Keegan's appointment, the director of football and the owner of Newcastle United, have confirmed previously in public meetings and publications that he would always have the final say.''

The statement from Newcastle criticised Keegan for dragging the dispute into the public domain.

''NUFC wished, at all times, to keep any dispute that it had with Kevin Keegan private,'' their statement read.

''It is therefore disappointing that information has reached the media through unnamed sources and a briefing has been given by the League Managers' Association that could give rise to a misleading impression amongst the club's fans.

''Newcastle United have no desire to engage in a war of words, but inaccurate reporting of factual matters and inaccurate allegations have to be corrected.

''It is a fact that Kevin Keegan, on appointment on January 16, 2008, agreed to report to a director of football and to the board.

''It is a fact that Kevin Keegan worked within that structure from January 16, 2008 until his resignation.

''It is a fact that Kevin Keegan, as manager, had specific duties in that he was responsible for the training, coaching, selection and motivation of the team.

''It is a fact that Kevin Keegan was allowed to manage his specific duties without any interference from any board member.

''It is a fact that Kevin Keegan agreed only to deal with the media in relation to club matters relating to the team and not to communicate with the media in relation to the acquisition or disposal of players.

''It is a fact that NUFC is a business and operates, like all businesses, with financial constraints.

''It is a fact that NUFC's financial constraints inform its transfer dealings.

''The board of NUFC have responsibility to ensure that the club is able to meet its commitments, which include the wages and the transfer fees for players.

''The structure at NUFC is clear, and has been clear from January 16, 2008.''

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