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v NUFC - the verdict
NUFC.com coverage from Friday 02.10.2009
The damned United
The Premier League Tribunal who have been sitting in judgment over the Kevin Keegan /Newcastle United dispute released their decision on Friday, ruling that the former Magpies boss was constructively dismissed.
A sum of £2m must now be paid to him by the club.
As significant as the judgment and financial award were, the findings of the tribunal are even more revealing, providing a damning indictment of the club's workings under the current administration:
Read the judgment in full online here
Now that this case has been settled, let's hope that the sale of the club can proceed without further delay, which seems to be the only course of action that the majority of supporters and the current owner can agree on.
Do we think any the worse of Keegan? Not at all - our opinion about him remains as it was the on the day that he was brought back into the club in January 2008. The reservations we had then remain unchanged now.
KK's salary @ SJP was £3m per annum with a £200K increase automatically due after each 12 month period.
Witness testimony at the tribunal was provided by KK, Mike Ashley, Chris Mort and Derek Llambias, plus:
Lee Charnley: current NUFC Club Secretary.
Tony Jimenez: ex-NUFC VP (Player Recruitment).
Jeff Vetere: ex- NUFC Technical Coordinator.
Dennis Wise: ex- NUFC Executive Director (Football).
When the club were attempting to dissuade KK from resigning, a written communication was sent to him:
"It will continue to be the position that no player will be bought for the first team without your approval, save of course for commercial deals... which will remain within the sole discretion of the Board".
In other words, he didn't have the final say on player purchases.
After hearing evidence, the tribunal concluded:
"that the duties usually associated with the position of a Premier League Manager included the right, indeed duty, to have the final say as to transfers into the Club.
An interview with Dennis Wise had been conducted by club staff and published on the official website and in the official programme, which included the following:
"He has the final word and then no one else. I'm not gonna do things like bring players in behind his back. I'm not into that and everything that happens will be run past him and he'll say yes, as I say, or he'll say no".
Chris Mort was then interviewed in The Mag as saying:
"Everything that sits below
Kevin, everything associated with the first team is his responsibility …
Dennis and Jeff will help identify players and Kevin will then say yes or
Kevin Keegan reacted to the news
by releasing a statement in which he said:
I took the decision to resign in September 2008 only after very careful
and anxious consideration. The decision to resign was one of the most
difficult decisions that I have ever had to take in my life. I believe
that anybody who knows me and my attachment to Newcastle United and the
north east in general will understand how difficult this must have been. I
very much hope that the decision of the tribunal now confirms why I felt
that I had no option but to resign from the position as manager of the
club that I love.
4. Since my departure there have been many untrue stories written about my resignation, my time at the club and these proceedings. I do not blame the press for this: I know that the journalists concerned are only doing their job but I hope that the tribunal's decision will now conclusively put to rest a number of allegations made against me.
5. In particular I believe that the tribunal's decision makes it clear that:
5.1 I did have the final say on transfers and the club's allegation that I did not, which was publicised widely at the time of my resignation and subsequently, was simply untrue.
5.2 The club admitted to the
tribunal that it repeatedly and intentionally misled the press, public and
the fans of Newcastle United.
5.4 Contrary to the public statements made by the club at the time they did not do all that they could to retain me at the club. In particular they refused to acknowledge that I was entitled to the final say on transfers. This left me in a totally untenable position.
5.5 A number of the allegations made against me by the club at the hearing in order to support their £2million claim against me were totally without foundation and should never have been raised in the proceedings.
I very much regret that this claim ever had to go to the hearing as it
did. I want to state categorically that the allegation that has been made
in the press that I turned down an offer of £4m to settle the claim is
simply untrue. No such offer was made to me.
8. There are a number of technical issues that still need to be resolved by the tribunal and I obviously will not be in a position to comment on them until after those issues have been resolved.
9. I would like to thank my family, friends, legal team and the LMA who have all offered me their unstinting support throughout this very challenging period. I would also like to thank the members of the tribunal itself who have given such fair, able and meticulous consideration to my case.
I would like to thank the fans of Newcastle United for their continued
support and wish them and the club continued success in the current season
in their goal of reaching the Premier League.
And what have NUFC got to
say about it all?
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