Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Magpies 'Drifting towards Oblivion'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Magpies 'Drifting towards Oblivion'

Article excerpt

Byline: Luke Edwards

Turn to Page 48 NEWCASTLE United are in danger of heading into "oblivion" as a result of the delay in finalising Alan Shearer's appointment as permanent manager.

That is the view of one key figure involved in the negotiations between United's manager-in-waiting and owner Mike Ashley as yet another week passed without a vital resolution.

Shearer and Ashley have reached a stalemate in their talks, with the bank in charge of restructuring the finances of the troubled club yet to give the green light on Shearer's appointment, after he asked for assurances on transfer budgets and player retention.

An answer had been expected at the end of last week, but instead of clarification, there has only been silence from within St James's Park - which has led some to predict that the talks are on the brink of collapsing.

If that should happen, the Magpies will be a rudderless ship drifting dangerously towards the rocks with no planning in place for next season in the Championship - and no idea how to deal with the catastrophic consequences of relegation.

Shearer is increasingly frustrated by the lack of progress, although he remains committed to the club in its hour of need and will not walk away at this stage.

"Newcastle United are drifting towards oblivion at the moment," a senior United figure told The Journal.

"Alan was expecting an answer by the end of last week but it does not look like anything has progressed at all and the club is stuck in limbo.

"At the moment, it isn't even clear who is running things after Mike Ashley's decision to put it up for sale. The agents of players either looking for a move out of the club or into it do not know who to speak to about possible transfers. It is a mess. It is extremely damaging and if it continues indefinitely, the disaster of relegation will take another major turn for the worse. "There is only a month to go until the players return for preseason training and nobody seems to know what is going on or what is going to happen. The sooner the manager issue is resolved the better for everybody concerned with the club. …

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