Newcastle insist manager Keegan has not been sacked

Other News Materials 3 September 2008 00:43 (UTC +04:00)

Newcastle United issued a statement Tuesday denying that Kevin Keegan had left the club.

Various rumours had suggested that the 57-year-old had either been sacked or resigned, with bookmakers closing their books on who would be the first Premier League manager to leave his post this season.

But the club responded with a statement dismissing the reports.

"Newcastle United can confirm that meetings between members of the board and manager Kevin Keegan were held both yesterday and today," it said.

"Kevin has raised a number of issues and those have been discussed with him.

"The club wants to keep progressing with its long-term strategy and would like to stress that Kevin is extremely important, both now and in the future.

"Newcastle United values the effort and commitment shown by Kevin since his return to St James' Park and wants him to continue to play an instrumental role as manager of the club.

"For the avoidance of doubt, the club has not sacked Kevin Keegan as manager."

Keegan is understood to have expressed his frustration at the club's transfer policy in a meeting on Monday, after midfielder James Milner demanded and got a move away from the club, with only striker Xisco and loan signing Ignacio Gonzalez arriving in return.

There were also reports that the club had tried to offload midfielder Joey Barton, who was recently released from prison and is facing a lengthy FA ban, dpa reported.