Kevin Keegan’s departure from Newcastle United signals the lowest point for Mike Ashley during his 15 month tenure at the club. Keegan was the Toon’s prodigal son, and by leaving the club he has incurred the wrath of the fans against Ashley.
The majority of Newcastle fans think that it is Ashley’s fault that Keegan has left, because of the lack of control over transfers. There has been very little action by the Magpies in the transfer window over the summer; it is believed that Keegan was given very little power, and that Dennis Wise and Mike Ashley oversaw every move that Keegan made.
Reportedly Ashley and the board wanted to sell Joey Barton over the summer, however this was opposed by Keegan, who eventually got his way, and this created extra unneeded tensions between the various factions within the club.
Keegan’s and the board’s deteriorating relationship has become more clear during the end of last season and throughout the summer break; in May, Keegan implied that he did not think Ashley’s targets for Newcastle were realistic by saying “Maybe the owner thinks we can bridge that gap – but we can’t.”
As the news of Keegan’s departure came through, hundreds of upset Newcastle fans crowded around St James Park to make their emotions clear to Mike Ashley; who must now be feeling under huge pressure.Kevin Keegan is a man who wears his heart on his sleeve, and if he doesn’t like what he is happening, as shown in ‘the first coming’, he will leave. This move was probably hastened by Keegan’s no nonsense approach.
Alan Shearer and Dennis Wise are being linked as possible replacements for Keegan; if Ashley manages to get Shearer in as manager then his ‘man of the people’ status will be restored; but bringing in Wise would be a foolish move, as the Toon army, already suspicious of the former Chelsea player, will be even more aggrieved with Ashley.