Newcastle United’s attempted transfer deadline day sale of England International Michael Owen to Tottenham Hotspur was reportedly the final straw for departed Magpies manager Kevin Keegan.
With James Milner already having being sold to Aston Villa, something that Keegan was opposed to, the former England boss had felt that his position at the North East club had become untenable.
However, the final insult was to come when Keegan became aware that executive director Dennis Wise had tried to sell Owen to Spurs behind his back almost right up to the transfer deadline. This was after Keegan had told owner Mike Ashley to keep the former Liverpool striker at St James’ Park at all costs.
In addition to this, Keegan had no input or knowledge of the deadline day signings of Ignacio Gonzales and Xisco, with Keegan wanting above all to sign a left-back, which had now left him short in this position.
Following this Keegan is believed to have given an ultimatum to Ashley, believed to be that if Wise did not leave St James’ Park, he would. However, Ashley refused to remove Wise from the post he gave him in January, which left Keegan with no other option but to resign from the Toon for a second time.