Alan Shearer to be offered fouryear Newcastle deal
26 May 2009 06:52
He will, however, be warned that swingeing cuts must be made at St James' Park.
Ashley and his managing-director Derek Llambias will meet Shearer, whose contract as interim manager has now expired, as they begin to plot the club's way out of Championship football after their fate was sealed by a 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa at the weekend.
The sports retail tycoon and Shearer are understood to have got on well during the latter's eight-game tenure but, according to reliable North-East sources, Ashley has warned the former England captain that £30 million will have to be taken off Newcastle's £70 million wage bill to avoid financial meltdown.
Shearer and No 2 Iain Dowie spent most of yesterday at Newcastle's Darsley Park training ground, with the pair staying on long after the players had departed.
Before accepting the position of manager, Shearer, 38, will impress upon Ashley the need to act quickly to bolster the club's chances of regaining top-flight status at the first attempt by offloading the likes of Fabricio Coloccini, Jonas Gutierrez and Joey Barton.
"The other Championship teams have already started preparing [for next season] regarding players and everything else," said Shearer.
"Newcastle are already lagging behind. The sooner a decision is made [regarding the next manager] the better for everyone. We're up against it already. We need to look at it with a clear head."
He added: "Newcastle will start next season as a Championship side and we'll be a big scalp for everyone.
"Big decisions need to be made. I will give my opinions to the men in charge and then it's up to them to see where they want to go. It [Newcastle United] needs to be filled with people who love this club."
Llambias is hoping the uncertainty over Shearer's position can be removed quickly.
"Mike and I will sit down with Alan this week to discuss how the club moves forward and I hope to be able to say more to our supporters later this week," he said.
"Being relegated from the Premier League is a huge disappointment. I feel desperately sorry for everyone associated with Newcastle; for Mike Ashley, who has invested heavily in the club, and for all the supporters who have given the team magnificent backing up and down the country."