Alan Shearer’s fate hangs in the balance

The Newcastle’s manager job is still on an interim basis. Mike Ashley apparently does not want to pay Shearer’s wage increase. Any negotiations to make his job permanent hinges around a buyout of the club.
There are rumours that a local group led by ex-owner Freddy Shepherd is in negotiations. And in a sign of the times, some fans are welcoming the News of the World hero.
I had previously talked about how Newcastle’s devaluation following relegation would attract buyers.
There are a few other things that are needed in order to advance the buyout process.
The club needs to show that they are serious about promotion. They are on a very slippery slope. Retaining Shearer, one of the few big marquee names, will be a step in the right direction. They also need to drastically trim the bloated wage bill which swallows £75m. Starting with Michael Owen, whose libel damages still don’t obviate the fact of a career very much on the ropes. His £100,000 per week wages are unsustainable. He should be offloaded to Roma or as Steven Gerrard’s pet project.
Joey Barton and Alan Smith are another pair of liabilities, wage or otherwise. Injuries and disciplinary problems have been central to Newcastle’s march to relegation. However, before we write off the squad there are some bright sparks. Jonas Gutierrez is a good case in point. An article 17 transfer, the Argentinian midfielder impressed in his debut, was subsequently injured, and worked his way back into the squad after his return. His work rate is admirable. He had three assists, second to Kevin Nolan and no slouch when it came to defending with 54 tackles. He is the sot of player that Newcastle needs more of to ensure further slippage.

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