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By ESPN Staff

Keegan meeting leaves further questions

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley and Kevin Keegan were unable to resolve their differences following a meeting on Friday night.

It is understood the billionaire and the 57-year-old met in London, eight days after Keegan resigned as manager at St James' Park citing interference from boardroom level as the main factor for his departure.

However, the League Managers' Association, who have been working closely with the former England boss since matters came to a head, revealed no solution had been found.

A statement read: "The League Managers Association can confirm that talks to resolve several issues were held today between Kevin Keegan and Mike Ashley of Newcastle United Football Club.

"However, the discussion failed to reach a satisfactory conclusion."

It is not clear whether or not the two men will hold further talks after the news of the unexpected meeting sparked hopes of a reconciliation on Tyneside.

As rumours over the meeting's nature grew, some bookmakers responded by suspending betting on Keegan taking over as the next manager.

However, it is possible the pair may have been meeting to discuss a compromise over the terms of Keegan's departure.

There was no official word from Newcastle as the soap opera rumbled on, the club having once again found itself thrust into the headlines for unwelcome reasons.

In recent days, a series of candidates have been linked with the vacant post, with Tottenham number two Gus Poyet, Blackburn boss Paul Ince and former France skipper Didier Deschamps leading the way.

But last night's news provided an intriguing twist to the saga, and provided fans who were preparing to target their displeasure at Ashley and Wise tomorrow with hope that there could yet be an amicable solution. That now seems unlikely.

Supporters have been planning a series of protests before, during and after today's Barclays Premier League clash with Hull, for which Northumbria Police are to deploy extra officers.

Ince last night clarified his position on the Newcastle link, and insisted he is "very happy" with his current job.

"As I said at our pre-match press conference earlier today, I cannot control media speculation and nor do I normally choose to comment upon it," Ince told Blackburn's official website,, last night.

"However, I feel I owe it to the club, the players and the supporters to say that I am very happy at Ewood Park.

"I am only a few weeks into the role and I am thoroughly enjoying the experience. My only focus is Rovers and getting on with the job."


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